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20 Fun Facts About the Moon

It was 48 years ago today that the entire world watched The Eagle land on the moon for the very first time.  Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin had spent nearly 80 hours traveling in space by the time their lunar module landed on July 20, 1969.  Six hours later, Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon, uttering the now famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Before their brave adventure into space, very little was known about the Earth’s moon.  Since the Apollo landing, we’ve obviously learned a lot about our little brother…so here are a few fun facts about Earth’s little buddy up in the sky!

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20 Fun Facts About the Moon

The moon is about 238,900 miles away from Earth.  To put it into perspective, the ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM could fit between the Earth and the moon – with room to spare.

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Because the moon rotates around on its own axis in exactly the same time it takes to orbit the Earth, the same side of the moon is always facing us.  The side facing away from Earth has only been seen by the human eye from spacecraft.

Though the Earth is about 80 times the volume of the moon, both are about the same age.  Some scientists believe that the moon was once part of Earth and broke off due to a collision.

There are two bulges in the Earth due to the gravitational pull of the moon.  The bulges move around the oceans as the Earth rotates, causing high and low tides around the globe.

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Due to its smaller mass, you would weigh about one sixth of your weight on the moon.

Despite the moon’s deep fantastical connections to the female sex, no woman has ever stepped foot on the moon…EVER.

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As a matter of fact, there have only been 12 people to walk on the moon – all were white American males.

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The moon has no atmosphere, so it’s unprotected from cosmic rays, meteorites, and solar winds.  No sound can be heard on the moon and the sky always appears black.

The large craters on the moon are from intense pummeling by space rocks between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago.

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The moon orbits the Earth every 27.3 days.

Mons Huygens is the tallest mountain on the moon, standing at 4,700 meters tall – just over half the height of Mt. Everest.

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The average surface temperature of the moon is about 224 degrees F during the day and -243 degrees F at night.

Neil Armstrong’s famous footprint on the moon is most likely still there.  The lack of wind on the moon means any disturbance to the surface of the moon is most likely there (unless the downdraft from the Command Module destroyed the print – but it’s unlikely).

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The multi-layer space suits worn by the astronauts to the moon weighed 180 pounds on Earth, but only 30 pounds on the moon.

Apollo 11 had only 20 seconds of fuel left when they landed on the moon.  Talk about running on fumes!

About 49 moons would fit inside the Earth.

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The ashes of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, a man who was declined to be an astronaut due to medical conditions, were flown into a crater on the moon on July 31, 1999 as his dying wish.

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The moon is not round, but actually more egg shaped.

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It took Apollo 11 about three days to get to the moon.  If a commercial airplane could make the same journey, it would take about 26 days.

If all goes according to plan, NASA hopes to return to the moon in 2019 so astronauts can set up a permanent space station there.

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones

Every Lannister knows his facts.

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With a larger-than-life cast and a shooting schedule that takes the crew all over the world, the production of Game of Thrones is bound to create a good factoid or two.  We may not know what fate lies before Jon Snow, but we do know that Kit Harrington wasn’t always the first choice to play the One Who Knows Nothing.

From casting secrets to who created Dothraki, here are 26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones!

26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin, the man behind the books, had a cameo in the original pilot of the series as a guest at Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding.  However, the original pilot was never aired.

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) adopted her direwolf in real life.  Her and Zunni (Lady) are all over Instagram.

The Dothraki language was created by David J. Peterson and is a real language that you can learn and recite.

The horse heart Daenerys had to eat in season one was essentially a giant gummy candy.  The fake blood also made actress Emilia Clarke sick and the congealed mixture stuck her to the toilet.

In 2013, the US saw a rise in the name “Khaleesi” for baby girls.  “Khaleesi”, “Arya”, “Tyrion”, “Brienne”, “Sansa”, “Bran”, “Sandor”, and “Theon” also saw a rise in popularity in England around the same time.

Actor and stunt performer Ian Whyte has played four roles on Game of Thrones.  In seasons one and two, he was a White Walker, he was also Gregor Clegane in season two, a giant in season three, and a Wilding in season five.

Iwan Rheon (the evil Ramsay Bolton) was originally the runner up to play Jon Snow.

Game of Thrones was supposedly the most pirated show of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Game of Thrones has on official rap album titled “Catch the Throne”, which was released for free on SoundCloud in 2014.  The follow-up album came out in 2015 and included tracks by Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Method Man, and many others.

