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The Original Flavors of 9 Popular Candies

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Candy is quite the industry these days. Everything comes in a million different flavors, limited editions, special colors, promotional movie tie-ins"¦ it can be a bit overwhelming. But back when it was a fledgling industry, you would have been hard-pressed to find wacky watermelon sour fizzy coated taffy. In fact, some of our favorite candies were quite different than how we know them today.

1. Ever wonder how the 3 Musketeers bar got its name? No, the creator wasn't a big Dumas fan "“ it's because the bar was originally split into three pieces with three different flavors "“ vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. When vanilla and strawberry flavoring became hard to come by during WWII, Mars decided to go all chocolate. Studies had shown it was the preferred flavor of the three anyway. [Join our Facebook campaign to bring back the original 3 Musketeers!]

2. You can obviously get M&Ms in just about any color of the rainbow today, but when they were first introduced in 1941, fans had to make do with just red, brown, yellow, green and violet. And I guess "fans" isn't really a fair word "“ the first M&Ms were actually given to soldiers in their rations because the chocolate was a good energy source, and the candy-coated shell kept the chocolate from melting all over. They came in a cardboard tube.

3. The Milky Way has a tale similar to 3 Musketeers' multiple flavors. Back when it was the first commercially distributed filled candy bar in 1923, the Milky Way came in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The vanilla version came covered in dark chocolate. They were sold separately for several years, then sold as a two-piece candy bar just like 3 Musketeers was sold as a three-piece candy bar. By 1936, the chocolate and vanilla pieces would bid each other adieu forever. In a marketing move that I don't quite understand, the Mars company continued to sell the vanilla and dark chocolate version under a new name "“ the Forever Yours bar. It was rebranded again as the Milky Way Dark, and these days you'll find it on shelves under the name "Milky Way Midnight." The name, by the way, doesn't come from the galaxy as many people suspect. It comes from the fact that the bar was inspired by the flavor of a milkshake.

Image credit: Jason Liebig, CollectingCandy.com

4. Originally known as "Opal Fruits," Starbursts came in just four flavors when they were first introduced: orange, lemon, lime and strawberry. When branding switched to Starburst in 1967, lemon and lime were squished into one flavor so "blackcurrant" chews could be added to the mix.

5. Jelly Bellies are known for their ridiculous palette of flavors now "“ there are 50 "official" flavors, nine "rookie" flavors, five Cold Stone Creamery-inspired flavors, and lines that include soda flavors, sour beans, "sport" beans, Harry Potter's Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and "smoothie blends." That's not even including all of the tastes they have retired over the years. But when Jelly Belly first launched, there were just eight to choose from: Very Cherry, Tangerine, Lemon, Green Apple, Grape Jelly, Licorice, A&W Root Beer, and A&W Cream Soda.

6. Although Life Savers just came in Pep-O-Mint when they were introduced in 1913, a variety of flavors soon followed: Wint-O-Green, Cl-O-ve, Lic-O-Riche, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-let and Choc-O-Late. Malt-O-Milk showed up the following year and was a colossal flop. The familiar fruit flavors of today were developed in 1925: grape, orange, lemon and lime. Anise, Root Beer, Cola and Butter Rum came soon after but weren't as popular. Really? I'd buy Root Beer Life Savers. Yum. Cl-O-ve"¦ not so much.

7. PEZ actually gets its name from the first flavor it ever came in "“ Pfefferminz (that would be German for "peppermint.") They came in little cigarette lighter-like cases to conveniently dispense mints to smokers. It wasn't until the 1950s that PEZ decided to expand their market to kids, which is where the fruity flavors and fun dispensers came in. Santa, a robot, and a "Space Gun" were the first dispensers aimed at kids.

8. Tootsie Pops came in five basic flavors that I think are still the main ones today: Chocolate, Cherry, Orange, Grape and Raspberry. But according to Tootsie Roll Industries, there's a sixth flavor that alternates between Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry, and Banana. You can vote on a new, permanent sixth flavor (the voting mysteriously includes pomegranate, which is not listed as a flavor that is currently one of the alternate sixths) and suggest new flavors on the Tootsie site. I suggested Cream Soda.

