Paul Newman is a Hollywood legend who had the kind of successful and storied career many can only dream about. Per Reuters, the actor made more than 50 movies during his lifetime, starring along side the likes of Elizabeth Taylor in "Cat in a Hot Tin Roof," Robert Redford in "The Sting," and Tom Cruise in "The Color of Money." Newman worked with the best of them and also channeled his success into other endeavors, including the creation of Newman's Own food products, which donated $250 million in profits to charity. He was truly exceptional.
Now that fall has finally arrived, we can start thinking about enjoying cold nights outside under the stars and hosting get-togethers in our backyards before it gets too cold out. And if you need to spruce up the yard to truly enjoy the season, head to Wayfair, where you'll find deep discounts on a range of outdoor furniture and accessories. This sale includes over 17,000 outdoor products ranging from large dining table sets and couches to wreaths and patio heaters.
This week on Take the Black, we discuss the latest House of the Dragon set photos, chat with the editor of The Curious Viewer, and more!. Another week, another fantastic episode of Take the Black. And this week, we open with another special guest: Mental Floss managing editor Jennifer M. Wood, who tells us all about the new book from her and her team: The Curious Viewer. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, or good TV in general, this book is for you!
In 1920, the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act banned the manufacturing, selling, and transportation of all alcohol in the United States (via History). This era, known as Prohibition, lasted for a long 13 years. It ironically led to an upsurge in organized crime, as well as illegal activities related to both the production and consumption of alcohol (per Khan Academy).
Andrew Jackson was one president you didn't want to cross. The guy had a mean streak, and he was never one to back down from a fight, even in the most dire of circumstances. As Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham noted in "American Lion," Jackson once killed a man over an argument about a horse race. He and Tennessee native Charles Dickinson lined up for a duel on May 30, 1806. Dickinson was actually a quicker draw than Jackson, hitting the future president square in the chest. But Jackson didn't go down. Instead, he aimed at Dickinson and pulled the trigger. After some trouble with the trigger getting stuck, Jackson finally got the shot off and killed his opponent. He later bragged to a friend that he would have killed Dickinson even "if he had shot me through the brain."
According to Mental Floss, the Appalachian Mountains cut through 18 American states and five Canadian provinces. Moreover, the area surrounding the mountains, known as the Appalachian Region, is home to 25 million people (via Appalachian Regional Commission). It also has a celebrated ecosystem that includes 140 species of trees, 250 species of birds, and so much more.
Yellowstone National Park, located predominantly in Wyoming with some territory in Montana and Idaho, is a vast national resource. Most people come for the wildlife, the camping, or the views—but like any sprawling territory, it can also invite a degree of criminal mischief, from intoxication all the way up to the potential for homicide. There's even a 50-square-mile zone of the park that could conceivably host the perfect murder owing to byzantine jurisdictional laws.
If you ask Grady Hendrix how long it took him to write his latest bestselling horror novel, The Final Girl Support Group, the official answer is seven years. Really, though, the book has been brewing since 1987, when Hendrix saw A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in a South Carolina theater. One of the movie’s plot points has stuck with him ever since: the idea of a final girl from a previous franchise installment—Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy Thompson, in this case—showing up in a sequel to provide therapy services for a slasher’s other victims. It struck Hendrix as “the best idea the genre ever had,” and he meant to get a book out of it.
There are few things more quintessentially Canadian than Tim Hortons. In 1964, the beloved chain opened its doors for the first time in Hamilton, Ontario, while simultaneously changing Canadian culture forever. At the time, a coffee from the restaurant only set you back a dime, and there were only two doughnut flavors to choose from: Apple Fritter and Dutchie (per Mental Floss). Today, Tim Hortons is Canada's largest restaurant chain, serving over 5 million cups of coffee to loyal customers every day (via Tim Hortons). Because of Tim Hortons, Canadians drink more coffee than the French, Italians, and Americans, and eat more doughnuts per capita than any other country in the world. If that wasn't enough, its classic coffee order, "double-double," was added to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in 2004, and defined as "a coffee with double cream and double sugar added" (via Global News).
In 2007, Christina Hendricks traveled back to the 1960s in fitted sheath dresses that commanded the attention of every boy in "Mad Men." Hendricks played Joan Holloway, a secretary who asserted herself in the office space dominated by men. Hendricks, who was only given a brief amount of screen time in the beginning of the show, evolved into a supporting character who snagged two Critics Choice awards and Screen Actor Guild awards among many other nominations and wins (via IMDb). "I had to sort of create who she was in those two scenes, and that's who she became," she told the press at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. "It all went from there" (as reported by Vulture).
'Tis the season for pumpkin spice! Autumn is officially here, and in addition to the sounds of cool breezes and crunchy leaves, the distinctly spicy-sweet scent is filling the air. From coffee drinks and baked goods to turkey breast and hummus, this quintessential medley of fall flavors is a culinary trend that likely won't go away any time soon.
Few scents are more emblematic of a season than pumpkin spice. One whiff of the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger is enough to call to mind cozy sweaters, crunchy leaves, and other hallmarks of fall. Broken down to its components, there's nothing uniquely autumnal about pumpkin spice—the mixture doesn't even contain pumpkin. But thanks to the power of memory and suggestion, it dominates the weeks from September through November.
From his birth until his death, Edgar Allan Poe's life was one full of mystery and misfortune. Born in 1809, Poe was orphaned by the age of three (via The Academy of American Poets). According to Mental Floss, he was adopted by a wealthy family in Richmond, Virginia shortly thereafter.
It has become both a fact and an entertaining meme that Spirit Halloween stores are ready, come fall time, to inhabit the empty building of the store that most recently went out of business in your town. Even The New York Times wrote an article about how the Halloween superstore rises from the dead every year to pack their costumes and spooky decor into an abandoned building that once held a clothing store or a supermarket. Even an artist in San Francisco, California, turned a Google office building that was empty due to the pandemic into a Spirit Halloween store (via SF Gate). It has become a cultural phenomenon.
FanDuel said it's expanding its relationship with Minute Media by making an undisclosed investment in the publishing platform responsible for the Players' Tribune, Mental Floss and The Big Lead. New York City-based sportsbook FanDuel didn't reveal the exact amount of the investment, but Axios reported that Minute Media has raised...