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And then there was the Leaf Personal Light

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Even more awesome gadgetry! These two lamps are both on American Inventor Spot's new list of great office supplies. The first lamp seems a little SkyMall for me, but I'll confess to a weakness for anything Herman Miller, and I think I'm in love with the second one.

Best iProduct: iLamp
Four-step million-dollar marketing plan for the 21st century: 1) Find an everyday product. 2) Add an iPod dock and speaker set. 3) Put the letter "i" in front of it. 4) Sit back and watch the dollars roll in. Into the already overcrowded iPod accessory market steps the legitimately useful iLamp, which, despite a ridiculous slogan (The Lamp That Rocks!) is a product you could use every day (in a welcomed variety of trendy designs) with the built-in connection for your music player. They claim it works with any MP3 player, but the name tells you what market they're going after. What's next"¦ the iCouch? iNapkin? iPhone (we wish!). The iLamp might have been higher up the list if it hadn't been totally out-lamped by our top pick. ...

#1 Best Overall Innovation: Herman Miller Leaf Personal Light
Got $500 left over after buying your Verte chair? Why not drop it on our top office innovation, the Leaf Personal Light by Herman Miller. It may just look like a piece of twisted metal (or an attacking squid tentacle), but this award-winning lamp is the iPod of office lighting. By running your finger along a groove in the base, you activate a series of 20 LEDs that you can adjust in color and intensity. Sure it's expensive, but with over 11 years of rated life, it's worth a little extra cha-ching.

Also, it coordinates perfectly with a red Swingline stapler.

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Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
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While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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