HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7 is going straight for the ice and the fire. While there are number of clues as the story progresses, there was one major hint dropped by Jon Snow about the Children of the Forest. From what we know from the book series A Song of Ice and Fire written by George R R Martin, it was these Children who created the Night King. Jon Snow brings the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen into the caves under Dragonstone for two reasons: he wants to show her the dragonglass he’s about to form into weapons, and also the drawings left behind by the Children of the Forest. Though the moral of that part of the story is that unity will help humanity survive against the undead, it also could mean that the Children of the Forest may play a pivotal role in things to come, now that the Great War is here.
The Children of the Forest were the first inhabitants of Westeros. This was a time when there were no men in sight, and the giants lived with these tiny magical creatures in forests that were abundant with weirwood trees out of which were carved faces of the old gods. The first sign of trouble came thousands of years ago when the First Men landed on the shores of Westeros, ready to make war.
It took two thousand years of battle between the Children and the First Men, until they finally signed a treaty of peace on the Island of Faceless Men that made them come together. However, according to Westeros history, the White Walkers were created by the Children at least two thousand years before the signing of the treaty. Where were the White Walkers for two thousand years? Were they building their army, or were they just waiting for the long winter to come?
Again, when the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea with their newly-formed weapons and their new gods, the First Men and the Children of the Forest came together to fight the new enemy. The Children were pushed away into oblivion, and now seem only a myth to the current generation. The First Men moved to the North, where they continue to live and serve their own gods and king. The Night’s Watch was created to protect the realm from enemies far to the north, aka land of the White Walkers. Meanwhile, the Andals began to rule what we now know as the Seven Kingdoms.
If the Children created the White Walkers, it is highly likely that they will know how to destroy them. What we know is that the White Walkers helped crush the Children, their own weapon turned against them. It is still left to be seen if any are alive, after what happened with Bran when he went to first meet with the Three-Eyed Raven.
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Imagine a world without Harry Potter. Thanks to the imaginareums of its creator, author J K Rowling, our childhood was transformed from ordinary happenstances to the magical world of wizardry! Though Harry Potter fans may know the ins and outs of the boy wizard, how much do you really know about his creator, J K Rowling?
J K Rowling and Harry Potter actually share the same birthday, July 31!
Before J K Rowling became one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, she was an ordinary citizen like you and me. One night, she was travelling by train and was suddenly struck by the wonder of the boy wizard. So she jotted her ideas down on a napkin.
It’s not that Rowling didn’t try for success. Unfortunately, 12 publishing houses rejected her book proposal. Then Bloomsbury agreed to publish Harry Potter and well, you know what happens next!
Quidditch is one of the most popular fantasy games out there today. Did you know that the author filled up five notebooks full of made-believe names starting with the letter ‘Q’? Amazing!
What is J K Rowling’s full name? That’s right. Very few know it. Her full name is Joanne Kathleen Rowling. And get this…she actually doesn’t have a middle name. She just borrowed the name “Kathleen” from her grandmother!
Though J K Rowling is the godmother of children’s novels, she actually wrote a book for adults, called The Casual Vacancy in 2012.
In case you see a book by author Robert Galbraith, know that it is actually J K Rowling’s “pen name”. Yes, she has written another book under that pen name.
How come she picked King’s Cross Station of every station in the United Kingdom? It holds a special place in her heart, because that is where her parents first met!
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Think you know your international politics? Maybe you’re more familiar with those topics that were once taught to you in school, like the First and Second World Wars, or more recently, the US Presidential elections. Today, one of the most prominent political figures in the world has to be Vladimir Putin. The President of Russia, now in his third term, a man who was responsible for bringing his country out of severe economic depression and making it a substantial player on the world political stage.
More recently, he was in the news for allegedly ordering a smear campaign against then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, instead siding with Donald Trump.Who is this man? And what makes him such a force to reckon with? Here are some ordinary and maybe not-so-ordinary facts about Vladimir Putin –
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in a communal apartment block in what is now St. Petersburg. The Putins stayed on the fifth floor of the complex. Before Vladimir’s birth, the death of his two elder brothers, one still in infancy and the other due to diphtheria caused his mother a lot of heartache.
