The Most Identical Twins

Parisian twins Monette and Mady have spent their lives embracing their shared appearance, dressing exactly alike every day of their adulthood. The results are unsettling, to say the least.

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According to a recent Reader’s Digest poll, the most trusted figures in America include Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Noam Chomsky, and Peyton Manning – a fairly diverse list, but heavy on Hollywood fixtures like Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, and Denzel Washington. It raises the question: are actors really the trustworthiest people we know, or are they just good at faking it?

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When parents text, hilarity ensues.

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Steven Soderbergh, director of the Ocean’s Trilogy, Erin Brokovich, and Magic Mike, retired from filmmaking this year. His latest venture is a novella entitled GLUE, published in 140-character snippets on his Twitter feed. He’s up to Chapter 14 so far.

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Late comedian George Carlin’s love letters to his wife, Sally Wade, are as clever and colorful as his stand-up act was.

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What does a sine wave look like? MFA candidate Daniel Sierra’s animated experiment “Oscillate” explores the connection between sight and sound in a video reminiscent of Windows Media Player’s visualizations, but better.

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The Scripps National Spelling Bee is scheduled for the end of this month, and though only students under age 16 are eligible to compete in the annual competition, Oxford Dictionaries Online have an online spelling challenge suitable for more mature language wranglers. The three difficulty levels are Tricky, Difficult, and Fiendish, but don’t let those tweens show you up!

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Wrigley’s has abruptly pulled its new caffeinated Alert Energy Gum from the shelves, in the wake of FDA concerns about the proliferation of caffeine in the food industry, but until the day coffee stops working, the tired masses will always find a way to get their fix.

Start Your Morning Right With the Alarm Clock That Makes You Coffee

For those who can't function in the morning, a cup of coffee is key. For those who can't even function enough to make that cup of coffee, there's the Barisieur. This innovative alarm clock (now available at Urban Outfitters) awakens the sleeper with the smell of coffee and the gentle rattle of stainless steel ball bearings as the water boils.

Take sugar or milk? There's a special compartment for milk so the liquid stays fresh and cool until you're ready to use it in the morning. On the front, there's a drawer for sugar. The whole tray can even be removed for easy cleaning.

Not a coffee fan? The Barisieur also brews loose-leaf tea.

The milk vessel of the coffee alarm clock
Barisieur, Urban Outfitters

The gadget also has an actual alarm that can be set to sound before or during the coffee making process. 

This invention was thought up by product designer Joshua Renouf as part of his studies at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Though the idea started as just a prototype for class back in 2015, Renouf managed to make it a reality, and you can now buy one of your very own.

At $445, the alarm clock is quite an investment, but for coffee lovers who have trouble forcing themselves out of bed, it might be more than worth it. Go ahead, picture waking up slowly to the smell of roasted coffee beans and only having to sit up in bed and enjoy.

Buy it at one of the retailers below:

[h/t: Design-Milk.com]

A version of this article first ran in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the product's current availability.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

If March 15 Is the Ides of March, What Does That Make March 16?

iStock.com/bycostello
iStock.com/bycostello

Everyone knows that the soothsayer in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was talking about March 15 when he warned the Roman emperor to "beware the Ides of March." We also all know Caesar's response: "Nah, I gotta head into the office that day." But if March 15 is the Ides of March, what does that make March 16?

At the time of Caesar's assassination, Romans were using the Julian calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar himself). This was a modified version of the original Roman calendar, and it is very similar to the one we use today (which is called the Gregorian calendar). A major difference, however, was how Romans talked about the days.

Each month had three important dates: the Kalends (first day of the month), the Ides (the middle of the month), and the Nones (ninth day before the Ides, which corresponded with the first phase of the Moon). Instead of counting up (i.e., March 10, March 11, March 12), Romans kept track by counting backwards and inclusively from the Kalends, Ides, or Nones. March 10 was the sixth day before the Ides of March, March 11 was the fifth day before the Ides of March, and so on.

Because it came after the Ides, March 16 would’ve been referred to in the context of April: "The 17th day before the Kalends of April." The abbreviated form of this was a.d. XVII Kal. Apr., with "a.d." standing for ante diem, meaning roughly "the day before."

So, had Julius Caesar been murdered on March 16, the soothsayer's ominous warning would have been, "Beware the 17th day before the Kalends of April." Doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

This story first ran in 2016.

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