mental floss presents Instant Knowledge (Collins Gem)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Mental_floss is proud to present a full-bodied jolt of inspiration for thirsty minds on the go. Blended with titillating facts, startling revelations, and head-scratching theories collected from around the world, Instant Knowledge will jumpstart riveting exchanges at cocktail parties, the watercooler, or any powwow. To experience the clean, rich flavor at home, just tear into a topic of your choice, and add conversation. It's that simple!
trying. But Dave and his posse, with God’s help, brought back 200 for the good king. Saul couldn’t help but bless his daughter’s marriage to such a go-getter. FORGERIES (only the best darn ones in the whole wide world) USEFUL FOR: cocktail parties, museum dates, and making someone double-guess themselves after buying “authentic” artwork KEYWORDS: real, genuine, and one of a kind THE FACT: What made Elmyr de Hory infamous wasn’t the sheer number of forgeries he sold. It was that they
$15. Realizing he wasn’t going to get the cash, the draftsman proposed an alternate way for Hunt to pay him back. He dared Hunt to invent something using only a piece of wire and to hand over the rights. In return, the debt would be forgiven and the draftsman would pay Hunt $400. It seemed like a great deal—that is, until Hunt’s hours of twisting produced the first practical safety pin. The draftsman walked away with a million-dollar patent under his belt, while Hunt got $400 and, we assume, a
shouldn’t be watching the big game this week. Scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands analyzed the incidence of death on the five days prior to, the day of, and the five days after semifinal between the Netherlands and France in soccer. The game was particularly exciting, going into overtime before being decided by penalty kicks. (France ultimately won.) The average number of male deaths in the Netherlands by heart attack or stroke on the days surrounding the match: 150; on the day
to be exact. Sadly, the winner never got to claim his prize. After downing 1.5 liters of vodka in under 40 minutes (which is about 51 shots) the vodka champ passed away, about 20 minutes later. What about the runners-up? The five other contestants got treated to full luxury stays in intensive care. Scarily enough, many of the ones who weren’t hospitalized actually showed up at the same bar the next night. W. C. FIELDS USEFUL FOR: cocktail parties, barroom banter, and anywhere that
a spoon KEYWORDS: Dali, surrealism, or napping THE FACT: Who knew Dali’s greatest creative moments were inspired by a little interrupted sleep? Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealist painter, arrived at the startling images of his most productive period—between 1929 and 1937—using what he called the “paranoiac-critical method.” Apparently, this involved fishing “delirious associations and interpretations” out of his unconscious. It’s less than clear how he accomplished this, but he used no