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Weekend Links: The Most Easily Scared Man in the World

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This is the Most Easily Scared Man in the World. He has such a positive attitude about it! I usually don't like pranks but he's just so funny, and he clearly loves being in on the joke.
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Pop culture sigils: elements from other fandoms get the "Game of Thrones" treatment. Which one would you pledge fealty to?
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The best sports infographs of the year. I will just be here looking at these through 2013, fantastic stuff.
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20 great photos from the 1930s, including Einstein with an Einstein puppet. #meta
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Very nice: 30 fun Indie-Artist covers of pop tunes. Nice twist on some old faves (I especially like it when the cover's genre is so different from the original).
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A very cozy looking tree tent. I love this idea, yet I'm not sure I totally trust it (or myself) to get it to work properly...
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Colin linked to this the other day but it's worth another look! The 21 most breathtaking images of the universe of 2012.
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It exists for its own sake: cat bounce. Fun with physics! Also be sure to click on the "make it rain" option with that appears, along with the googly eyes.
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Check out these 7 famous apartments you can actually buy/rent (or more accurately, not afford. It also reinforces the old trope of TV characters living in impossibly amazing apartments given their income!)
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime, send your Flossy finds 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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