World’s Strangest

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Why We Tolerate Obvious Inequality

Why do we tolerate inequality? The answer, according to a new study by economist Eugenio Proto, is for the slight chance to prosper: “It seems that even if people believe they have just the [...]

Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius

In this 90-minute BBC documentary from 1993, we see a glimpse of Richard Feynman at his best. Feynman and other figures from his life are interviewed extensively, revealing a portrait of a complex mind — a man who was willing to live with doubt, uncertainty, and incorrectness as part of the human condition. [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The East

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Syracuse Syracuse’s colors were originally pink and blue, but the class of 1890 changed it to orange. A member of that class explained the switch at his 50th reunion in 1940: “What kind of ‘whoopee’ can be made with [...]

Cool Mosaic Portraits Of Geek Icons

These mosaic portraits of geek gods, such as Bill Gates and the creator of Space Invaders Tomohiro Nishikado, are cleverly constructed by Charis Tsevis using thousands of tiny images that directly relate to each subject’s claim to fame. In other words, Nishikado’s portrait is made up of little Space Invaders, Gates’ portrait is made up of [...]

Bill Gates Changes The World Again

Bill Gates is only 56 years old, but he stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft a decade ago. He’d still be the richest man in America if he and his wife Melinda hadn’t been so busy giving money away. And instead of just donating, they did the research to determine how they would get [...]

10 People Who Became Dog Toys

Dog toys generally come in three designs: classic toys such as Frisbees and tennis balls, indestructible designs like the Kong line, and cute animals that are fuzzy or squeaky. Of course, the problem with the cute designs is that they are usually the most easily destroyed. So rather than letting your pup rip an adorable [...]

10 Other People Who’ve Been Pied

Image credit: @DanJHayes News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch took a shaving cream pie to the face today during his hearing before a committee of the British Parliament on the phone-hacking scandal. Good thing we had this list handy. 1. Singer and activist Anita Bryant was hit in the face with a pie in 1977, in Des Moines. [...]

Remembering Richard Feynman

In this TEDxCaltech talk, physicist Leonard Susskind talks about his old friend Richard “Dick” Feynman. Susskind relates a series of stories about Feynman the man, the scientist, and the teacher. It doesn’t really get good until four minutes in; the whole talk is fourteen minutes long. Sample quote: “What Feynman hated more than anything else was [...]

What Does Your Boss Do All Day?

In a classic episode of The Office, Jan tasks Pam with documenting in detail what, exactly, Michael does with his time at work. Pam begins compiling a time-use diary. Michael, oblivious to the assignment, casually resists Pam’s subtle suggestions to perform his typical duties, and the time log ultimately includes such inane activities as Michael [...]

9 Other Famous Harvard Dropouts

© Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis Most people are familiar with the stories of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who achieved great success as the founders of Microsoft and Facebook, respectively, after dropping out of Harvard. Here are nine other former Harvard students who made out just fine without earning their degrees. 1. Robert Frost Frost, a San Francisco [...]