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Use this Infographic to Build Your Own Iron Throne

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Want to build your very own Iron Throne? Then set aside a lot of time. According to professional swordsmith Jake Powning, forging the 1000 swords that make up Westeros' Iron Throne could take around 700,000 hours—or about 80 years—using modern-day welding techniques. The infographic below shows how it might be done.

The first step is getting the right tools. Powning—who forges original swords as well as period replicas—says that plenty of a variety of welding equipment and forging tools would be needed to make all of those swords.

Giving yourself time to use the equipment—and not being afraid to make mistakes—are also a key part of the process. “There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you’re undertaking the many steps that add up to making a sword," Powning says. "Each time a blade breaks from being too hard or a casting fails, losing weeks of work, or you crack the beautiful grip you spent a month carving, it’s a chance to learn, but it’s okay to cry a little before you go on.”

The Targaryens used a dragon to weld the swords together in the shape of a throne, but you'll have to make do with more realistic equipment. “Welding the throne together would be a job in itself,” Powning says. “But once you had the swords, a good architectural blacksmith with a few assistants, a forge and a MIG welder could assemble a throne in a few hundred hours’ work.”

The new season of Game of Thrones starts April 6. You probably won't be able to catch this particular season from your very own Iron Throne, but you might finish in enough time to read the next book in the series.

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Why Book a Hotel Room in Belize When You Can Rent This Entire Island for Less Than $500?
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Want to live like Robinson Crusoe without forsaking toilets, electricity, and Wi-Fi? As Tasting Table reports, an Airbnb listing for a tiny private island in Belize can make your castaway-in-comfort dreams a reality.

Called Bird Island, the tiny atoll sits off the coast of Placencia, a quiet Caribbean fishing village-turned-beach resort. Parties of up to six people can rent the entire thing for $495 per night, with a minimum stay of four days.

Instead of a thatched-roof bungalow, guests stay in a two-bedroom house with a separate cabana featuring a double bed. You won’t be entirely off-the-grid—there’s Internet, a phone, and a kitchen stocked with basic cooking necessities—but you will need to bring your own food, plus fishing and snorkeling equipment if you plan to take advantage of the coral reef that surrounds the island.

Fantasizing about getting away from it all? Visit Airbnb to book your stay, and check out the photos below.

[h/t Tasting Table]

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Food
10 Frank Facts About Hot Dogs
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Americans love a good hot dog—so much so that, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, we consume about 20 billion of them a year, which works out to about 70 hot dogs per person. In celebration of National Hot Dog Day, here are some facts about franks to enjoy during your own summer barbecues.

1. THEY HAVE A SURPRISINGLY CONTENTIOUS ORIGIN.

Sausages have a history that stretches back to at least the time of Homer’s Odyssey, but the origin of the hot dog is just as tricky to pin down. There are multiple claimants to the invention of the hot dog, each with a slightly different innovation. Was the hot dog invented by the first person to shorten the name of German dachshund sausages to “hot dogs,” or the first person to put a sausage in a bread roll, or the first person to create a dedicated bun for holding a sausage? All of these creators have laid claim to the title of Hot Dog Inventor, but none have been conclusively verified.

2. THEY MIGHT BE SANDWICHES.

Hot dogs are tricky to define in another way as well, and both the general public and official organizations seem to have very strong opinions on whether hot dogs fall into the category of sandwiches or not. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says hot dogs are their own entities, but Merriam-Webster supports calling a hot dog a sandwich, based on the fact that it is just a piece of split bread with a filling.

3. LOS ANGELES CONSUMES THE MOST HOT DOGS PER YEAR.

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While you might expect Midwestern grill-masters to buy up the most hot dogs, the actual top consumers are Los Angelenos, who purchase 34 million pounds of franks a year. And Californians also top the per capita rankings: as of 2010, San Francisco consumed the most hot dogs per person per year.

4. REGIONAL STYLES REALLY ADD A PUNCH TO THE BASIC SAUSAGE.

Chicago is famous for dogs with onion, relish, pepper, pickle, tomato, mustard, and celery salt, but Coney Island-style hot dogs with chili, cheese, mustard, and onions are popular in their eponymous region and in Michigan. The South prefers slaw and chili on its hot dogs, while wrapping them in bacon and deep frying are popular in other regions.

5. JAPAN HAS INVENTED SOME COLORFUL HOT DOGS.

The Japanese also love their original hot dog varieties, and black hot dogs took over the Tokyo market in 2013. The bun and sausage are dyed with black charcoal ash, which apparently makes no difference in the flavor.

6. THEY HAVE A LONG HISTORY WITH BASEBALL.

Sausages have been served at baseball games since at least the 1890s. One story says that they were first served at the ballpark by the German who owned the St. Louis Browns, while another story claims an ice cream vendor decided to switch his product on a particularly cold day at the ballpark. Either way, they're still going strong after more than 120 years.

7. THEY HEADLINE THE MOST FAMOUS EATING COMPETITION.

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While legend has it that the first hot dog eating contest was held in 1916 to settle a casual bet—over who was the most patriotic, no less—the first recorded contest was in 1972. In that event, the winner ate 14 hot dogs in 12 minutes. In 2017, competitive eating legend and now 10-time Nathan's champion Joey Chestnut set a new event record, polishing off 72 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes. 

8. THEY’VE BEEN FED TO ROYALTY.

In 1939, the King and Queen of Great Britain visited Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York. In true American spirit, the First Lady made sure to serve hot dogs during a picnic at their Hudson River property. Apparently, King George VI enjoyed them so much that he asked for seconds.

9. THEY MADE A SILENT FILM STAR FAMOUS.

To drum up business, the newly minted Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant at Coney Island hired a pretty redhead to serve its customers. Soon after, she was discovered by a vacationing talent scout, and became internationally famous as the silent film era's "It Girl," Clara Bow.

10. THERE IS OFFICIAL HOT DOG ETIQUETTE.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council put out this video on the correct way to eat a hot dog. The whole video is worth a watch, but some highlights include: no ketchup over the age of 18, no wine pairings, no utensils, and it should only take five bites to consume the entire hot dog (though you can take seven bites for a footlong). It might not be proper Emily Post material, but how can you argue with the "Queen of Wien"?

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