World’s Strangest

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The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The East

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Syracuse Syracuse’s colors were originally pink and blue, but the class of 1890 changed it to orange. A member of that class explained the switch at his 50th reunion in 1940: “What kind of ‘whoopee’ can be made with [...]

Timeline of The Best Super Bowl Ads

Do you watch the Super Bowl for the sports or the commercials? Back in the 1960s, a 30-second ad spot cost about $42,000. Now, it’s $3.5 million, a whopping 8,300% increase. And something that costs that much money ought [...]

Farrah Fawcett’s Iconic Red Swimsuit Donated to the Smithsonian

In 1976, the late Farrah Fawcett posed for photographer Bruce McBoom, who captured the image to the left. This picture was turned into a mass produced poster, which became an icon of American culture during the 1970s. The red swimsuit that she wore for that photo shoot has been donated to the Smithsonian Institution: Farrah’s longtime [...]

Not-So-Famous Firsts: Halloween Edition

Whether you’re taking some little ones out trick-or-treating or going to an adult party dressed as a radish, we join you in the spirit of Halloween and offer up a few not-so-famous firsts related to the holiday. Oh, and please have your kids save their Necco Wafers, Good ‘N Plenty, Circus Peanuts and other “ick” [...]

7 TV Salary Disputes

Television salary disputes are almost as old as the Nielsen charts. Here are some examples. 1. With Friends Like These By May 2001, the original contracts of the six Friends stars had recently expired, and NBC was slated to announce its new Fall schedule to advertisers just a few days hence. Jennifer, Courteney, the two Matts, et [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Strange Celebrity Exercise Videos

Already worrying about the havoc all of the holiday cookies, candies and feasts are going to wreak on your waistline? Never fear: celebrities are here to help! Sure, you know Jane Fonda has a fitness empire, but there are some really, um, expected celebrity fitness videos lurking out there. At the very least, you’ll be [...]

10 Famous Actors Who Started Out in Commercials

Actors’ relationships with TV jingles are sort of like that old riddle: What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon and three at dawn? (Or maybe more like how we start in Pampers and end up in Depends.) Lots of well-known actors wind up paying the rent at the end of their [...]