Once upon a time, Vladimir Putin was actually married. He and Lyudmila Putina tied the knot in 1983 and were together for over 30 years. They divorced back in 2014. They have two daughters together, Maria Putin and Katerina Tikhonova, an acrobatic dancer.
Putin was named TIME Person of the Year. His mugshot was on the cover of the magazine, shot by renowned photographer Platon. That image of Putin went on to win the World Press Photo of 2008. Legend has it that the Platon was so enamoured by Putin, that he spent over $2000 calling up his acquaintances and boasting about his experience!
At the age of 11, a young Vladimir Putin began training in judo, much to his mother’s chagrin. He went on to earn his eight black belt in 2014.
Putin is actually an avid animal lover. He held a nation-wide competition to name one of his dogs, and settled on Buffy. His Akita Inu he named Yume. His admirers have gifted him a number of animals, including a Siberian tiger, a dwarf horse and a goat.
The Russian President is one for adventure sports. While he is not ruling the country, he is out in the wilderness swimming, riding horses, hiking and keeping himself fit in nature.
Putin was once a part of the KGB, the Russian Secret Service. He even rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
His paternal grandfather, Spiridon Putin, once worked as a chef in the house of Lenin, and even in the house of Stalin. He was also a great influence in Putin’s life.
Apart from being fluent in Russian (obviously), he is also well versed with German. When Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel visited his country, he acted as her translator. However, Putin isn’t that great with English, though he learnt bits and pieces during his time with the KGB.
Putin never cared for religion, and considered himself an atheist during his younger days. But then after his wife met with an automobile accident, and there was a fire in his house, he turned his sights on God. Now, he is a devout follower of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Thanks to his love for all things sports, he managed to convince F1 boss Ecclestone to bring F1 racing to Russia.
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Probably one of the most celebrated filmmakers we are lucky to have in our generation, Martin Scorsese has come up with some cinematic gems for posterity. From Taxi Driver to Gangs Of New York, Scorsese has managed to captivate audiences for decades now. He also help establish the acting careers of the likes of Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. Though it’s difficult to actually pick only five of Martin Scorsese’ best films, since they’re all so good, here is the final list. Presenting the best of the best –
Gangs Of New York
Daniel Day-Lewis plays the role of a veteran gang leader in New York during the Civil War. His new mission is to eradicate all immigrant gangs from ruining his beloved city. Enter Leonardo DiCaprio, an Irish immigrant who makes it his own mission to eradicate the rot of Day-Lewis and his band of thugs. Scorsese manages to re-create a picturesque backdrop of the ever-beautiful New York. This was also the start of a long cinematic partnership with DiCaprio.
This was reportedly the first time that Martin Scorsese was given full creative control of what would become a modern cinematic masterpiece. The film is set in New York’s Little Italy, and launched the career of Robert De Niro as well as Harvey Keitel. Though the film didn’t gain as much commercial publicity as his future films, it truly shows the mettle and movie-making capabilities of its creator.
People thought it was extremely unfair when Scorsese wasn’t given a single Oscar award for his previous works like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. But he finally managed to earn a golden statuette for his 2007 film, The Departed. Starring his latest muse, Leonardo DiCapro, and based on the thriller Internal Affairs, the film kept the audience at the edge of their seats and earned over $300 million at the box office.
Robert De Niro has long been an acting powerhouse, so when he says that he put everything into recreating the life of boxer Jake LaMotta, and backed by Martin Scorsese, imagine the cinematic experience for the audience! The film takes inspiration from LaMotta’s memoir, Raging Bull: My Story and is a heartbreaking tale of reality. Joe Pesci, who played LaMotta’s brother in the film, launched his career and established him as an acting powerhouse as well. All thanks to Scorsese.
“You talking to me?” That famous line from Taxi Driver has become a favorite in Hollywood. The psychological thriller and neo-noir film earned him 4/4 from film critic, Roger Ebert, who claimed it was the best film he had ever seen. The direction genius of Scorsese travels through the mind of a Vietnam war veteran, infatuated with a woman, desperate to help an under-age call girl, and going crazier by the minute.
There is no Martin Scorsese list complete without, of course…
Ray Liotta stars as an Italian gangster living the lavish life. With his partners, played by Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, the fast paced film takes viewers on a high through the life and times of a typical gangster, living the life of a movie star, but with muscle. A must-watch, any time, any day.
