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Mental Floss
List Price: $29.94

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Product Description

Who Reads mental_floss?
mental_floss readers are busy, intelligent people who like to learn but don?t want to waste time on tedious articles. Its readers want to feel smart fast. They value a magazine that respects their intelligence but never takes itself too seriously. They are knowledge junkies who love bad puns, quirky humor and meaty trivia served up in bite-sized portions. The magazine is popular with people of all ages ? high school students, busy professionals, and senior citizens who want to stay intellectually engaged. Nearly 2.5 million readers/visitors read mental_floss magazine and visit its web site.

What You Can Expect in Each Issue:

  • Feature Stories to Make You Smile: Whether it?s "The 15 Greatest Moments in Olympics History," an expose on Shel Silverstein?s darker side, a collection of the "25 Most Important Questions in the Universe" (like whether a pregnant woman can drive in a carpool lane), or a frank discussion on the looming social security crisis, mental_floss features never fail to deliver. With stories that surprise, sometimes shock and always engage, mental_floss won?t just leave you grinning, it will leave your friends wondering how you got so interesting all of a sudden.
  • scatter_brained sets the tone for the magazine with its quirky facts, quick tidbits and juicy history. Cheeky, clever and fun, this front-of-book section is consistently rated a subscriber favorite. Recent content includes wit and wisdom from famous insomniacs, secret flops from big-name musicians and the tallest tales in your American history book.
  • right_brain eases readers into humanities by making art and literature accessible without dumbing it down. Why isn?t Jackson Pollock an overrated paint thrower? What makes "The Thinker" worth thinking about? It?s all right here: mental_floss experts spill the beans on why the classics are classic, and they?re happy to dish out all the naughty back-stories while they?re at it.
  • left_brain tackles the mysteries of science and technology ? from paradigm-shifting discoveries to the new generation of military robots. mental_floss takes the most exciting ideas and fascinating theories and delivers them in plain English.
  • spinning the_globe opens a window to the world by serving up religion, history and world culture in a way only mental_floss can. Want to escape to the South Pacific without leaving your chair? Want to peek across North Korea?s borders without risking your life? Ever wonder how an entire island's cuisine became so focused around Spam or how a coffee shop poet drove the Czech nation to vanquish communism without spilling a single drop of blood? mental_floss has got the answers right here.
Magazine Layout:
What other magazine would put Albert Einstein ? in a swimsuit ? on its cover? Like its content, the style and design of the magazine is fresh, compelling, and often irreverent. .

Click on any image below to see select pages from mental_floss:

As a rapidly growing publication with a lot of buzz, mental_floss is able to draw from a diverse talent pool of high-profile journalists, academics and subject experts including Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy! fame), A.J. Jacobs, Ben Stein, Ethan Trex, John Green, Michael Stusser, and Eric Sass.

Past Issues:

Comparisons to Other Magazines:
"mental_floss is an original. It isn?t easy to match it with an existing magazine, although some readers have suggested that its quick hits of information and shorter features bring to mind the approach of another highly successful magazine." ? The Week.

Newsweek called it "a smart-alecky read," another reviewer called it "a liberal arts education in installments," and a third suggested "Got a big cocktail party coming up? Read mental_floss first," but no one?s been able to find another magazine quite like it.

Unlike most magazines, mental_floss is committed to maintaining a high editorial-to-content ratio in the belief that readers are buying the publication for its content. Approximately 80% of its pages are dedicated to editorial, with no more than 20% for ads. Advertisers include Angie?s List, Books-A-Million, Borders, Merriam-Webster, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, The Teaching Company, Volkswagen, Target, and Newseum.

