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Enter an Essay Contest to Win a Historic Movie Theater in Maine

Cinephiles with writing chops and an entrepreneurial streak, rejoice: A historic movie theater in small-town Maine can be yours if you write a persuasive essay convincing its proprietor that you should be the new owner.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Hurley—who owns the 98-year-old Temple Theatre in Houlton, Maine—will give the business to whoever writes the best persuasive 250-word essay. The theater includes two screens, 400 seats, an apartment, office space, and a convenient downtown location. According to its website, it’s also "one of the oldest continuously operated movie theatres" in Maine.

Submissions will be judged based on "writing structure, content, quality of expression, [and] creativity." The only catch? Entrants will have to pay a $100 entry fee—although the contest's winner might view this amount as a bargain, considering that the theater is valued at $350,000. 

Hurley is accepting a minimum of 3500 entries, so he’ll collect the theater’s asking price. But don't worry—he's offering refunds to all participants if he doesn't receive enough submissions. The competition will be stiff, so start drafting your entry now so you’ll have time to edit and polish a winning piece before the end of January. (The contest’s original deadline was January 15, but Hurley has extended it thanks to a recent spate of media coverage.)

To learn more about the contest, visit the Temple Theatre’s website or check out the video above. 

All images are courtesy of TempleMovies.com.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter, CNN]

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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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