World’s Strangest

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Welcome To College Weekend!

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out a call for pitches from college students who wanted to write for mental_floss—and we were flooded with excellent ideas. (In fact, we were so impressed that we’ll be doing this again, and soon.) Tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, we’ll post the best of the bunch. Stay tuned!

The End of the "Silent Letter"

Combining the ease of telephonic communication with the awesome speed of mail, the maker of typewriters Smith-Corona (count just how many cutting edge technologies are represented here, Neatoramanauts!) introduced the Mail Call back in 1967: Announcing: The end of the silent letter Now you can really “hear” from those you miss the most. A son in service. A [...]

Chatroulette Call Me Maybe

Steve Kardynal knows exactly how to improve Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. Just add a little Chatroulette. Yes. That Chatroulette. Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] – via Slate (Warning: guy in a [...]

Plane Carrying Proposal Banner Crashes

Mike Flynn hired a plane to carry a banner sating “Will you marry me?” over the beach in Rhode Island where his girlfriend Michelle would see it. Ten minutes into the flight, pilot Mark Simmons noticed his engine was failing. The plane crashed, but Simmons was unhurt. Meanwhile, Flynn was waiting at the beach, not [...]

The Top Ten Banned Video Games of All Time

It might not surprise you that Call of Duty 4 was banned in the Middle East or that Postal was banned in Australia, but some of these top ten banned games are a bit of a shock. For example, Mass Effect was banned in Singapore for its lesbian love scene. The most surprising item on [...]

Animals Reflected in Water

I wouldn’t exactly call it narcissism, but animals like to look at their reflections just like people do. And when a photographer is there to capture the moment, you get double the subjects! See 16 photographs of animals and their reflections in water in a gallery at Environmental Graffiti. Link (Image credit: Flickr user ucumari)

Gladiator Tombstone Complains About Bad Refs 1800 Years Ago

For most sports fans the worst that could happen when a referee makes a bad call during a game is that your team would lose. However in the days of the ancient Gladiators a bad call by the “summa rudis” (referee) could mean death. According to Carter, most gladiatorial bouts weren’t necessarily meant to be played [...]

Cell Phones are Killing Bees

The next time you have a pesky swarm of bees in your back yard, don’t call the exterminator. According to a recent study, apparently all you have to do is pull out your iPhone. The calls act as an instinctive warning to leave the hive, but the frequency confuses the bees, causing them to fly erratically. [...]

Jail: India’s Next Call Center?

The next time you get an Indian talking from a call center on your customer service call, don’t get too upset. Instead, have pity as your counterpart may soon be talking from jail! For a man serving a life sentence for murder, Pradeep Deburma has a slightly unlikely dream: to work in a call centre like [...]

World’s First Cell Phone Call

On April 3rd, 1973, 38 years ago today, Martin Cooper made a phone call while walking down the street in New York City. At the time, he was the general manager of the company’s communications division. He had promoted the idea that phone numbers shouldn’t be tethered to a place, but to people. And they [...]