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The Late Movies: Quidditch

Quidditch, the magical game played by Harry Potter and company in J.K. Rowling's books, has been all over the news lately, from regional newspapers like the Baltimore Sun and the Miami Herald to even bigger names like the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and NPR. We're delving into the craze and bringing you some of the best Quidditch videos to psych you up for this weekend's Quidditch World Cup in Central Park DeWitt Clinton Park and this month's theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Snatch the Snitch

The International Quidditch Association's promo for the 2010 Quidditch World Cup

How Much Do You Love Quidditch?

MTV's promos for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" featuring the Quidditch teams at Middlebury College, where the IQA and muggle Quidditch originated, and Emerson College

Quidditch for Muggles

Learn to play muggle Quidditch from CBS's Greg Gumbel and Dave Price with a match between Middlebury and Princeton

Harvard Quidditch Team

On Harvard Time, Harvard's comedy news source, presents a humorous introduction to life on an Ivy League Quidditch team

Dementors Attack

Dementors, "soul-sucking fiends," interrupt a match at the 2009 Quidditch World Cup

Quidditch Comes to New York

The Wall Street Journal features NYU student Sarah Landis, who started up her school's Quidditch team just this year

World Cup Condensed

A condensed, mostly action video of Chestnut Hill College's matches at the 2008 Quidditch World Cup
(Disclaimer: Chestnut Hill College is my alma mater)

For more information on Quidditch for muggles, visit the International Quidditch Association's web site.

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Carl Court, Getty Images
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Is There a Limit to How Many Balls You Can Juggle?
Carl Court, Getty Images
Carl Court, Getty Images

In 2017, a juggler named Alex Barron broke a record when he tossed 14 balls into the air and caught them each once. The feat is fascinating to watch, and it becomes even more impressive once you understand the physics behind it.

As WIRED explains in a new video, juggling any more than 14 balls at once may be physically impossible. Researchers who study the limits of juggling have found that the success of a performance relies on a number of different components. Speed, a.k.a. the juggler's capacity to move their hands in time to catch each ball as it lands, is a big one, but it's not the most important factor.

What really determines how many balls one person can juggle is their accuracy. An accurate juggler knows how to keep their balls from colliding in midair and make them land within arm's reach. If they can't pull that off, their act falls apart in seconds.

Breaking a juggling world record isn't the same as breaking a record for sprinting or shot put. With each new ball that's added to the routine, jugglers need to toss higher and move their hands faster, which means their throws need to be significantly more accurate than what's needed with just one ball fewer. And skill and hours of practice aren't always enough; according to expert jugglers, the current world records were likely made possible by a decent amount of luck.

For a closer look at the physics of juggling, check out the video below.

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Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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Sports
11 Timeless Yogi Berra Quotes
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Bowman Gum - Heritage Auctions, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The great Yogi Berra—a 10-time World Series champion and three-time MVP—was one of baseball's best catchers, but he's remembered just as much for his wit and wisdom as his Hall of Fame career. Here are some of the quotes attributed to Yogi (who was born on May 12, 1925), even if he didn't always say them first.

1. "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."

2. "The future ain't what it used to be." (Yogi later clarified, saying, "I just meant that times are different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.")

3. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

4. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

5. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (See Quote Investigator)

6. "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (See Quote Investigator)

7. "We have a good time together, even when we're not together."

8. "It's déjà vu all over again." (See Quote Investigator)

9. "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."

10. "I really didn't say everything I said."

11. "Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know."

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