TIME Internet

Good News For Aspiring Wizards: You Can Now Take Online Hogwarts Courses

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Pet owl not included

It’s pretty impossible to read the Harry Potter books without imagining that you too could maybe one day be a wizard studying at Hogwarts.

Luckily, a group of die-hard Potter fans would like to help you come a little closer to achieving that dream with the creation of HogwartsIsHere.com, a site that lets you enroll in free nine-week courses and meet fellow Potter fanatics.

Classes include Charms, Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Herbology, History of Magic, and Transfiguration. Each course is divided into nine weeks, with actual homework assignments, quizzes and tests. So you’ll feel just like Hermione, Ron and Harry!

Participation is entirely free, and the site is in no way affiliated with J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros. or anyone else related to the Harry Potter franchise. It’s just the work of some very enthusiastic muggles. So grab yourself a butterbeer and get to it.

TIME viral

Guy Attempting to Take a Selfie in Front of a Speeding Train Gets Kicked in Head by Conductor

This is the world we now live in

A guy attempting to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train has learned an important lesson. That lesson is: maybe don’t attempt to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train.

He’s got his serious selfie face all ready when all of a sudden the train’s conductor lets out a yell and then sticks out his leg, kicking the guy square in the head.

This would-be selfie-taker, Jared Michael, posted a video of these action-packed 10 seconds on YouTube, explaining, “I tried to take a selfie while a train passed a ‘safe’ distance behind. I guess I was still too close and got kicked in the head. I messed up.”

“Messed up.” Yes, that about sums it up.

(h/t Business Insider)

TIME Bizarre

Missing Toddler Found Playing With Stuffed Animals Inside the Claw Machine at a Bowling Alley

Not sure how he got there

A missing toddler was found inside the claw machine, playing with the stuffed animals, at a bowling alley in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Associated Press reports.

At the same time that a 24-year-old woman called 911 looking for her missing 3-year-old son around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the bowling alley employees called the police to report an unattended boy had found his way into the game. KUSA-TV reports the vending machine company arrived on scene to extract the toddler from the machine — though it’s unclear if it was by the claw or not. The boy reportedly did not sustain any injuries.

How the toddler ended up inside the claw machine has yet to be determined. Toy Story fans, maybe the toddler just thought he was Buzz Lightyear?

MORE: Now Disney Can Track Your Every Mood with NSA-Style Wristbands

MORE: It’s So Cold That a Middle Schooler’s Tongue Got Stuck to a Pole

TIME

The World’s Best Margherita Pizza Comes From Down Under

margherita pizza
Getty Images

No, it doesn't have Vegemite on it

If you’re on a quest to find the best margherita pizza on the planet, don’t bother booking a trip to Italy, which was probably your plan. Instead, get yourself a ticket to Australia.

The results are in from this year’s World Pizza Championship, and the winner is Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco, who owns a restaurant just outside Melbourne. Di Francesco’s family hails from Naples, so at least there’s that. Also, his nickname is apparently “Mr. Pizza,” so you can’t really argue with that.

The competition, held each year in Parma, Italy, defines a margherita pizza as a pie “under 35cm in diameter, cooked in a wood-fired oven and contain only certain ingredients, such as peeled tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt,” according to the Guardian.

Hundreds of pizza-makers from 35 countries entered the championships, but Di Francesco managed to set himself apart. His secret? Italian-imported flour, high-quality buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. That sounds pretty tame, so we assume he’s just unwilling to reveal his real secret.

TIME U.S.

Drone Footage Captures Stunning Aerial Views of New York City

Everything looks so clean from far away

Sometimes the best way to appreciate New York City’s majestic beauty is to take a step back and observe it from afar — or from up high. This aerial footage captured by photographer Randy Scott Slavin, with the help of a drone, lets you explore the city’s busy streets and glittering skyscrapers on a sunny day. It makes you feel like you’re a bird, or like you have a magic carpet or something.

Plus, the city seems so much cleaner and less smelly from this perspective.

