World’s Strangest

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8 Celebrity Tactics For Responding to Fan Mail

In the days before the Internet, writing a letter to a celebrity and sending it out via snail mail was almost a rite of passage. Nearly everyone did it. As a kid, I wrote letters to my favorite athletes requesting autographs, and was always thrilled—and a little shocked—when I received a response back. But now, celebrities [...]

14 Essential Talking Points About The Berenstain Bears

With 300-plus titles in print and more than 260 million books sold, the Berenstain Bears are bound to come up in conversation. Here’s how to steer a predictable discussion about teamwork and manners to one on sex and panda discrimination. 1. Creators Stanley Berenstain and Janice Grant grew up in the same neighborhood in West Philadelphia, [...]

19 Fun Facts About Children’s Books Spotted at the Library

This past week I spent some quality time in the children’s section of my local library. Over on Instagram (we’re @mental_floss), I’ve been sharing photos of books with facts related to them. Since only 1,030 people have joined us over there — way more than the 42 who’d joined us before last weekend, but still [...]

11 Peculiar Meetings Between Famous People

You’d expect famous people to know other famous people. But maybe not these famous people. 1. Nikita Khrushchev & Marilyn Monroe PA Photos /Landov In September 1959, during Khrushchev’s American tour, he visited 20th Century Fox Studios. At a lunch banquet with hundreds of stars (including Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, and Gary Cooper), he was [...]

Jacobsen Lawn Mower vs. Sheep

How do you tout the benefits of your fancy-schmancy lawn mower? Lawn mower maker Jacoben turned to advertising icon Stan Freberg to create (now classic) ad campaign. Stan’s answer? Compare it to a sheep. The [...]

Happy 20th Birthday, Kazakhstan!

Kristina Postnikova / Shutterstock.com The largest country in Central Asia—it’s as big as all of Western Europe combined—turns 20 years old today, and to celebrate, here’s a list of ten random facts about everyone’s favorite Kazakh-speaking ‘Stan. 1. For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Borat, the fictional reporter invented by the English comedian Sasha Baron Cohen, [...]

The Inside Scoop on the Fake Barf Industry

In case you’ve ever wondered who decided the world needed fake vomit, the story can now be told, courtesy of novelty historians Stan and Mardi Timm. Professional prankster Irving Fishlove began manufacturing plastic puke in 1959. There are two plausible stories about who invented the stuff, but Fishlove bought the idea and went on to [...]

D23 Day Three: The Force was With Us

I was expecting the last day of D23 to be the biggest because of the Marvel presentation, but it was actually the quietest day yet. I’m sorry to say, comic book geeks, nothing earth-shattering or amazing was revealed at the Marvel panel. In fact, it was more of a primer on the company and its history, [...]

The Late Movies: Double Dutch

Growing up in Philadelphia, lots of girls in my neighborhood jumped rope. The most impressive did double dutch. (I dabbled, but was never really coordinated enough for one rope, let alone two.) The activity has grown in popularity in recent years. In 2009, double dutch became a varsity sport in New York City public schools. [...]

New York’s Superheroes

It’s like you can’t walk through Manhattan without tripping over a superhero. I guess you New Yorkers are pretty lucky that way, though you do end up attracting a lot of supervillains, too. At the link, you can view more details about the locations of eight of these heroes (not Stan Lee). Link via Comics Alliance | [...]