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Bizarre V-day cards of yesteryear


Further to Mark's bizarre old Valentines post from yesterday: Flickr user Page of Bats has assembled a marvellous and often inexplicable collection of tasteless, gross and weird vintage V-day cards. I can't figure out of some of these were from the likes of MAD magazine, or if they were all created in earnest by clueless card companies.

pageofbats' photostream / Tags / vintagevalentine (via How to Be a Retronaut)

How To: Close up your turkey

Some holiday advice from the journal Veterinary Record. What's the best method to use for sewing up a turkey after you've stuffed it? Turns out, surgical staples might be your best option. (Actually, this is a trick question: The correct choice is to cook the stuffing separately and break the bird down so you can properly heat the dark meat through without turning the breasts into sad, dry lumps. But I digress.)

Maggie

Custom Newtonmas ornament

Reader synapselapse had this made for his family's tree. He says:

This came from an episode of Big Bang theory. They observed that Dec 25th isn’t actually Jesus’ birthday, he was most likely born some time in Sept, but it is Sir Isaac Newton’s Birthday. So it makes more sense to put him on the tree!

My wife thought this was awesome since we’re trying to establish Christmas traditions that are dictated by our lives, not our parents lives.

I approached a friend of mine who’s a very talented artist about the project. He liked the idea and agreed to take it on. The tough part was getting it to look nice without being unnecessarily flippant. It’s a wire armature covered in Sculpy, then painted white with a finishing layer of varnish.

CC-licensed, Dickens-based, Pastifarian Christmas Carol kids' special

Robbo sez,

Puppets, songs, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Charles Dickens - all that and more are in our internet video holiday special: "Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol". Not just for kids, it's an unusual half-hour take on Dickens's classic - released under a Creative Commons License. Funded partly through IndieGoGo and a lot of sweat equity from the performers (total budget just a little over $5,000) we shot this thing in 4 days in my living room. All the puppet characters were shot against green screen and then combined with CG virtual sets and a pantload of special effects.

The music and songs were composed by JP Houston (Big Comfy Couch). We released this online yesterday, right after we had a screening at the old Revue Cinema in Toronto with box office proceeds going to the Toronto Public Library Foundation. Free to watch. Free to download. Free to share.

Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol

Vader Christmas Choir Flash Mob

Video Link. More about the making of at the Official Star Wars Blog.

HOWTO make a Star Wars snowflake


Matters of Grey created some beautiful, downloadable designs for cutting out Star Wars-themed snowflakes, and Anthony Herrera extended the collection, adding several designs, including a smashing Admiral Ackbar.

Star Wars Snowflakes (via Neatorama)

SantaCon 2011: Naked Santas World Record


[video link]

Funny man and filmmaker Mark Day shares his videos embedded above and below, and explains:

Tex Allen of WhyTheNose.com reminds revellers that it's not illegal to be nude in San Francisco (lewd is, of course, another matter), during an apparently legitimate Guinness World Record attempt to assemble the most naked Santas in one place, at Washington Square Park in San Francisco during SantaCon 29011. No word on when the record is actually ratified.

Of course, several hundred suit-optional Santas opted to keep their clothes on.


[video link]

Science Christmas tree ornaments

Check out this great series of laser-cut wood Christmas tree ornaments, decorated with the pictures of science heroes. That's Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States. You can also get Mary Leakey, Carl Linneaus, Rosalind Franklin, Charles Darwin, and more!

Thanks for Submitterating, pambamboo!

Fish House parade

The Aitkin, Minnesota, Fish House Parade is a post-Thanksgiving tradition. People dress up their snowmobiles, Sno-Cats, and fish houses—portable cabins used for ice fishing—in silly costumes and roll them down Aitkin's Main Street to cheering throngs. It's meant to mark the kick-off of the ice fishing season on Mille Lacs, a particularly large lake in north-central Minnesota. This year, however, the arrival of Thanksgiving has not really coincided with the arrival of thick snow and solid lake ice. It'll be a while yet before any of the fish houses are being used for fishing.

One other oddity brought on by the relatively warm November: If you browse through the photos taken by Minnesota Public Radio's Bob Collins, you'll see that many of fish house floats are towed by snowmobile. But, lacking much snow, the snowmobiles all have little, temporary front wheels attached.

The Gun Snuggler: from parody video to actual holiday gift

The Gun Snuggler. "Because happiness is a warm gun." Comes in sizes to fit everything from handguns to assault rifles! This began as a funny internet joke, but so many people took it seriously that it is now being offered as an actual thing that you can really buy for real. (Thanks, Marque Cornblatt!)

I am thankful for Minneapolis

There's a great write-up on Good about my city and my mayor, R.T. Rybak. Minneapolis isn't a perfect city, by any means. But it remains the best place I have ever had the privilege of living. And I think a huge part of that is the unofficial city motto that Good highlights here: "Minneapolis: We Build Stuff and Take Care of Things." Maggie

Science tricks to impress/distract your family

This morning, NPR brought on Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, of the depressingly small House Civility Caucus, to offer advice on how to defuse the now-traditional Thanksgiving political spat. As you might suspect, given the Civility Caucus' record of success, this was not the world's most helpful interview.

Probably the best bit of advice Congresswoman Capito had was to offer up a distraction when things get too tense. "It may be the perfect time to bring in dessert, she says, or to announce that someone should take the family dog out for a walk."

I've got a better suggestion. Every year, Richard Wiseman releases a set of easy-to-do and highly impressive science stunts that you can perform using things you probably already have around the house.

My suggestion: Combine Capito's awkward segue with Wiseman's awesome tricks. Not only will you actually get your family focused on a new topic, they might even be delighted enough that they decide to ignore the fact that you just passive-aggressived them out of a heated debate. Happy holidays!

A very Twinkie Thanksgiving

This is what a turkey looks like after it has been stuffed with cubed, toasted Twinkie cake and glazed with a mixture of Twinkie filling and honey. Chow's Joyce Slayton did this, following a recipe in a 2006 Twinkie cookbook. She describes the smell as "like a turkey being roasted in a cupcake-scented Yankee Candle." *shudder*

A recipe for sweet potato biscuits

These look amazing. And you can make them with marshmallows, if you are so inclined. Happy Thanksgiving! (Thank you, Rebecca Berkey) Maggie