World’s Strangest

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Odds/Ends: Alyssa Milano + Clean Water + Split Decision

This may sound made up, but Alyssa Milano has been one of our biggest supporters over the years. She’s introduced thousands of people to mental_floss; “through a link tweeted by Alyssa Milano” finished surprisingly high on a recent survey of how people first found us.

For her 38th birthday, she’s trying to raise money for charity:water to help fund clean water projects in developing nations. This week, she gave away 38 copies of our new game Split Decision to people who contributed to her campaign, which was pretty cool. So if you’re looking for a charity to support this holiday season, you can read up on charity:water here.

And if she didn’t give you a copy, you can get one this weekend for 20% off! Just use the code LASTCHANCE before checkout.
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By now you know that David Israel is giving away a Ford Fiesta in New York on Tuesday. (I still can’t believe it.) Anyway, he needs one person to assist him. Anyone who’s going to be in New York that day want to give him a hand? (We’ll pay you.) You can raise your hand by leaving a comment and he may be in touch with details/questions.
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If you’re looking for something to do in Brooklyn on Sunday, check out our Holiday Edition Trivia Show! In addition to taking the Trivia Show to new cities — get fired up, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill — we’re putting the finishing touches on a series of bookstore events in 2011. Watch this space!
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Here’s something for Louisville-area _flossers:

The Spelling Bee, or “Spleling Be,” as it is affectionately known in Louisville, started in January 2010 as a way to combat the winter doldrums with booze, brains, nostalgia and occasional elitism. It functions almost exactly like the typical elementary school bee, except that adults compete, and there are twists to each bee that allow for a more interesting competition. Sometimes contestants can earn one round of immunity by dressing as a bumblebee (meaning they can misspell one word and remain in the competition), or, at the next one coming up on December 22nd, people will have the option to sign up in pairs, so that weak spellers still have a chance to win by partnering with stronger ones. Pairs will be treated just like individuals, but they will have a chance to put their brains together before uttering any letters.

Participants compete for a $50 prize–sometimes concert tickets, sometimes a gift certificate, etc.–as well as a hand-made, giant looks-like-a-Scrabble-tile-but-for-copyright-reasons-definitely-is-not trophy. The Idea Festival is adopting it for 2011, and we hope to take it to other cities in the larger region (Lexington, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Nashville, maybe even Birmingham).

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And we’ll end with a big ‘Get Well, Get Well Soon, We Want You to Get Well’ to semi-regular _flosser and full-time Australian Mark Juddery, who’s home recuperating after being hit by a drunk driver last month.
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That was a depressing way to end. Let’s try again. Congrats to another co-worker Andréa Fernandes, who got married earlier this month. There are some great pics of the reception on her Facebook page, but I’m not sure she put them there so I could re-post them here without permission, and it’s too late to call her and ask. Oh well.

Enjoy the weekend!


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