World’s Strangest

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12 Historical Speeches Nobody Ever Heard

For every speech, there are a bunch of versions that ended up on the writers’ room floor. Here are 12 speeches that were written but, for a variety of reasons, never delivered. 1. “In Event of Moon Disaster” As the world nervously waited for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to land on the moon, Nixon speechwriter William [...]

Census Dotmap

Brandon Martin-Anderson created a map of the United States made only of dots. There are 308,450,225 dots, one for every person counted in the 2010 US Census! The map is zoomable at the site, in case you want to zoom in and see your dot. Good luck, as there are no state or city boundaries, [...]

The Finnjet Is the Ultimate in Automotive Design

The Finnjet, built by Antti Rahko, a Finnish immigrant to the United States, is everything that you could want in a car. It’s made from two Mercedes station wagons and many, many other parts that Rahko has added continuously over twelve years: Today, the machine’s meticulously detailed exterior is tastefully trimmed with 86 lights, 36 mirrors [...]

The Emancipation Proclamation

Today, January 1, 2013,  is the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And some are still arguing over the meaning of that document to this day. It was a momentous act, and President Abraham Lincoln knew it as he signed it. What the proclamation did—and did not do—has been a matter of debate [...]

The Wonderful World of Interlibrary Loan

Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow sings the praises of interlibrary loan: Denizens of BushcraftUK discuss Willie Sundqvist’s “Swedish Carving Techniques,” a rare tome that goes for £100 and more. Then one of them has the bright idea of asking his local library to get one through Interlibrary Loan, the original P2P file-sharing network, and shortly [...]

10 Horrible Things We Do to Teddy Bears

I would like to draw your attention to a horrible epidemic of toy abuse. Teddy bears are being treated like objects in that we find ways to hurt, maim, and destroy them in the name of recycling, art, politics, or even entertainment. It’s not that Ursus teddius domesticus is an endangered species (quite the contrary), [...]

US planned to detonate nuke on the Moon

During the Cold War the United States considered lanching and detonating a nuclear bomb on the Moon. The plan was aimed at intimidating the Soviets by…

5 Moments in Sauce History That Changed The Way We Eat

Whether it’s the classic brunch staple Hollandaise or Guy Fieri’s Donkey Sauce, human beings have always seemed to have a love affair with condiments. From the murky history behind Worcestershire sauce to the great French culinary tradition of the five Mother Sauces, here are five key moments in sauce history that have changed the way [...]

The 51-star US Flag

On Tuesday, the majority of the voting citizens of Puerto Rico who indicated they wanted a change in status said they would like the island to become the 51st state of the United States. That’s a long way from statehood, but it is a step. The immediate question arose as to what a flag with [...]

Shop The mental_floss Election Collection!

You may have heard that today is Election Day. So while you’re standing in line to vote or anxiously waiting for the results—and maybe even contemplating a move to Canada—shop our Election Collection. Whether you’re looking for Election Day fun you can take home or a good holiday gift for your favorite politico, there’s something [...]