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How Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" Inadvertently Became a Hollywood Soundtrack Staple

Certain songs have transformative powers, and Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” is definitely one of them. This became clear in 2005, when film editor Robert Ryang used the 1977 classic rock staple in his re-cut trailer for the classic 1980 horror film The Shining. Ryang cleverly paired director Stanley Kubrick’s chilling visuals with Gabriel’s bouncy and bucolic folk-rock ditty, and just like that, a terrifying psychological drama became a lighthearted rom-com about a dad with writer’s block. The video went viral, spawning tons of imitations.
MUSIC
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Pawful Entry: What You Should Know Before Buying a Dog Door

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. There are lots of reasons to love having a dog, but having to constantly run to the door when they begin to whine isn’t one of them. That’s why some pet owners opt for dog doors, a two-way flap cut into a door or placed into a sliding door opening that allows pets the freedom to come and go as they please.
PETS
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The 25 Safest Cities to Live in the U.S.

Despite Florida’s reputation for weird crimes, plenty of pockets within the Sunshine State are exceptionally safe places to live. In fact, 11 of the top 25 safest cities in the nation are in Florida. Eight of them—from first-place finisher Naples to Ocala in the last spot—made the top 10.
FLORIDA STATE

7 Not-Very-Scandalous Retro Hollywood Scandals

For as long as Hollywood has existed, studio executives have had to worry about star scandals. From murder to drugs to everything in between, fans have relished gossip about actors and actresses. Often, they were salacious, as in the case of The Maltese Falcon star Mary Astor's infamous “purple diaries,” which detailed her many adulterous affairs. Or Lana Turner, who found herself embroiled in the death of boyfriend (and gangster) Johnny Stompanato. (Turner’s 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl, had stabbed him following an argument.)
CELEBRITIES

Catherine Crowe, the Woman Who Brought the Word 'Poltergeist' to English

“They’re here.” It might be one of the most famous quotes in movies, spoken by young Heather O’Rourke in 1982’s supernatural domestic thriller Poltergeist. The word has taken on a surprisingly sturdy place in English despite being distinctly not of English. And while that Steven Spielberg-produced film did a lot to popularize it, it was paranormal scholar Catherine Crowe who first introduced it to the vernacular.
BOOKS & LITERATURE

10 of the Best Practical Wedding Gifts You Can Get for Under $50

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. There’s no need to shell out a small fortune—or stick to the registry—when it comes to shopping for your favorite couple(s). Instead, consider grabbing practical items that they'll get plenty of use out of over time, like a set of towels, a Dutch oven, or even a custom cutting board. Everyday products like these can really help the happy duo settle into married life with greater ease, and best of all, none of these best wedding gift ideas under $50 will break the bank.
RELATIONSHIPS

How to Clean Water Stains From Your Ceiling

One surefire way to disappoint houseguests or prospective home buyers is to have a water stain on your ceiling. These brown, patchy spots from dried mineral deposits are a red flag that water from plumbing or your roof has leaked down. While the problem may be resolved, the stain left behind still needs some attention. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of them without any major renovations.
HOME & GARDEN

9 Fascinating Facts About Jay Anson's 'The Amityville Horror'

There’s probably no such thing as a quiet year in American history, but 1977 was one for the books. In January, it snowed in Miami [PDF] for the only time in recorded history. By spring, residents of Dover, Massachusetts, were on the lookout for a demon. That summer, New York endured a grueling 25-hour blackout, and David Berkowitz was arrested for the Son of Sam murders. Star Wars opened in May. Elvis died in August.
BOOKS & LITERATURE

Why Are Cowards Called “Chickens”?

Anyone who refuses a double-dog dare is liable to be labeled a chicken. How dogs found their way into dare culture remains a bit of a mystery—but the reason cowards are called “chickens” is slightly clearer. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest written instance of...
ANIMALS

The 25 Most Shazamed Movie Songs of All Time

As evidenced by the resurgence of interest in Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” after it was featured in Stranger Things season 4, movies and TV shows can do wonders for a song’s success. While many older viewers no doubt recognized that track immediately, younger ones may have needed help from Shazam—the app that can identify a song after hearing a clip.
TV SHOWS

The Library Extension Plug-In Tells You if That Book You’re Shopping for Is Available at Your Local Library

Though the library is definitely the cheapest resource for readers, it's not always the most convenient. Your local branch has a limited number of titles available to check out at any given time, while online retailers make millions of books easy to purchase with just a click. If you want to support your library without giving up your online shopping habits for good, try installing Library Extension.
BOOKS & LITERATURE

Why Is Latin a Dead Language?

Calling a language “dead” seems more like an insult than a simple categorical designation—as though it’s less important than its living counterparts. And if we’re talking about a language specifically as a way to have a conversation, a dead one is less important. As Babbel explains, a dead language is any language that’s “no longer the native language of a community of people.” That definition may vary slightly depending on your source: According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a language is also sometimes considered dead if it’s no longer anyone’s main language or just not “used for ordinary communication.”
JULIUS CAESAR

10 of the World's Most Frequently Mispronounced Countries

While it’s always good to respect the cultures and traditions of countries around the world, we can sometimes make an innocent error in completely butchering their pronunciation. If you plan on traveling, talking foreign policy, or just want a refresher, take a look at 10 of the most frequently mispronounced country names in the world.
WORLD

Chris Evans Would Return as Captain America If It Was 'Perfect'

Marvel lets go of character very reluctantly. (SPOILER!) Iron Man and Black Widow died in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, but only after actors Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson were well and truly ready to move on from the MCU, and even then we still got a whole Black Widow (2021) movie afterwards. But with the introduction of the multiverse, not all characters stay dead forever. Prime example: Tom Hiddleston's Loki, who now stars in a Disney+ series set in an alternate timeline.
MOVIES

5 Misconceptions About the Maya Civilization

If you have a hard time telling your Maya from your Aztecs, are unsure of the fate of this once-thriving civilization, or just have questions about that whole end-of-the-world-prediction business, we're here to dispel some popular myths about the Maya civilization, adapted from an episode of Misconceptions on YouTube. 1....
SCIENCE

Are English Muffins Actually English?

When you want to take a break from bread but a bagel seems too radical a departure, there’s always the English muffin—a relatively light carb option that prominent baker Thomas’ often portrays as having “nooks and crannies” for taste and texture. But is the English...
NEW YORK CITY, NY