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December 10, 1901: First Nobel Prizes awarded

The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The ceremony came on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives. In his will, Nobel directed that the bulk of his vast fortune be placed in a fund in which the interest would be “annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” Although Nobel offered no public reason for his creation of the prizes, it is widely believed that he did so out of moral regret over the increasingly lethal uses of his inventions in war.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born in Stockholm in 1833, and four years later his family moved to Russia. His father ran a successful St. Petersburg factory that built explosive mines and other military equipment. Educated in Russia, Paris, and the United States, Alfred Nobel proved a brilliant chemist. When his father’s business faltered after the end of the Crimean War, Nobel returned to Sweden and set up a laboratory to experiment with explosives. In 1863, he invented a way to control the detonation of nitroglycerin, a highly volatile liquid that had been recently discovered but was previously regarded as too dangerous for use. Two years later, Nobel invented the blasting cap, an improved detonator that inaugurated the modern use of high explosives. Previously, the most dependable explosive was black powder, a form of gunpowder.

Nitroglycerin remained dangerous, however, and in 1864 Nobel’s nitroglycerin factory blew up, killing his younger brother and several other people. Searching for a safer explosive, Nobel discovered in 1867 that the combination of nitroglycerin and a porous substance called kieselguhr produced a highly explosive mixture that was much safer to handle and use. Nobel christened his invention “dynamite,” for the Greek word dynamis, meaning “power.” Securing patents on dynamite, Nobel acquired a fortune as humanity put his invention to use in construction and warfare.

In 1875, Nobel created a more powerful form of dynamite, blasting gelatin, and in 1887 introduced ballistite, a smokeless nitroglycerin powder. Around that time, one of Nobel’s brothers died in France, and French newspapers printed obituaries in which they mistook him for Alfred. One headline read, “The merchant of death is dead.” Alfred Nobel in fact had pacifist tendencies and in his later years apparently developed strong misgivings about the impact of his inventions on the world. After he died in San Remo, Italy, on December 10, 1896, the majority of his estate went toward the creation of prizes to be given annually in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The portion of his will establishing the Nobel Peace Prize read, “[one award shall be given] to the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Exactly five years after his death, the first Nobel awards were presented.

Today, the Nobel Prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards in the world in their various fields. Notable winners have included Marie Curie, Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela. Multiple leaders and organizations sometimes receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and multiple researchers often share the scientific awards for their joint discoveries. In 1968, a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was established by the Swedish national bank, Sveriges Riksbank, and first awarded in 1969.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decides the prizes in physics, chemistry, and economic science; the Swedish Royal Caroline Medico-Surgical Institute determines the physiology or medicine award; the Swedish Academy chooses literature; and a committee elected by the Norwegian parliament awards the peace prize. The Nobel Prizes are still presented annually on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death. In 2006, each Nobel Prize carried a cash prize of nearly $1,400,000 and recipients also received a gold medal, as is the tradition.



National Geographic Photo of the Day

Neon Nights

With raindrops no longer falling, this street in Beijing, China, hums back to life under the glow of neon signs. Your Shot photographer Caue Ferraz took this photo in the neighborhood around Jingshan Park, a 57-acre green space with views into the Forbidden City.

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Sandy Oasis

Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, is a nation of tranquility, but Sandy Island takes it to another level. This speck of sand in the bright blue waters is constantly reshaped by the ocean and weather, and visitors to the cay are encouraged to make reservations. Your Shot photographer Matthew Wade captured this shot using a drone.

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Golden Hills

Your Shot photographer Hannah Overeem captured this shot of her dog, Badger, an Australian cattle dog, in Chino Hills, California. She writes that the contrast of the golden field and blue-and-white sky give this image a “surreal” look.

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Hidden Gem

Forged by the wear of water rushing over rocks, Olo Canyon in Arizona is concealed inside the Grand Canyon. Its alluring landscape includes natural springs and rocks shaped like cathedral amphitheaters.

See more pictures from the September 2016 story "Are We Losing the Grand Canyon?"




Behind the Curtain

Circus performers in Hanoi, Vietnam, prepare for the show minutes before it gets under way. Nguyen Thi Thu Hiep, shown here stretching, is a contortionist. For extra money, she also performs at private parties and social events.

