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10 Earth Day Celebrations Around the World

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Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day, celebrated since 1970 to raise awareness of global environmental issues and activism. Events and celebrations, coordinated by the Earth Day Network, are held around the world.

1. SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL GOOD POP-UP // NEW YORK CITY

More than 70 organizations come together for Earth Day in New York City, and one event sponsored by the Earth Day Initiative and Kargoe (a social shopping app) is a pop-up shop of sorts featuring companies and groups that support sustainability and social responsibility. The event will be held near Chelsea Piers from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m on Saturday.

2. EARTH DAY UNITED // COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Earth Day United via Facebook

Earth Day United will be held at Christiansborg Castle Square in Copenhagen on April 22. It will begin with an address by organizer Angajoq Nattortalissuaq (a Greenlandic shaman), and then a circle will be formed for sessions of drum-playing, aimed at all four corners of the world. Participation is free; bring your own drum or other musical instruments. There will be 15 minutes of drumming every half-hour for two hours, then the group is invited to join the March for Science.

3. EMPOWER EARTH DAY CELEBRATION // LONDON

There are at least seven bands scheduled to perform at The Hive in London for an Earth Day celebration sponsored by the Gaia Warriors, a collective of activists and musicians. The event will raise funds for British charities and groups fighting climate change and will feature environmental speakers, dance, yoga, shamans, a vegan cafe, and more.

4. EARTH DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL // VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Mark Faviell via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The 7th annual Earth Day Parade and Festival will take place in Vancouver on April 22 beginning at 1 p.m. A parade starts things off, with the festival, which includes various educational talks and activities, continuing at Grandview Park until 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Youth for Climate Justice Now.

5. GLOBAL UNITY AND REGENERATION GATHERING // LANJARON, SPAIN

New Earth Nation in Lanjarón, Granada, Spain, will hold a 24-hour Global Unity and Regeneration Gathering with presentations and workshops on environmentalism, healing, and awakening. Stop by to learn how to cultivate spirulina pools or make a self-regenerating water system for use at home.

6. EARTH DAY TOKYO // TOKYO, JAPAN

In Tokyo, Earth Day is a two-day celebration, this year on April 22 and 23 in Yoyogi Park. Around 100,000 visitors are expected to enjoy family activities and learn about businesses that use sustainable methods and materials and organizations that promote environmental protection. There will also be plenty of vegetarian food and music from socially conscious entertainers. Admission is free.

7. NURRAGINGY RESERVE NATURE WALKS // SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Nurragingy Reserve is a public park in Doonside, New South Wales, near Sydney. For Earth Day, the park has a full slate of activities, including four different nature walks with experts, storytelling, a recycled bike giveaway, and talks on attracting frogs and birds to your home garden.

8. EARTH DAY SAN FRANCISCO // SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

San Francisco will stage their street festival for Earth Day at the San Francisco Civic center. Events include the sustainable chef showcase and organic food court, an eco fashion show, DIY workshops, activities for kids, an art gallery, and lots of live music. This will be the 46th year the city has held an Earth Day Festival and is being held in conjunction with this year's March for Science.

9. EARTH EXPO // JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Earth Expo via Facebook

South Africa is among the countries that call April 22 International Mother Earth Day. The Rand Show is the biggest consumer exposition in South Africa, held this year from April 14-23 in Johannesburg, and a big part of the exposition is Earth Expo, which is sponsored by several environmental organizations. Earth Expo will present educational forums on topics like nutrition, fashion, and technology, and discuss entrepreneurship and developing skills with those who want to make their businesses more sustainable.

10. THE MARCH FOR SCIENCE // UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE

There will be Earth Day celebrations all over the United States, but the one you'll see on the news will be the March for Science In Washington, D.C., with satellite marches in at least 425 other locations around the world. Scientists, science students, and science fans will converge to advocate for evidence-based government policies and environmental protection. The march is sponsored by 170 partner organizations, including the Earth Day Network. Many European countries are participating, too.

Other Earth Day celebrations will be taking place around the U.S., in Austin, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Reno, and somewhere near you.

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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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