Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mental floss
The title of this article should be mental_floss. The initial letter is capitalized and an underscore is substituted or omitted because of technical restrictions.
Cover of Vol. 5, Issue 2 (March-April, 2006)
mental_floss is a bi-monthly American magazine, launched in 2001 in Birmingham, Alabama, that presents facts and trivia in a humorous way. It includes columns by A.J. Jacobs and Ken Jennings.
The magazine frequently publishes books, as well as T-shirts with humorous sayings, such as "There's no right way to eat a Rhesus". In addition, there is a licensed trivia board game much like Trivial Pursuit. Most recently, the magazine began the In a Box series with Law School in a Box and Med School in a Box.

Featured Writers
Each issue of mental_floss is divided up into the following sections:

scatter_brained. In this section, a number of trivia items (all connected to an encompassing topic through puns) are written about in short paragraphs.
right_brain. Articles about "right brain" topics (e.g. art and literature), such as Six Degrees of Ken Jennings, can be found here.
left_brain. This section deals with topics that would befit the "left brain" areas (math, logic, etc.).
spinning the_globe. A different part of the world is explored each issue. spinning the_globe always begins with a section describing a "50 cent tour" of whatever region that issue is focusing on.
The Quiz. In each issue, there is a quiz in the back of the magazine. There is also a mini quiz consisting of five questions on the mental_floss website every day. Mental floss Sections

Every year, one issue of mental_floss is known as the "Ten Issue". It will usually feature lists of ten things focusing on one subject such as: "Ten Most Forgettable Presidents", or "Ten Famous Monkeys in Science". mental_floss has currently put out six "ten issues" to date. Recurring Themes

Other Publications

Genius Instruction Manual
Scatterbrained (ISBN 9780060882501 0060882506)
What's the Difference?
Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets
Condensed Knowledge
Forbidden Knowledge
Instant Knowledge In A Box Series

Almost every issue of mental_floss has had an image of Albert Einstein somewhere on the cover.
Before the magazine's first printing, Ralph Nader spoke at Duke University. However, earlier, co-founder Will Pearson had left a note on the podium about mental_floss, causing Nader to begin his speech praising the magazine that did not yet exist.

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