World’s Strangest

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Ig® Nobel Limericks: World’s End, Sheep-Dragging, Robber Trap

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick formby Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize–winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the website. 2011 Ig Nobel Mathematics Prize The [...]

Movies for Labor Day: Working Class Heroes

What better way to celebrate the holiday of the working person than to watch a movie about “the basic labor relations between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie”? There are 23 of them in this list: dramas, biopics, documentaries, and comedies that address labor in an entertaining way -and an educational way for young folks who [...]

10 Secrets from the Wonderful World of Disney

From how to score a cocktail to where to scatter grandma’s ashes, this is your ticket to the real Magic Kingdom. 1. There Are Dead Bodies in the Haunted Mansion (Image credit: Flickr user Joe Penniston) The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland is on e of the scariest places in the park, but not for the reasons you’d [...]

What’s the difference between scotch, whiskey and bourbon?

This might be common knowledge for some, but not for many, including my wife (who turned down Harvard, btw! , so I thought it worth posting about. The main difference between scotch and whisky is geographic, but also ingredients and spellings. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey made in the U.S.A, [...]

The Best and Worst Political Campaign Songs (But Mostly the Worst)

With the campaign for the Republican nomination in full swing, candidates are beginning to rally their bases, retool their talking points and (cue the intro music, please!) select their campaign songs—those upbeat little ditties that play at rallies, speeches and pretty much whenever a candidate walks on stage. The Art of Choosing the Right Campaign [...]

Try, Try Again: Rejection Letters Received by Bestselling Authors

For writers, getting rejected can seem like a pastime. But don’t take my word for it, even though I’ve gotten my share of no-thank-yous. These best-selling authors were rejected, too, and some not very kindly. Editors, publishers and agents have made big errors in judgment, as evidenced by the list of unkind (and sometimes needlessly [...]

How American Are You?

In honor of mental_floss’ brand new US History book (and the incredible deal that’s going with it!), we’ve decided to round up 25 unbelievably important questions about this country to test just how American you are. Does this quiz banner have you shouting U-S-A, U-S-A? Go ahead and add a point to your total. Then [...]

The Late Movies: Springsteen on the Ukulele

Last week, I stumbled upon Uke Springsteen’s MySpace. Uke, who by day is Pat Healy, an editor at the Boston Metro, is a one-man cover band, using his ukulele to strum out renditions of popular Bruce Springsteen songs. (His remix of “Atlantic City” rivals The Band for best cover of the iconic song.) Perhaps not [...]

Month in Review: November’s Most Popular Stories

Before we slip too far into December, let’s recap what happened last month. In case you missed a day or two here or there, these are the top 10 stories originally posted in November: 1. The Late Movies: Dogs Welcoming Returning Soldiers by Jason English To commemorate Veterans Day, I posted a bunch of videos featuring overjoyed dogs [...]

The Late Movies: Happy Birthday, Motown!

Fifty years ago, Berry Gordy, a songwriter for local Detroit acts like The Matadors and Jackie Wilson, borrowed $800 from his family and founded two record labels that became incorporated a year later as Motown Record Corporation. In its half-century of existence Motown forged an unmistakable sound in popular music, turned a number of artists [...]