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Coding with Bill

Getty Images
Getty Images

In honor of Computer Science Education Week, Code.org is featuring videos from the tech industry’s leading lights – Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and representatives from Apple, Amazon, Yahoo, and more—teaching absolute beginners the basics of coding. With some tutorials as short as an hour, it can’t hurt to give it a try.

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In case you missed it, Beyoncé surprised her fans by releasing her latest album this week with no prior notice—happy holidays, Sasha Fierce fans.

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Ian McKellen (otherwise known as Gandalf), another celebrity with an apparent fondness for surprises, showed up unannounced to a midnight screening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He wished the theatergoers “a wonderful time.”

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The most-read books of the past 50 years tend, not surprisingly, to skew towards the twentieth-century.

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Amateur photographer Paul Williams got quite a view when his London-to-New-York flight happened to cross paths with a spectacularly vibrant aurora in the sky. He shot a series of photos and compiled them into a time-lapse video, which can be viewed from the comfort of your own home with plenty of legroom.

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Given a large enough sheet of paper, Swiss artist Sipho Mabona is convinced he can fold a life-size origami elephant out of it. Sounds ambitious, to say the least.

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The mall car-chase scene from The Blues Brothers recreated in Lego form is just as fun to watch as the original – in fact, maybe even more so.

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“Yesterday was Friday,” indeed: proving that not all viral video fame goes to your head, Rebecca Black of earworm-y “Friday” music video infamy has released a tongue-in-cheek follow-up, appropriately entitled “Saturday.” The self-aware send-up of her earlier song is surprisingly catchy.

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The Secret Underground Life of Newborn Meerkat Pups
iStock
iStock

The Secret Underground Life of Newborn Meerkat Pups. Nature photographers fitted a meerkat with a camera to get a look inside.

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America’s Secret Ice Base Won’t Stay Frozen Forever. When the glacier hiding it is gone, environmental hazards will be exposed.

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All 11 Versions of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Ranked. With each described in excruciating detail.

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How Tennessee Became the Final Battleground in the Fight for Suffrage. The process was much dirtier than we ever learned in school.

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A Remix in Tribute to Han Solo. He had a lot of great lines over four films, so Eclectic Method gave them rhythm and rhyme.

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Ishmael Beah tells what it was like to go from child soldier in Sierra Leone to high school student in New York. His classmates couldn't figure out why he was so good at paintball.

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A Brief History of Credit Cards. They aren't as old as you might have thought.

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10 Allegedly Cursed Objects. Just keep telling yourself that all the bad things that happened around them could be coincidence.

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BOB GALBRAITH, AFP/Getty Images
How Four Undergrads Got the Scoop on the Unabomber
BOB GALBRAITH, AFP/Getty Images
BOB GALBRAITH, AFP/Getty Images

How Four Undergrads Got the Scoop on the Unabomber. When news outlets couldn't get to Montana in time, J-school volunteers went into action.

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Kottabos, the Ancient Greek Drinking Game. The skill involved was flinging wine from one's own cup at a target.

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An Acid Trip with Groucho Marx. Yeah, he did LSD. At age 77.

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How Creedence Clearwater Revival Became the Soundtrack to Every Vietnam War Movie. It's not only because those songs take you to that specific era.

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Owen KC Stephens tells a wonderful story about the time an elderly British couple wanted to learn how to play a Star Wars role-playing game. They didn't know what a role-playing game was, but they knew what they were doing.

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These Freaky Fish Can Turn Their Eyes Into Flashlights. The triplefin is tiny, but controls its own super power.

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Unauthorized Dwelling at Yale. Student Allan Kornfeld couldn't afford the dorm charges, so he lived in a campus ventilation shaft for his senior year.

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The Resistance Group That Battled Hitler With Words. The students who worked under the name White Rose paid dearly for their efforts.

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