CLOSE
Original image

Red Panda Love

Original image

A red panda named Chewbacca has arrived at the Denver Zoo to mate with their female red panda, Daisy. Which is a fine excuse for an album of cute red panda photographs.
*
A French church named Chapelle de Bathléem was remodeled in the 1990s. Now its stone gargoyles are recognizable science fiction movie characters!
*
The Love Stories of 10 Intellectual Power Couples. Great minds often feed off each other in order to build upon each other.
*
The 35 Dumbest Things Ever Said On The Internet. Sure, some are intentional, but you'll start to feel your own brain cells dying as you go along.
*
Examining the Implications of the Notorious Word "Bitch." Outside of dog breeding, there's no way to use it without hurting or at least offending someone.
*
What if you could attend meetings by Skype and still shake hands as if you were there? Remote-control robot avatars called BEAMING can stand in for you, while you sit around in your pajamas elsewhere.
*
Barbados with its sugar plantations was England's first slave colony. A new book details how the hierarchical system developed on the island spread through the southern states and set a course for American history. 
*
Watch the first clip of Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs, in which he seems to do all right. What's really notable is how the movie appears to get Steve Wozniak all wrong.  

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
Original image
iStock

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.

Original image
iStock
arrow
science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
Original image
iStock

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.

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios