mental floss blog spotlight

Take your eyes off the spreadsheet, turn off the TV and put down the beer– its time to whip that tired old brain into shape. No, we’re not talking about electrodes, chemicals or *gasp* math, we’re talking Mental_Floss is an educational-focused website that delivers fun, interesting and often hilarious articles that if you read, you just might learn something. To get to know Mental_Floss, we sat down with managing editor Jason English for an interview. Continue reading, GearCravers, and you’ll discover a new site that will end up in your bookmarks before you can say “learning is fun!”

What is mental_floss, and when did start?

mental_floss magazine was launched in 2001 by two Duke students who saw the need for an educational-yet-fun publication (and who couldn’t stomach the thought of real jobs after graduation). There have also been several books, with mental_floss presents: The History of the World due out this fall.

The _floss took to the web in 2002, offering an assortment of quizzes and random facts, while also hocking quirky t-shirts on the side (“When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade.” That kind of thing.) Now we’ve got a crack staff posting roughly ten articles a day, with contests and giveaways sprinkled in to keep things lively.

The goal with all of this is to arm readers with fascinating stories that can be retold to impress your friends, family, airplane seatmates, reality show casting directors, and whoever else you might run into.

Why should people read

Whether you’re trying to kill five minutes before lunch or four hours after, we try to always have something worth your time. Articles on things your body can do after you die, Vice Presidents actually worth knowing, ridiculous clauses in baseball contracts—we like to mix it up. Our Daily Lunchtime Quizzes test your knowledge of everything from Shakespeare characters to WWF action figures.

And if you want to wow your co-workers at the proverbial watercooler, hit up our Amazing Fact Generator

Do you have any exciting projects in the works for mental_floss that you can share with us?

To all your college-age readers (and the parents paying those scary tuition bills)—we’re going to be awarding five $10,000 scholarships early next year. Landing one of those will help you rationalize your next half-dozen purchases of items featured here. Check for details this fall.

Thanks for talking the time to chat with us, Jason. As fans of Mental_Floss, it was good to get to know a little history behind the blog. Want to get to know Mental_Floss for yourself? We asked Jason to share with us a few of his current favorite articles. Enjoy!