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Tim LaHaye, co-author of 'Left Behind' series, dies at 90

Evangelical pastor and best-selling author Tim LaHaye died Monday in a San Diego area hospital, days after suffering from a stroke. He was 90 years old.

Family confirmed the news on Tim LaHaye's website.

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LaHaye is best known for co-writing the popular 16-book "Left Behind" series with Jerry Jenkins. The fiction series focused on the return of Jesus and the Rapture as described in the Book of Revelation.

Since the series' first novel was released in 1995, the "Left Behind" books have sold more than 80 million copies and topped multiple best seller lists.

"Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don't expect to fill until I see him again," Jenkins said.

"The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor's heart and lived to share his faith. He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing. If Tim was missing from the autograph table, or the green room of a network television show, he was likely in a corner praying with someone he'd just met -- from a reader, to a part-time bookstore stock clerk, to a TV network anchorman."

LaHaye authored more than 60 other non-fiction books focused on family life, Bible prophecy, secular humanism and other topics. More than 14 million of those books are in print in as many as 32 languages.

Born in Detroit, LaHaye held pastor positions at churches in South Carolina and Minnesota before he and his family settled in San Diego County.

He led the Scott Memorial Baptist Church through multiple expansions and founded a pair of accredited Christian high schools, a school system consisting of 10 Christian schools and Christian Heritage College, now known as San Diego Christian College. With the late Henry Morris, LaHaye also co-founded the Institute for Creation Research, a group focused on examining science related to creationism.

LaHaye is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Beverly; four children; nine grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; a brother, Richard LaHaye; and a sister, Margaret White.

Harry Potter fan's theory may answer a question you didn't know you had

It's been nearly a decade since the seventh installment of the "Harry Potter" series hit shelves at booksellers worldwide. 

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But that doesn't mean fans don't still have questions. 

One Potter fan recently pondered a question that you might not have even known you had: Why were there so few people in Harry's class?

"For years, we’ve all wondered how there can be 1,000 students (according to J.K. Rowling) in Hogwarts when there are only a handful of students in Harry’s year," Tumblr user marauders4evr wrote. "The math doesn’t add up. We’ve all just assumed that it was an error." Marauders4evr has a point.  In the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" film, Percy Weasley can be seen escorting no more than 20 first year Gryffindors to the common room. And throughout the books, Rowling doesn't mention many other characters besides Neville, Dean, Seamus and a few other memorable names.  But in a 2000 interview, Rowling said about 1,000 students attended the school during Harry’s time. If there were 1,000 students, seven years and four houses, each house should have about 35 students per year. That's significantly more than readers are led to believe are in Harry's class. "But what if there’s normally dozens of students in each house, in each year? What if Harry’s year was the exception?"  marauders4evr challenges. And then the fan answers that very question: "What if there were less students in the Hogwarts Class of 1998 because the period when the other kids would have been conceived (1979-1981) was when Voldemort’s reign of power was at its peak? Between the dozens of adults who joined the Order, the dozens of civilians who were killed in Death Eater raids, and the dozens of adults that didn’t want to bring a child into the world, just then. It’s actually entirely possible that there was a baby drought for a few years in the wizarding world, leading to a smaller class size a decade later."

The theory is very curious, indeed. 

Rowling has not weighed in on the theory.

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WATCH: Skydivers play epic game of Quidditch in must-see viral video

Who says Muggles can't play Quidditch?

In a viral video that every Harry Potter fan must see, skydivers decked out in Quidditch gear grab their brooms and leap from a plane, then play the fictional sport midair.

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The clip, posted to YouTube last month by Colombian telecommunications company ETB, has been shared by several news outlets, raking in millions of views.

>> Click here or scroll down to watch

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WmXBLxgb31E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

'Meternity:' Who says you need kids for maternity leave?

Meghann Foye, 38, has no children, but she still thinks she is entitled to some of the same perks as women who benefit from maternity leave.

Foye believes hard-working, childless women should receive a "meternity" leave.

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"I was 31 years old in 2009, and I loved my career," Foye told the New York Post. "As an editor at a popular magazine, I got to work on big stories, attend cool events and meet famous celebs all the time. And yet, after 10 years of working in a job where I was always on deadline, I couldn’t help but feel envious when parents on staff left the office at 6 p.m. to tend to their children, while it was assumed co-workers without kids would stay behind to pick up the slack."

According to Foye, "meternity" leave is "a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs." 

"For women who follow a 'traditional' path, this pause often naturally comes in your late 20s or early 30s, when a wedding, pregnancy and babies means that your personal life takes center stage," she said. "But for those who end up on the 'other' path, that socially mandated time and space for self-reflection may never come."

Thus, meternity leave should be earned after "a decade or so" in the workforce to avoid "Burnout syndrome," Foye said. And, "it should be about digging into your whole life and emerging from it more confident in who you are."

Foye, who feels it's unfair for employees to ditch the office early, saying 'I need to go pick up my child,' eventually took a meternity leave of her own, quitting her job and leaving the corporate world for a year and a half.

During that time, she wrote "Meternity," a novel about a woman who fakes being pregnant to enjoy the benefits of the paid time off.

Foye said maternity leave and her own meternity leave develop confidence, allow for a shift in focus from an overwhelming amount of professional obligations and give "a whole new lens through which to see (life,) but many critics disagree with her idea and argue that maternity leave is a well-intentioned, well-deserved break for new mothers who go through the process of having a raising a child.

Read more here.

Rachel Dolezal plans to write a book

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It has almost been a year since former Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal was exposed as a white woman who claimed to be black.

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But Dolezal, who sparked outrage from critics who said she committed cultural appropriation and fueled conversation about self-identification and the concept of being transracial, said she doesn't have any regrets.

"I don't have any regrets about how I identify. I'm still me and nothing about that has changed," she said during an appearance on the "Today" show on Tuesday.

Dolezal was born to white parents in Lincoln County, Montana, in 1977. She came to media attention last June when her estranged parents publicly said that she is a white woman who was passing as black.

Dolezal later resigned from her position with the NAACP and was dismissed as chair of Spokane's police ombudsman commission. She also resigned from her position as education director at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, citing discrimination.

"I feel like moving forward," she told Savannah Guthrie. "It's been some work to rebuild and get things back on track with life. Looking at some new opportunities going into 2016."

Dolezal said she has some upcoming speaking engagements and that she recently completed a TED talk.

She also said that she is "looking forward to getting back into racial and social justice work" with plans to write a book about her racial identity and her personal experiences.

"I'm really excited to write the book and to address some of the issues that I've researched for many years, and I hope to eventually get back to teaching," said Dolezal, who previously taught classes in African-American studies at Eastern Washington University.

Dolezal said many people have reached out to her to tell her how they can relate to her and that those testimonies inspired her plans to write a book.

"I've heard a lot of stories from people around the world about their lives being somehow caught between boundary lines of race or culture or ethnicity," she said. "So this larger issue of if you don't fit into one box and if you don't stay there (for) your whole life from birth... what does that look like? Race is such a contentious issue because of the painful history of racism. Race didn't create racism, but racism created race."

'Harry Potter' fans compare Starbucks butterscotch latte to butterbeer

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Days after Starbucks released three limited-time drinks for Valentine's Day, the company has exposed a new coffee item that used to exist only on the coffee chain's secret menu.

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The limited-edition drink is called the smoked butterscotch latte and is available at participating stores nationwide for an unknown amount of time.

According to Starbucks, the smoked butterscotch latte "combines espresso with steamed milk and smoked butterscotch sauce, finished with a sprinkling of smoky butterscotch topping, perfectly crafted to give Starbucks customers new and sophisticated flavors."

“The smoky flavor balances the subtle sweetness of the butterscotch,” said Christal Canzler, whose team develops new handcrafted espresso beverages for Starbucks. “It acts as a savory ingredient that enhances the coffee.”

Many Harry Potter fans are comparing the sweet latte to the popular butterbeer drink mentioned in J.K. Rowling's series. 

Most people responded to the drink positively, saying Starbucks' rendition of the butterscotch beverage is spot on with what they imagined.

Others compared the latte to Rowlings' creation, saying the drink was tasty but not similar to what butterbeer probably tastes like. 

Overall, the response to the new drink is generally positive, but Starbucks lovers and Harry Potter fans should remember one thing: no matter how similar you think the smoked butterscotch latte tastes like butterbeer, you should probably order it using Starbucks' signature name.

Pat Conroy diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, says “I intend to fight.”

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Beloved author Pat Conroy, whose muscular, vivid prose has brought to life the storied streets of historic Charleston, the punishing rigor of a military academy much like his alma mater The Citadel and his own troubled childhood, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He tells his fans he’s ready for a fight.

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He went to Facebook to tell his fans about his diagnosis. 

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Hey out there,I celebrated my 70th birthday  in October  and realized that I’ve spent my whole writing life trying to...Posted by Pat Conroy on Monday, February 15, 2016

His publisher Doubleday went to Twitter to send their thoughts to the writer.

Conroy is known for his books "The Great Santini and "The Prince of Tides."

New Harry Potter book: Yes it's a new book; no, it's not what you think

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Twitter and Facebook were abuzz Wednesday when word got out that there would be an eighth Harry Potter book coming out later this year. 

But J.K. Rowling hit social media to clarify what exactly will be hitting bookstore shelves. 

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Scholastic is releasing "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," but it is not part of the series of best-selling books, Entertainment Weekly reported. 

Rowling said the book is a script only. It is not a novel and it is not a prequel.

"The Cursed Child" happens 19 years after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Rowling and Scholastic both have confirmed.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" will be released July 31.

The date has some significance in the Potter world. According to Scholastic, July 31 is Harry's birthday.

'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'Frozen' to get Broadway runs

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Two stories, that couldn't be more opposite will both be on the the Great White Way.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will be coming to Broadway for the first time, The New York Times reported.

And it has a big name adapting the story for the stage: Aaron Sorkin. 

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Sorkin is best known for his big-screen hits like "The Social Network" and "The American President," and his small-screen shows like "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom."

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will be directed by Tony Award winner Barlett Sher.

It will hit the stage for the 2017-2018 Broadway season. 

A year later, Disney will bring mega-hit "Frozen" to Broadway, CNN reported.

The announcement was made on Frozen's new Broadway Twitter account.

It will be previewed in the summer of 2017, in an unnamed location, and will land in New York City in spring 2018.

The team that brought "Frozen" to life in movie theaters is reuniting for the stage version. Jennifer Lee will write the show, while Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez will compose the music. 

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