An AI wrote a Christmas song

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It's not bad. In fact, this is a triumph: a Christmas song written entirely by an artificial intelligence at the University of Toronto. Yet it has that uncanny neural network je ne sais quoi in spades.

I swear it’s Christmas Eve I hope that’s what you say The best Christmas present in the world is a blessing I’ve always been there for the rest of our lives.
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Watch the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine crew “sing” a Christmas carol

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With some clever editing, YouTube user John C. Worsley helps the DS9 crew get into the holiday spirit with their rendition of “Wonderful Deep Space Nine.” Read the rest

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2016

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Here's this year's complete Boing Boing Gift Guide: more than a hundred great ideas for prezzies: technology, toys, books and more. Scroll down and buy things, mutants! Many of the items use Amazon Affiliate links that help us make ends meet at Boing Boing, the world's greatest neurozine.

Gadgets / Books / Toys and Trivia Read the rest

Florida atheists pair public nativity scene with a combustible Trump-themed Distrestivus pole

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Every year, the Religious Liberty Project puts Festivus poles on the lawns of public buildings that sport Christian religious holiday symbols; this year, RLP's Chaz Stevens put a "Distrestivus" pole adjacent to a nativity scene on Deerfield Beach, Florida public land. Read the rest

Funny reviews pile up for Donald Trump's dreadful $150 christmas tree ornament

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On wednesday, president-elect Donald Trump unveiled a $150 Christmas tree ornament: a miniature Make America Great Again hat. Finished in brass and 14-karat gold, it has already been subject to many reviews. Many are funny.

"It called Mary a nasty woman, told Joseph to go back where he came from, built a wall around the manger, and then when you press it it sings "I'm Dreaming Of A Totally White Christmas."

"Every time I try to hang it on the branch, it yells 'WRONG!' No matter which branch I try, it's 'WRONG!' My brother and father can hang it up just fine, but when my mother and I try, it's just 'WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!'

"The angel on top of my tree just hired a lawyer."

The awful ornament is selling like hotcakes on Amazon; you can also get it directly from Trump's political campaign site. Read the rest

2016 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar

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This years Star Wars Advent Calendar does not end on Wookie Life Day, but I like the minifigs.

LEGO Star Wars 75146 Advent Calendar Building Kit (282 Piece) via Amazon Read the rest

Dog gets human for Christmas

This adorable dog, Trouble, got exactly what he wanted for Christmas: his favorite human underneath the tree.

My heart melts each time I watch it. Read the rest

When dead birds were a good thing to put on Christmas cards

The dead robin was a symbol of good luck during the late 19th century.
Henry Cole invented the Christmas Card in 1843 as a way to escape the drudgery of hand-writing a bunch of letters to his friends. In this article, Hunter Oatman-Stafford of Collectors Weekly presents the curious history of the Christmas card.

“The Victorians had some really strange ideas about what served as an appropriate Christmas greeting,” says Bo Wreden, who recently organized an exhibition of holiday cards for the Book Club of California. “They liked to send out cards with dead birds on them, robins in particular, which related to ancient customs and legends. There’s a famous quotation from the Venerable Bede about a sparrow flying through the hall of a castle while the nobility is celebrating Christmas: The moment from when it enters until it flies out is very brief, a metaphor for how quickly our lives pass.” Apparently, killing a wren or robin was once a good-luck ritual performed in late December, and during the late 19th century, cards featuring the bodies of these birds were sent to offer good luck in the New Year.

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Sexy ugly Christmas sweater

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YourSassyGrandma on Etsy is selling the Sexy Ugly Christmas Sweater for $50. Read the rest

Babes in Toyland's Maureen Herman's most memorable Christmases

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[My friend Maureen Herman, former bassist of Babes in Toyland is currently writing her first book, It's a Memoir, Motherfucker, due out 2017. Maureen posted this to Facebook, and she kindly gave me permission to run it on Boing Boing. - Mark]

We got our Christmas decorations out tonight. To me, Christmas is an annual milestone that makes me look around at where I am in my life. It makes me want to do better. Next year, I want to soar. I want to dissolve every hurt and injury in a flurry of words and wit and hard-won wisdom, then hand it into my publisher in triumph. I want to skip around and say, “I did it! I did it!” I want to thank everyone who said I could do it, and I want to thank the ones who said I never would, because that was inspiring, too.

Merry Christmas, my sweet motherfuckers! I hope yours is truly merry and bright -- and if it’s not, I hope you know that every Christmas will be different, and in our memories, the hard ones end up serving as a contrast to appreciate the easier ones to come. That is how it’s been for me from the very beginning.

My very first memory is from one Christmas Eve in 1970, where I was at a big family party where everyone was laughing and happy. It was amidst the reverie that an older relative sexually assaulted me. Shocked and embarrassed, I said nothing. Read the rest

Get hammered with jazz great Charles Mingus's Egg Nog recipe

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Jazz pioneer Charles Mingus (1922-1979) had a secret recipe for eggnog that by all accounts was delicious, and incredibly potent. He shared the recipe with biographer Janet Coleman who published it in her book Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs. Here's the brew below, followed by Mingus's "Moanin'."

Charles Mingus's Egg Nog

* Separate one egg for one person. Each person gets an egg. * Two sugars for each egg, each person. * One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person. * Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk. * That’s where the 151 proof rum goes. Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs, * OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate. * In another pot- depending on how many people- put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.) * Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks. * One teaspoon of sugar. Brandy and rum. * Actually you mix it all together. * Yes, a lot of nutmeg. Fresh nutmeg. And stir it up. * You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold. Vanilla ice cream. You can use eggnog. I use vanilla ice cream. * Right, taste for flavor. Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it. Scotch. It depends.

See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it.

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Cozy up to this Darth Vader yule log

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Five hours of simmering Sith. (BenjaminApple, thanks Jordan Kurland!)

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Merry Dogsmas

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Redditor ShayGoes2Work posted this amazing shot of “Zane, 10 year old rescue dog,” wishing you a Merry Christmas. Read the rest

Venus fly trap plant in a googly-eye Santa Claus costume

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Crack nuts with Bowie, Lemmy, Ozzy, and Joey Ramone!

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Samurai White handcrafts custom rock and roll nutcrackers.

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Help wanted: Professional Christmas light untangler

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UK retailer Tesco is hiring "Christmas Light Untanglers" so they can provide this new service at their stores.

Ideal candidates are "able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes" and "passionate about Christmas."

From the job description at Tesco Careers:

Your roles and responsiblities will include: • Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand • Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps • Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer • Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition • Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit • Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride. • Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces • Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion • Abide by our Health and Safety policies • Always be there on time and properly presented • Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering

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Tree trimming samurai in action!

Edward Scissorhands has got nothing on Chuck Berry's two-handed Christmas tree trimming at Berry's Christmas Tree Farm in Covington, Georgia. (via Digg)

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