Just in case something happens to George R. R. Martin before he can finish the series, the showrunners of Game of Thrones know how the books will end.  Though they might take different paths getting there, both the show and the books will have the same ending.

The average episode of Game of Thrones costs about $6 million to make.  Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most expensive shows on network television.

After winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Peter Dinklage became the show’s top-billed star.  Maybe that means he’s safe from death??  Here’s hoping!

Direwolves are real…or at least, they were.  The ancient breed was said to have been 25% larger than today’s grey wolf.  To recreate the wolves, the show uses Northern Inuit dogs that are digitally enlarged by visual effects specialists.

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Kristian Nairn (Hodor) was the first openly gay actor to come out in the show’s 100+ cast list.

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There have been more than 150,000 on-screen deaths on Game of Thrones so far.

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You can take a Game of Thrones course at Harvard University.

You can purchase a Hodor doorstop at IKEA.

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has appeared in the most episodes so far.

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Peter Dinklage is also a vegetarian.  All the meat he eats on the show is fake.

Game of Thrones is the first acting role ever for Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark.

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Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn, was in a 90’s doo-wop group called Robson and Jerome.  They had three No. 1 singles in the UK.

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The actor who played Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) is the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.  Aww, look how cute he is!

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Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) are actually good friends in real life.  Dinklage even helped Headey get the part of Cersei.

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A large number of the actors on Game of Thrones have not read the books, fearing it may impact their acting if they know what happens to their character.

After the first episode aired, Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) received a letter from George R. R. Martin that read, “Congratulations, everyone hates you!”

Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) also played Hermione’s mom in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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We Have to Go Back: 34 Fun Facts about LOST

With Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, TiVo, and a whole slew of other streaming services, it’s so easy to just binge a show over the course of a weekend.  A six-pack of beers and two pizzas later, you can easily start and finish FRIENDS, New Girl, Portlandia, Mad Men, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or a wide variety of movies and documentaries without leaving your house.

But, for us who grew up in ancient times, watching our favorite TV shows required a massive antenna, a hand-me-down TV, and a wing and a prayer that you’d get a signal up in the blustery Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  And amongst studying for tests, writing papers, and reading novel after novel, my roommates and friends would make time once a week to tune in to ABC every Wednesday so we could theorize and analyze the show that united geeks, nerds, sci-fi lovers, lit-lovers, and number lovers the world over:  LOST.

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A show that twisted and turned its way through six magical seasons, LOST was so much more than a show for me.  It brought friends together…it encouraged discussion.  LOST even followed me after I graduated into my first job out of college, where a friend and I started a LOST Book Club and rewatched the series together.  Did I spend half the time sitting on my couch with this expression on my face?

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You bet I did.  But you gotta admit, the writers on this show knocked it out of the park.  The intricate interweaving storylines, the insane plot developments, the heartbreaking relationships…all of it and more made it so easy and fun to think about and talk about all the various LOST theories that fans were putting together.

I haven’t rewatched LOST in a long time…but it still has a very special place in my heart.  Recently I had the urge to go back to The Island and revisit a few of my favorite scenes…and it was so wonderful to see some old friends again.  I started reading old theories, even revisited some notes I took as I rewatched the series (yup, I took notes)…and all the emotions started coming back to me.

Now, as “You All Everybody!” is stuck in my head and the best of Sawyer and Kate plays in the background, I bring you 34 Fun Facts about LOST.

We Have to Go Back:  34 Fun Facts About LOST

As all fans will remember, the numbers on Hurley’s winning lottery ticket appeared several times throughout the series.  According to producer Carlton Cuse, there was a time when it rained for 42 consecutive days on Oahu…sending shooting schedules into panic.  The number 42 is, of course, one of Hurley’s magic numbers.

When it comes to exactly which characters were in the LOST series finale church scene and why, Cuse admits that “…there were a couple of people that we might have included in the church that just weren’t available when that scene was getting shot.”  But the act of choosing and excluding certain characters for that scene was very strategic for the type of theorizing that us fans lived for!

The amazing two-hour pilot episode of LOST cost a whopping $13 million…and came in UNDER BUDGET.

