‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Black Flag

It’s a standard line of criticism to say that Game of Thrones episodes are all over the map (Literally – it’s right there in the opening credits) But generally there’s nothing about the show’s incremental advancement of roughly a bajillion characters and storylines per episode that say the five seasons…

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Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ Named U.K.’s Most Downloaded Song Of All Time

Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” has become the most downloaded song of all time in the U.K. after besting the previous record holder Adele. Her cut “Someone Like You” has sold 1.53 million, while “Blurred Lines” has sold 1.54 million. The two songs, in fact, are the only ones to have sold more than 1.5 million in the country.

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There’s a rare disease that causes body tissue to turn to bone. Could you have it?

There’s a rare disease that causes body tissue to turn to bone. Could you have it?

The disease, known to doctors as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), is better known as Stone Man Syndrome. It’s a condition that causes the body’s repair mechanism to malfunction. When tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments) is damaged, it undergoes ossification for sufferers of this disease.

Early symptoms come in childhood. Misshapen toes, swelling that appears and quickly disappears, and difficult use of joints are red flags. From there, things set about on a downward course. Victims of Stone Man Syndrome continue to grow new bones within their bodies, some of which attach themselves to the original skeleton. Ultimately, the addition of new bone makes it nearly impossible to move.

Fortunately, it’s very rare. Only about one in every 2 million people lives with it. The International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association is dedicated to informing the public about Stone Man Syndrome. One of the problems with rare diseases is that they are difficult to diagnose, and so people often go without seeking treatment, if anything is available.

Over 500 people with this condition have offered up blood, DNA, and tooth samples. By studying those things, scientists hope to make breakthroughs and change the lives of people who live with FOP for the better.


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There were no male heros with facial hair in Disney movies until a 1996 film. Think you know what it is?

There were no male heros with facial hair in Disney movies until a 1996 film. Think you know what it is?

Disney has produced quite a collection of classic films over the years. Notably, all of the male heroes were clean-shaven until ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ was released in 1996. Finally, the streak was broken!

The man who was the first to reverse that trend in a Disney film was the character of Phoebus, when he appeared with blond hairs on his chin. Perhaps it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that the animators saw him as attractive, in a rugged way, which justified breaking tradition with the usual method of doing things.

In the movie, Phoebus is leader of the King’s Archers. Later, his loyalties change, and he chooses to help Quasimodo and Esmerelda. Of course, being a hero, it seems fitting that he should fall in love. And so, that’s just what happens between him and Esmerelda.

Apart from a facial hair first, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is famous for a few other reasons as well. For example, the movie contains many darker elements and harsher language than typically found in Disney movies, for which it’s been criticized. The film has plenty of defenders, though, including former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who considered it his favorite.


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Avril Lavigne’s New Music Video Pulled Due To Criticism

Avril Lavigne has been called racist after dropping the video to her latest single “Hello Kitty.” The vid, filmed in Japan, sees Avril hanging out with four Asian dancers in several locations. Billboard, among her critics, accused the pop star of fetishising Japanese culture. “RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan,” she said.

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Venus eclipsed the Sun on June 5-6, 2012. If you missed it, chances are you won’t see another one. When will it happen next?

Venus eclipsed the Sun on June 5-6, 2012. If you missed it, chances are you won’t see another one. When will it happen next?

An eclipse, or transit as it is often called when the planet Venus is involved, occurs when an object passes in front of the Sun. These precise alignments create the opportunity to see a small, dark dot make its way across the Sun.

Because certain factors have to line up, transits of Venus are relatively rare. Venus, which is closer to the Sun than our planet, must move between the Earth and the Sun. Such conditions occur in pairs eight years apart, which are then separated by about a century between the next pairing. For example, there were transits of Venus in 2004 and 2012. The next pair will be in December 2117 and 2125.

This phenomenon is about more than simple viewing pleasure for curiosity seekers. It has yielded important information to astronomers for centuries. The transit of Venus originally gave scientists clues about the size of our solar system. In more modern times, astronomers use what’s known as the transit method to detect planets orbiting other stars; they can detect tiny blips moving in front of stars, resulting in a very slight dimming and indicating the presence of a planet.

If you’re feeling down in the dumps about the long wait, you still have the opportunity to catch the transit of Mercury in 2016.


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The Roots Release Buoyant New Track, ‘Tomorrow’

Just about three weeks after announcing their new album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin with the song “When the People Cheer” the Roots have returned with a second track from the record a cheerful tune about living in the moment called “Tomorrow” See Why the Roots Made Rolling Stone’s List…

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Justin Bieber Drops New Song, ‘Hard 2 Face Reality’

Maybe Justin Bieber’s life has just been getting too real lately After another rough week that included an ill-advised photo opportunity at Japan’s Yasukuni war shrine and a five-hour detainment by customs officials at LAX the pop star let it all out once again with a new song Shortly before…

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