World’s Strangest

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Threat Response

For its show entitled “Threat”, the American Design Club asked artists ““You’ve just heard something in the other room. What would you want to grab to defend yourself?” There were many funny responses, including this decorative bottle by Sara Ebert. It breaks into a shank. View the works of other contributing artists at the link. Link [...]

Jim Henson’s Rediscovered 1963 Robot Film

“The machine is busy digesting vast oceans of information in a single, all-encompassing, gulp. INTERRUPTION! INTERRUPTION! INFORMATION ALERT!” -Computer H14, in a 1963 film made by Jim Henson for The Bell System (now AT&T). This film is a piece of Henson ephemera — a three-minute work created by a young Henson [...]

Why Doesn’t Britain Make Things Anymore?

If you’re sad that the United States doesn’t make things anymore, read this and you’ll feel a bit better: at least we’re not Britain, where they really don’t make anything anymore. Aditya Chakrabortty of [...]

Food Lessons From the U.S. Government

On July 4, award-winning chef Jose Andres opened a pop-up restaurant in Washington, DC. America Eats Tavern pays homage to the culinary history of the U.S., with proceeds supporting the Foundation for the National Archives. The restaurant opened in conjunction with the National Archives’ “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”—an exhibit that explores how the Government has [...]

10 Parody Novels That Get the Last Laugh

Ask someone what his or her favorite parody movie is and you’ll hear Blazing Saddles, Airplane!, or some other classic of the genre. But ask what their favorite parody novel is and you’ll likely get a blank stare. To help you answer this difficult, life-defining question the next time you’re asked, here are the stories [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Duncan Hines

You may have a box of Duncan Hines cake mix in your cupboard, but you may not have known that, unlike Betty Crocker, Hines was a real person. Here are five things about the patron saint of powdered dessert mixes that might surprise you. 1. He Got His Start as a Salesman Hines wasn’t a chef [...]

4 Classic Battles Between Man (or Horse) and Machine

Nothing could prepare Jeopardy! champ, author and regular mental_floss magazine columnist Ken Jennings for the battle he’s about to face. In episodes that will air next month, Ken will take on fellow Jeopardy! genius Brad Rutter and Watson, an IBM supercomputer. Yesterday, the three challengers squared off in a trial round for the press. So [...]

The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials

Holiday TV specials creep into the viewing schedule earlier and earlier each year. My Dad swears that he saw a back-to-back presentation of Yankee Doodle Dandy and A Charlie Brown Christmas last July 4th, but he may have been exaggerating. By cracky, when I was a youngin’, Christmas specials never aired before Thanksgiving, and that [...]