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Contest: The Pepsi (and Coke) Recipe Challenge

An Indian court has demanded that Coke and Pepsi hand over their secret recipes or else face a nationwide ban:

Coca-Cola's original recipe, according to company policy, is kept in a bank vault in Atlanta where only two executives — banned from travelling on the same aircraft — know it.

The court order followed the release of a report by the Centre for Science and Environment, a non-government body, which contended that 11 brands sold by the two soft drinks makers contained high levels of pesticide residues.

The companies may be loath to reveal their magic formulae, but we're not: This week, we want your best guesses at Coke's and/or Pepsi's secret recipes -- what's in them and how to mix them up. (Attention, Joya Williams: You're automatically disqualified.) The winner gets a copy of our book What's the Difference?, and if someone sends us a recipe that's easy to make and won't cause food poisoning, we'll taste-test it. Leave us your ideas in the comments, or email us at tips-at-mentalfloss.com. Extra points if you can explain why Coke put a macron in their new product name, "Coca-Cola Blāk," making the word sound like "Blake." I like "The Tyger" as much as anyone, but I don't think that's what they were getting at.

* Update: I just noticed that Make, one of our favorite mags (and blogs), wrote last week about an attempt to make DIY Coca-Cola in the UK. The recipe sounds a little too complicated, even for us!

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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