Since I am having problems being productive, I have decided to use this space to free write the story of my thesis. I want to get some sleep tonight — I was up way too late last night — so I am going to try to limit this session to an hour … we'll see how that goes.

Hooray for free writing!

Once upon a time there were two Duke University students who decided to starta a magazine. They had been spending a lot of time sitting around with other Duke students talking about all kinds of topics — history, math, science, art, etc. They were also addicted to Who Wants to be a Millionaire and perhaps, Jeopardy!. They decided that there must be a way to mix their late night talks with their interest in trivia and the furtherment of knowledge to create something they could actually sell … voila! the idea for mental_floss is born.

mental_floss is a magazine that mixes knowledge and entertainment. it was started by will pearson and mangesh hattikudur when they were still undergraduate students at Duke. indeed, it grew out of late night discussions with friends. the first issue was produced in 2001 and sold nearly 60% on newsstands … slowly but surely will and mangesh pursued their idea. according to industry standards, 60% of magazines fail within their first year. mental_floss did not. the magazine stayed afloat … it also defied the industry statistic that 80% of new magazines fail in their fourth year. mental_floss is still going strong at six years, and does not appear to be slowing down.

the book is such a blend of humor and education that one can't help but love it. to date the magazine has relied on media buzz and word-of-mouth advertosing to grow its rate base. currently the magazine has 150,000 subscribers in 17 countries.

starting to nod off … so much for an hour. more to come tomorrow.

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