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• Idina Menzel (who voices Elsa) said she hoped a Frozen sequel was “in the works.” The Internet agreed.

• After years of demand, Girl Scout troops are finally able to sell Girl Scout cookies online, including Samoas, below.

• Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have been using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to study how reading affects the human brain.

• Jennifer Lawrence charted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “The Hanging Tree” from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I (even though she says she hated singing it).


‘All you’ve got is a girl with high cheekbones.’

JONI MITCHELL, singer-songwriter, describing what she told a producer in order to “squelch” the prospect of Taylor Swift’s portraying her in a biopic; Variety reported that she had been circling the role in April 2012, and Swift addressed the casting with Time that October, saying, “I wish I could say it’s confirmed!”


88 seconds

Length of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, which hit 40 million YouTube views in less than 72 hours


What does it mean to be African? Botswana-born artist Meleko Mokgosi spent years trying to address that question visually with his eight-part painting project titled Pax Kaffraria. See works like Lekgowa, above, on display Dec. 4–7 at this year’s edition of the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair.


Gabrielle Union

In Top Five, opening Dec. 12, the 42-year-old actress–who broke out in the 2000 cheerleader flick Bring It On–portrays Erica, a Real Housewives–type reality-TV star who’s engaged to a famous comedian (played by Chris Rock).


Top Five draws from the real lives of working celebrities. Which parts ring true?

Me and Chris were walking through the streets of SoHo last month and got totally turned around. The paparazzi was following us the whole way, and we had to actually ask them how to get where we’re going. It’s such a moment from the movie.

That’s great.

It was so crazy. As we’re walking, the paparazzi is like, “That’s not your husband!” And I’m like, “No, it’s my co-star in the upcoming film Top Five.” If we were trying to do something on the low, do you think we’re going to be walking through the streets of SoHo on a Saturday? Come on, dude!

Speaking of, you married NBA player Dwyane Wade this year. Were you as wedding-obsessed as your character in Top Five?

Not at all, but my husband was. We called him Zilla because he was a groomzilla. All the guys in his group of friends were. They all very much cared about place settings and the music and the food. If it was up to me, we’d have a pony keg and red cups.

Bring It On turns 15 next year. Do you remember any of the cheers?

On Halloween I’ve run into groups of people dressed as [my character] Isis from the Compton Clovers, and they want me to join in. I’m like, “I don’t remember the choreography!” But they will flank me, and magically it comes back. It’s like muscle memory.


• Beyoncé’s “7/11” video

“All these people drop all this money for these huge videos, and here she is in her sweatshirt and her underwear just giving you life, honey.”

• Rihanna’s Instagram

“It’s great to see an artist be so transparent.”


A neighborhood is shaped not just by architecture but also by the artists who perform there. Or so says designer John Davies, who creates 3-D maps of New York City neighborhoods using sound waves of iconic songs. Among them: Harlem, portrayed with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s “Autumn in New York,” above, and the Lower East Side, with the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” A new book, Soundscape: The Physical Sounds of Manhattan, explores the project.


World’s Most Festive Records

A very cheery dad in Canberra recently broke a Guinness World Record by stringing together 1.2 million lights to create a 3-D image of wrapped gifts in front of a holiday backdrop–the largest of its kind. Here, a look at other remarkable Yuletide feats.

[This article consists of 5 illustrations. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

THE LARGEST GATHERING OF SANTA’S ELVES … featured 1,792 kids wearing matching hats and pointy plastic ears. They gathered in Bangkok last month.

THE BEST-SELLING CHRISTMAS SINGLE … is Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”; it has moved an estimated 50 million copies worldwide since 1942.

THE BIGGEST SECRET-SANTA GAME … had 1,463 participants. It was arranged by Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, Ky., in 2013.

THE LARGEST CHRISTMAS STOCKING … measured 168 ft. in length and 70 ft. in width. It debuted in Tuscany, in northern Italy, in 2011 and was stuffed with candy-filled balloons.

THE PRICIEST CHRISTMAS TREE … was adorned with 181 pieces of jewelry, valued at $11,026,900. It went up at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi in 2010.


• Cards Against Humanity sold boxes full of bull poop on Black Friday.

• GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten accused Sasha and Malia Obama of lacking class during a Thanksgiving appearance; she resigned amid backlash.

• Doctors say more people are getting plastic surgery in an effort to look better in selfies and on social media.

• Jaden Smith reportedly wore a spacesuit and started shouting during a screening of Interstellar.


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