World’s Strangest

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The Surprising Last Words of 11 Entertainers

What do actors, musicians, and writers say when they die? I consulted the reference Last Words of Notable People by Bill Brahms to collect eleven examples. Read on, and get a hanky ready. 1. Bob Hope (1903-2003) The words: “Surprise me.” The story: “Bob” Hope’s full name was Leslie Townes Hope. As an actor [...]

10 Really Bad Movies that Define “Bad Movies”

Yesterday I linked a story about the movie The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. The children’s film opened last weekend in 2,160 theaters, and earned less than half a million dollars on its opening weekend. That means it only made $206 per theater, a record low for a movie in wide release (more than [...]

Air Guitar World Championships

Now that we’re done with the Olympic Games, we can finally focus on the important thing: the 2012 Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland. American (USA! USA!) Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard won gold, [...]

Marvel Unleashes The All Winners Squad

I was overjoyed when I found out that Marvel is making an animated web series called All Winners Squad, which features Howard the Duck and some lesser known characters like Squirrel Girl, Hypno Hustler and Ruby Tuesday (the dome headed superhero not the restaurant chain). This reject squad series looks like it will be a laugh riot, [...]

5 Medical Innovations of the Civil War

by Chip Rowe As it turns out, the bloodiest war in American history was also one of the most influential in battlefield medicine. Civil War surgeons learned fast, and many of their MacGyver-like solutions have had a lasting impact. Here are some of the advances and the people behind them. 1. Life-saving Amputation The General Who Visited His [...]

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

Photo: LaDawna Howard/Flickr It was a close ruling, but a 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, the key part of the Affordable Care Act, or more popularly known [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The South

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. (1) Kentucky Kentucky got its royal blue team color from a piece of clothing. In 1891 the school needed a set of team colors before a football game against in-state rival Centre College. After some debate, the students settled on [...]

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

On the surface, B. Traven’s 1927 novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a suspenseful, propulsive can’t-put-it-down adventure story about three down-and-out Americans who trek deep into the Mexican mountains on a doomed search for gold. It’s a terrific read. But it’s more than just a page-turner; the work recasts the classic American adventure [...]

Five Medical Innovations of the Civil War

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the first gunshots of the Civil War -and the first gunshot wounds. As it turns out, the bloodiest war in American history was also one of the most influential in battlefield medicine. Civil War surgeons learned fast, and many of their MacGyver-like solutions have had lasting impact. Here [...]

The Final Years of Curly (of Three Stooges Fame)

In 1932, Jerome Howard (soon to be universally known as “Curly”) joined the Three Stooges comedy team. He was replacing his older brother, Shemp, as the third Stooge, joining his older brother Moe and frizzly haired Larry Fine. In 1934, the team signed with Columbia Pictures and began churning out the series of comedy slapstick shorts [...]