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AV Club

Behind the Scenes with Smaug the Dragon

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AV Club

Benedict Cumberbatch didn't just voice The Hobbit's fearsome dragon Smaug; he also did some motion-capture work – and got REALLY into it.

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Time's Instagram Photographer of the Year is no amateur snapper. David Guttenfelder, a professional Associated Press photo correspondent in Asia, has unique access to everyday scenes in North Korea that are both fascinating and well composed—no filters needed.

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Every year, the long list of Oscar contenders includes a handful of movies claiming to be “based on a true story.” How truthful are they this year?

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Cartoonist Mike Holmes may be best known for his work on the children’s TV series Adventure Time, but his “Mikenesses” collection of charming self-portraits (with his cat!) shows that he can also cop the styles of over 100 different artists with aplomb.

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Rivendell may not be real, but the Lego brick recreation (consisting of over 200,000 individual pieces) is too big to deny.

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Earth’s Moon is 4.527 billion years old, but not until 1840 did anyone manage to capture it on film.

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Don’t believe your eyes: no matter what they tell you, this optical illusion really isn’t moving.

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Dennis Rowe / Stringer / Hulton Archive // Getty Images
Why Hospitals Started Displaying Babies Through Windows
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Dennis Rowe / Stringer / Hulton Archive // Getty Images

Why Hospitals Started Displaying Newborn Babies Through Windows. And why we don't want the custom to die out.

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When London Bridge Moved … to Arizona? The entire stone bridge was dismantled, shipped, and rebuilt in the American desert.

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The Tom and Jerry Story. Almost 80 years later, we still enjoy the cat-and-mouse game.

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11 Geographic Markers That Are Totally Inaccurate. It could be a mistake, a matter of convenience, or the shifting earth.

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5 Sequels That Introduce Huge Plot Holes To The Originals. You'd think that someone somewhere would be in charge of making film franchises internally consistent from one movie to the next.

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Zero-G Blood and the Many Horrors of Space Surgery. We'll have to be ready for it if we're going to Mars.

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Meet the Man Who Has Lived Alone on This Island for 28 Years. In 1989, Mauro Morandi's catamaran drifted onto Budelli Island in the Mediterranean Sea, and he never left.

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14 Huge Facts About Elephant Seals. They stand out even among weird marine animals.

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iStock
Peanuts Aren't Nuts
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iStock

Why aren't peanuts classified as nuts? Turns out, they're closer to green beans than you think. Peanuts are biologically legumes.

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What This Company Is Offering Employees Is Raising a Privacy Debate. Would you let your company implant a chip in your hand?

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Your Roomba is Spying on You. The devices have been gathering information about your home, and that data could be more valuable to Roomba maker iRobot Corp than the sales of its vacuum cleaner.

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The Legend of The Fatal Sisters: Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau put a curse on plantation owner De Coucy, swearing his bloodline would die out, but he ignored it.

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Are Helicopter Parents Ruining Summer Camp? Kids don't mind giving up their cell phones for the week, but it really bothers parents.

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He Thought Butternut Squash was Cheese: Funny observation of the daily struggles of customer service employees and the fact that the customer is not always right.

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Why you should vacation somewhere new, unexpected, and totally out of your comfort zone.

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15 Monumental Facts About the Lincoln Memorial. One tidbit: The project took a long and winding road from idea to finished structure.

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