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One of our favorite shows, ever, That 70s Show was last aired a decade ago, in May of 2006 (can you believe it?!) The show was about a bunch of teenagers growing up in the 70s, a time when American society was just opening up and evolving into something more “modernized”. The cast itself was brilliantly put together, and each character lived up to expectations. All have moved on, some to A-list careers, but they still remain friends to this day, the closest being Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who are now married with 2 children.
Here are some super awesome facts on your favorite TV show that you probably didn’t know about already…
The “stoner circle” is one typical of a group of friends sitting for a session of pot smoking. Due to censors, the show couldn’t actually show a joint being passed around, so smoke was let off in the room and the camera went around the circle, though each character really did act stoned and even a noob could tell you that it is the epic puff, puff, pass way of doing things.
Kurtwood Smith, who plays Red Forman was the only member of the cast who is actually from Wisconsin and probably grew up in the same era that the show is about. And, the character of the Forman patriarch was supposed to be played by Chuck Norris, but he was too busy with Texas Ranger. Looks like Smith did a pretty good job, though we never saw the foot up anyone’s *ass!
Mila Kunis, who played Jackie Burkheart was only 14 years old when she got the part, though she lied to producers and said she was 16 at the time. Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde was the eldest kid in the circle, 22 at the time. So, when the show actually ended, Kunis was then 22 years old!
Love was in the air! During the filming of the show, Laura Prepon who played Donna Pinciotti, was datinf Danny Masterson’s brother. Though Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkheart were steady as a couple on-screen, off-screen actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis had their own separate lives. Mila has famously said that it was long after the show was over that the two began to hook up as friends with benefits, which slowly turned to love. Now, the two are married with 2 kids!
FEZ, played by Wilmer Valderrama, is actually a short-form for Foreign Exchange Student. No one really knows his full name throughout the show, neither from where he comes. Jackie is the only character who calls people by their names, while everyone else refers to the other by their last names.
And last but not least, there would never have been the name, “That 70s Show”. Originally, the writers wanted to name it after song titles by The Who – Teenage Wasteland or The Kids Are Alright. Due to copyright issues, they settled for their simple title, which, as you would have it, created history.
Why are the gods so cruel? The rest of us mere mortals struggle while they try to keep a straight face with their mockery, there are some who are born and bred lucky. Celebrities of the past not only raked in millions of dollars for playing a few roles here and there, but managed to spawn some of the most gorgeous kids of our generation. Growing up in the lap of luxury, little stress marks show on any of their blooming faces, and the best of beauty products are always within reach of their manicured hands. We welcome the celebrity kids who grew up as gorgeous as their parents, and are all set to become the famous ones of our time…
She was born into a wealthy family in Beverly Hills and studied at Malibu High School where she was the captain of the volleyball team and also competed in horse riding. Gigi Hadid has now made a career as a fashion model and has been the face of a number of top fashion magazines at the age of 21. She even descends from a line of royalty on her father’s side, and her mother herself was a great model of the 80s. Her siblings are equally just as gorgeous as she is – fellow model Bella Hadid and brother Anwar.
Her mother was the smiley face of the movie Legally Blonde and her father was the heartthrob of the 90s. Ava Philippe managed to catch all the right genes of both her parents who met on the sets of Cruel Intentions and Reese Witherspoon famously told him, “You’re my birthday present”. Ava recently made her public debut with her mom on the red carpet, and the press noted that they looked like siblings! Let’s watch what comes next with this celebrity kid…
The offspring of Hollywood’s coolest couple, Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose grew up in a chilled out home environment that probably didn’t have much of schooling and punishing. She was allowed to be her own person, and at the young age of 13 was even open about her fluid sexuality. Now, the young star is already starring in a yet-to-be-released movie opposite Natalie Portman and has posed for a number of international magazines.
Recognize the last name? That’s the baby of the Real Slim Shady! Eminem has had many achievements in his fantastic career as one of the greatest rap artists ever, but this seems to be his best yet – his daughter Hailie. Can you believe it, the girl is turning 20 this year? He even wrote a rap song on her called Hailie, and has mentioned her numerous times in his tumultuous lyrics. She is currently a student at a top university and carries on her life away from the spotlight. Probably one of the most regular star kids out there, right?