Awards and Critical Acclaim:
  • Chicago Tribune 2008 ? "50 Favorite Magazines" List
  • Chicago Tribune 2007 ? "50 Favorite Magazines" List
  • Library Journal ? Best New Magazine Award
  • "A sharp-looking glossy." ? LA Times
  • "mental_floss cleans out the cobwebs." ? Chicago Tribune
  • "A sort of sassy Cliffs Notes." ? Reader?s Digest
  • "The magazine is hard to put down." ? Guide to Consumer Magazines

For the record: Mental Floss magazine is an intelligent read, but not too intelligent. We're the sort of intelligent that you hang out with for a while, enjoy our company, laugh a little, smile a lot and then we part ways. Great times. And you only realize how much you learned from us after a little while. Like a couple days later when you're impressing your friends with all these intriguing facts and things you picked up from us, and they ask you how you know so much, and you think back on that great afternoon you spent with us and you smile.

And then you lie and say you read a lot.

Customer Reviews:

  • Worth every penny...
    So Mental Floss was a mag that I stumbled upon awhile back in a store and was blown away. This was a magazine that seemed to be tailor-made for me.

    I am a huge trivia buff as well as a fan of geeky humor and this magazie incorporated both of these passions as well as a great articles into a nice package. My only dislike is that it only comes out once every two months. I want a new issue every month dangit!

    I know it a bit pricey for the subscription for only 6 issues, but if you are into reading, news, and fun facts, this is a great magazine. If you are a fan of "The Intellectual Devotional" books, this is the mag for you....more info
  • Quick mental jolts to keep your brain entertained
    There are magazines you read for specific how-to texts, like how to fix your kitchen sink. There are magazines you read to stay up to date with the latest news in the world, your field, or a given region. Then there are magazines like Mental_Floss, which is more like a "News of the Weird" magazine version release. These aren't brain puzzles to improve your memory a la Brain Age. They aren't research pieces that will test or challenge your mental ability. Instead, they are quirky factoids.

    What is yelling "Geronimo" all about? Just what is a "Vegemite Sandwich"? There are all sorts of odd things covered here. Sometimes they touch on science, world politics or human relations - but often they're related to pop culture, the things you hear every day and never really thought about.

    It's intriguing that how you react to this magazine is probably based a lot on what you have read until now. If what you've been reading has been mainstream newspapers aimed at the "lowest common denominator", or the Dummies series of books, you'll be greatly refreshed by this! This magazine doesn't assume you're a dummy with a dead brain. It assumes you want to learn, to grow, to find out the "why" behind the things in your world. It's aimed for people who pop onto Wikipedia when they hear about a new, interesting item on the news ... or people who jump onto IMDB to see what else an actor was in when they watch a movie. It's for people who are intrigued by those connections and backgrounds.

    On the other hand, Mental_Floss generally provides a surface read. It's the perfect bathroom magazine - but for those who already get mentally challenging magazines, they might be let down by a magazine that is explicitly named Mental_Floss. This doesn't provide in depth or rigorous details on anything. If the academic magazines are at college level, Mental_Floss is more like the fun high school underground newsletter that tackles intriguing issues that might otherwise be ignored. Now, before you start to clamor that most newspapers write at a 5th grade level, that is in fact untrue! Here's a factoid for you :) The New York Times writes at a 12th grade level of vocabulary and comprehension, while most other newspapers fall between 9th and 10th grade. The 5th grade stat came from the 1700s and 1800s.

    Still, every magazine has its target audience and its purpose in life. Mental_Floss isn't there to provide in depth education. There are other magazines for that. Instead, it gives you great tidbits on things that many people care about - things that are *super* to use at cocktail parties, networking events, dinners out with your boss or employees. Instead of getting into a discussion about religion or politics, and perhaps starting the third world war, you can give info on a topic that will intrigue most people there, and often impress them.

