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The actors who played the main trio in 'Harry Potter' were given homework by the film's director. It turned out just as you might expect from their characters!

The third 'Harry Potter' film, 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' was directed by Alfonso Cuarn.

Cuarn wasn't the first choice to direct the film, and was initially nervous about accepting as he had not read any of the books or seen the films.

After reading the series, he changed his mind and signed on to direct, as he had immediately connected to the story.

The director's first exercise with the actors was to give them a homework assignment.

The main trio Radcliffe (Harry), Grint (Ron) and Watson (Hermione) were tasked with writing an autobiographical essay about their character, written in the first person, spanning birth to the discovery of the magical world, and including the character's emotional experience.

Radcliffe handed in a simple, one page essay, perhaps something Harry would do.

The other two were even more strikingly similar to their characters, however. Watson submitted a detailed, 16-page essay much as Hermione would have, while Grint didn't write his!

When asked why, Grint said "I'm Ron; Ron wouldn't do it." This satisfied Cuarn who said "Okay, you do understand your character."


Music affects plant growth, and now we may know why! Not all music has the same effect, though...

Studies in the 60s and 70s showed that plants respond to music.

Different kinds caused different effects. Plants responded best to classical and Indian devotional music.In a controlled environment, plants exposed to these kinds of music had lush and abundant growth and good root development.

Exposure to country music or silence brought about no abnormal growth reaction, while jazz produced more abundant growth.

Plants that listened to rock did pretty poorly, showing signs that they were in the dying stage. Plants exposed solely to white noise died quickly.

Recently, researchers have found genes in rice that are expressed more strongly when listening to Beethoven's Midnight Sonata. The results of these studies suggests that plants can somehow "hear."

It was further found that the genes were more active when exposed to frequencies from 125Hz to 250Hz, while the genes were less responsive to frequencies of 50Hz.

Some are skeptical of the result, though. Several different factors could have led to the genes being more expressive. Wind is an example. The study took into account sunlight by experimenting in light and darkness, so that was ruled out.


Barry Manilow's version of 'I Write the Songs' hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He did not write the song.

Barry Manilow released 'I Write the Songs' in 1975 as the first single off of his album 'Tryin' to Get the Feeling.'

It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year and was nominated for Record of the Year in 1977.

Only Barry Manilow did not write the song, nor was it originally written with the intention of him singing it.

The song was written by Bruce Johnston for husband and wife duo 'The Captain & Tennille.' Johnston has said that the "I" in the song is "God" and that songs come from the spirit of creativity in all of us.

Manilow didn't even want to record the song at first. He said in documentary, "The problem with the song was that if you didn't listen carefully to the lyrics, you would think that the singer was singing about himself. It could be misinterpreted as a monumental ego trip."

At the insistence of then president of Arista Records Clive Davis, Manilow recorded his version which would propel the song into the spotlight.


A giant basket that uses condensation to collect water may be the solution to the world's clean water problem!

The problem that is the lack of access to clean drinking water has been gaining attention recently.

With all of the luxuries that many of us take for granted, it's a bit of a shock that people die every day from something as simple as a lack of clean water.

It happens, though, and a lot of people are trying to change that.

One of those people is designer Arturo Vittori who, on a trip to northeastern Ethiopia, was stunned by what he saw.

One of the biggest problems with bringing these communities clean water is money. It takes a lot of money to build wells or do pretty much anything else to help.

Vittori seems to have gotten past that problem with what he calls WarkaWater.

Named after the Warka tree, the invention is very simple. A scaffolding of bamboo holds up a mesh similar to what oranges come in. The mesh let's water condensate, and the water runs down the mesh into a collection bowl. The invention can collect up to 25 gallons of water a day!

A WarkaWater costs just $550 and is made from completely natural materials. It's nearly 30 feet tall, 26 feet wide at its broadest and just a few feet across at its narrowest, and weighs only 88 pounds. It's made to be cleaned easily as well.

Vittori is currently looking for donations, but hopes to have some of these odd-looking things up by 2015.


13 Reasons You REALLY Want To Stay Out Of Jail

A town in Brazil has jail convict-powered streetlights!

A single high-security prison in Brazil began a pilot program for clean energy. Stationary exercise bikes are rigged up to car batteries to generate electrical power. Guards oversee a group of inmates that pedal furiously to generate the power.

The pilot program also benefits the prisoners. The inmates get 1 day reduced from their sentence for every 16 hours of pedaling they do. The electricity produced is used to light up the town at night to keep it safe.

A local judge came up with the idea for the program and local police and businesses made it happen. Now that there is light, the once abandoned riverside promenade is now robust with the added light.

The program is really benefiting the town as it makes people feel safe and they come out and celebrate life in the light of the inmate created electricity.



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