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Morning Cup of Links: Robot Love

The Best Literary Quotes Ever Tattooed. They must really have a deep meaning, at least for the one person who decided to keep each one forever.
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17 Uncomfortable Moments Under The Mistletoe. The holiday spirit is not always mutual.
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Kevin Matuszak's online request for a job at Applebee's has blossomed into a full-fledged viral campaign. So far, Applebee's is playing along, but will they hire him?
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Seeds hold the power of life inside them, but they are usually overlooked and underestimated. See some fascinating images from the book Seeds: Time Capsules of Life.
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Google has pledged up to $5 million to help the World Wildlife Fund track and bust rhino poachers. The plan involves unmanned drones, which seems like a good use for them.
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The Oregon Zoo fell into hot water when the public found out that the zoo's elephant gave birth to a baby who contractually belongs to a traveling elephant show. The show may never claim her, but animal rights activists don't want to take any chances.
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How to make a baby in seven simple steps. Not for impressionable youngsters who might try this themselves.
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Is it possible to fall in love with a robot? Roboticists and sociologists alike are considering the implications of how attached we have already become to our mechanical friends.
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A Surprisingly Long List of People Who’ve Attempted Suicide. There is always hope, as these many celebrities proved after they tried to end it all.

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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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