mentalfloss

For two years I was the Deputy Editor of Mental Floss UK, an online offshoot of the long-running US-based fact & trivia brand. After helping to launch the site in 2014, I stayed as part of the team thereafter, and was promoted to the position of Deputy Editor in early 2015. As well as managing the site’s schedule, I commissioned and edited freelance submissions, managed day-to-day contributions from our staff, monitored traffic, ran the social media account and wrote articles and news pieces every day.

I wrote literally hundreds of pieces for the site, but here are a few of my favourites:

NOTE: I gather that the UK archive is currently being (badly) integrated with the US site. Some of these links may not work in the short term, but I will mirror local copies if they don’t sort themselves out soon. (Feb ’17)

How the UK’s Supermarkets Got Their Names. Whether you’re a devotee of a single chain or someone who shops around, you probably don’t know the story behind these familiar brands.

13 Things You Might Not Know About Royal Leamington Spa. To prove that anywhere in the UK can be interesting, I wrote this about my old hometown.

What’s Rarer Than Walking On The Moon? 12 people have walked on the moon. But what feats have fewer people achieved, and how might you get onto the list?

Why the Perseid Meteor Shower Is A Harbinger Of Our Doom. Everyone loves a meteor shower – but the Perseids are from a comet that might one day wipe out humanity.

Why Do Smartphone Batteries Fail So Quickly? A look at the science behind the ubiquitous Lithium-Ion battery, and why it is that you have to charge your iPhone eight times a day.

The Mountains Taller Than Mount Everest. Is Everest the tallest mountain? Well, it depends where you’re looking, or where you’re measuring from, or what you mean by “tallest”…

How 9 Famous Chocolate Bars Got Their Names. What does a Mars Bar have to do with Mars anyway? Read this and you’ll know.

Why is there a Unicorn on the Pound Coin? In which I trace the history, heraldry and politics of the United Kingdom back to the 1300s in search of an answer to this simple question.

The 7 Weirdest Things that have been Left on the Moon From discarded golf balls to an obscene sketch by Andy Warhol, I examine just some of the treats visitors to the Moon might one day find.

How does Wireless Charging work, and is it safe? How wireless charging works, why it’s not dangerous, and why it’s not used more. My suggested title, “The Terrible Truth Behind Nikola Tesla’s Electric Smartphone” was unfortunately rejected.

7 Times The Public Shouldn’t Have Chosen A Name. When Boaty McBoatface was a big story, I looked at the other times the public picked a stupid name.