World’s Strangest

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The Late Movies: Six Songs Inspired by Hurricane Sandy

First: If you’re one of our readers in New Jersey, Delaware, New York, or any of the other areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts are with you. Now, on to the Late Movies business: Hurricane Sandy has inspired some budding singer-songwriters. We’ve got six examples of how they spent their time during the storm. “Sandy” This [...]

23 Fun Facts About Things We Saw at the Grocery Store

The other day we set up a mental_floss Instagram account, then went to the grocery store and took some pictures. (We also needed food.) Here are some fun facts about the products we encountered. To appease the dairy lobby and keep butter sales strong, several states used to require margarine to be dyed pink. The USDA [...]

The Vice President Who Wrote a Hit Song

History buffs might know the name Charles Dawes, which probably sounds vaguely familiar but can’t-quite-place-him to the rest of us. Here’s a refresher: he was Calvin Coolidge’s vice president. They hated each other. Long before he was Coolidge’s second-in-command, however, Dawes was a pianist and composer. In fact, he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha [...]

Cassette Art

Artist David Poppie likes to make artistic statements out of everyday objects including pencils and cassette tapes. Finally, a dignified resting place for all those Ray Stevens and Barry Manilow tapes you can’t admit to owning as a kid. He calls his works “re-mixed media.” Link

The Quick 10: Happy Birthday, MacGyver!

Quick, someone rig a cake using some duct tape, bouillon cubes and spackle! That’s right, it’s McGyver’s birthday on Sunday. It’s Richard Dean Anderson’s big day – he’ll be 61 – but it’s also the day Mac celebrates being born (he’ll be 60). To honor such a momentous occasion, here are a few facts about [...]

10 Surprising Bobbleheads

Not just a staple for at least one summer baseball promotion night a year, bobbleheads for fictional and historical figures, even 60s rock bands are pretty commonplace. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few surprises regarding who gets the honor of bobblehead-dom these days. 1. John Calvin. No, not an obscure minor league ball [...]

10 Famous Actors Who Started Out in Commercials

Actors’ relationships with TV jingles are sort of like that old riddle: What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon and three at dawn? (Or maybe more like how we start in Pampers and end up in Depends.) Lots of well-known actors wind up paying the rent at the end of their [...]