Friday, March 21

 

Thursday, March 20

 

Tuesday, March 18

The Debunker: Do We Use Only 10 Percent of Our Brains?

by Ken Jennings

Did you know that the second week of March is Brain Awareness Week around the globe? You didn’t? You weren’t aware of your brain? Conscious of your consciousness? Well, get with the program. March is perhaps the brainiest month of the year—it’s also when we celebrate the 1879 birthday of famous smarty-pants Albert Einstein, and the 1946 beginning of Mensa intelligence testing. But it turns out people will believe just about anything they hear about what’s going up between their ears. We’ve asked Ken Jennings to fact-check some particularly lame-brained misconceptions about gray matter.

The Debunker: Do We Use Only 10 Percent of Our Brains?

Harvard psychologist William James used to claim that people “use only a small part of our mental and physical resources.” This is hard to argue with: of course, humans are born with an abundance of time and talent and possibility and sadly, most of us spend a lot of it on dumb stuff like Facebook or fantasy football. But in 1936, Professor James’s soundbite suddenly went viral. Journalist Lowell Thomas misquoted James to say that “the average person develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability”—and then added the now very scientific-sounding claim to his introduction to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book, with Thomas’s information attached, became the biggest bestseller of its time.

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Monday, March 17

Music Monday: Bad Beatles Covers

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Remember when Scott asked for your favorite Beatles covers once upon a time? Well, now Scott's asking for the worst. He's picked five horrid Beatles covers and expects you to do the same. Don't cross him. He's nuts.

Telly Savalas - Something

 

Best known as a guy who played a tough detective, Telly's side career was hyping a gambler's credit card. His cover is sort of like hearing your cool uncle doing karaoke at your sister's wedding. It's not the worst thing ever, but you wouldn't expect someone to run in with a recording contract. AND YET

It's only gonna plummet from here. See you after the jump!

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Friday, March 14

 

Thursday, March 13

The Trivial Eye: Basketball Movies

by Jason Toon

The likes of Eight Men Out and The Blind Side notwithstanding, basketball tops every sport on the silver screen. The back-and-forth scoring, the spectacular jumps and shots, the buzzer-beaters from halfcourt, the complex interplay of class and race: it's all made for the movies. Before the real basketball drama starts unfolding next week, can you identify these eight hoops films by their posters or DVD covers?

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Wednesday, March 12

There Can Be Only Pun: Crappy College Basketball Teams

by Sean Adams

You guys, I have an addiction. I'm addicted to puns. I need them. I can't get enough of them. I HUNGER FOR THEM. That's why I've set up this weekly blog feature: so you guys can feed my addiction. Every week, I'll name the topic, give you some examples, and then you'll pun away in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter. I'll choose the best ones and post them here next week. Sound good? Good! Let's do it!

THIS WEEK'S EPISODE: Crappy College Basketball Teams!

Next week, the tournament of young basketball teams begins. We'll be taking the week off from the pun post, so we figured we'd celebrate now… with some really crappy college basketball teams. That's right. We're looking for bathroom humor in the form of basketball team puns. Use the whole team name or just the school. Here are a few examples:

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Tuesday, March 11

The Debunker: Did Big Dinosaurs Have a Second Brain?

by Ken Jennings

Did you know that the second week of March is Brain Awareness Week around the globe? You didn’t? You weren’t aware of your brain? Conscious of your consciousness? Well, get with the program. March is perhaps the brainiest month of the year—it’s also when we celebrate the 1879 birthday of famous smarty-pants Albert Einstein, and the 1946 beginning of Mensa intelligence testing. But it turns out people will believe just about anything they hear about what’s going up between their ears. We’ve asked Ken Jennings to fact-check some particularly lame-brained misconceptions about gray matter.

The Debunker: Did Big Dinosaurs Have a Second Brain?

Yale paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was one of the great dinosaur experts of the 19th century, naming pretty much every extinct lizard you see today in museum lobbies or children’s books: Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus. Much of his work centered on the dinosaur he called Stegosaurus, meaning “covered lizard.” In 1881, he made a cast of a Stegosaurus skull, and was astounded to find that the giant animal probably made do with a 3-ounce brain, no bigger than a lime. (Not quite the “brain the size of a walnut” from popular accounts, but close.)

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