9. As you might suspect, mint was the first Mentos flavor. Actually, it was a "peppermint flavored caramel candy" which doesn't sound too appetizing to me. That was way back in 1932 "“ consumers didn't get to experience cinnamon Mentos (in the U.S.) or fruit-flavored Mentos (in Europe) until 40 years later. You can find just about any flavor of Mentos now if you're looking in the right countries "“ in your travels across the globe you're likely to come across raisin, lemon yogurt, cola, grape "˜n' cream, black licorice and red orange (among many, many others).

Would you have preferred any of these originals to what we have today? I'm not sure I would (although I am intrigued by the original 3 Musketeeers), but I also think candy companies sometimes try a little too hard to come up with the next crazy thing. That being said, I am on the hunt for the new Pretzel M&Ms.

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10 Memorable Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes
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Neil deGrasse Tyson is America's preeminent badass astrophysicist. He's a passionate advocate for science, NASA, and education. He's also well-known for a little incident involving Pluto. And the man holds nearly 20 honorary doctorates (in addition to his real one). In honor of his 59th birthday, here are 10 of our favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes.

1. ON SCIENCE

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
—From Real Time with Bill Maher.

2. ON NASA FUNDING

"As a fraction of your tax dollar today, what is the total cost of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit, and missions yet to fly?' Answer: one-half of one percent of each tax dollar. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar." 
—From Space Chronicles

3. ON GOD AND HURRICANES

"Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes ... The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms."
—From Death by Black Hole

4. ON THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY INVENTED FOR USE IN SPACE

"Countless women are alive today because of ideas stimulated by a design flaw in the Hubble Space Telescope." (Editor's note: technology used to repair the Hubble Space Telescope's optical problems led to improved technology for breast cancer detection.)
—From Space Chronicles

5. ON THE DEMOTION OF PLUTO FROM PLANET STATUS 

PBS

"I knew Pluto was popular among elementary schoolkids, but I had no idea they would mobilize into a 'Save Pluto' campaign. I now have a drawer full of hate letters from hundreds of elementary schoolchildren (with supportive cover letters from their science teachers) pleading with me to reverse my stance on Pluto. The file includes a photograph of the entire third grade of a school posing on their front steps and holding up a banner proclaiming, 'Dr. Tyson—Pluto is a Planet!'"
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

6. ON JAMES CAMERON'S TITANIC

"In [Titanic], the stars above the ship bear no correspondence to any constellations in a real sky. Worse yet, while the heroine bobs ... we are treated to her view of this Hollywood sky—one where the stars on the right half of the scene trace the mirror image of the stars in the left half. How lazy can you get?"
—From Death by Black Hole

7. ON DEATH BY ASTEROID

"On Friday the 13th, April 2029, an asteroid large enough to fill the Rose Bowl as though it were an egg cup will fly so close to Earth that it will dip below the altitude of our communication satellites. We did not name this asteroid Bambi. Instead, we named it Apophis, after the Egyptian god of darkness and death."
—From Space Chronicles

8. ON THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND AMERICA'S MOONSHOT

"[L]et us not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we are pioneers, or discoverers, or adventurers. We went to the Moon because it was the militaristically expedient thing to do."
—From The Sky Is Not the Limit

9. ON INTELLIGENT LIFE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)

Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html
Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/neildegras615117.html

"Perhaps we've never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there's no sign of intelligent life."

10. PRACTICAL ADVICE IN THE EVENT OF ALIEN CONTACT 

A still from Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Universal Studios
"[I]f an alien lands on your front lawn and extends an appendage as a gesture of greeting, before you get friendly, toss it an eightball. If the appendage explodes, then the alien was probably made of antimatter. If not, then you can proceed to take it to your leader."
—From Death by Black Hole
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40 Fun Facts About Sesame Street
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Now in its 47th season, Sesame Street is one of television's most iconic programs—and it's not just for kids. We're big fans of the Street, and to prove it, here are some of our favorite Sesame facts from previous stories and our Amazing Fact Generator.

Sesame Workshop

1. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before season two.

2. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight.

