CLOSE
Getty Images
Getty Images

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.

*

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.

*

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.”

*

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

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

“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.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Oscilloscope Laboratories
Every Christmas Horror Movie, Ranked
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Oscilloscope Laboratories

Every Christmas Horror Movie, Ranked. There are 79 to choose from, with critiques.

*

Academic Publishing is Headed for a Day of Reckoning. When you must pay to publish and then pay to read, how can we afford to learn science?

*

12 Bizarre Inspirations Behind Star Wars Movie Characters. The creators have been asked time and time again where they got their ideas, and the answers range from goofy (literally) to sublime.

*

The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone. It's become an arms race for unnecessary job credentials.

*

2017 is the Year that Computers Became Phones. The way people use technology is driving the design of the modern desktop and laptop.

*

15 Things You Might Not Know About Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. The mathematical sketch was a personal note that became one of the artist's most famous works.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
10 Holiday Controversies
iStock
iStock

10 Holiday Controversies. What were once personal choices are now public arguments about how it should be done.

*

How Zarafa, France’s First Giraffe, Became a Cultural Sensation. Artists across the country wanted to draw or paint her.

*

The 6 Big Superhero Movies Of 2017, Ranked From Worst To Best. It's hard to disagree with such a short list, but some fans will.

*

When They Tried to Collect on a Nonexistent Debt, This Man Fought Back. Andrew Therrien took the harassment personally, and set out to find out who was behind it.

*

Competitive creative dog grooming is an activity that makes dogs into an art medium. The documentary short Well Groomed follows two creative dog groomers through the biggest such contest at Groom Expo.

*

Ada Blackjack, the Forgotten Sole Survivor of an Odd Arctic Expedition. She didn't know how to shoot or trap, but she had to make it back to her young son.

*

The American Savings Crisis, Explained. Even if we could build savings in this economy, it wouldn't be worth the effort.

*

12 Heroic U.S. Military Chaplains. They didn't want to kill, but served by their own sacrifice.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios