World’s Strangest

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Music History #7: “Hurricane”

“Hurricane” Written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy (1975) Performed by Bob Dylan Getty Images The Music In 1974, when Bob Dylan wrote “Hurricane” about Rubin Carter, the boxer had already been in prison for ten years for a murder he supposedly did not commit. But his case had become a kind of cause célèbre for civil rights [...]

Walk This Way: The History of the Moving Sidewalk

Authors like H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein have long envisioned a future where the automobile gives way to massive, high-speed moving walkways. Some of them merely zoom commuters around cities, while others, like Heinlein’s “mechanized roads,” could take people from Cleveland all the way to Cincinnati. The moving sidewalk is familiar to travelers in [...]

Cannonball Loop: World’s Most Dangerous Waterslide

That waterslide that John posted a couple of days ago sure looked dangerous, but believe it or not, there’s one even MORE dangerous. In fact, it was so dangerous that it was shut down by park safety. io9 has the story of [...]

Home Libraries of the Rich and Famous

Each week Miss Kathleen provides links to a variety of stories about libraries, authors, and books. If there’s something noteworthy going on in your local library, leave us a comment! Here’s a great children’s book (that you are welcome to buy for my kid, and I thank you in advance). Andrew Kolb has reinterpreted David Bowie’s [...]

Hot in Doylestown

Image Credit: Flickr user Brainwise. We were just looking at our Facebook page statistics and learned something new: we’re huge in Doylestown, PA. Of Doylestown’s 8,380 residents, 890 of them have ‘Liked’ mental_floss. That’s more Facebook fans than we have in Houston or D.C. or Phoenix or even Cleveland, where we have an office. Another town [...]

Dietribes: Blueberries

• Blue foods are a rare occurrence in nature, as it often suggests that the food is toxic or rotten. But not so for blueberries! One of the only truly blue foods, it’s distinctive coloring comes from anthocyanin, a water soluble pigment. • It’s unusual when our favorite foods featured on Dietribes are native to North America, but [...]

Kids Love Split Decision (Plus Get 20% Off!)

I took my girls to our local Borders (Riverdale, NJ) yesterday to see if Split Decision was in stock. It was! Here’s Charlotte’s reaction after spotting it. (Full Disclosure: We had a deal. As soon as she found the game, we could go play in the children’s area.) With our early bird sale, you can get 20% [...]

5 Large structures that have been moved short distances

I was driving around my neighborhood recently and discovered this creepy looking house that the city is getting ready to move across town. Still not exactly sure why (seems demolishing it would be better), but it got me thinking: what other big structures have been moved and why? Here are five that have interesting histories. [...]

Friday Happy Hour: What’s Your Ideal Birth Year?

Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. Very casual. On to this week’s topics of discussion… 1. If you could have been born in any year and grow up in that era, which year would [...]

A Writer Grows in Brooklyn – part 2

Yesterday, you were shocked to learn how many amazing writers once called Brooklyn ‘home.’ (You were shocked, weren’t you?) Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of those writers and learn some odd facts about them. For instance, most people say Truman Capote formally established the non-fiction novel in 1965 with In Cold Blood. Cold [...]