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Words and Phrases I’ve Misused

Chris Higgins of mental_floss wrote a book called The Blogger Abides. It’s about, you guessed it,  blogging! In an excerpt he posted today, he gives many examples of misused words and phrases he’s been called out on over the years. A couple of examples: Tough Road to Hoe A lot of idioms don’t seem to make sense, [...]

The Missing Links: Do Dogs Ever Really Eat Homework?

Why Did the Dog Eat Your Homework? Or, why do you say that happened? * I Guess the Dinosaurs Are Really Gone A while back I posted a link about a guy hoping to create real, actual Jurassic Park-ish dinosaurs. Well, I guess that isn’t happening. Thanks a lot, “science.” And “facts.” And “rationality.” * Now You Can Hug [...]

Sequels That Improved on the Original

On Fridays, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. On to this week’s topics of discussion… 1. Most sequels are not very good, or at least not as good as the thing that made people decide another [...]

The Late Movies: Classic Super Bowl Commercials

If you, like me, learned everything you know about football from Friday Night Lights (the TV series, not the movie. Duh.), you probably watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Whether it was famous frogs, talking babies, thirsty supermodels or something a little more outrageous, advertising during the big game has become almost as relevant [...]

Counting Down Our Most Popular Quizzes of 2011 (#6-#10)

This weekend, we’ll be counting down the year’s top quizzes (see #11-#15). Pay attention to what’s been working, because on Monday we’ll start accepting suggestions for another installment of Reader-Submitted Quiz Week. What resume wouldn’t look better with “I wrote a quiz for mental_floss” down in the MISCELLANEOUS section? (Plus you can win a t-shirt, [...]

The Quick 10: Happy Birthday, MacGyver!

Quick, someone rig a cake using some duct tape, bouillon cubes and spackle! That’s right, it’s McGyver’s birthday on Sunday. It’s Richard Dean Anderson’s big day – he’ll be 61 – but it’s also the day Mac celebrates being born (he’ll be 60). To honor such a momentous occasion, here are a few facts about [...]

250 Movie Introductions of 185 People, Groups, and Things

Look, it’s Friday. You’ve got nine and a half minutes to kill. Why not watch a supercut of a bunch of 250 people (or cyborgs, or heroes, or villains) introducing 185 people, groups, and things from classic (and very not-classic) movies? It’s weirdly hypnotic. I also feel a little weird that I recognize virtually all [...]

The Number of the Day: 200 Million

In the 30+ years since Sony introduced the Walkman personal cassette unit, the company has sold more than 200 million of the devices. Sony announced recently that they have permanently halted the sale of cassette Walkmans. Related Fact: In another bittersweet moment for nostalgic computer lovers everywhere, Sony also announced this year that it will soon discontinue [...]

October’s Most Popular Stories (So Far)

In case you weren’t obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all month, here’s what you missed: 1. What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called, by Stacy Conradt * 2. 10 Awesomely Geeky Birthday Cakes, by Jill Harness * 3. Found Snapshots: Hide This Please, by Ransom Riggs * 4. 10 Amazing Costumes for Halloween, by Miss Cellania * 5. 10 Abandoned Psych Wards Photographers Love Sneaking Into, [...]

Is Your Child a Dandelion or an Orchid?

An article in the December 2009 issue of The Atlantic poses a fascinating scientific question: do some children’s genes give them a greater risk of failure, but also a greater chance for success, if they’re raised under the right circumstances? Such children are dubbed “orchid children” David Dobbs’s piece The Science of Success. The comparison [...]