See more pictures from the September 2016 story "A Life at the Circus: Going Behind the Curtain in Vietnam."




'You Dropped Something!'

Your Shot photographer Suyash Mehta gained a souvenir from a passing eagle in Satara, India: a long feather. India is home to nearly two dozen eagle species.

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City of Sun Showers

Even in a rainstorm, Paris lives up to its nickname of the City of Light, as sun streaks through storm clouds over the city in this image by Your Shot photographer Raffaele Tuzio.

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A Flash in the Distance

Flashes of lightning illuminate the night sky above Lake Ontario, as seen from an overlook in Lyndonville, New York—located about an hour from the Canadian border at Niagara Falls.

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Flood of Color

Floods bring a mosaic of color to the rice fields of Y Ty, Vietnam. The wet season typically lasts from May to June in the mountainous village.

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A Walk on the Wild Side

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve. China has been creating reserves to restore and protect disappearing panda habitat and is now introducing captive-bred pandas into the wild.

See more pictures from the August 2016 feature story "Pandas Get to Know Their Wild Side."




A Popular Perch

Birds gather on a rock formation—a popular attraction for both seabirds and people—at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, California. Your Shot photographer Laurence Norah writes that it’s “a wonderful place to get the sunset … A long exposure added a slightly surreal element to the shot.”

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High-Rise and Shine

The brightly colored lights of Shinjuku, a ward of Tokyo, Japan, glitter in this double exposure by Masayuki Yamashita. The district is a bustling hub and home to what’s known as the world’s busiest railway station: Shinjuku Station, through which millions of passengers pass daily.

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Whale of a Time

A whale shark—the biggest fish in the sea—swims along, “extremely curious” about his observers. Your Shot photographer David Robinson, who researches whale shark ecology, captured this image in Qatar on a day with “great visibility” in an area with waters that are usually full of plankton.

Robinson's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Life on Mars

Your Shot member Bryan Geiger’s early morning visit to the summit area of Haleakalā volcano in Hawaii’s Haleakalā National Park yielded this extraordinary image of an otherworldly landscape. “I woke up at 3 a.m. and drove to Haleakalā summit,” Geiger writes. “As the sun came up it revealed only a white wall of mist. After a couple of hours, disappointed and cold, I decided to leave. While driving back I jumped out at the overlook to see if anything had changed. At that moment the clouds retreated and I had only an instant to snap this photo of the [alien-looking] land.”

Geiger's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Western Spirit

Framing an expansive blue sky, desert buttes, and a pair of majestic horses, Your Shot member Nora Feddal captures the essence of the American West in this image made while visiting Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which extends into both Arizona and Utah.

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Night Falls

By day, the water of Arizona's Havasu Falls is a remarkable, bright blue-green. In this image submitted by Jes Stockhausen, it’s a milky ribbon, illuminated at night by the light of a camper’s headlamps. “While camping in the Havasupai [Indian Reservation], you hear the roar of the falls 24/7. My friend and I went to see if we could see the stars and were blown away [by] the sheer darkness of the canyon. This shot was [made] with two headlamps, one at the subject’s feet and one on his head.”

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First Light

Photographer Theerasak Saksritawee submitted this photo of birds taking flight in a golden sky over Taiwan’s National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The memorial, dedicated to the former president of the Republic of China, includes gardens, ponds, and this sprawling plaza, a popular spot for national celebrations.

Saksritawee's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen

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A Walk in the Park

Photographer Graham De Lacy captured this shot of an African elephant taking a sunny-day stroll in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve. “[It was] one of the many close encounters … I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing,” De Lacy writes. African elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth.

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Pelican Party

Pelicans, seen from above in this aerial shot submitted by Your Shot community member Stas Bartnikas, congregate on the Colorado River in Mexico. The social birds usually travel in flocks and are found on many of the world’s coastlines and along lakes and rivers.

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Lifting the Veil

A lacy veil of cigarette smoke encircles a man in Sarawak, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. “I embarked on photography trips to inland Sarawak to seek out the native people [who] preserve their way of life,” Your Shot member Jonathan Nyik Fui Tai says. ”Many of the tribes have slowly [been] assimilated into modern society.”

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Hot Rock

Spiking from inky storm clouds, a white-hot thunderbolt spears the plateau during a summer storm in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The monument comprises 300,000 unspoiled acres that cross both Arizona and Utah and contain steep cliffs, deep canyons, and sandstone formations.

Rankin’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Black Water

Seen from above, a small boat travels the Buriganga River, thick and dark with pollution, in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Though the water is filled with human and industrial waste, millions depend on it for their livelihood and transportation. “The Buriganga is economically very important to Dhaka,” Your Shot photographer Jakir Hossain Rana writes. “Launches and country boats provide a connection to other parts of Bangladesh.”

Rana’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Rose-Tinted Spectacle

Sunset splashes a rosy tint over the landscape in this image submitted by Fabrizio Fortuna. The mountain is the 1,500-foot (457-meter) Vestrahorn, a main landmark of southeastern Iceland.

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Pushed for Time

“One of the best places [to photograph] in Cairo, Egypt, is the camels market,” writes Your Shot member Nader Saadallah. “At this moment, the camels’ keepers and sellers [are] trying to push the camel into their vehicle to send it to the local market to be slaughtered to be ready for customers.”

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Old Guard

“Hundreds of old cypresses guard the perimeter of Lake Camécuaro and its turquoise-colored, crystal clear water,” Javier Eduardo Alvarez writes of this photo he made of the small Mexican lake, popular for its picturesque beauty. “This place is magical.”

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our storytelling community where members can take part in photo assignments, get expert feedback, be published, and more. Join now >>




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Mashable

Tightrope walker crosses Rome's Tiber River as cool as a cucumber

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Most folks cross Rome's Tiber River using one of the many bridges dotted along it. But an Italian performer has done his own thing, becoming the first person to cross via tightrope.

High-wire artist Andrea Loreni has just completed a 135-metre-long, illuminated tightrope walk across the Tiber, reports ABC

SEE ALSO: Insane stunt has 2 wingsuit flyers land inside a plane in mid-air

Suspended on an LED-studded steel wire cable 20 metres above the river near the the Ponte Sant'Angelo Bridge, Loreni made his way ever so calmly to the other side. The feat was performed as part of Rome's Biennale MArteLive 2017 cultural program. Read more...

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Australia's bird of the year is the enemy of children and cyclists

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It wasn't just Moonlight that swooped in by surprise at an awards ceremony.

Earlier this year, New Zealanders voted for the kea as their favourite bird, a cheeky olive-green parrot. Aussies have opted for a bird that's the enemy of cyclists, walkers and children everywhere.

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The magpie has been selected as the bird of the year in a poll run by The Guardian, winning with 19,926 votes — 13.3 percent of the vote's total. 

You wouldn't call the magpie a charming bird. It's known for its aggression, especially around mating season in late August to late October, and is notorious for swooping at people that cross its path. Read more...

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American football won't last much longer, because it's killing itself

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Football is violent, but the public's disgust with the damage caused by America's most popular game might finally have reached a critical point this season. The sport is killing itself, and the most powerful arbiter of its practice, the NFL, might just let that death happen by not taking care of its players. 

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Netflix drops super-charged trailer for Marvel's 'Jessica Jones' Season 2

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"If you say with great power comes great responsibility, I swear I'll throw up on you."

Jessica Jones is back for a second season, with Netflix dropping a teaser trailer and premiere date at CCXP in Sao Paulo over the weekend. The Marvel series will return on March 8, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. PT in all locations where Netflix is available. 

What can we expect from Season 2? Your favourite tough-as-nails private investigator, Jones (Krysten Ritter), is putting her life back together post-Kilgrave (as are we). She's now known throughout New York City for her super-powers and her ability to, you know, kill folks. So she's gonna jump into a little soul searching and figure out her origin story — Wolverine style. Read more...

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Please enjoy this happy panda bear rolling in the snow

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At least there's someone in Washington with a reason to feel happy.

Mei Xiang the panda, who calls D.C.'s National Zoo her home, is loving the freshly fallen snow in the U.S. capital this weekend. The zoo kindly shared a video our panda friend's frolics and... well... it's delightful.