The plane crash was made up of a real plane.  A plane was flown to Oahu, dismantled, and rebuilt (to look like a crash) on the beach.  It was so realistic that signs had to be posted assuring locals it was for a set.

The leftover parts of the plane were later used as percussion in the soundtrack of the show.

It’s no surprise that the writers liked to throw in references to famous theologians and scientists, but the character of John Locke is particularly interesting.  Named after the actual John Locke, an influential figure in the Age of Enlightenment (a period where science and faith went up against each other), was also patronized by another man named Anthony Cooper, the namesake behind Locke’s troubled on-screen father.

No one character is in every one of the 121 episodes of LOST…but Jorge Garcia (Hurley) gets number one with 118.

Jack was actually supposed to be played by Michael Keaton…and, to add to the shock value of the show, was going to be killed off in the first episode.  However, ABC didn’t like the idea of killing of the character that fans would be most interested in…so Jack lived and Keaton backed out.

Jon Hamm also auditioned for the role of Jack.

The biggest episode of all time was the season 2 opener, “Man of Science, Man of Faith”, with more than 23 million people tuning in to find out what was in the hatch.  This show knew how to do a cliff-hanger.

The Hydra station where Sawyer and Kate are kept in cages was actually an abandoned theme park in Hawaii.

In this flashback scene involving Michael Emerson’s character, Ben, his mother is actually Emerson’s real-life wife, Carrie.

When Charlie meets a wealthy lady in a flashback, she tells him her father is buying a paper company in Slough – a reference to the UK version of The Office, which was a favorite show of LOST co-creator, J.J. Abrams.

Although Kate’s on-screen love life was a triangle between Jack and Sawyer, her off-screen time was spent with Dominic Monaghan (Charlie Pace).  The two dated for five years and were even engaged for a period of time.

As the secrecy of the show grew, Jorge Garcia had a locked mailbox installed in this Hawaii home so that he could safely have scripts delivered there.

Much like his character, Terry O’Quinn (Locke) loved walking.  He regularly walked about 12 miles a day to and from set.

A Hawaiian priest was brought in to bless the crew and set before season six began shooting.

In the season three finale, Jack visits a funeral parlor called Hoffs/Drawlar, an anagram for flash-forward.  This is a sly hint that we’ve been watching the future, not the past, this whole time.  MY BRAIN!!!

Sawyer and Claire are the only two characters who arrive on the island in the first episode and don’t leave until the finale.

For his role as Benjamin Linus, Michael Emerson was nominated for three Emmys (he won 1), three Saturn Awards (he won 1), and a Golden Globe.

All together, LOST has received 18 Emmy nominations (3 wins), seven Golden Globe nominations (1 win), and 38 Saturn Award nominations (10 wins).

Yunjin Kim initially read for the role of Kate.  The writers liked her so much that the part of Sun was created especially for her.

Jorge Garcia’s role as Hurley was also a special creation.  He originally auditioned for Sawyer, but got his own role instead (thank GOD because Josh Halloway and Jorge Garcia are two of my fave’s!).

Terry O’Quinn, who worked with J.J. Abrams on Alias, was the only principal cast member who didn’t have to audition.

Ian Somerhalder (Boone) was the first actor cast on the show and the first one killed off.

Of the famous set of LOST numbers – 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 – 23 is used most in the series.

Evangeline Lilly (Kate) took home the original “Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter as a keepsake during season 1, but it burned in the fire that destroyed her home in 2006.

In “Everybody Hates Hugo”, Hurley has a dream in which he chugs some milk from the hatch.  On the carton, Walt’s picture can be seen under the word, “MISSING”.

Show creator Damon Lindelof was also a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and invited star Rob McElhenney to play Aldo in season 3 of LOST.

DriveShaft’s song, “You All Everybody” plays in the background of an episode of season 4 of Alias.

The reason Walt had to be kidnapped at the end of season 1 was that actor Malcom David Kelley had grown tremendously in the span of the first two seasons.  He was only able to return during flash-forward scenes later on, since he’d aged appropriately by then.

“The Constant” is Cuse and Lindelof’s favorite episode.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was reportedly offered a hefty sum to come back for the series finale…however he requested about 5x the amount…thus Mr. Eko was never seen again…

After filming ended, Lindelof took the cover of the hatch and turned it into a coffee table.

