Christmas specials: obscure, common, and weird


Zack Smith has done a deep roundup of the best in Christmas Specials, "with a number of links to unedited versions of lesser-known specials including an unedited MUPPET FAMILY CHRISTMAS with original commercials, a "Shalom Sesame" from Israel with a Hanukkah theme and a British airing of Raymond Briggs' THE SNOWMAN with a live-action intro by David Bowie as the grown-up version of the little boy in the story. The Star Wars special is not in here because, well...the world has suffered enough. Also wrote up a look at the many specials of Rankin-Bass, and how they do or don't tie into one another.

The Spirit of Christmas Specials, Conclusion: Beyond Charlie Brown and the Grinch! (Thanks, Zack!)

Vince Guaraldi Trio: "My Little Drum," from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

The Vince Guaraldi Trio performing "My Little Drum," from the CBS children's holiday special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

The best weird and wonderful Christmas videos you ever did see!

It's Christmastime, and if there's anything that can unite a nation, even one that doesn't universally love the holidays, it's a collection of wonderfully weird vintage Christmas videos. And even if you don't like the holidays, you'll probably still enjoy these strange (but fun) attempts at whimsy and festivity.

The video is freakish not for the video itself, but for how freakishly progressive it was when it was made -- in 1913!

Read the rest

Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol: CC-licensed Christmas kids' video

Robbo sez,

Last year we released our production "Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol" online under a Creative Commons license and Boing Boing was kind enough to post about it. It's that time of the year again and I just wanted to remind you the show is still online for folks to enjoy a full half hour of silly fun, puppets, songs and just a little of Charles Dickens too.

Ruffus The Dog started as a TV series in Canada on YTV and was nominated for and won several awards. As the creator of the series when I got the rights back I decided to put them all online under a Creative Commons share-alike license. The Christmas Carol was an experiment of sorts to find out what was possible with little or no budget. We will be creating more original short episodes of Ruffus for release online and I'm currently scripting a longer Steampunk Adventure for our puppet cast. The silliness continues.

Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol

What to drink this winter — according to Smithsonian

Smithsonian's Food and Think blog has a (Northern-hemispherically biased) list of ideal Christmas/wintertime drinks — along with some cool history about where those drinks come from and how they're made. For example, Imperial Stout beer was invented in the late 1690s as a way to help delicious English stout beer survive frigidly cold Russian winters. Raise the alcohol content — and bam! — beer fit for a czar.

Red-nosed reindeer are real

It's true! Science proves it!

And it's more than just an effect of infrared imaging. If you duck over to Joseph Stromberg's post at the Surprising Science blog, you'll see a photo of a real, live reindeer with an adorably red nose (and upper lip).

Turns out, it's the result of an evolutionary adaptation. Some (but not all) reindeer have noses full of densely packed blood vessels — a difference that makes those reindeer better at regulating their own body temperatures.

To come to the findings, the scientists examined the noses of two reindeer and five human volunteers with a hand-held video microscope that allowed them to see individual blood vessels and the flow of blood in real time. They discovered that the reindeer had a 25% higher concentration of blood vessels in their noses, on average.

They also put the reindeer on a treadmill and used infrared imaging to measure what parts of their bodies shed the most heat after exercise. The nose, along with the hind legs, reached temperatures as high as 75°F—relatively hot for a reindeer—indicating that one of the main functions of all this blood flow is to help regulate temperature, bringing large volumes of blood close to the surface when the animals are overheated, so its heat can radiate out into the air.

Also: red-nosed reindeer on treadmills, you guys. This is clearly the most adorable science of the holiday season.

Read the full story

Via Bart King

Santacon 2012: Why the nose, Santa?

SantaCon 2012, official "Why the Nose" edition, San Francisco. Music by Kevin MacLeod, video by Mark Day.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion in gingerbread


Ray writes, "Some very talented gingerbread architects were able to convert Ray Keim's New Orleans Paper Model Kit into templates that they used to design and build a gingerbread version of Disneyland's haunted mansion. I thought it was brilliant!"

New Orleans Square Gingerbread! (Thanks, Ray!)

Sciencey Christmas from Digital Science

The folks at Digital Science made a great, cute Christmas video -- I love the grand finale and the exploding pud!

Digital Science Video

Chemis-tree


Breokz uploaded a photo of "Xmas at the lab of Avans University of Applied Science." Chemistry may all be "pretty colors and things that go bang," but it sure makes for a festive tree.

True Chemistree (imgur.com)

Santa and an adoptable dog in Las Vegas

Photographer, animal-lover, and Boing Boing reader heiney shares this photograph in our Boing Boing Flickr pool, and explains that this was a shot from the Animal Network Holiday Adoption Low Cost Vaccination/chip Photo Event at Ann Road Animal Hospital, Las Vegas NV.

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Wham's "Last Christmas" remixed, with erotic butter art dancing (messed-up holiday music video)

Video Link. Dylan Mitchell-Funk and Slugabed remix a Wham! holiday classic, with a woman dancing erotically on cubes of melting butter or lard or something. Merry Chrimbus, everyone.

Update: the source video is Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo's "EXERGIE - butter dance," a performance she first gave in 2000. Material used: 20 blocks of butter.

Saturday in San Francisco: Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah concert

IDELSOHN

This Saturday night (12/15) in San Francisco is the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation's "Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah" concert! Boing Boing is proud to be a media sponsor for this event where you'll be treated to performances by Sway Machinery featuring Jeremiah Lockwood, Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars, Black Crowes), Thao, Rebecca Bortman, Ethan Miller (Howlin’ Rain, Comets on Fire), Lyn Burton (of the Burton Sisters), Zach Rogue, Ceci Bastida, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and members of Antibalas. The show starts at 9pm at the swinging Brick & Mortar Music Hall. "Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah" concert

The concert is a record release party for the excellent double-CD "Twas the Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights." Check out tracks from the album here!

O, tennenbohm


Cubicle Christmas
by jingle_balls123
Artist's statement: This wasn't really a tree... I just twisted the wires and moves around the components to make it look like a tree. The parts are just LEDs, resistors (i used 100 ohms) and a 9v battery. Wire structures are just the leads from the LEDs and resistors.

This is how I decorated my cubicle (imgur.com) (via Neatorama)

Tiny holiday scenes starring Star Wars advent calendar minifigures

wookie needs a tree. Photo: J5K.

Boing Boing reader J5K of Helsinki, Finland picked up a LEGO 2012 Star Wars Advent Calendar 9509, and has been setting up and photographing cute little holiday scenes with the minifigs. He shared some in the Boing Boing Flickr pool, and you can view them all here.

at-at walker, Star Wars Advent Calendar - Day 10. Photo: J5K.