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Bond (James Bond) Week: How to Look

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Allow us to criticize your appearance for a minute, will you? If you're hoping to convince your friends and neighbors that you're a British secret agent in your spare time, you're going to need to take a hard look in the mirror. Luckily, Kingsley Amis and The Book of Bond have a few recommendations for you:

* "Our prototype is six foot tall and, whereas a few inches either way will make no vital difference, those under four foot six and over seven foot would be better advised to model themselves on one of the original 007's enemies, probably Goldfinger (five foot) or Dr. No (six foot six)."

* "[Your eyes] must be narrow and watchful, with a hint of anger. Practice this in the mirror, making sure not to look merely short-sighted, cretinous or very, very drunk."

* "[Your complexion] must be tanned. Note that the pigment which constitutes suntan is soluble in water, no never wash your face. Those who can't afford topping-up trips at Christmas and Easter must get a sun-lamp, but realize that being known to possess one would be instantly fatal to 007ship. Keep it under lock and key with your spare wig, denture fixative, etc."

* "Repeat to yourself: a paunchy 007 cannot exist."

Now, let's all ponder whether Mr. Amis was taking his own advice:

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To be fair, he was pretty dapper in his younger days (pic is after the jump). And you can't beat the eyebrows.

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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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