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Help eradicate hunger, win prizes!

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Everyone knows that hunger is a big problem world-wide. But did you know right here in the U.S. we've got our own serious problem? That's why Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore made this video (with the help of non-celebs around the country), and why Mike Myers, Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Edge and a bunch of other famous folk made this vid.

Here in Los Angeles, the hunger capital of the country, 1 in 8 people are what we call food insecure. By my way of thinking, in a country with a network and infrastructure to feed everyone, that's just Fail with a capital F.

To do something about the growing problem, many organizations have teamed up under the banner Fed Up With Hunger, and are trying to spread awareness to stop the hunger.

I'm involved directly, making videos, like this one at an event where we screened Ghostbusters in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (admission was 5 cans of food and we raised close to 5,000 pounds), and others you'll find on the FedUpWithHunger.org Web site, which I produced.

So what can YOU do to help fight hunger?

Forward the video on the site's homepage to as many people as you can, to help educate people to the problem.

new-ipod-nano-video-1What do you get, besides satisfaction that you're doing your part? Well, everyone who forwards the video will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a free iPod Nano (did you know they now shoot video?). But there's more: the three hunger-fighters who forward the video to the most people (only legit e-mails please!), will all win autographed copies of my novel, Behind Everyman.

How do you get started? Simple: go to FedUpWithHunger.org and watch the homepage vid. You'll see an option to forward it to your friends. The Web site tracks all the results, so be sure to enter your real e-mail address, or at least one where we can contact you if you win.

Bragging rights to the first person who can recognize the band and the song used in the video. Drop the answer in the comments below, if you know. Meantime, please post this to your FB/Twitter, etc. and help us get the word out!

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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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