(h/t Gizmodo)

TIME Food & Drink

This Billboard for Rabbit Pizza Is Made from Dead Rabbits

A hare-raising stunt

In the walk-up to Easter this weekend, New Zealand pizza chain Hell Pizza, known for its saucy marketing campaigns, has put up a billboard that has stirred controversy among animal rights activists because it is covered in rabbit pelts.

Boasting the tagline “Made from real rabbit. Like this billboard,” the sign advertises a new pie with “smoked wild NZ rabbit, toasted pine nuts, beetroot & horopito relish, cream cheese, rosemary & garnished with fresh spring onions.”

A debate about the appropriateness of the ad is unfolding on Hell Pizza’s Facebook page, where critics say the sign represents animal cruelty and poor taste in general, with the New Zealand Vegetarian Society calling the sign “deplorable”, while another commenter added, “Excuse me but Easter is a celebration of life. Please explain how your billboard and new pizza shows this?”

The chain posted this clarification on Facebook, defending the billboard’s material by arguing that rabbits are “pests”:

The rabbit pizza ad is Hell Pizza’s latest provocative marketing stunt. In the past, the company has mailed out condoms as part of a promotion for its “Lust” pizza and bought a man’s soul.

TIME viral

Here’s Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Singing Pitbull and Ke$ha’s “Timber”

Well, kind of

Hey look, President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton covered “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha! Well, not really, but kind of.

YouTube channel Baracksdubs carefully spliced together clips from the politicians’ past speeches to make it sound like they sang the catchy tune. It’s pretty entertaining, and it really makes you think. In particular, it makes you think about when Obama has said the word “booty” in a speech.

Also, Hillz and B-Rock have almost as much musical chemistry and Pitbull and Ke$ha! Almost.

TIME World

This Is the World’s Most Homoerotic Stamp

Itella Posti

The stamp will be released by Finland's post office later this year

The Finnish postal service revealed 33 new stamp designs this week, and tucked among the winter scenes and autumnal gardens is this: a man’s bare behind, lifted from a design drawn by one of the country’s most prominent illustrators, Touko Laaksonen, known as “Tom of Finland.”

The stamps, which will debut in September, feature three of Laaksonen’s drawings bearing his trademark leather-bound muscle men. The images embody the “confident and proud homoeroticism” of Laaksonen’s work, according to Itella Posti. “The sheet portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself,” Timo Berry, a graphic designer who helped select the art, said in a statement. “There is never too much of that in this northern country.”

The U.S. Postal Service recently said that it will release a new stamp to honor Harvey Milk, the gay rights activist assassinated in San Francisco in the late-1970s. The stamp, which has yet to be revealed, will be dedicated at the White House in late-May. That will make Milk the first openly gay figure on an American stamp.

TIME Crime

Remember Not To Pee On The Alamo

Daniel Athens, 23, was sentenced to 18 months in jail Monday for relieving himself on the limestone facade of the Alamo shrine

A Texas man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for urinating on the Alamo shrine in 2012.

Daniel Athens, 23, is not eligible for parole, and will serve the entirety of this sentence as well as pay $4,000 in restitution, The Smoking Gun reports.

According to the police report, an Alamo Ranger saw Athens in an off-limits area making “the motions of putting his penis back in his pants.” The ranger then discovered a “puddle” on the 25o-year-old shrine.

Athens could have faced up to two years in prison. According to the report, urine can damage the limestone on the landmark.

[The Smoking Gun]

TIME society

This Interactive Map Shows The Most Popular Music in America

The latest data visualization of Americans’ music preferences is a heat map that plays different types of music as it shows which parts of the country like particular genres the most.

The rock and oldies, blues, folk, rock, punk, metal and rap & hip-hop genres seem to have the most universal appeal, according to “The All-American Music Map”, which is based on data from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis through the Martin Prosperity Institute, and state level music preferences from Wikipedia. There’s a full breakdown of city preferences on the website for Movoto, a national online real estate brokerage firm in the Bay Area.

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