World’s Strangest

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Quiz: Britney Spears or Brittany S. Pierce?

“Oops, I did it again!” is something both pop sensation Britney Spears and Glee character Brittany S. Pierce should be saying after their vocal missteps. They’re both infamous for saying wacky things. Can you figure out who said what? Take the quiz: Who Said It – Britney Spears or Brittany S. Pierce? Lauren Baker attends Brescia University [...]

“Britney Spears” is an Anagram for “Presbyterians”

© Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Corbis As the great John Green informed us back in 2006 during his stint as a mental_floss blogger, “Britney Spears” is an anagram for “Presbyterians.” I’ve been trying to work that into conversation for years. Since today is Britney’s 30th birthday, it seemed like the time was right. To celebrate, let’s have an anagram [...]

The Late Movies: Mixed Musical Genres

It’s a treat for your ears when a song you know is performed in a completely different style. Sometimes it seems like there’s a hard dividing line between musical genres, with folk, country, bluegrass, and gospel forever separated from pop, rock and rap. But occasionally a song crosses over, not just on the charts, but [...]

Hey You! What Song Are You Listening To?

Filmmaker Tyler Culler wandered the streets of New York with a camera, asking passersby what they were listening to on their headphones. Many answered — and many of the answers are surprising. Enjoy this little slice of New York life: After the jump, the track list from Cullen’s YouTube post. Tracklist: 1 The Bee Gees: More Than A [...]

The Hidden Meanings of Tattoos

The real stories behind popular body-art symbols. The Jerusalem Cross and the Dragon: A Royal Fad England’s King Edward VII started the royal tattoo craze in 1862. During a trip to the Holy Land, the then-Prince of Wales had a Jerusalem Cross inked on his arm. His son, the future King George V, followed in his father’s [...]

18 Facts You Might Not Know about Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a hugely successful television series on WB and UPN from 1997-2003. Writer and producer Joss Whedon, long heavily constrained by the requirements of others, finally had the opportunity to create a series that was completely his own. Whedon had worked on it for years, first selling the screenplay in 1988 [...]

The Late Movies: Classic Songs, Different Instruments

Tonight for the Late Movies we take a look at some classic cover songs, played on a variety of different instruments. If you have any others, leave them in the comments! “Nothing Else Matters” Here is Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” played on a dulcimer, which is exactly how Lars intended it. “We Will Rock You” If you ever wanted [...]

Inside the World of Fan Fiction

Fan fiction—that is, fiction that uses an existing universe created by another author and expands (or pirates) it—has literally been around for centuries. Consider the “infancy gospels,” later texts that explored the life of the infant Christ and other figures in the original gospels. But right now, we are living in an unprecedented era of [...]

The Last Decade According to 9-Year-Olds

When I think of the last decade (starting in 2000), I think of it in comparison to previous decades. Being more or less a grownup, I can remember decades like the 80’s and 90’s quite well, and I’ve got some 70’s in there too. But what about kids who were born at the beginning of [...]

The Quick 10: Rudolph Turns 70

I saw that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was on the other day and I refused to watch it. It just seems so early! But I probably should have tuned in for two reasons: it might have been my only shot this season, and it would have been nice of me to acknowledge everyone’s favorite Christmas [...]