For ten years, the knowledge seekers at mental_floss have been hunting and trapping the world’s rarest facts, locking them into captivating lists for the world to admire. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Mental Floss: The Book is packed with a decade’s worth of the smartest, quirkiest stories around, including:
Five Presidential Fashion Flubs
Seven Shameless Abuses of Diplomatic Immunity
Five Units of Measurement Weirder Than the Metric System
Four Toys That Have Gone to War for America
Seven Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever
Five Things Your Body Can Do After You Die
Six of Baseball’s Strangest Trades
Four Foods People Actually Die For
Seven Things Walmart Has Banned
Four TV Shows That Changed the Course of History
Ten “Q” Words That Aren’t “Q-U” Words
Four Horrifying Parasites to Keep You Awake at Night
Eight Fake Archaeological Finds
Five Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots
Four Memorable Moments in Cross-Dressing History
Five Doomsdays We’ve Already Survived
And 124 Other Extraordinary Lists!
If you're not familiar with Mental Floss, let me catch you up to speed. Back in 2001, Mental Floss launched a bi-monthly magazine presenting educational pieces and factoids in humorous ways. Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur co-founded Mental_Floss when they were still students at Duke University. (Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur among Inc. magazine's 30 "coolest young entrepreneurs"). Since then, Mental Floss has grown into a very popular blog, which contains trivia, humor, lists, and pop culture. They have also published several books, and sold witty merchandise that's both smart and funny.
Mental_Floss The Book: Only the Greatest Lists in the History of Listory celebrates its 10th Anniversary with this compilation of compilations. Let's face it, we all love lists.
Here's one list book lovers will enjoy:
SIX WORDS INVENTED BY AUTHORS:
1. Bump - Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
2. Quark - James Joyce's Finnegans Wake
3. Nerd - Dr. Seuss's If I Ran the Zoo
4. Tween - J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring
5. Runciple Spoon - The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
6. Cyberspace - William Gibson's short story, Burning Chrome
In addition to the lists, and there are also fun facts running along the bottom of the pages, like a news ticker, except this one is more fun than what MSNBC has going across the bottom of their screen. Learn things like:
- Alaska is the only state whose name can be typed on one row of keys.
- Slumber Party Barbie of 1965 came with her own "How to Lose Weight" book. One of the tips: "Don't eat."
- No U.S. President was an only child
- The "black box" on an airplane is actually blaze orange, which makes it easier to find amid wreckage after a crash
No, I have not read this book cover to cover. I don't think this is the kind of book where you're supposed to do that, or at the very least, skipping around is not frowned upon. There are no rules with Mental_Floss.
It's a great gift book for those people in your life that like Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy...or something to read each morning while they're eating their Corn Flakes (which, in a 1907 ad campaign, offered a free box of cereal to any woman who winked at her grocer.).
Mental Floss - the website
Mental Floss - the store
Harper Collins book page
About the Book:
*Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.