World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!
Ads

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 [...]

Why Didn’t Tolkien Win the Nobel Prize?

I’m not a fan of The Lord of the Rings, but I have wondered how such a monumentally influential author was overlooked for a Nobel Prize in literature. C.S. Lewis nominated J.R.R. Tolkien in 1961. The governing committee considered him, but ultimately awarded the prize to the Yugoslavian writer Ivo Andri?. Why? Recently declassified documents [...]

Broetry: Poems for the Frat Boy in All of Us

What? You don’t have a frat boy in you? Well, you might get a kick out of Brian McGackin’s (AKA the “Broet Laureate’s”) slender-but-fun volume of poems anyway. They include gems like this, a bro-tastic send-up of William Carlos Williams’ “This is Just to Say” — I have finished the beer that was in the icebox and which you were [...]

9 Other Famous Harvard Dropouts

© Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis Most people are familiar with the stories of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who achieved great success as the founders of Microsoft and Facebook, respectively, after dropping out of Harvard. Here are nine other former Harvard students who made out just fine without earning their degrees. 1. Robert Frost Frost, a San Francisco [...]

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 [...]

Sneak Peek #6: Stephen Hawking’s Drive-bys

Our Jan/Feb issue hits newsstands tomorrow (ish), so we’re giving you another reason to go out and pick up a copy! One of the things I love is when you hear stories that make heroes a little more human. The new issue’s got a little feature on nerdy celebs with anger management problems. Here’s the [...]

15 Famous People Who Used to Teach

Students, we know you may not be all that ecstatic about seeing your teachers – and the homework they assign – as the school year starts up. Pay attention in class, though; you never know what hidden talents your teachers might have. Just look at all of these famous former teachers: 1. Gene Simmons The tongue-flicking [...]