SEE ALSO: The greatest wins and fails in the wild

🐼❤️❄️ #MeiXiang’s on a roll! She had fun playing in the snow this morning. Read more about our animals in the snow https://t.co/zE8uguDSA5 #PandaStory pic.twitter.com/ozqFSMD8fB

— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) December 9, 2017

Look at her rolling down that hill. Such poise. Such grace. Such floofy abandon. Truly, Mei Xiang is living her best life. Read more...

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'Star Wars' porg is available on Snapchat as your adorable AR friend

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And you thought the dancing hot dog was the best thing ever.

SEE ALSO: Congrats world, you watched Snapchat's dancing hot dog 1.5 billion times

Meet your new best friend on Snapchat: Porg. 

It's creepy. It's adorable. It's an ad for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which held its premiere in Hollywood this weekend and arrives in theaters on Friday. 

When the camera is in selfie mode aka front-facing, the lens offers a face filter with a lightsaber. Reversing the camera (tapping on the screen) makes the porg appear wherever the lens is pointed. Turn the sound on if you want to hear some strange shrills and loud flapping of wings.  Read more...

More about Snapchat, Star Wars, Augmented Reality, Apps And Software, and Evan Spiegel


There's a ton of snow in Buffalo, and also a football game if you can see through it

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If you hadn't heard, snow finally came to the Northeast this weekend. 

The wintry pounding continues in frigid Buffalo, New York, with intense lake effect snow bands — and even some lightning — hitting the area.

Image: Radarscope via Andrew Freedman

Such snow bands occur when cold air blows over the relatively warm water of a lake picking up moisture, and dumping it as snow in downwind areas (h/t to Mashable weather wizard Andrew Freedman). Buffalo, unsurprisingly, is one of the most lake effect prone cities in the U.S., due to to its proximity to Lake Erie.

But it's Sunday, folks, and there's football to be played. Read more...

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The latest 'Ready Player One' trailer is filled with a bunch of new geeky references

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New Ready Player One trailers are quickly turning into a game of "spot the reference." Sure, there's plenty of excitement for director Steven Spielberg's first crack at live-action sci-fi/fantasy since 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

But let's be real: Many of us are here, poring over the new trailers, to see which of our favorite characters surface. In this latest look at the March 30 release, I can see Blanka and Chun-Li from Street Fighter, multiple Battletoads, Overwatch's Tracer, a silhouette that could either be King Kong or Donkey Kong, horror movie murder doll Chucky, and RX-78-2 Gundam, plus a bunch of others that popped up in the previous trailer. Read more...

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Cards Against Humanity tries to disrupt wealth inequality with latest campaign

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Cards can make people laugh, and they can make them rich. 

We're not talking about gambling. Rather, it's another round of Cards Against Humanity trying to "save America" with a fundraising campaign. 

SEE ALSO: Sorry, Cards Against Humanity can't stop Trump's wall

For day three of the effort, Cards Against Humanity attempted to tackle wealth inequality. The issue is pervasive not only in America but also in economies worldwide. It explores how some people are rich, others are poor, and where should the line by drawn. How much money can help someone in the latter group and not really even affect the former group if it were redistributed? Read more...

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A kid questioned his bullies and got support from the entire internet

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Bullies suck, but sometimes the best way to deal with them is to call out their deplorable actions in public. One kid and his mother took to the internet to talk about his bad treatment at the hands of other kids, and ended up finding more support than they could've ever expected. 

SEE ALSO: I'm not crying over a Burger King ad. You're crying over a Burger King ad.

Knoxville, Tennessee middle schooler Keaton Jones said that he was being bullied so much that he would rather leave school early and skip lunch than face his tormentors. His mother, Kimberly, took a video of Keaton talking about how other kids poured milk on him, put food on his clothes, and mocked him. He had one simple question: Why? Read more...

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Alcoholic gift ideas that say, 'Your political opinions are worth hearing'

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Around the holidays everyone always has those special family members they want to avoid having conversations with at all costs. But alas, these problematic individuals are still family, and they need presents too.

SEE ALSO: 11 seasonal candle scents you really, really need to try this fall

To help ease the pain, we've compiled list of obviously alcoholic gift ideas that say, "You're political opinions are worth hearing."

