World’s Strangest

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Borg Floppy Disk Drives and Other Facts You Might Not Know about Star Trek: The Next Generation

18 years after the original Star Trek went off the air, Gene Roddenberry brought his creation back to television. Fans feared that the effort was doomed to failure, but instead the series was a stunning success. It lasted seven seasons and spawned three more Trek series. You know the story of the beginnings of Star Trek: [...]

Billionaire Buccaneer Seized Argentinian Navy’s Flagship Over Unpaid Debt

What do you do when a sovereign nation refuses to pay its debt to you? Most people wouldn’t, couldn’t do anything … but not billionaire Paul Singer. He decided to play pirate: A billionaire buccaneer from Wall Street declared war on Argentina [...]

New York City’s Mad Bomber and His Patriotic Break

On November 16, 1940, an unattended wooden toolbox was discovered on a windowsill in the Consolidated Edison Company Building at 4 Irving Place in Manhattan. The headquarters of the utility giant is huge, taking up an entire block, and it was bustling that day. No one had seen who left the box behind, where they [...]

9 Intriguing Excerpts From Old FBI Files

Under J. Edgar Hoover, everybody who was anybody had an FBI file. Here are some interesting things we found while poking around their archives. 1. Albert Einstein Our favorite scientist’s file is over 1800 pages long. Einstein’s German roots always made the Bureau nervous. It didn’t help that he was an outspoken pacifist and socialist (not to [...]

What Else Happened on the Fourth of July?

The adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 is the moment recognized as the birth of the United States, and is the reason why we celebrate the date as Independence Day. The fact that it is so well known as just July the Fourth is why we never move it to the [...]

The Late Movies: Larry David Turns 65

It’s pretty remarkable that today is Larry David’s 65th birthday, because he’s been acting like a cranky senior citizen for decades. You’ve likely seen him on Curb Your Enthusiasm or heard him as George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld, so let’s skip those and take a look at some of the lesser seen moments of the undisputed [...]

Fun With Copyright Traps: 10 Hoax Definitions, Paper Towns and Other Things That Don’t Exist

Facts are hard to copyright—impossible, actually. This is problematic for people who deal in information; any reference material is factual, and therefore difficult to protect from dirty, lying thieves who want to steal your work. That’s where fictitious entries come in: facts become very easy to copyright when they aren’t true. These are people, places [...]

12 Attempts to Bribe Celebrities for Worthy Causes

Want to contribute to a worthy cause and get your favorite celebrity to do something awesome and/or ridiculous? That’s the idea behind Charity Bribes. Anyone can post something awesome or bizarre for a specific celebrity to do. These ideas go on a master list, where the good people of the Internet vote for their favorites. [...]

The mental_floss Guide to the NCAA Tournament: The West

We may not be much help in filling out your bracket, but we can promise one interesting fact about each of the 68 teams in the tournament. Let’s tip things off with the West Region. © Chris Bergin/Icon SMI/Corbis (1) Michigan State In May, a Michigan State professor from the School of Social Work will begin teaching an [...]

Strategic Homelessness

A law student at Yeshiva University in New York City who goes by the pseudonym “David” weighed his options carefully. If he timed his use of university and gym facilities just right, could he go through a semester without actually living anywhere? That is, could he be effectively homeless without misery? David decided to try [...]