Almost every issue of this magazine contains myths stated as fact & it is frequently just plain wrong. I wish I would have kept track of them over my 1 year subscription so I had more examples, but here is one from the current issue. In referring to the thumbs up hand gesture as related to Roman gladiator fighting the article states "In truth, thumbs pointing in any direction meant one thing: Kill Him! Back then, the digit represented stabbing someone with a sword. If the crowd wanted a gladiator to live, they didn't flash any hand signs at all." This might be true, but no one actually knows that. I would like & respect this magazine far more if they would just preface statements like this with "many believe" or "it is possible that". If you're the type of person who loves trivia, the last thing you want to do is cloud your mind with rumours and myths. To their credit they do have a corrections page, but this only contains information they got absolutely wrong. This magazine gives me the same feeling I get when I watch History Channel documentaries about Nostradamus or the Da Vinci Code, where experts (anyone can call themselves an expert) will state as fact a story they believe to be true but there really isn't any evidence. I would agree with another reviewer here who recommends reading encyclopedias instead. I also loved the NY Public Library Desk Reference.
After reading many reviews I opted to purchase a subscription. Needless to say I was disappointed with the content. This is more a magazine of daily trivia than any "mental floss". There was no gentle cleansing between the mental teeth here -- instead it will provide you with that glazed look that wonders how you were so easily duped into reading this magazine, let alone buying a full year's worth of them.
I was very excited when I ordered this magazine. Now, a year later, I haven't even read the last issue. This magazine has very interesting information and it could easily be a great magazine. However, some of the writing is inane. I get the impression that the editors are so lacking in creativity (or is it just the writers?) that articles are poorly conceived and poorly written. By the painfully obvious attempts to stretch the articles to acceptable lengths, I am reminded of the words my College English teacher wrote on the essays of students who were desperately trying to reach her required 500 word minimum and were not being too successful: "Words full of sound and fury signifying nothing." I know those are Shakespeare's words but they were apt for the writings of those students and also, sadly, fit the articles in this magazine.
This magazine just isn't that interesting. It seems to focus on silly historical facts and doesn't drill down into any interesting or useful current events, topics, or issues. While I think Psychology Today can be light mind-candy I think it has more interesting articles that you find you can apply to your day.
I wrote one review for this magazine already, it seems someone did not like my opinion (they delete negative reviews now?) so here is my abridged second try. Read a book not this magazine, it is designed to help you memorize basic facts to make you "feel" smart but not actually expand or challenge your mind. The one case in which I would recommend this magazine is for a cutthroat workplace. Sounding smart in a conversation with the boss can seriously help you get ahead in the competitive corporate world, along with knowing how to play golf and knowing enough about one sport to talk about it at length. A common concern with "Mental Floss" seems to be the sporadic and flashy cut, crop and paste layout, if you can flip through the TV channels quickly, I don't think you will mind the erratic layout. If looking smart in the workplace is not a concern, do not get this magazine, if you want to impress your friends, don't, you shouldn't have to. Instead of "Mental Floss" buy an encyclopedia, I recommend Encarta or possibly Britannica if you have the money.
Horrible idea - I don't recommend
This was recommended when I chose Popular Science and Wired... stupid idea - it's like a gossip column about smart people, a complete waste of time and money. I highly recommend avoiding this ridiculous magazine.
THE BEST REVIEW YOU'LL EVER READ
dO not order MENtle floss Magazin. it preetends to be sMart but It's just a teaz. Covers intersting toppics, aks good qestions but the ansers are lackng. Each issu has half a page of corections frm the preevius issu. whats the point of reeding a mag whitch promises to mak you smarter if its not so clevver itself? Like ths revue, it dosn't live upto it's claims.