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek

It was the angsty teen show to end all angsty teen shows.  With a cast of supposed 15-year-olds who spoke with more eloquence than my grandparents, Dawson’s Creek was THE SHOW for us 90’s girls.  It taught us everything we wanted to know about life, love, friendship, sex, and – of course – BOYZ.  Who was #TeamDawson?  Who was #TeamPacey?  Would Joey and Pacey ever make it work (YES, THANK GOD)?  Would Dawson ever get over losing the love of his life?  Ugh the teenage drama was real, people!

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But suuriously…CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS ENTIRE SCENE??  DAAAUUUMMMNNN.  #TeamPacey all the way!

Starring James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery), Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter), Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), and Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley), Dawson’s Creek was one of my all-time favorite shows when I was young…and I will forever be jealous of Joey and Pacey’s relationship and how they could just leave their lives behind and go on a sailing trip around the world because why the F not…

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OMG WITH THIS!!!

Hard to believe, but DC has been off the air about 14 years now (!!).  While we still see the cast now and then in movies and shows, I’ll forever know them as the crew from Capeside…sitting on the pier, climbing through windows, and having intense and emotional conversations between classes at Capeside High.

You may not remember it now, but DC actually dealt with some pretty tough stuff while it was on…depression, divorce, death of a parent, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol were all a part of this 6-year story line…however it also brought the first male gay kiss to primetime TV and was one of the first shows to really explore a gay character.

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But, all things considered, life on the Creek was pretty peachy for this group of seaside teens…and if you tuned in to The WB on Wednesdays to catch up with Dawson and the rest of the gang, then you’re going to love this little collection of 15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek.

15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek

Nearly 500 actors tried out for the part of Dawson, including the frontrunner, Adrian Grenier.  James Van Der Beek was only BARELY cast after show creator Kevin Williamson had to basically beg them to cast him as Dawson.  He got the job two days before filming began.  Grenier would go on to star in Entourage.

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Katie Holmes sent in an audition tape with her mom acting as Dawson.  She couldn’t fly out for the actual audition, as she was in her high school production of Damn Yankees at the time, so she filmed a scene and sent it in…and the rest was history!

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Jason Biggs was also up for the role of Pacey…but no one can deny…Jackson’s got dat swagger!

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The episode “True Love” contained the first male gay kiss on U.S. primetime TV (between Jack [Kerr Smith] and his boyfriend, Ethan).

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Meredith Monroe was 29 when she played 16-year-old Andie.  Her on-screen brother, Jack, was 27.

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James Van Der Beek’s meme-worthy cry was actually an ad lib.  It wasn’t scripted, he just lost it in the moment.

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In 1998, the Creek cast did a photoshoot for J. Crew.  See the pics here.

There were six head-writers for Dawson’s Creek, one for each season.

Though Michelle Williams didn’t want her character Jen to die in the end of the series, the writers felt that Jen’s death was “…that last bit of growth that pushed [the characters] into adulthood.”

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Van Der Beek’s luscious locks were inspired by Brad Pitt’s hair in The Devil’s Own.

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In the most meta episode ever, “High Risk Behavior”, Joey draws Jack naked – a la Jack and Rose – as they discuss Titanic.

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Want to visit the real Dawson’s Creek?  There’s an actual place in Canada called Dawson’s Creek…and despite taking place in fictional Capeside, MA, most of the episodes were actually filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Joey (Katie Holmes) was the only character to appear in all 128 episodes.

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Joshua Jackson and James Van Der Beek actually lived together for a while during filming.  Aww!!  Bros for life!

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Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson actually dated IRL when they were filming Dawson’s Creek.  Katie once told US Weekly that Joshua was her first love!!  OMG I CAN’T STAND IT!  PACEY AND JOEY FOREVER!!!!

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something – Part 3

The third Harry Potter book is probably up there as one of my favorites.  The 4th one is still my favorite, but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is so ripe with great characters, amazing character development, and excellent storytelling (the background on Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, amiright?!).

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If you’ve been keeping up with my blog recently, you know that I’ve been posting my musings as I re-read the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth billion time.  If you’ve missed my other postings, you can check them out here:

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something –Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

And here lies my thoughts on book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Do you share or disagree with my thoughts, particularly my theory on that stupid cat, Crookshanks?  Comment below and let me know!