Madonna was the pop star of the 80s and continues to be a respected legend in the music industry. However, her personal life has been anything but stable. She moved from man to man of varying ages, and managed to have three kids in the process – one is David who she adopted from Malawi, the other is a teenage son Rocco who she recently lost custody of and the third is Lourdes Leon, a daughter who has turned out to look exactly like her mom did at her age, and so gorgeous at that. She recently came into the spotlight after she accompanied her to a Alexander Wang show at NYFW.
When you have a supermodel mom, you better look like her! That seems to be just the case with Cindy Crawford’s little girl, Kaia. She’s barely 14 and already modelling for a number of fashion magazines. Her innocent look, gorgeous hair and doe eyes are winning her a lot of positive attention from her mom’s colleagues in the fashion industry.
Her parents were the power couple of Hollywood and have been in the news for their public shenanigans as well as their work. Now their younger daughter, Hailey, sister to model Ireland, is taking her charming Baldwin looks to the red carpet. She was earlier known as a starlet and socialite, and also short-term girlfriend to Justin Bieber. Now, she is a model in her own right and is ready to make her catwalk debut.
Her mother is a deadly actress and her father is one of those actors that casts a spell wherever he goes. Now Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s little girl is all grown up and is already starting a storm in Hollywood. Rumours were rife that director Sofia Coppola walked out of a project because Maya wasn’t cast as the lead. She also just landed herself a prime deal as the face of one of London’s top brands.
Let’s round up our list of celebrity kids with one of rock’s most favorite frontmen – U2’s Bono and his baby girl, Eve. She is nearly 25 years old now, but she has already been a part of big projects – starring in an Emmy nominated series and playing the lead opposite Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton. Watch out for this one!
So when it comes to conquering obstacles, there are always the triumphant stories and then there are those that end in tragedy. Mt. Everest in the Himalayas is one of those historic monuments that stands testament to many-a trial and failure, but also achievements that literally match no other. Here are some of the Top Stories From The Summit Of Mt. Everest…
“First to climb Mt. Everest” prize already went to Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary years ago. So, there are others who want to create and break their own records. One of these over-ambitious people was former Foreign Minister of Nepal, Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay. He took it upon himself to scale the summit and become the oldest living person to do so. However, on the way up, his body couldn’t take it anymore and by the time he tried to climb down and reach the base, he unfortunately breathed his last. He was 76 at the time. The current record for the oldest living person to successfully make it up goes to Yuichiro Miura, a Japanese climber who was 80 years old and had gone through a couple of heart operations and a problem with his pelvis.
Anyone in their right mind knows the dangers of climbing a mountain and literally puts their life and death in the hands of volatile nature. The same can be said for Nepal-born and Canadian-raised Shriya Shah-Klorfine. The professional climber tried to make it to the summit and was almost successful, though she, like many others, fell ill. On her descent down the mountain of ice, she succumbed to the roughness of Everest. Her body had to be carried down by experienced Sherpas, a perilous task that requires serious expertise and expenses. She is lucky to have been able to afford the over $30,000 price, as there are many other deceased climbers who’s resting place are the slopes of mountainside.
Have you heard of the South East Ridge of Mt. Everest? It is also called the “Rainbow Valley” due to the number of bodies of dead climbers, all garbed in colourful attire. Many have been buried by snow, others recovered and returned to their homes and still more never recovered. One distinctive climber who’s remains became somewhat of a landmark for others belonged to German Hannelore Schmatz. It was 1979 that she managed to summit the peak, but on her way down, triumph evaded her. Though she was warned by the Sherpa she came with to continue descending, she and climbing partner, Ray Gennet decided to spend the night after building a camp. When the Sherpa came back the next day, what he found haunted other Everest enthusiasts for years to come – Hannelore was found with her head resting on her backpack, eyes frozen and hair billowing in the wind. It stayed that way until a gust of ice cold wind finally blew her body off her resting place. Ray Gennet’s body was never found.
When mountaineer Francys Arsentiev and her husband Sergei decided to scale Everest without bottled oxygen, everyone was a sceptic. However, they succeeded to do so, but with little luck on their side. On their way back down, they were exhausted, and had to spend another night on the slope with barely any oxygen. Somewhere the next day, Sergei got separated from his wife and tried to climb back up the mountain to find her. Long story short, his body was found a year later, and from the looks of it, he had fallen to his death. As for Francys – she was found by two other climbers with little life left in her, and they stayed till her very end. Her body was lowered out of site of regular climbers and she was given a sort-of decent last rites to the dead.