3. During a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.

4. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

5. Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name—Aloysius

6. Ralph Nader stopped by in 1988 and sang "a consumer advocate is a person in your neighborhood."

7. Caroll Spinney said he based Oscar's voice on a cab driver from the Bronx who brought him to the audition.

8. In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit "Rubber Duckie."

9. One of Count von Count's lady friends is Countess von Backwards, who's also obsessed with counting but likes to do it backwards.

10. Sesame Street made its Afghanistan debut in 2011 with Baghch-e-Simsim (Sesame Garden). Big Bird, Grover and Elmo are involved.

11. According to Muppet Wiki, Oscar the Grouch and Count von Count were minimized on Baghch-e-Simsim "due to cultural taboos against trash and vampirism."

12. Before Giancarlo Esposito was Breaking Bad's super intense Gus Fring, he played Big Bird's camp counselor Mickey in 1982.

13. Thankfully, those episodes are available on YouTube.

14. How big is Big Bird? 8'2". (Pictured with First Lady Pat Nixon.)

15. In 2002, the South African version (Takalani Sesame) added an HIV-positive Muppet named Kami.

16. Six Republicans on the House Commerce Committee wrote a letter to PBS president Pat Mitchell warning that Kami was not appropriate for American children, and reminded Mitchell that their committee controlled PBS' funding.

17. Sesame Street's resident game show host Guy Smiley was using a pseudonym. His real name was Bernie Liederkrantz.

18. Bert and Ernie have been getting questioned about their sexuality for years. Ernie himself, as performed by Steve Whitmere, has weighed in: “All that stuff about me and Bert? It’s not true. We’re both very happy, but we’re not gay,”

19. A few years later, Bert (as performed by Eric Jacobson) answered the same question by saying, “No, no. In fact, sometimes we are not even friends; he can be a pain in the neck.”

20. In the first season, both Superman and Batman appeared in short cartoons produced by Filmation. In one clip, Batman told Bert and Ernie to stop arguing and take turns choosing what’s on TV.

21. In another segment, Superman battled a giant chimp.

22. Telly was originally "Television Monster," a TV-obsessed Muppet whose eyes whirled around as he watched.

23. According to Sesame Workshop, Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress.

24. He lobbied for more funding for music education, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play."

25. In the early 1990s, soon after Jim Henson’s passing, a rumor circulated that Ernie would be killed off in order to teach children about death, as they'd done with Mr. Hooper.

26. According to Snopes, the rumor may have spread thanks to New Hampshire college student, Michael Tabor, who convinced his graduating class to wear “Save Ernie” beanies and sign a petition to persuade Sesame Workshop to let Ernie live.

27. By the time Tabor was corrected, the newspapers had already picked up the story.

28. Sesame Street’s Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente joined Sesame Workshop as a production assistant and has worked her way to the top.

29. Originally, Count von Count was more sinister. He could hypnotize and stun people.

30. According to Sesame Workshop, all Sesame Street's main Muppets have four fingers except Cookie Monster, who has five.

31. The episode with Mr. Hooper's funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.

32. Mr. Hooper’s first name was Harold.

33. Big Bird sang "Bein' Green" at Jim Henson's memorial service.

34. As Chris Higgins put it, the performance was "devastating."

35. Oscar's Israeli counterpart is Moishe Oofnik, whose last name means “grouch” in Hebrew.

36. Nigeria's version of Cookie Monster eats yams. His catchphrase: "ME WANT YAM!"

37. Sesame's Roosevelt Franklin ran a school, where he spoke in scat and taught about Africa. Some parents hated him, so in 1975 he got the boot, only to inspire Gob Bluth’s racist puppet Franklin on Arrested Development 28 years later.

38. Our good friend and contributor Eddie Deezen was the voice of Donnie Dodo in the 1985 classic Follow That Bird.

39. Cookie Monster evolved from The Wheel-Stealer—a snack-pilfering puppet Jim Henson created to promote Wheels, Crowns and Flutes in the 1960s.

40. This puppet later was seen eating a computer in an IBM training film and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Thanks to Stacy Conradt, Joe Hennes, Drew Toal, and Chris Higgins for their previous Sesame coverage!

An earlier version of this article appeared in 2012.

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