    Definitely a magazine that just about every age group will enjoy - and that is very "useful"! If I have a real issue with this magazine, it's that it only comes out every other month. It'd be great if they could get this onto a monthly schedule, with more intriguing facts to keep us fresh and full of new information....more info
  • Very disappointing!
    I was very excited when I ordered this magazine. Now, a year later, I haven't even read the last issue. This magazine has very interesting information and it could easily be a great magazine. However, some of the writing is inane. I get the impression that the editors are so lacking in creativity (or is it just the writers?) that articles are poorly conceived and poorly written. By the painfully obvious attempts to stretch the articles to acceptable lengths, I am reminded of the words my College English teacher wrote on the essays of students who were desperately trying to reach her required 500 word minimum and were not being too successful: "Words full of sound and fury signifying nothing." I know those are Shakespeare's words but they were apt for the writings of those students and also, sadly, fit the articles in this magazine....more info
  • Best Magazine Ever
    I've been reading this magazine for years. It never fails to entertain me while it teaches me fascinating new things. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to feel smart again....more info
  • Much less interesting than expected
    As other reviewers have pointed out this magazine does at times ask some interesting and unusual questions. However the answers leave you unquinched for the pondered idea. The articles are filled with mindless jabber meant to entertain but which often are annoyingly covering for the lack of journalistic research. This magazine was not worth my time. I generously gave it two stars for some creative questions and occasionally having an adequetly covered article....more info
  • Mental Floss
    Mental Floss has very interesting, short, articles. The magazine provides insightful information and general knowledge on a variety of interesting topics....more info
  • magazine subscription
    I ordered a subscription to "Mental Floss" for my grandson, age 19, for the second year. He loves it! He's an avid reader, interested in facts and unusual material. It's a great gift that "KEEPS ON GIVING"....more info
    dO not order MENtle floss Magazin. it preetends to be sMart but It's just a teaz. Covers intersting toppics, aks good qestions but the ansers are lackng. Each issu has half a page of corections frm the preevius issu. whats the point of reeding a mag whitch promises to mak you smarter if its not so clevver itself? Like ths revue, it dosn't live upto it's claims. ...more info
  • A little trepidation at first
    I am a brain fitness fanatic, performing daily strengthening, stretching, focusing, and cleaning rituals to keep the old noodle in top shape. I saw this title "Mental Floss" while browsing the magazine section of and immediately panicked, because here was a brain-improvement technique I was unfamiliar with that seemed to be well-reviewed by the cognoscenti.

    The more I thought about mental floss, the more I realized it just made sense. Sure, polishing and buffing helps keep the convolutions shiny and smooth, but what about all the fissures and sulci? And what better way is there to get into all those folds and ridges than to use floss? Thus I was determined that the next time I cleaned out my head I would floss my brain.

    After carefully removing my skull-cap and peeling back the arachnoid membrane, I stared at the gleaming beige-grey mass of my exposed brain, pulled out about two feet of floss, and got to work on the great longitudinal fissure that divides the hemispheres of my brain. I figured this was the best place to start since it was relatively straight and would therefore more easily accommodate the floss. I gently scraped the internal surface of first my left, and then my right cerebral hemisphere, being careful not to scrape too deeply, lest I sever my corpus callosum and give myself an inadvertent hemispherectomy! Unlike tooth flossing, where sensitive gums serve as a warning from flossing too deeply, the brain, having no sensory apparatus, feels nothing, so a light touch is a must. Next I tackled the right superior frontal sulcus above my right eye and carefully worked the floss into the curved groove. I must have used a little too much pressure because the left side of my face became slack and I began cursing uncontrollably. I shifted the floss to better accommodate the curves and the swearing stopped, but I must have pinched a long-term memory engram because I suddenly started screaming "Mary had a little lamb", something I haven't recited since preschool.

    I finished off the rest of my brain using strategically positioned mirrors to get clear views of my parietal and occipital lobes, although adjusting to the reversed mirror images required some practice; I lost my vision more than once cleaning out the occipital gyri--not a good thing to happen when cleaning out ones brain.

