The Time Russia Ran Out of Vodka
© Yevgeny Khaldei/Corbis At 1:10 a.m. on May 9, 1945, night owls in the USSR heard a radio report that Nazi Germany had officially surrendered to the Soviet Union. Rather than wait until morning to celebrate, citizens took to the streets in their pajamas. The revelry reached such a fever pitch that by the time Joseph Stalin addressed the nation 22 hours later, the Soviets faced a new crisis:...
The Real World: Mental Hospital Edition
This is the true story of three schizophrenics, who all believed they were Jesus Christ. It wasn’t long before they stopped being polite and started getting real crazy. In 1959, social psychologist Milton Rokeach wanted to test the strength of self-delusion. So, he gathered three patients, all of whom identified themselves as Jesus Christ, and made them live together in the same mental hospital...
6 Times The Onion Had Certain People Completely...
Photo credit: Flickr user Afraid of Ducks In 2002, the Beijing Evening News believed The Onion that “Congress Threatens To Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol Is Built.” Thanks to the gaffe, their circulation of 1.25 million people thought that, like an unhappy sports team, Congress was threatening to leave the District of Columbia unless a new, improved Capitol building was built. The Onion‘s...
Today Is MC Hammer's 50th Birthday
The Reason You Laugh Is Not The Reason You Think
Photo credit: Jonathan Hanson Robert Provine has made staggering advances in the field of laugh science. For instance, he’s actually proved that laughter is contagious. Consider the case of the “laugh epidemic” that swept through what’s now Tanzania in 1962. In the small town of Kashasha, three girls started giggling. Soon, the snickers rippled outward to 95 students, lasting for hours before...
Bork, Bork, Bork!
Even before the Food Network, people were making fun of television chefs. More accurately—the Muppets were making fun of television chefs. The Swedish Chef has grown to be a beloved Muppet. Here is some of his best work. Watch: Best of the Swedish Chef
Oscar-Winning Films Recreated With Peeps
The Washington Post recently announced the winners of its sixth annual Peeps Show diorama contest. This year’s finalists were heavy on politics, but over six years, many of the best entries depict scenes from our favorite movies. Read More: Hollywood Peeps: 15 Oscar-Winning Films in Marshmallow
The Petticoat Duel
While duels between women were not as common, they were not unheard of. In 1792, Lady Almeria Braddock and a Mrs. Elphinstone fought what came to be known as “the petticoat duel.” Mrs. Elphinstone made a social call to Lady Almeria’s house and while there paid her ladyship a very backhanded compliment, saying: “You have been a very beautiful woman. You have a good… face even now but you must...
Seemingly Harmless Toys That Were Recalled
For example: This plush toy uterus. More: 8 Seemingly Harmless Toys That Were Recalled
Twitter's bird logo is named Larry, for Larry...
Quiz: Computer Games That Came on Floppy Disks
Test your knowledge of classic PC Adventure and Role Playing Games in this quiz.
The Drunken Uncles of the Rodent World
Syrian golden hamsters are—to put it mildly—the drunken uncles of the rodent world. In the wild, these hard-partying hamsters spend their summers gathering and storing fruit as a survival measure. By winter, when they need to break into the stash, the fruit has fermented. Over time, the Syrian hamsters’ appetite for alcohol only increases. Today, when given the choice between booze and water,...
Quiz: Movies Where Russians Were the Bad Guys
Say what you will about the Cold War, but at least it gave us some great movie villains. How well do you remember the Soviet adversaries in these movies? Take the Quiz: Movies Where Russians Were the Bad Guys
Quiz: Name That Beanie Baby
Today is National Stuff That Was Popular When You Were a Kid Day! We’ll be running quizzes all day straight out of our writers’ childhoods. Hillary Buckholtz of I’m Remembering wants to test your knowledge of Beanie Babies. Take the Quiz: Name That Beanie Baby
Save the Date!
Are you planning to celebrate National Stuff That Was Popular When You Were a Kid Day on Monday? I understand if you’re not, as it’s a new holiday that we’re inventing. Reader Virginia Scott suggested it in our Make Up Your Own Holiday contest. (Monday is also National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.) We’ll be celebrating on mentalfloss.com throughout that day. I’ve asked a dozen mental_floss...
Starting in May, Michigan State will offer a course called “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes and Human Behavior.”
Cramming People Into Things: A History
Phone Booth Cramming was a late-1950s fad, but the practice of people-packing went to much stranger places. Here is a photo history of cramming people into things.
How Does an Etch A Sketch Work?
Everyone’s talking about the Etch A Sketch today. Here’s a bit of the toy’s history, plus a look at how it works.
120-Year-Old Color Pictures of Ireland
Check out some vivid pictures of Ireland from the late-19th century.
Beverly Hills is named after some medieval English...
Sign image via Shutterstock Read More: How 5 Super-Rich Places Got Such Fancy Names