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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.

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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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Welcome to the Year of the Dog
iStock
iStock

Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Dog.

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The Evolution of Marvel’s Black Panther. Introduced in 1966, the character hits the big screen this weekend.

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The Very Real History of Death Stars. Germany, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. have all drawn up plans for weaponized satellites.

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The Karate Kid gets a modern makeover with Cobra Kai. Daniel and Johnny will revive their unresolved conflicts as older adults in the YouTube Red series.

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How the “Heart Balm Racket” Convinced America That Women Were Up to No Good. Sensational cases of gold diggers meant the end of breach of promise lawsuits.

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What Europe's Oldest Wine Tells Us About Ancient Sicilians. Samples hidden in a cave thousands of years ago hold clues to their everyday lives.

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15 of the World's Most Stunning Winter Destinations. You still have time to book a trip before the tourist season starts.

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10 Weird Facts About Lobsters
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iStock

10 Weird Facts About Lobsters. If they were designed as movie aliens, they would be too implausible.

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Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Ton Steel Ball. Get out of the way when it's dropped in the name of science!

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Jerry Lewis in The Bellboy. It wasn't a typical Jerry Lewis movie, but it worked.

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The Incinerator House. Artist Ron Fleming turned an abandoned industrial structure into a home and a work of art.

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Why Adam Rippon Didn’t Win. He finished behind two competitors who fell because of the complicated math of figure skating.

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Was Young Luke Skywalker a Selfless Hero or a Freeloader? Luke took advantage of the Rebel Alliance in using an X-wing or two as his personal vehicle, but a commenter refutes that argument in style.

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15 'Trials of the Century' and the Media Frenzies That Accompanied Them. Because true crime is more fascinating than fiction.

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