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Weekend Links: Who Said It, James Joyce or Kool Keith?

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From my friend Marcela, 12 things you probably didn't know about Home Alone. As Marcela added, "I love that this is where conspiracy theorists and fans of Home Alone converged."
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If all of the zombie-centric entertainment lately has you a little bit legitimately scared of attack, you can now plot your escape (and how helpful your neighborhood will be) with the Ultimate Zombie Survival Map. I actually live down the street from the CDC and several hospitals, so I'm not sure if I would just die right away or be saved instantly ... it's a crap shoot!
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Behold and beware, ye explorers of internet arcana - the Ten Internet Plagues!
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it - a deep facet of human nature revealed: even in the 1870s, humans were obsessed with ridiculous photos of cats.
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Who Said It: Irish novelist James Joyce or surrealist rapper Kool Keith? I got a 6/10 by clicking randomly (my friend Ted who found the link says it helps to say it out loud).
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Need some new inspiration for your doodles? Here's how to make an easy optical design (the shading would be the hardest part, but I think it would look cool whether you went all the way with it or just scratched it in lightly with pen).
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Occasionally there's a link that I come across that just makes me go "…ok?" yet I spend way too much time with it. This is one of those: you can be a spider! (you can also jump by clicking the mouse. Hold it down an extra second to jump higher).
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The Future is Now: From Kristen, "As pay phones are going the way of the dinosaurs, New York City has come up with a new use for their booths- they will now be "smart screen" booths that will have general information about the area where they are located. There will be a trial set of 32 around town starting next month, so mental_flossers in NYC should be on the lookout!" If you see one report back!
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime, send your finds and favorites to FlossyLinks@gmail.com.

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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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