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Morning Cup of Links: Time Travel Rules

How an economics reporter for the New York Times became a typical victim of the mortgage crisis. Should the lesson be: a) it could have happened to anyone, or b) don't take financial advice from newspapers?
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5 Pieces of Junk That Turned Out to be Invaluable Artifacts. Excuse me now, I feel the need to go clean out my attic.
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25 logos with hidden messages. Some are well-known, but others will make you wonder how you ever missed it.
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Caption your LOLcats in Cyrillic letters at this Russian site. Or see them in Engish (with no consideration for actual translation) at Яolcats. (Thanks, Bairman!)
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Rules for Time Travelers. Real-world facts may lead to amazing breakthroughs, but they tend to take the fun out of changing history.
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Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a bird house? This ad has a glimpse into the private life of our feathered friends.
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5 Cases of Unwanted TV Fame. Some actors land a career-making role, only to spend the rest of their lives complaining about it.

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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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