World’s Strangest

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Steven Spielberg

You probably know quite a bout about Steven Spielberg, the director of Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Schindler’s List, and the new movie Abraham Lincoln. But there are still surprising things about him that I never suspected. Sis you know producer Cubby Broccoli rejected Spielberg twice when he tried for a position directing [...]

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 [...]

History’s 11 Most Important Lists

Good morning! It’s the 11th of the month, which means we’ve got lots of ’11 lists’ for your reading enjoyment. We’ll post one list every hour starting at 9:11am until we get tired. It’s going to be a good day. If there’s one thing we at mental_floss know, it’s this: people love lists! Even fancy [...]

6 Bummer Epiloges For Movies Based On True Stories

Sure Schindler was great guy who saved thousands of lives, but that doesn’t mean he had it easy after the war ended. Partially because of his affiliation with the Nazis, he was persecuted throughout the rest of his life and essentially survived only due to the good will of those he saved. And that’s not the [...]

From Film to Freedom: The Leica Freedom Train

You’ve probably heard of Leica cameras, and you’ve almost definitely heard of Schindler’s List. What you may not know is that the two have something in common. Ernst Leitz II (pictured), the son of Leica founder Ernst Leitz, answered the call of panicked friends, acquaintances and total strangers who turned to him for help when [...]

The Schindler’s List Typist

The man who typed up Schindler’s list and helped to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the holocaust has died in Germany. Mietek Pemper was 91. Born Mieczyslaw Pemper in 1920 in the Polish city of Krakow to a Jewish family, he was imprisoned at the Nazi concentration camp Plaszow, where he worked as the [...]

New Elevators Sort Users by Rank

Elevator technology is taking a great leap forward from what you’re probably used to. Newer models can be accessed by swiping ID cards and programmed and controlled by managers, either to give priority to certain users or track who is going where: In downtown Denver at 1999 Broadway, a 43-story building, a law firm requested that [...]