World’s Strangest

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The Capitol Building Could Have Had a Giant Chicken On Top

Jason, Stephanie, Ethan and I put out a daily newsletter called Watercooler Ammo. This weekend we’ll be sharing a few recent editions. If you’d like this kind of thing delivered to your inbox each morning, subscribe here! Check out these design proposals for some of Washington D.C.’s most famous landmarks. From a giant chicken weather vane [...]

These Jell-O Salad Ads Are Amazing

Jason, Stephanie, Ethan and I put out a daily newsletter called Watercooler Ammo. This weekend we’ll be sharing a few recent editions. If you’d like this kind of thing delivered to your inbox each morning, subscribe here! I’ve been talking up celery flavored Jell-O for years. To be clear: I’ve never actually tried it; I just [...]

The Great Down-Sell

Some of you long-time loyal readers might recall Jason English’s funny/sad saga back in 2007 about the time his cellphone provider over-billed him for more than $600. Sure, we’ve all had bad experiences with big companies. Maybe not as epic as Jason’s – but for each of us, these moments (those smite-your-brow-in-horrific-disbelief moments), when you [...]

The Duggars are Expecting #20

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, famous for their large family, are expecting another child. This one will be their 20th. The family is the subject of the TLC series currently titled 19 Kids and Counting, which will presumably change when the new one arrives in April. The Tontitown, Ark., couple, who are parents to children Joshua, [...]

Our Readers’ Best Halloween Costumes

At the beginning of the month, we asked for photos of your best Halloween costumes — the geeky ones, the nerdy ones, the ones of which you’re particularly proud. After sifting through all the e-mails, we’re proud to present our readers’ best Halloween costumes. Enjoy! (40 photos is a lot for one post, so we’ve paginated [...]

That Steve Jobs/Matrix Quiz We Mentioned

On Wednesday night, Jason mentioned I was working on a Steve Jobs quiz when we he passed away. We decided to finish it—we’ve put some of the his wise words up against quotes from The Matrix trilogy. Can you tell which came from Hollywood fiction and which came from the Apple co-founder? Take the Quiz: Steve [...]

Obama Campaign Email Subject or Message From My Aunt?

If you are on Barack Obama’s email list, you may have noticed the weirdly personal subject lines. Jason English has, and made a quiz about it. Some of the lines are actual presidential email subjects, and some are from Jason’s aunt. Now, Jason’s aunt doesn’t send me anything, but just like you, I have relatives [...]

Infinite Jest’s Eschaton in Video Form

Attention, fellow David Foster Wallace nerds! Fellow DFW nerd band The Decemberists have released a new music video reenacting a game of Eschaton from DFW’s novel Infinite Jest. For those not in the know, Eschaton is a fictional game of thermonuclear war, played in turns on a tennis court by lobbing tennis balls [...]

Cuckoos and Other Animated Clocks

Mental_floss blog editor Jason English told me his daughter wanted a cuckoo clock, but she wanted one with a dog instead of a cuckoo. I began to wonder why clocks use cuckoo birds to identify the hour. As it turns out, there are quite a variety of ways clocks will announce the hour. Image by [...]

Enormous Sand Mural Marriage Proposal

Early in their relationship, Kelly Riplinger and Jason Fordley encountered Andres Amador at work on a beach in San Francisco. It was a special memory for both of them, so when it was time for Jason to propose to Kelly, he commissioned Amador to create a mural doing just that: Three years later, Jason tracked down [...]