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The Smartest Thing I've Heard Today

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What if you could set up a little booth within Starbucks, then sell the same coffee for 1/5th the price?

That's obviously crazy. But here's the next best thing, courtesy of my co-worker Phil Ramunno's blog "“ offering the same wireless internet service Starbucks sells for $10/day for a lowly $2.

If you live within router distance from a Starbucks "“ and really, who doesn't? "“ the geniuses at FON are making you an offer:

If you live above or next to a Starbucks (or any cafe/coffee shop for that matter!), you are eligible for a free wireless router that will earn you cash from the minute you plug it in. By installing your FON router, you let others share your broadband for a daily fee. A savvy patron of Starbucks need only pay $2 a day for your WiFi. They'd have to be a grande drip to pay the $10 Starbucks charges.

Of that $2, you get half.  I'd imagine that could really add up.  Plus, if you're concerned about privacy or speed, the people at FON say your router has two settings, walling you off from the coffee-drinking elite.

What a country.

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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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