World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: Stupid Uses For the Moon

A Very Useful Machine Is this the best Rube Goldberg machine ever? If you aren’t familiar with them, first check out what they are. Then watch this incredible example in action: * A Very Useless Machine You’ve seen the world’s most useless machine. Now see it turned into a perfect analogy for our political climate. * There Aren’t Many [...]

Putin, Savior of Endangered Cranes

Putin. Is there anything he can’t do? Taking some time off after a hard day’s work quashing dissent and such, Russian President Vladimir Putin flew alongside cranes to lead them on their migration route: In the [...]

11 Monarchs Crowned While They Were in Diapers

Babies sure are cute. But do they make good world leaders? Here’s a peek at some of history’s youngest rulers and their reigns. 1. King Oyo (Toro Kingdom, Uganda) In 1995, Oyo became the youngest monarch in the world. He was three years old. When the coronation ceremony began, the toddler slid off the throne, ran [...]

Ten 2012 Olympians to Keep Your Eyes On

Thousands of athletes from all over the world are in London for the 2012 Olympics. Many of them are already stars, having trained their entire lives for this chance at gold. For some, getting there has been a struggle against poverty, politics, prejudice, and other disadvantages. Here are a few that you’ll want to know [...]

11 Product Names That Mean Unfortunate Things in Other Languages

Once in a while, an international company will come out with a new product, brand name or slogan that gets, well, seriously lost in translation. One famous example is Mitsubishi’s unfortunate 1973 decision to name its new SUV the “Pajero,” which translates in Spanish to “wanker.” Here are 11 more tragic, hilarious, and definitely off-color examples [...]

15 Dad Facts for Father’s Day

A few years ago, we asked some of our favorite mental_floss writers to send us their favorite dad-related facts and stories for our newsletter. Here are 15 you can use around the grill today. 1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a [...]

Operation Eagle Claw: The Disastrous Rescue Attempt During the Iranian Hostage Crisis

© Mahmoudreza Kalari/Sygma/Corbis The Iranian Hostage Crisis, in which Iranian student revolutionaries held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, was an unprecedented act of state-sanctioned terrorism and a profound humiliation for the United States. In many ways “Operation Eagle Claw,” the ludicrously ambitious plan to rescue the hostages, was the nadir of the whole affair. Intended [...]

Lightsaber Cat vs. Dogs

Link Scroll down for today’s pictures & links. Lightsaber Cat vs. Dogs This is the ultimate fight, bar none. The Fate of the Universe, or this particular cat in this universe, depends on the outcome of this battle. Impressive, for sure… but I am not sure that this cat even needs a lightsaber to defend itself. These dogs [...]

The Historical Gift Guide: 15 of the Greatest Gifts in the History of Presents

Do you have a pal who always leaves you scratching your head when it comes to gifts? Perhaps something in our Historical Gift Guide will sound like the perfect present for the person in your life who has everything—everything except a 69-carat diamond, an eagle made of beer can tabs, and fire. 1. For Friends Abroad: [...]

The Other Space Race

“QUANTUM SHOT” #744Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams Active Space Programs in Iran, Brazil, India, Japan, China, Israel… is it going to get crowded even without USA or Russia? Back in the early sixties, John F. Kennedy declared America’s intention of putting a man on the Moon, a dream that was fulfilled with the [...]