World’s Strangest

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The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The Midwest

We’re going region by region, giving you one fun fact about each team in the tournament. Last up, the Midwest! (1) North Carolina © Duomo/CORBIS Yearning to learn more about your kidneys? Head to the University of North Carolina’s Carl W. Gottschalk Collection. The 12,400-item collection houses legendary medical professor Gottschalk’s passion: historical items related to the study [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

19 Outstanding Words You Should Be Working Into Conversation

There are some of our favorite words that appeared in mental_floss stories in 2011. Some are foreign words. Others come from medical dictionaries. And there’s a surprising amount of hobo slang. Have fun working these into conversation this holiday season! Gene Lee / Shutterstock.com 1. Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon. 2. [...]

Beefing up the Kids Aisle of the mental_floss Store

We’re expanding the mental_floss online store and we need your help! Specifically, let’s talk about the Kids section. We’re developing some new educational products for the littlest Flossers. (My side project du jour is a set of placemats that strive to make your kids smarter and, for a brief period, internet famous.) On top of new mental_floss [...]