Another brave soul who traversed the difficult slopes of Mt. Everest was local resident Namgyal. They say you can play with fire only so many times before you get burnt. The same goes for this brave Sherpa who was part of the expedition to clear Everest of all the trash and some bodies left behind by climbers. During his own life, Namgyal has scaled his favourite mountain a cool 1o times, but the 11th was to be his last. At 8,000 metres (the location of many-a collapse and death of unfortunate climbers), he pointed to his chest and breathed his last. He had not been feeling particularly well during this last ascent.
Independence day, better known as 4th of July, is a federal holiday in the United States. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4th July, 1776 by the Continental Congress when thirteen colonies became the United States of America and stopped being part of the British Empire. The holiday is usually marked with big parades all over major cities, fireworks and all manner of celebrations. Many use this holiday to reconnect with family and friends by organising parties and different outings.
1. Independence was gained two days earlier on July 2nd, 1776. The Congress spent the two days debating and revising the Declaration of Independence before its signing.
2. Only a few members of Congress (if any) signed the Declaration of Independence on 4th July. According to historians, most of the signatories did not sign the Declaration until August 2nd, 1776.
3. The first draft by Thomas Jefferson was not in favor of slavery. Even though he owned slaves himself, Thomas Jefferson felt that slavery was against human rights. Delegates who owned slaves were opposed to freeing them and therefore the section did not make it to the final document.
4. over 150 million hotdogs are consumed on this day.
5. Three presidents namely, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe died on this day.
6. Calvin Coolidge Jnr., the 30th president of the United States was born on this day.
7. Philippines and Rwanda also celebrate holidays on July 4th.
8. Most flags and fireworks used on this day were made in China.
9. The National Anthem lyrics were set from an official song for a British club.
The 4th of July weekend is usually a big holiday and most US residents know it just for the big parades and parties. There are more facts to this day than many realise! Happy Independence Day to all Americans and we pray for PEACE!
Everybody loves a good mystery. Whether it emanates from the pages of a dog-eared Agatha Christie novel or conspiracy theories conjured up by “experts”, there is no end to efforts being made to demystify phenomenon that plagued the earth now and in the past. One of the topics at the top of such a list would be about the long-lost island of Atlantis. Believed to be hidden by the expansive waters of our planet’s oceans, there have been numerous stories about the magical isle and morals that warn us about what could happen to the future of our generation if we were to meet a similar fateful end. Let’s revisit the mysteriously magical land of Atlantis and all its fabulous possibilities:
No one really knew of the existence of Atlantis until it was mentioned in the work of Plato – Timaeus and Critias – where the Atlantans attacked ancient Athens but failed to conquer, due to the latter’s “ideal state” and later fell out of favor with the gods that resulted in the land diving to the bottom of the ocean. He claimed that it existed some 9,000 years before his present day and that it was located beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Many other philosophers, especially from the Renaissance period referenced Atlantis, but only because Plato did it first. Most notable was in Thomas More’s Utopia.
Ever since the European lot traversed the world and discovered new lands, there was rife speculation among them about the existence of Atlantis. When they came upon the New World, they made the connection between the ancient Mayan civilization to that of the lost isle. The former disappeared suddenly, but the best part is that they left behind a rich heritage – complete with a calendar and huge pyramid-like structures that spoke of their religiously cult past. Though there isn’t any physical evidence of Atlantis, many believe it faced a similar fate to that of the Mayans.
There are many who believed and tried to convince others, that Atlantis is located in the Bermuda region. The Bermuda triangle itself has been at the centre of some of the most weirdest theories since it is said to have swallowed up many a missing ship and airplane alike. This region has been seldom explored and is avoided by travelers who prefer preserving their lives instead of delving into the mysteries of the deep. But anyhow, that’s crazy talk and doesn’t hold significance among the archaeological and scientific community.
Though there is no substantial evidence to prove any theorist either completely right or terrifically wrong, what we can learn about a land long lost but not forgotten, is that we need to preserve our own and that the way we seem to be currently polluting it means that we, too may find ourselves and heritage at the bottom of an ocean, never to be found again – merely a mystery to the annals of history.
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