 

I solemnly swear I’m up to no good…

 

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something

Part 3:  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Do all the photos in The Daily Prophet move the same way?  Like, would a picture of Sirius Black on the front of one issue move the same way in all the papers or is each issue independent from the next?

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But how on earth was he going to persuade Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia to sign the form?
Um…MAGIC, PERHAPS??

Every time I read “Uncle Vernon”, this Tom Waits song plays in my head:

And I just imagine Vernon bouncing heavily around the house singing, “Uncle Vernon!  Uncle Vernon!”

There were no seats; instead, half a dozen brass bedsteads stood beside the curtained windows.
The Knight Bus sounds so magically perfect.  Muggle buses need to get on dis shit.

…and Hagrid was one of the bravest people Harry knew.
Yet, 0% of Harry’s children are named Hagrid…

Why didn’t the Accidental Magic Reversal Department modify the memories of all the Dursley’s and not just Aunt Marge?  That way none of them would remember “Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake”.

“Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?” said Harry blankly. 
Well, if ya just did that, Harry, your story would have ended right here at this moment.  AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER BECAUSE HARRY MINDED HIS OWN FUDGING BUSINESS.

So does anyone get injured or landed on when they make the jump into Platform 9¾?  People are bound to get run over if they don’t get out of the way of the wall, right?

I find it hard to believe that Hermione didn’t know what a dementor was and that she didn’t recognize the Patronus charm when Lupin used it on the train…she knows the ancient history of Hogsmeade for God’s sake…

…each pulled, Harry could only assume, by invisible horses, because when they climbed inside and shut the door, the coach set off all by itself, bumping and swaying in procession.
Wouldn’t Harry be able to see the Thestrals even before Sirius dies since he technically saw his mom die?

Divination would probably be my favorite subject at Hogwarts.

If Dumbledore actually cared about any of his students other than Harry, couldn’t he use the tears of Faux to fix Malfoy’s arm and shut him the F up after Buckbeak’s attack?

Remus Lupin was probably the best teacher any of these kids ever had.

Neville’s grandma’s clothes are insane.   A HAT WITH A STUFFED VULTURE ON TOP?  Do you know how big a vulture is?  How heavy is that hat?!  Here’s a human with a vulture, for science:

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I wonder what my Boggart would be…

CROOKSHANKS KNOWS SCABBERS IS AN ANIMAGUS.  IS CROOKSHANKS ALSO AN UNREGISTERED ANIMAGUS?!?!?!?!!!!  OMG…

I still don’t understand why wizards need a permission slip to visit Hogsmeade, but they have free reign of The Forbidden Forest, Knockturn Alley, Diagon Alley, and basically the entire Hogwarts campus.

And I am telling you all to turn to page 394.
If you don’t read that in Alan Rickman’s voice, there’s something wrong with you.  #always ❤

D’you know what that— (he called Snape something that made Hermione say “Ron!”)…
CAULDRON BUM?  BLASTENDED SKANK?  WHAT WAS THE WIZARD SWEAR, RON??

He handed them to her, and as the team watched in amazement, Hermione tapped them with her wand and said, ‘Impervius!’”
“There!” she said, handing them back to Harry.  “They’ll repel water!”
“Wood looked as though he could have kissed her.
Lucky girl…

Lupin:  “I don’t pretend to be an expert at fighting dementors, Harry…quite the contrary…
SAYS THE DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS TEACHER.

How did Fred and George know how to work the Marauder’s Map?

I wonder if they ever reversed or removed Peter Pettigrew’s Order of Merlin, First Class award after they learned the truth about him…

And here lies an awkward wizard boner:  “She smiled at Harry as the teams faced each other behind their captains, and he felt a slight lurch in the region of his stomach that he didn’t think had anything to do with nerves.”

The hearing will take place on April 20th, and we ask you to present yourself and your hippogriff at the Committee’s offices in London on that date.
Exactly HOW will that happen??  Look how big this thing is!!

Reading how mean James and his friends were to Snape is heartbreaking, knowing Snape’s backstory now…

So in the book Hermione slaps Malfoy…but the punch in the movie is just SO much more effective…

Do any other teachers besides Snape and McGonagall give and take house points away?

Then came Astronomy at midnight…
IF I EVER HAVE AN ASTRONOMY FINAL EXAM AT MIDNIGHT AFTER A DAY OF OTHER EXAMS INCLUDING POTIONS…KILL ME.

Crookshanks is “friends” with Black’s animagus dog, tries to protect Black from Harry, and somehow knows something is up with Scabbers the rat…the proof is getting stronger and stronger that Crookshanks is an animagus, too…

FURTHERMORE…

This cat—Crookshanks, did you call him?—told me Peter had left blood on the sheets…
HE TOLD YOU?  Of course he did, because he’s an animagus!!

I’m not giving up on this theory…it’s a good one, right??

Aww, thanks Ron!  😉

OOOH the things Wormtail must have seen as a rat growing up in a house of five young boys…

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Ah, well, Snape…Harry Potter, you know…we’ve all got a bit of a blind spot where he’s concerned.
Ya don’t say??

I still have so many questions about this time changing thing…

You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.

The letter Sirius writes Harry at the end of this book still makes me cry…

 

Mischief Managed.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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50 Fun Facts about the United States

Every state in our nation has a wealth of fun facts to share…here are just a few to help showcase your state pride!

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50 Fun Facts about the United States

Alabama:  Montgomery is the capital and birthplace of the Confederate States of America…and the Confederate flag was designed and first flown in Alabama in 1861.

Alaska:  Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 of them are in Alaska.

Arizona:  The Bolo tie is the official state neck ware of Arizona.

Arkansas:  Stuttgart, Arkansas is home to the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest.

California:  More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.

Colorado:  Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state.

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Connecticut:  Connecticut is home to the oldest US newspaper still in publication:  The Hartford Courant, established in 1764.  It also has approximately 145 newspapers published in the state.

Delaware:  Delaware is the only state without any National Park System units, such as national parks, seashores, historic sites, memorials, and monuments.

Florida:  Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators, where the drink was first developed.

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Georgia:  In Gainesville, the Chicken Capital of the World, it’s illegal to eat chicken with a fork.

Hawaii:  Hawaii is the most isolated population center in the world.  It’s 2,390 miles from California, 3,850 miles from Japan, 4,900 miles from China, and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.

Idaho:  Bruneau Dunes State Park contains North America’s tallest single structured sand dune.  It stands 470 feet high.

Illinois:  Illinois is home to the first skyscraper, the first aquarium, the first Mormon Temple, and the first McDonald’s.

Indiana:  Santa Claus, Indiana receives more than half a million letters and requests at Christmas time.

Iowa:  Burlington’s Snake Alley has been dubbed the most crooked street in the world.

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Kansas:  Kansas won the award for the most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.

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Kentucky:  Kentucky is the state where both Abraham Lincoln, President of the Union, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were born.  They were born less than one hundred miles and one year apart.

Louisiana:  Metairie is home to the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.  The Causeway is 24 miles long.

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Maine:  Eastport is the most eastern city in the US.  It’s considered the first place in the country to receive the rays of the morning sun.

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Maryland:  The first school in the US, King Williams School, opened in Maryland in 1696.

Massachusetts:  There is a house in Rockport built entirely of newspaper.

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Michigan:  Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of streams.  It also has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights and has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.

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Minnesota:  Minnesota is home to the first stapler, the first practical pair of water skis, the first automatic pop-up toaster, the first pair of rollerblades, Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, the Bundt pan, Green Giant vegetables, and Aveda beauty products.

Mississippi:  Natchez was settled by the French in 1716 and is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River.  It once housed 500 millionaires, more than any other city except NYC, and now has more than 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Missouri:  The St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 saw the invention of iced tea and the ice cream cone.

Montana:  Out of Montana’s 56 counties, 46 are considered “frontier counties”, with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.

Nebraska:  Nebraska has more miles of river than any other state.

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Nevada:  Not surprisingly, Las Vegas has the majority of the largest hotels in the world and is home to more hotel rooms than any other place on earth.

New Hampshire:  The first free public library was established in Peterborough in 1833.

New Jersey:  New Jersey has the highest population density in the US…an average of 1,030 people per square mile, which is 13X the national average.

New Mexico:  Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States, at 7,000 feet above sea level.

New York:  New York City has more than 700 miles of subway track.

North Carolina:  The Biltmore Estate in Ashville is America’s largest home and includes a 255-room chateau, an award-winning winery, and extensive gardens.

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North Dakota:  North Dakota grows more sunflowers than any other state.

Ohio:  The first ambulance service was established in Cincinnati in 1865 and Akron was the first city to use police cars.  Cincinnati also had the first professional fire department.

Oklahoma:  Oklahoma as the largest Native American population of any state in the US.  It’s tribal headquarters for about 40 recognized tribes.

Oregon:  Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state.

Pennsylvania:  The first public zoo, The Philadelphia Zoo, was founded in Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin.

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Rhode Island:  Rhode Island has no country government.  It is divided into 39 municipalities, each having its own form of local government.

South Carolina:  South Carolina was home to the first battle of the Civil War.

South Dakota:  Badlands National Park contains the world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old.  It’s also home to the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the US.

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Tennessee:  Tennessee has more than 3,800 documented caves.

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Texas:  Texas is the only state to have the flags of six different nations fly over it:  Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and The United States.

Utah:  Levan is “navel” spelled backwards.  It’s so named because it’s located in the center of Utah.

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Vermont:  Montpelier, Vermont is the only US state capital without a McDonald’s.

Virginia:  Eight US Presidents were born in Virginia:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.

Washington:  The forests of the Olympic Peninsula are among the rainiest places in the world and are the only rainforests in the continental US.

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West Virginia:  West Virginia is considered the southern most north state and the northern most south state.

Wisconsin:  The Republican party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.

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Wyoming:  Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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14 Fun Facts About Ghostbusters

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

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It was 33 years ago today that the monster hit Ghostbusters hit the big screen.  Starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Rick Moranis, Harold Ramis and many more, this iconic cult classic has been a fan favorite since the 1980’s and has been the inspiration for a handful of sequels, parodies, and skits.

If you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters franchise and watch the original at least once a summer, then today’s post is for you!  Scroll on down to see 14 Fun Facts about the making of Ghostbusters!

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14 Fun Facts About Ghostbusters

The idea for Ghostbusters came about thanks to Dan Aykroyd’s family history.  Growing up surrounded by spiritualists, Aykroyd was inspired to create the film after researching his father’s collection of books, including his great-grandfather’s notes and books about conducting his own séances.

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The character of Peter Venkman, ironically played by Bill Murray, was originally meant for fellow SNL alum, John Belushi.  However, after Belushi’s tragic death, Aykroyd decided to cast Murray in the part instead.  Belushi’s likeness still made it into the film, though.  Aykroyd conceived a gross-looking, gluttonous, party-guy persona as a homage to his friend…and thus Slimer was born.

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Additionally, Chevy Chase and Michael Keaton turned down the role of Peter Venkman.  Eddie Murphy was also supposed to be cast, but was starring in Beverly Hills Cop at the time.

Eager to work on a fun project after completing her role as Ripley Scott in Alien, Sigourney Weaver tried a unique approach to her audition for Ghostbusters.  Rather than impress the director with jokes, she decided to do a wordless scene where she turned into one of the grotesque dogs that do Gozer’s bidding.

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Rick Moranis’s role as Louis Tully was originally meant for another late SNL alum, John Candy.  Candy wanted the part rewritten and turned into a major role and wanted to turn Tully into a stern German man with a thick accent.  Aykroyd vetoed the idea and the part went to Moranis.

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The marshmallow goo that rains down on New York after The Marshmallow Man explodes is actually shaving cream.

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Ron Jeremy was an extra in the film and later starred in a porn parody titled This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX.

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Most of Bill Murray’s lines in the film are ad-lib.

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Originally, Ghostbusters was supposed to take place in the future…an idea that would come with a $300 million price tag (in the 1980’s!!).  Fellow actor Harold Ramis rewrote the script to take place in modern time and brought the budget down to about $30 million.

The original trailer for the film featured a 1-800 number.  If anyone called it, they would hear a prerecording of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.  The number got about 1,000 calls an hour, 24 hours a day, for 6 weeks before it was changed to a 555 number.

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All the Marshmallow Man suits cost about $20,000 each (there were three made)…and were all destroyed during filming.

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The jail scene in the movie was filmed in a real prison.  Aykroyd was convinced it was haunted.

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The party scene with Moranis and his guests is almost entirely improvised.

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Until it was beat out by Home Alone, Ghostbusters was the highest grossing comedy of all time.  In 1984, it made $240 million domestically, which equates to about $580 when adjusted for inflation.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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