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How Did You Know? - {day 1}

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We're back with another 5-day trivia hunt, this time with a whole new format, and new prizes, so read on!

The new, updated rules: Every remaining day this week, I'll be presenting a specific challenge. Your job: come up with the answers and hold onto them! Why? Because on Monday, next week, you'll need them to solve a short puzzle. The first person to email in the correct answers and successfully show how you arrived at them (thus the title: How Did You Know?) wins a choice of any TWO t-shirts and book from our store. We're also doing something new from now on: in addition to the above, we'll be awarding a t-shirt to one random winner who has all the correct answers. So even if you're not the first one with the right answers, there's still a chance to wind up a winner on HDYK?

And remember, we're also giving away a really big, sa-weeet prize to any winning contestant who can defend the title three months in a row. Avery Dale, Ken Laskowski, Colin Utley, and Hayley Wells are our current champions and they're going for the trifecta this month. So let's see if someone can knock them out before they claim the big, mysterious trophy. (no, it's not a can of silly puddy, but good guess.) You can read about them here.

As with previous How Did You Know? posts, comments have been turned off, but I definitely encourage you to work in teams like our present champions did. Write your friends, send around each daily challenge, conspire, work together, whatever it takes to make sure you're armed with the right answers going into next Monday's puzzle.

Today we're playing Name That Writer, camouflage style. On the next page you'll find 5 hidden names, each the name of a well-known author or poet. Your job is to unearth the writers camouflaged by the other letters/words. Remember: the letters of each answer are in order from left to right. You just need to clear away the unneeded letters in the row in order to see the correct words. Be sure to use the clues provided under the puzzle to help you solve it.

See you back for your second challenge tomorrow...

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Clues:

1. German Nobel Prize winner has something in common with Upton Sinclair

2. That which is lost, can be regained

3. Was the Pulitzer Prize fixed in the "˜60s?

4. Best-selling author has a thing for HH, but not the Haze woman's

5. A Canterbury Tale is said to have made an impact on this author

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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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