CLOSE
AV Club
AV Club

Behind the Scenes with Smaug the Dragon

AV Club
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.

*

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.

*

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?

*

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.

*

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

*

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

*

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

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Scientists Are Pushing For a Ban on Killer Robots
iStock
iStock

A Growing Movement of Scientists is Pushing for a Ban on Killer Robots. Separating human judgment from war is a recipe for disaster.

*

17 Homes You’ve Seen On TV And What They Look Like Off-Screen. Not shown: the tourists who stop and take pictures.

*

The Curious Case of the Law of the Tongue. When orcas help you hunt whales, it's only right to share the meat with them.

*

The Hunt for Mexico’s Heirloom Beans. A return to rare and exotic bean varieties has made the humble legume cool.

*

Why Restaurants Became So Loud—And How to Fight Back. An ambience designed for "buzz" and "energy" can damage your hearing.

*

Should America Go Cash-Free? Digital money is convenient, but total reliance on banks comes with costs.

*

10 Out-of-This-World Facts About Plan 9 From Outer Space. What made it a bad movie also made it a lot of fun.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Superman at 80: The Real Values of the Man of Steel
iStock
iStock

Superman at 80: The Real Values of the Man of Steel. Action Comics #1000 celebrates the anniversary by reminding us of what the superhero is all about.

*

North Carolina’s Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum. Detour your next road trip to enjoy this whimsical attraction.

*

The Rise and Fall of the Hormel Girls, Who Sold America on SPAM. The drum and bugle corps made the act of eating canned meat feel patriotic.

*

O Moldy Night: A Celebration of Molded Food. Outstanding dishes at an event in North Carolina ranged from the sublime to the disgusting.

*

What It's Like To Be Latino In the U.S. The hyphen makes life difficult on both sides.

*

A Real-life Lord of the Flies: the Troubling Legacy of the Robbers Cave Experiment. Muzafer Sherif manipulated boys at summer camp to hate each other in the 1950s, but they only learned the truth as elderly men.

*

Ten Superstitions of Writers and Artists. They must have worked, since all these people became famous.

*

On Pins and Needles: 11 Famous Knitters. The hobby never completely goes out of style.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios