Jun

17

Where Was THIS Three Years Ago?

12:41 am · category: Uncategorized

I just found an excellent website. I discovered it because my mother brought home the actual magazine, and after I read the whole thing I got online to see if the mag had a website. And boom! Here it is. (And by the way, “Mental Floss” is just about the catchiest name I’ve heard for a braniac magazine EVER. It sure beats “Popular Mechanics.”)*

When I was coaching an academic quiz bowl team, this is what I would have called an “invaluable resource.” I can clearly imagine myself illegally photocopying pages and discretely distributing them to the appropriate team members. Mental Floss is absolutely chock-full of useless information. Actually, I think it’s chock-full of useful information that few people actually know. So far I’ve learned all kinds of stuff about Richard Wright’s Native Son (This would have made Joe so happy all those years ago.), the fascinating Nikola Tesla, and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

My brain practically swelled when I was reading the magazine. Brain swelling is a good thing — well, at least as long as it’s not of the debilitating medical variety. I’d forgotten how much of a nerd I am, in that I totally believe the old Saturday morning cartoon mantra that claimed “Knowledge is Power!” (That one was often followed by my personal favorite, “They Call Me Yuck Mouth, ‘Cause I Don’t Brush.” Well, it’s either that or “Conjunction Junction.” Man, I loved Schoolhouse Rock.)

Now, if any of my former quiz bowl kids actually read this (And I did, in fact, send the blog link to every last one of them for whom I had email addresses.), then I expect them to peruse Mental Floss, find a bit of esoteric knowledge that they know I would have wanted them to have learned, and post it here in the comments. And if none of them do, then I’m probably going to pout.

*If you want to know why I put the magazine titles in both italics and quotation marks, you’ll have to ask. But trust me when I say that it’s right.

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