Wine decanter

Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF

A wine decanter is a classy option for informing an aunt or uncle that you only want to speak to them when the table has a hearty helping of wine on their side. Read more...

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Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino tastes like sugar and regret (but I took many photos)

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Nothing says Christmas like a cold cup of sugar. 

At least that's what I kept telling myself as I took a sip, and another one of the Christmas Tree Frappuccino. It's Starbucks' latest concoction that has people running out to corporate coffee shops, where they spend $5 and most likely take a bunch of smartphone photos to later post on social media. 

Like this: 

I have amended this pic.twitter.com/d46gbs1dyQ

— Kerry Flynn 🐶 (@kerrymflynn) December 10, 2017

Like any good business reporter, I jumped on the trend Sunday. After my editor shared a piece by The Denver Post reviewing the drink and some tweets of people's reactions, I asked if I could go get one and try it myself. Because that, my friends, is reporting.  Read more...

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We might not get another season of 'Stranger Things' until 2019 because next year's gonna suck too

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Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f83092%2f727666a1 84b6 440a b0ca e5ca88dd220f Read more...

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'SNL' Weekend Update gets real about Al Franken, Roy Moore, and sexual misconduct

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Saturday Night Live might have badly dropped the ball at one point this week, but the latest episode's Weekend Update sketch delivered, at least.

The usual rapid-fire barrage of one-liners from hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost touched on the news of the day — Jerusalem, Donald Trump's health, a looming possible government shutdown — but the sketch really landed when Cecily Strong arrived to talk about sexual misconduct in Washington, D.C.'s halls of power.

Strong's "Cathy Anne," a hard-drinking, drug-abusing political junkie ("and a regular junkie"), delivers a pointed, frequently crass summation of the dichotomy between now-former Senator Al Franken's recent resignation and Roy Moore's near-certain Congressional election win in Alabama on Dec. 12.  Read more...

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Pro-tip: Watch your dog so they don't eat 21 pacifiers

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Dogs eat anything. 

Okay, maybe not anything, but we do know of one dog that ate 21 pacifiers and that should serve as a warning for pet owners everywhere. 

SEE ALSO: You can now have matching PJs with your dog

A 4-year-old Shar-Pei named Dovey underwent surgery last week after his owners were concerned about how much weight he had lost over a short amount of time and brought him to see his long-time vet, KFOR-TV reported

Hs family, based in Oklahoma, also had noticed Dovey stealing one pacifier from a countertop and separately throwing one up. An X-ray revealed the pacifiers were in Dovey's stomach: Read more...

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' premiere left the first audience to ever see the movie visibly stunned

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Cheers, chills, and Chewbacca, too.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a movie of massive moments, jaw-dropping decisions, and megatons of involuntary audience participation. There is no fighting it: Every crowd — not just the first to see it — is going to devolve. Loudly.

SEE ALSO: 'The Last Jedi' first premiere reactions are here and - you guessed it - the Force is strong

"You guys are the first audience ever to see this," director Rian Johnson said from the stage, where the entire cast — even flight-dayed John Boyega — had assembled on Saturday night. "You ready to see a Star Wars movie?"

The roar of agreement was as deafening as the engines of a Star Destroyer. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Film, Disney, Star Wars, and Star Wars The Last Jedi


'Saturday Night Live' turns a sexual harassment sketch into a WTF bad comment on double standards

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Wait. What? 

Last week's "Welcome to Hell" sketch was Saturday Night Live at its best, turning a pop music video into a scathing rebuke of a culture that's enabled egregious acts of sexual misconduct. This week's "Sexual Harassment Charlie" sketch, on the other hand, was SNL at its absolute worst.

SEE ALSO: Female senators asked Al Franken to resign. The GOP could learn something from their example.

Let's set the scene. A company institutes a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, and two men are being removed from their jobs as a result: Doug, the company's white CFO; and Charlie, the black "front desk guy." The announcement elicits two reactions from the women in the room: Triumph over Doug's removal, and disappointment over Charlie's. Read more...

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Which houseplants make the best gifts?

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A houseplant is the gift that keeps on giving. It purifies the air and will spruce up virtually any residence. But which houseplants make the best gifts?

