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A Pretty Great Week

Sometimes life really beats you down, to the point you almost give up hope. Then there are other times when you can’t believe the luck you have. Last week was one of those better weeks.

My story hit #1 on CNN, as previously mentioned, but the big news is that it wound up staying at #1 for the entire work day! This helped the story become the #1 Most Popular story on for the week. I think that’s a first for me…

Then I had another mental_floss story hit the web last Friday – Give Me A Sign: The Stories Behind 5 Hand Gestures – and it became a pretty big hit on the site as well. It didn’t go anywhere on (and I doubt it’ll be on CNN), but considering it was posted on a Friday and didn’t have the benefit of a few days to breathe, it was successful enough to become the #5 Most Popular story on the site for the week. So I had two stories in the Top 5 this week, which is definitely a first for me.

It was an exciting week, one that has helped me re-energize and get re-engaged in my writing. I’m working on a few story ideas right now that I’m hoping will be hits. I can’t expect another week like the last one, but, hey, a guy can try.

#1 on CNN!

My follow-up article at mental_floss on the story of Tanner Sandlin’s sale of Air Raid for the Atari 2600, was reprinted by last night. And then it became the #1 story on the news site earlier today!

Needless to say, it’s been a good morning.

Big Update

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I last updated around here. I have no excuse other than I’ve been writing like crazy. And that’s what this update’s going to be all about – a listing of my mental_floss articles that I haven’t been keeping up on. So, sit back, relax, do some clicking and reading, and enjoy. I’ve been kicking around a personal story, so look for that update soon.

February 23: A Brief History of Bulletproof Vests
This one was a bit disappointing for me. It got some hits, but I was hoping for more.

March 5: They Made A Toy of That? Misguided Action Figures
This one went over pretty well. It got quite a few comments and I have a feeling it’ll have legs with time.

March 10: What Does ‘Kiwanis’ Mean? The Story Behind 4 Civic Groups
This was a lot of fun to research and write. I actually felt a little civic pride telling people more about these groups. Hopefully with a little more information, someone out there will decide to join one of these groups.

March 12: The Story Behind 4 More Civic Organizations
As I was writing the first story, I had about 75% of the Rotary International story written when I realized my word count was getting pretty high. Reluctantly, I cut it. Once the first story of four civic groups hit the web, the readers soon let me know I made the wrong decision. So, out a sense of guilt and obligation, I finished a follow-up story that my editor was kind enough to post. I learned a valuable lesson – don’t finish the story until it’s done.

March 13: Behind the Wheel of the Cozy Coupe
This was a reprint of my mental_floss Magazine article from the January/February issue. It had previously been posted by, so my editor went ahead and posted it at our home site.

March 18: 9 Very Rare (and Very Expensive) Video Game Cartridges
This has been my biggest hit of 2010! It’s gotten quite a few comments on mental_floss, was reprinted by neatorama and even where it went on to become the Most Popular Story at one point on 3/21/2010

(CNN trimmed it a little to fit their word count requirements.)

So it’s been a month of ups and downs, but I guess that’s what writing’s all about.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this update and, as I said, look for another, personal one coming soon.

And, once again, thanks to all those who have supported me over the years.

The 3six5

You may remember back a few months ago, that my application to write for The 3six5 was accepted by the geniuses behind the project. Well, today, March 1, is my day. So go check out my post here.

It’s strange to say, but it was kind of nice to have a deadline to blog. I had to come up with something to write about today. That doesn’t happen to me very often. Usually I have days to develop an idea, do the research, and write it up for mental_floss. But today, I had to think fast, edit even faster, and try to come up with something fairly coherent. All that considered, I’m pretty happy with what I wrote. Even if you don’t agree with it, I hope you got a kick out of it.

Throwback: 4 Football Games From the Good Old Days

My latest mental_floss article is online

Throwback: 4 Football Games From the Good Old Days

I thought it was a fun angle to take on gridiron history in honor of Super Bowl week. The original idea came from someone I follow (and he follows me) on Twitter, which was kind of cool.

Do you remember your favorite football game from childhood? Tell me about it!