    My brain felt refreshed after that thorough cleaning, but the difficulty in flossing such a convoluted and delicate surface would make everyday flossing impractical. At most, I would only be able to floss once every few days. Imagine my surprise, then, when I received my first issue of "Mental Floss" and found nothing in it whatsoever about flossing ones brain. Instead, I found articles and informational tidbits ranging from the very topical to the curious to the "haven't you always wondered" variety. Though chagrined at my own misunderstanding, I came to enjoy and anticipate each eclectic and oddly informative issue. I also came to realize that my brain cleaning was probably not needed and potentially harmful. I can therefore give my fullest recommendations to "Mind Floss" and at the same time caution against actual brain flossing....more info
  • Entertaining, but superficial
    Mental Floss is a grab-bag of a magazine, filled with short articles on a wide variety of subjects. Its style is consciously wanna-be-hip, with wordplays sprinkled throughout; the name alone is fair warning. It comes across like a hybrid of Wired and Parade Magazine -- light fare for a doctor's waiting room. You'll probably find at least one fascinating fact or connection in any given issue, but there's not much depth....more info
  • inferior products need not apply
    This is probably in my top five publications and I don't imagine that ever changing. Great for any age/interest/style. Everyone should read this often....more info
  • Overrated
    Ordered this for my father. He loves Kiplinger, Bottom Line, USA Today and other publications. He said this was a nice thought, but terrible. ...more info
  • Funny and Intelligent
    Mental Floss is a great alternative to leisure magazines. It is a great way to have fun and keep your mind working at the same time. My teenager son and his friends love to read this magazine. Once you read this magazine once, you will be hooked! ...more info
  • Love it, love it, love it!
    I was especially happy to receive the issue with the 25 most influential books in the last 25 years. Great reporting throughout. ...more info
  • Too Snarky For My Taste
    I was hoping for an Unte Reader-lite type magazine to share with my students. Instead, Mental Floss is just a bunch of assorted trivia pieces. Worse yet, they use the same snarky, condescending tone that rags like Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone have been using. I have grown very tired of hearing the writers voice. Some of the articles have good bits of party knowledge sure, but you would just be better off hitting the random button on Wikipedia....more info
  • Witty and entertaining!
    MENTAL FLOSS provides some of the wittiest, entertaining, and might I say even thought provoking reading available today! It's a great way to start the day or to take a break from work, life, stress, dissertation writing, etc! When you need to laugh or go just "hmmmmmmmmmm...that's interesting", pick up MENTAL FLOSS!...more info
  • For The Ultimate Information Seeker!
    Entertaining, Educational, Fun. In the age of so much disheartening info, this magazine is refreshing and is the ultimate find for those who can never get their fill of information. Love Mental Floss! One of the greatest ideas in a long time! ...more info
  • Interesting but not all that exciting
    I have received two issues so far, and the magazine has some interesting features, but several topics just haven't been all that exciting for me. Do I really care to read tidbits about the 10 worst music talent agents? It is a magazine devoted to trivia after all, so I should have expected some minutia to be a little boring at times. Well written, but doesn't quite have the punch of the published "Instant Knowledge" books by the same crew....more info
  • A great magazine!
    I love this magazine. If you're a trivia fan, this magazine is for you. If you're interested in learning those little things that aren't in the text books, this magazine is for you. If you're fascinated by the world around you, this magazine is for you. With great writing, great topics, and knowledge in bite-sized pieces, you cannot go wrong with mental_floss. ...more info
    I hope this stays around for a long time, it is really great. I read it when I travel and I can't put it down!...more info
  • For the intellectually curious everywhere
    Despite its name, this mag isn't just for brainy types. Anybody who's interested in knowing more quirky, fascinating things about the world around them -- presented in a highly readable, humorous style -- will find 'mental_floss' a fun read. Interested in the weird history of hackers? Ever wanted to know how to grow your own organs or wrestle an alligator? All written by your smart, funny friend from college -- or so the mag's super-accessible style will have you thinking. A definite recommend!...more info
  • An irreverent delight
    I think of this magazine as quintessential bathroom reading. It's also great to keep with you when you have a few moments to spare. There are always interesting and fun articles and facts. There is something for everyone in this quirky great read....more info
  • Wonderful,silly trivia!
    This is truly one of my favorite magazines! It's been a favorite gift for friends and I know that it is being passed to others so each issue gets multiple readings. Of course, my issues are safely in my home library since some things are too good to share....more info
  • Not Interesting
    This magazine just isn't that interesting. It seems to focus on silly historical facts and doesn't drill down into any interesting or useful current events, topics, or issues. While I think Psychology Today can be light mind-candy I think it has more interesting articles that you find you can apply to your day. ...more info
  • Great gift for friends who have everything they need
    I just got my first issue. Great light reading with trivia and things to think about and ponder: 10 technologies we stole from the animal kingdom, 10 messiest food festivals, 10 not-so-bright ideas, etc. I believe I'll like this magazine. ...more info
  • I Felt Smarter Immediately!
    A must-have for all info junkies. From the bizarre to the informative, the diligent crew at mental_floss never ceases to dredge up something interesting. Be the life of the cocktail party, be a mental_flosser....more info
  • I love this magazine
    Mental_floss is such a sharply written magazine. The stories are interesting and funny. This would be the perfect gift for the Trival Pursuit buff in your life....more info
  • Enjoyable, but not essential
    A magazine dedicated to trivia could get tiring very fast. Thankfully, each issue of Mental Floss carries a handful of stories that are absolutely fascinating, touching on bits of history that you never knew existed. Will it make you smarter? Probably not; try Games for that. Will it give more depth to your understanding of history? Not really; you're better off reading primary sources in Lapham's Quarterly. But will it entertain you with delightful wit? Absolutely....more info
    I bought Mental Floss as a gift and I have been borrowing the recipient's copy to read. As a matter of fact, it got passed around. It is fun, well written and very understandable but everyone had the same complaints.

