World’s Strangest

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Halloween in Charlotte, North Carolina

Although it is unclear whether Charlotte, North Carolina, is any more obsessed with Halloween than other cities, there are some interesting people there who take Halloween very seriously. Creative Loafing featured four of those people and the ways they celebrate the holiday. Drew Badger, pictured, is a haunted house consultant who also organizes the local [...]

The Late Movies: Happy Birthday, Ben Folds!

Today Ben Folds celebrates his 46th birthday, and we rock along with him. I’ve always liked Ben — his mix of emotional and geeky songs appeals to me, as do his guts in naming his three-piece band “Ben Folds Five.” Let’s check a few classic performances by the man and (at times) his [...]

17 Famous Literary Characters Almost Named Something Else

“Bladorthin the Grey” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Gandalf the Grey,” does it? Good thing J.R.R. Tolkien decided to do some name swapping. Turns out he’s in good company: here’s the story of Gandalf and other famous characters who experienced an identity change before publication. 1. The only Pevensie child [...]

19 Amazing Facts About Stuff We Saw at Toys R Us

Over on Instagram, we’ve been taking pictures of things and offering up slightly amusing facts about them. So far we’ve toured a grocery store and public library. Next up: Toys R Us! For our latest field trip, I dragged along my three-year-old daughter Charlotte. She was paid in coloring books and a Bubble Guppies DVD. This [...]

Basketball Recycled into a Handbag

Valérie Valad’s clever handbag finds a new use for a worn out basketball. This and other works by her were on exhibit at the La Galerie Végétal in Paris during the past month. Link (Google Translate) -via Handmade Charlotte

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The West

We may not be much help in filling out your bracket, but we can promise one interesting fact about each of the 68 teams in the tournament. Let’s tip things off with the West Region. © Chris Bergin/Icon SMI/Corbis (1) Michigan State In May, a Michigan State professor from the School of Social Work will begin teaching an [...]

Meet 5 Pioneering Women

March is Women’s History Month, because women make history, even when they don’t make the history books. It’s not always easy to find the fascinating females hidden among the archives of those who settled the United States. Whether they are builders, barrier breakers, victims, or criminals, here are five interesting women whose stories were left [...]

Is Your Name to Blame for All Your Problems?

Name tag image via Shutterstock As Juliet bemoans the grudge her family has against Romeo’s based on their names, she says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Apparently, there’s a lot more in a name than Juliet thought—especially if your name is Mandy or [...]

15 Memorable mental_floss Moments of 2011

A lot of exciting things happened in the mental_floss universe in 2011. Here are the 15 we could remember. 1. We Helped Solve a Back to the Future Mystery Back in August, we threw out a question for discussion: “Is it ever explained why Marty hangs out with Doc Brown? He’s just in Doc’s house to start [...]

11 Expansion Teams That Just Missed the Cut

When the NFL expansion committee headed by current league commissioner Roger Goodell awarded franchises to Charlotte and Jacksonville in 1993, three other prospective teams with nicknames, logos, and color schemes already unveiled and season ticket deposits sold, were left disappointed. Here are the stories of those three (almost) teams and eight other failed expansion bids [...]