World’s Strangest

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The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The South

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Kentucky Kentucky got its royal blue team color from a piece of clothing. In 1891 the school needed a set of team colors before a football game against in-state rival Centre College. After some debate, the students settled on [...]

Best Corporate Mascot Ever: Petey P Cup

On his Facebook page, Petey P Cup ponders, “Do you ever ask yourself questions like: What if I’m the best mascot EVER?!?!?” I think the answer is pretty obvious. Petey P Cup is exactly what you think he is – a large, Justin Timberlake-on-SNL-esque mascot extolling the virtues of HealthPartners.com, a non-profit in Minnesota. Like many [...]

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 [...]

Failed Break-in Leads to Surprise Reunion

Police responded to a report of a man trying to break into a house in Bloomington, Illinois last weekend. It was determined that 21-year-old Christopher Kunder was trying to get into his own house to surprise his mother who didn’t know he was on leave from military service in Afghanistan. The problem was that his [...]

14 Quirky College Donations (and the Strings Attached)

For most of us, college donations entail little more than occasionally dropping a small check in the mail after receiving repeated pleas for cash from our alma maters. Some people, though, tend to be a bit more individualistic with their generosity. Let’s take a look at some of the quirkier donations schools have received: 1. Bequest [...]

The Late Movies: Rock On, Wesley Willis

“I make music, I sing my ass off.” With these words, Wesley Willis opens a short documentary shown below. Willis was a bizarre musician — a chronic schizophrenic, his music was crude and thus considered “punk,” but in a way no one had heard before. Willis’s songs generally consisted of spoken-word poetry over a keyboard’s [...]

The World’s Largest Shopping Mall

The largest shopping mall in the world is no longer the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The South China Mall near Guangzhou, China is twice as big! This is not a success story; there are only about a dozen stores open in the giant facility. However, because the mall is considered “too big to [...]