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Morning Cup of Links: Spider Porn

Nina Sandlin takes pictures of spider genitalia in her spare time. Her spider porn collection is becoming a priceless tool for identifying arachnid species. (via Metafilter)
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Living a prosperous modern life won't make you happy. In fact, there are facets of the modern world that make up a recipe for depression.
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A study says happy people live longer, but you know that correlation is not causation. It could be that older people are just happy that they aren't dead yet.
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Surprise! Your status updates or the comments you leave on Facebook might show up in a Google search. I hope you've written nothing that a future employer might find objectionable.
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Did you hear about the testicle tumor with a human face? The good news for the owner is that the tumor is benign, and the bad news is that the whole world has seen his testicle.
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A Beautiful Letter From An American Lieutenant To His 3-Year Old Son On V-E Day. Bonus: it was jotted down on Hitler's personal stationery.
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9 types of drivers that piss everyone off. Put them together and make up everyone on the road: idiots, maniacs, and you.
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Petman: A 'Terminator-esque' humanoid robot. Developed to test military protective gear, it moves in a more human manner than any robot seen before.
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The Secret Life of the Banjo. With a bonus number by Kermit the Frog.

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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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