Whether you're looking for a living room focal point or a cute little Instagram plant, you have a couple nice options. One thing to remember: unless you recipient is a Plant Master, you'll want to pick a plant that's fairly easy to take care of, lest you unwittingly give them the gift of murdering something beautiful.

SEE ALSO: Snag a floating planter and pretend you're a wizard

And try to buy from a local greenhouse if you can! The plants there will likely be healthier than the ones you'll find online. It's worth sacrificing a little convenience. Read more...

More about Lifestyle, Gifts, Plants, Gift Guides, and Holidays 2017


Get a comprehensive set of online courses in computer science for 97% off

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

If you thought you missed your chance to major in computer science when you opted for art history in college, there's good news after all. There are such things as second chances, and thanks to the influx of online learning, gaining a new skill set won't require you to dip into your savings. This Computer Science training is just $39 — that's equivalent to just 4.8 months of Netflix.

SEE ALSO: If you've always wanted to learn Photoshop, here's your chance

The Computer Science Advancement Bundle features eight classes that will help you make a career in tech, no matter what you do now. Here's a breakdown of each course: Read more...

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Get creative this year with personalized gifts for everyone on your list

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

No one has ever has put socks, candles, or gift cards at the very top of his or her holiday wish list, but that hasn't stopped the occasional Secret Santa from dashing out to a local drugstore in search of those items 15 minutes before the gift exchange was set to start.

Deferring your holiday shopping for as long as possible and resorting to those I-waited-'til-the-last-minute staples will probably land you the No. 1 spot on everyone's Naughty lists. This year, give your friends and family presents that prove you actually tried: Personalized projects from Collage.com. Read more...

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Get this drone and solve all your selfie problems for good

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Over the past few years, selfies have transformed from a guilty pleasure to a viable way to take those special Kodak moments without bothering strangers. But while selfies may be all the rage, they're not the easiest to capture. From contorting your hand into an awkward, uncomfortable claw to making sure everyone's in the frame, mastering the art of selfies doesn't happen overnight. 

Enter the Air Selfie Drone, an innovative gadget that does the legwork for you.

SEE ALSO: This multi-lens kit will make your selfies very lit Read more...

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'The Last Jedi' first premiere reactions are here and - you guessed it - the Force is strong

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi held its star-studded world premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and the credits had barely finished rolling before attendees hit Twitter to share their first reactions to Rian Johnson's take on the Skywalker saga.

While spoilers and plot details are under strict embargo until Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. PT, that didn't stop fans from weighing in on the tone of the movie, which has drawn inevitable comparisons to the second (and most critically acclaimed) film in George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back.

SEE ALSO: Presenting everything we think will happen in 'The Last Jedi' Read more...

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Santa on 'Saturday Night Live' has some thoughts about Roy Moore

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Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. And sexual harassment and assault and NFL anthem protests and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Everything in the news was coming out of Santa's bag on tonight's Saturday Night Live cold open, and if their questions were any indication, the kids are not all right.

Precious cherub No. 1 asked Santa (Kenan Thompson) for some toys, a laser tag game, the usual. Then he asked, "What did Al Franken do?"

Oh boy.

SEE ALSO: A delightful side-by-side comparison of 'The Room' and 'The Disaster Artist'

Santa punted, but the kid needed to know about Roy Moore. Whether he was on the Naughty List or the Nice List. Read more...

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Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill AND Steve Martin crash James Franco's 'SNL' monologue

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James Franco started tonight's Saturday Night Live monologue bummed that the show brass doesn't do anything fancy for a host's fourth time at the rodeo, like give him a Five-Timers jacket, or even write a script. (Humblebrag noted, Jimmy James.)

So instead, Franco took random audience questions. But one woman's thoughtful and probing question about the actor's career trajectory was overshadowed by an awfully familiar face poking around behind her.

If it isn't longtime Franco friend Seth Rogen – who just "happened" to win the ticket lottery for the very weekend his buddy was hosting. "Luckily I'm a huge [musical guest] SZA fan so it worked out," Rogen shared. Read more...

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Miles Morales makes his big screen debut in 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse'

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Yes, Miles Morales technically exists inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the other Spider-Man hasn't made an appearance in any of those movies, and he hasn't ever gotten one of his own. Until now.

