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14 Incredible Images from Smithsonian.com's Photo Contest

Every year, Smithsonian.com lets photographers all over the world submit their work to the annual photo contest. This year, there were more than 26,500 entries from 93 different countries. Ten photos were selected from each category (Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images, and Mobile) and now, it's up to the readers to pick their favorites. The voting is happening all month, so be sure to head over there and throw in your two cents. The winner of the readers' choice will win a $500 prize. Here are some of the finalists of the 12th annual photo contest.

A young girl with albinism enjoys the sights at the Ethnology Museum of Valencia. Taken at the Beneficencia (Ethnology Museum of Valencia), Valencia, Spain by Ana Yturralde.

A snake is caught on camera mid-meal. Taken at the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica by Nicolas Reusens.

The pagoda doubles as a playground for fledgling Buddhists. Taken at Hsinbyume Pagoda, Myanmar by Sergio Carbajo Rodriguez.

A grizzly bear takes a stroll. Taken at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska by Kevin Morgans.

A decorated teenager from Arbore tribe, named Onno. Taken in Ommo Valley, Ethiopia by Matjaz Krivic.

People come to watch the July 4th celebration on the bank of the Willamette River. Taken in Independence, Oregon by Anne Marcom.

One of the largest Christian cemeteries in Hong Kong. Taken in Hong Kong by Brian Yen.

Two boys enjoying a swim in the river. Taken in Thuong Tin, Hanoi, Vietnam by Viet Phuong Tran.

Children climbing minaret of the Grand Mosque in Bani. Taken in Bani, Burkina Faso by Matjaz Krivic.

A big-eyed snake perches on a plant. Taken at Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica by Alvaro Cubero Vega.

A girl peeks out the window of a train, while a woman sitting in front of her sleeps. Taken at Kayah State, Myanmar by Jorge Fernandez.

Barack Obama stands in the Oval Office of the White House while a painting of Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance in the second window. Taken in Washington, D.C. by Olivier Douliery.

A wave breaks onto the beach. Taken in New South Wales, Australia by Ray Collins.

Workers sew a green fishing net. Taken in Vinh Hy bay, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam by Pham Ty.

You can view the rest of the photos here

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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