World’s Strangest

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Why Do Olympians Wear That Colorful Tape?

Getty Images You may have first noticed the markings on the synchronized swimmers’ backs. Or cascading down a beach volleyball player’s chiseled abs. Birthmarks? Accessories? A bizarre form of intimidation? No, no, and no. The answer is Kinesio tape. And, yes, it’s all the rage in the sports world. So, what is this tricked-out injury treatment? It’s [...]

Whatever Happened to Play?

When browsing Bill Simmons’ new long-form sports site, Grantland, I found myself wondering two things. First, what is a “Grantland”? And second, didn’t the New York Times try this once? Although it only lasted two years, the Times’ Play magazine was an early attempt at a print version of Grantland. It combined long-form sports stories with [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Celebrities Who Used Childhood Nicknames

Having a rather straightforward name like Stacy means I’m not really subject to a lot of nicknames. Stace is pretty much it, although a select group of friends call me Stac (back in note-writing days, a spelling-challenged friend who meant “Stace” actually wrote “Stac” – I know, it’s a fascinating story). These 10 people presumably [...]

Do Celebrity Endorsements and Ads Work?

There’s a lot of ads featuring celebrity endorsers and undoubtedly these celebs are paid a lot of money (I’m looking at you, Lance Armstrong), so those ads must work, right? Wrong! According to Peter Daboll of AdvertisingAge, having celebrity endorsements do not pay: Over the course of last year, time and time again we observed incredibly [...]

The Late Movies: Next Media Animation

Next Media is a large news company based in Hong Kong, specializing in a wide array of media products. Recently one of their divisions, Next Media Animation, has gained attention for their CGI news reports of American news items. Tonight for the Late Movies we take a look at a few of these often hilarious [...]

Sales of Tiger Woods’ Physics Book Way Up

I guess that in scientific publishing, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The textbook Get a Grip on Physics by John Gribbin, featured in Tiger Woods’ recent SUV crash, has shot up the bestseller list. Its Amazon ranking has moved from 396,224 to 2,268: Speaking in a break between lectures this morning, the author, John [...]

Why Are People So Interested in This Tiger Woods Thing?

So. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know by now that Tiger Woods got into a car accident on Friday morning. A media frenzy followed, fueled by a rumor of Tiger’s infidelity and his silence over the whole thing. Today, he announced that he wouldn’t play in his own golf tournament. Talking heads proclaim [...]

7 False Acronyms

Sure, everyone knows that SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. And right, most of us know that AWOL stands for Absent Without Leave. But what about all those supposed acronyms, like Golf and Posh, that aren’t really acronyms at all. Here are seven false ones you need to know… at least to be [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Touchdown Celebrations

I told Jason English the other day that my husband may be sending him flowers (or a six-pack; I guess that’s probably more likely). Because of Jason’s brilliant idea to have a mental_floss Fantasy Football league, I’ve been willing – nay, I’ve been wanting – to watch football lately. And not just for the touchdown [...]

6 Unfamiliar Champions Who Appeared on Wheaties Boxes

As the “Breakfast of Champions,” Wheaties won’t put just anyone on their iconic orange boxes. Most of the athletes to appear on the General Mills cereal’s boxes since Lou Gehrig became the first in 1934 have been household names from a major sport. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Ken Griffey Jr. come to mind. But [...]