    Mental Floss would get 5 stars if it just could solve two problems. First the biggie: I appreciate how difficult it must be to cover such a large array of topics and some very complex ideas in a few sentences. Because of the briefness, accuracy is extremely important. I think the magazine tries too hard to make the facts fit into an overall theme so the reader sometimes walks away with an distorted impression of the subject. (To be clear I am not talking about the writer's opinions. This maganize handles that well.) There are also a few (not many) out and out mistakes.

    The second less important: The layout need works. Once I get use to the busyness and the color it actually make sense but it still could be approved upon.

    Get these two things fixed and this magazine could easily be "5 Stars" and a much bigger seller. There is definitely a place for a magazine like this. It is starting to sink in all levels of this country (U.S.) that knowledge is important and this magazine fits the bill in our time-pressed society. Also, quickie facts presented in a entertaining way has always been popular with people (note all the stars and praises it gets in the other posts)....more info
  • My favorite magazine ever
    I've been subscribing to mental_floss for about two years now, and still read every issue from cover to cover the same day it arrives. It's fun and light-hearted without being stupid, and touches on a wide range of topics. I've given several gift subscriptions, and most of the recipients liked it so much that they've renewed their subscriptions on their own....more info
  • Highly entertaining, if you like learning things
    My sister-in-law bought a subscription for me. She called it Mad magazine for adults. It's full of interesting (and not so interesting) pieces of information. Some reviewers lament that it's too superficial. Yes, it is superficial, so if you're looking for an in-depth study of anything, subscribe to Wired or the New Yorker (both of which I also get). However, if you want to be entertained and learn something quick (like the difference between the two main branches of Islam), it's for you. I am a doctoral student in rhetoric, and I spend a lot of time reading academic discussions of obscure topics, so when Mental Floss arrives, I read it cover-to-cover. A great mental break that doesn't waste my time....more info
  • Makes me feel smart
    I absolutely adore this magazine, even when I don't have time to read it in its entirety, I can always add a fun trivia morsel to my day. I'm getting tired of Ken Jennings column though, it's time for a refresh!...more info