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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John looks back at things that turned 21 in 2014.

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Hi, I'm John Green. Welcome to my salon. This is Mental Floss on YouTube. And we'd like to wish a very happy belated birthday to the Backstreet Boys, who turned 21 years old in April. BSB formed in 1993, and almost got signed by Mercury Records that year, but John Mellencamp threatened to leave the label if they signed a boy band. Ah, the 90s. Back when John Mellencamp's threats still counted for something. Anyway, that's the first of 21 things that turned 21 this year that we're going to wish a happy birthday to today.


The song It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube turned 21 too in 2014. Fun fact, in 2012 stand up comedian Donovan Strain examined the song's lyrics to find out once and for all when Ice Cube's good day occurred. According to him the only day where Yo MTV Raps was on the air, it was a clear and smogless day, beepers were commercially sold, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics, and Ice Cube had no events to attend was January 20th, 1992, about a year before the song was released.

Bill Nye the Science Guy first aired on PBS in 1993. And I'm sorry to report that in the pilot he wore a regular tie instead of his trademark bow tie. He eventually decided to start wearing them because in his words, "The bow tie does not slip into your soup, so it's very practical."

Another show that first debuted in 1993, The X-Files. But Gillian Anderson almost didn't get to keep her job for the full nine seasons because she got pregnant at the beginning of season 2 and Fox executives wanted to replace her. But the show's creator Chris Carter refused to let that happen. Instead he wrote a story line that involved Scully getting abducted by aliens to work around her pregnancy.

1993 was a big year for late night talk shows too. David Letterman moved from NBC to CBS. He had been hosting Late Night after The Tonight Show, but when he wasn't offered Johnny Carson's old job, he moved to CBS and started The Late Show with David Letterman. The Jon Stewart Show also premiered on MTV that same year. And to bring things full circle, in 1995 Stewart would announce his show's cancellation on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Jurassic Park's CGI dinosaurs were a really big deal in 1993. The movie won the Oscar for best visual effects, plus New York Times critic Janet Maslin called it "a true movie milestone, presenting awe - and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen". Then she went on to bash the plot of the movie, but we're not gonna talk about that because Mental Floss is a positive place.

Speaking of technology, IMDb, the Internet Movie Database debuted in 1993. There wasn't much on the internet at that point so IMDb was by far the best movie website. And it's still a totally helpful resource for when your mom is trying to tell you, you know, about that movie that stared that guy, the one with the beard. You mean Thor mom, and that guy's name is Chris Hemsworth.

Also internet related, the White House got email in 1993. You could reach Bill Clinton at The White House website didn't launch until 1994. Which means that I had a website before the White House did.

Anyway, the first issue of Wired magazine debuted in January 1993 at the Macworld Conference. Presumably to keep up with innovations like IMDb and Bill Clinton getting email.

Twenty-one years ago some hot CD-ROMs like Doom and Myst were released. Doom is usually credited for popularizing the first-person shooter genre and Myst went on to become the best selling PC game - not anymore, but it was for a long time.

Another game that turned twenty-one in 2014, Magic: The Gathering which was the first modern trading card game. It influenced other games that became popular in the 90s, like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon. My brother was a huge Magic player. He played in Magic tournaments all over central Florida in the 90s.

In 1993 a fast food tragedy rocked the United States when more than 600 people became sick after eating at Jack in the Box. Wait a second, in 1993 only 600 people got sick from eating at Jack in the Box? That seems like a victory. Anyway, they were all infected with E. coli bacteria from under-cooked hamburger meat. Since then the FDA has raised the recommended temperature for cooking hamburgers from 140 to 160 degrees. The only fast food tragedy we have here at Mental Floss is that our ice cream is made of plastic.

Moving on to happier things, 1993 was the biggest year ever for comic book sales. The Uncanny X-Men hit issue 300, and turned 30. Neil Gaiman was cranking out hits like The Sandman and the first full Catwoman series debuted.

Take our Daughters to Work Day started in 1993. Now it's known as Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Beanie Babies also turned 21 this year. The original nine released in 93 were Pinchers the Lobster, Splash the Whale, Flash the Dolphin, Patti the Platypus, Legs the Frog, Chocolate the Moose, Brownie the Bear, Squealer the Pig, and Spot the Dog. Each of which are, of course, now worth millions of dollar. No, no they aren't. Don't worry Pinchers, we would never sell you.

1993 was also a good year for books, especially ones that would later become movies like Trainspotting came out and became a hit film three years later. The Virgin Suicides, and Girl, Interrupted were also released, which were both made in to movies six years later.

And Howard Stern's best seller Private Parts was released in 1993, coinciding with his run for Governor of New York as a Libertarian. He ended up withdrawing, but George Pataki, who won, signed the Howard Stern Bill which allowed only night construction on Long Island and New York City state roads.

In 1993 the California Milk Processor Board started its "Got Milk?" ads. The first one was a TV commercial directed by American hero Michael Bay. Later print ads went on to feature such 90s celebrities as Neve Campbell, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Hanson.

Another beverage, Coke, started its "Always Coca-Cola" campaign the same year, introducing the computer animated polar bears that drink Coke. As opposed to actual polar bears, which of course are being decimated thanks to Coke's gigantic carbon footprint. In their honor we gave Mark's childhood bear, Cellophane, a Coke - full of marbles. But still!

Also twenty-one years ago Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera all started appearing on The All New Mickey Mouse Club. If you've never seen it, just picture a lot of kids wearing jean jackets and lip syncing. Basically like a 22 minute Milli Vanilli concert. 

And finally I return to my salon to tell you that on June 7th, 1993, the musician Prince changed his name to a symbol. Happy 21st birthday Prince's symbol. (Explodes party poppers) Huzzah! The press release said, "It is an unpronounceable symbol whose meaning has not been identified. It's all about thinking in new ways, turning in 2 a new free-quency." Six weeks before adopting the new name, the artist formerly known as Prince announced that he had retired saying that he would stop recording new material. And then he released two new albums in 1994, one in 1995, and two in 1996.

Thanks for watching Mental Floss here on YouTube which is made with the help of all of these nice people and of course with the help of Prince, as well. As we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.