Historian Mary Beard says real gladiator competitions were probably not as brutal as the film Gladiator (starring Russell Crowe) would have us believe. Still, she says, "I loved Gladiator and I thought its depiction of gladiatorial combat, although it was an aggrandizing picture, was cleverly and expertly done." Universal/Getty Images hide caption

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Sam Phillips, the founder of the label Sun Records, poses with Elvis Presley. Courtesy of Tom Salva/Little Brown & Co hide caption

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Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks onstage at the 2015 New Yorker Festival last month. Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker hide caption

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Nordic items clockwise from top left: sugared cloudberries; Norwegian thick salt-pork pancakes, waffles; thick oven-baked pancake; blood pancakes; pancake torte. Erik Olsson hide caption

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Author David Mitchell's Number9Dream and Cloud Atlas were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Paul Stuart /Deckle Edge hide caption

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Comedian Aziz Ansari says while online dating has its problems, "1 out of 3 people that get married now, they meet their spouse through online dating. So you could look at it like, oh, well, there's an insane amount of love that would not even be there had it not been for these things." Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images hide caption

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