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.

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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
How Jupiter May Have Gifted Early Earth With Water
iStock
iStock

How Jupiter May Have Gifted Early Earth With Water. Young gas giants throw debris toward inward planets, including hydrogen-rich materials.

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Brazil's Geography Problem. It's a big country with lots of people, so why isn't it a world power?

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The Science of Hearing. Our ability to detect and interpret sounds is due to an amazing and complicated biological system.

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Lucasfilm Might be Putting Future Star Wars Spinoffs on Hold. Solo's disappointing box office was a surprise glitch in the moneymaking machine.

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Why Women Say Nothing Is Wrong When Something Is Clearly Wrong. She has plenty of reasons not to share it with you right now.

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How to Decorate Like a Viking. Archaeologists have built a palette of the paint colors used on Viking homes and buildings.

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The Breastfeeding Zealots of the Neonatal Ward. Maternal lactation is pushed to the point of shaming mothers with hungry babies.

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9 Amazing Tiki Bars. A visit will cool you off even on the hottest day.

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Sneaky Ways Restaurants Are Hacking Your Brain
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iStock

Sneaky Ways Restaurants Are Hacking Your Brain. Check out 25 subtle tricks that make you spend more.

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Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border. A list of resources and organizations that need your skills, time, or money.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Summer Solstice. While the days will only get shorter from here, temperatures will still go up.

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The Forgotten Chefs Who Made Chili Con Carne a Tex-Mex Standard. Women running their own businesses gave us an entirely new cuisine.

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You Would Never Expect Killer Whales to Appear Here. Arctic Ocean prey that once fed polar bears is fair game for orcas.

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Brooklyn's Defunct Domino Sugar Plant Opens as Domino Park. Pictures show how an old factory can become a community park and still retain its history.

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First Impressions. Tom Comitta took the first sentence from 268 New Yorker short stories, sorted them, and combined them into one surprisingly cohesive tale.

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The Original Locations of 15 Famous Chain Stores. There might be one near you!

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