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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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iStock
The Greatest Internet Recipe Comment of All Time
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iStock

The Story Behind the Greatest Internet Recipe Comment of All Time. It was about a brownie recipe, but it escalated quickly.

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Why Is America Losing Ground in the Contest to Grow the World’s Biggest Pumpkin? The largest of the season have been grown in Europe two out of the last three years.

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Sorry, Not Sorry: When Apologizing Makes Things Worse. Adding an apology to a rejection doesn't make you appear any better.

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Driving in Germany is Much Better than Driving in America. And, considering the size of Germany, there's a lot less of it.

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This Cosplayer Transforms Himself into Real Life Versions of Disney Heroes. Jonathan Stryker is a master at becoming a cartoon.

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How the Star Trek Punch Became the Worst Fight Move on TV. A Star Trek stunt coordinator explains why they continue to use the double-handed punch.

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23 College Secrets Your Professors Will Never Tell You. Unless you ask, which is one thing you should do.

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This Guide Will Help You Choose Your Apples Wisely. There's one for every taste and purpose.

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HBO
Game of Thrones Has Changed the Real World
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HBO

6 Ways Game of Thrones has Changed the Real World. Even those who don't watch it know the characters as cultural metaphors.

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The Only Thing Worse than Watching an Offensively Bad Comedy is Watching One You Supposedly Wrote. A.J. Via got a movie deal and lost all control of the finished product.

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To Fight Smallpox in the Spanish Colonies, King Charles IV Sent a Ship on a Vaccination Mission in 1803. The expedition included 22 orphans carrying the fresh vaccine in their bodies to keep it safe enough to last the voyage around the world.

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For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers. Once he was toilet-trained and could dress himself, he could become a real boy.

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What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It. A familiar term carries a lot of baggage, while a new term will encourage patients to just follow doctor's orders.

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Ben Stiller's Never-Ending Midlife Crisis. His new movie Brad's Status is the fourth that explores that theme.

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Sir Arthur and the Fairies. After a thorough but flawed investigation, the Sherlock Holmes author believed the Cottingley Fairies were real.

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