Sony's first trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse premiered on Saturday at Brazil Comic-Con, starring Morales as the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. Marvel originally introduced the character in the "Ultimate" line of comics; in that alternate timeline, Morales — a black, Latino teen from Brooklyn who was also bitten by a radioactive spider — dons the famed red-and-blue underoos after Peter Parker is killed by the Green Goblin. Read more...

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Happy holidays from these dogs meeting Santa Claus

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Twitter Moments: sometimes they're delightful and sometimes they feel a little ... forced. 

We can promise you this, though: you will love this particular Moment, which is as simple as it is vital. Reader, this Twitter Moment is just a bunch of photos of dogs meeting Santa. That's something we can all enjoy.

SEE ALSO: Little boy uses sign language to call for help while on Santa's lap

But enough talk.

My dog met Santa, and I can promise you he's picture look better then the ones of your kidspic.twitter.com/LGo72KXOod

— Debra Williams (@DebraWilliams0) December 6, 2017

I'm glad I'm not the only person taking my dog to meet Santa. Wicket was so happy! pic.twitter.com/p5nn7QyWov

— Jorgen💖💜💙 (@jdzialoski) December 7, 2017 Read more...

More about Dogs, Christmas, Santa Claus, Holidays 2017, and Culture


John Boyega appears to be stranded in Atlanta ahead of 'The Last Jedi' premiere

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Even the Force can't make a snowbound plane take off.

If his tweets are any indication, Star Wars star John Boyega is stuck in snowy Atlanta just hours before Saturday's The Last Jedi premiere in Los Angeles. "Looks like no one's leaving!" he wrote. "Guess I'll start a family now...."

SEE ALSO: Your new favorite 'Star Wars' critter is less than $30 today on Amazon

"I actually NEED a pilot!" he added.

Wow ATL. Looks like no one’s leaving! Guess I’ll start a family now....

— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) December 9, 2017

Cold! My thighs won’t even generate the heat anymore.

— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) December 9, 2017 Read more...

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Saoirse Ronan isn't having the backlash around that Aer Lingus sketch on 'SNL'

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Lots of people weren't thrilled with Saturday Night Live for capitalizing on the presence of Irish-American guest host Saoirse Ronan with a sketch about Ireland's Aer Lingus airline.

Ronan, as it turns out, wasn't one of them.

SEE ALSO: Irish people are not impressed by SNL's Aer Lingus sketch

The sketch drew criticism for leaning on Irish stereotypes and jokes that felt to many like the show was grasping for low-hanging fruit. A social media backlash followed, because this is 2017 and nothing captures strident anger with a faceless offender quite like a Twitter timeline.

Ronan defended the sketch on Friday in an appearance on The Late Late Show, an Irish talk show on the country's RTÉ television network. Read more...

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Happy 5-year anniversary to the stylish IKEA monkey

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Five years ago today, a "stylish but illegal" Rhesus Macaque wearing a shearling coat was spotted in a Toronto IKEA. 

Fast forward to 2017. The world is in shambles, shearling coats are back in style, and IKEA monkey, whose real name is Darwin, is no less beloved. In fact, tons of people online are wishing a happy anniversary to the cozy fellow, who is currently enjoying a chill life at an Ontario animal sanctuary.

SEE ALSO: Dog almost learns how to successfully hula hoop

Perhaps no animal has spawned more memes than Darwin. From Photoshops to double-memes to a surprisingly potent story about a dog's butthole, IKEA monkey will live on past this year, past Darwin's lifespan, and probably past the internet.  Read more...

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Neil Patrick Harris's daughter wrote an adorable letter to the tooth fairy

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I wish all mail was this cute.

Neil Patrick Harris posted a photo to Instagram Friday of his daughter Harper's most recent correspondence with the tooth fairy. Predictably, the letter is adorable — the seven-year-old announces that she has lost a tooth, then tells the tooth fairy, "I love you because you rock!" As someone who receives primarily Bed Bath & Beyond coupons in the mail (NOT a complaint), this sentiment has deeply moved me. 

Harper also utilized a variety of crayons to create her masterpiece — a sign of carefully considered design. There's even a wonderful tooth drawing.

SEE ALSO: Neil deGrasse Tyson insists his children investigate the tooth fairy Read more...

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