Why is KFC a Christmas tradition in Japan?

Around Christmas, many KFC restaurants in Japan see 10 times their average daily sales. Customers order their KFC special Christmas dinner weeks in advance or wait in line for hours to score a Kentucky Christmas dinner package including chicken, side dishes, cake, and even wine. WTF??! Marketing, that's what. From the BBC:

According to KFC Japan spokeswoman Motoichi Nakatani, it started thanks to Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in the country. Shortly after it opened in 1970, Okawara woke up at midnight and jotted down an idea that came to him in a dream: a “party barrel” to be sold on Christmas.

Okawara dreamed up the idea after overhearing a couple of foreigners in his store talk about how they missed having turkey for Christmas, according to Nakatani. Okawara hoped a Christmas dinner of fried chicken could be a fine substitute, and so he began marketing his Party Barrel as a way to celebrate the holiday.

In 1974, KFC took the marketing plan national, calling it Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii, or Kentucky for Christmas. It took off quickly, and so did the Harvard-educated Okawara, who climbed through the company ranks and served as president and CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan from 1984 to 2002.

The Party Barrel for Christmas became almost immediately a national phenomenon, says Joonas Rokka, associate professor of marketing at Emlyon Business School in France. He has studied the KFC Christmas in Japan as a model promotions campaign.

“It filled a void,” Rokka says.

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San Francisco (and online): cool Hanukkah pop-up shop with Lemony Snicket and more!

My friends in Reboot and Partners In Crime opened a fantastically cool Reboot Hanukkah Pop-Up Shop on Union Street in San Francisco (and online too)! The physical shop is only open this weekend and there are terrific events for the whole family including a lunch concert today by blues guitarist Luther Dickinson, a reading/signing tomorrow afternoon by the inimitable Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) and Lisa Brown, Lego Menorah Making, and a Sunday evening screening of Tiffany Shlain and Julie Hermelin's new film 50/50!

Reboot Hanukkah Pop-Up Shop Read the rest

The Prince Christmas Tree

Lish Laynette posted her amazing Prince-themed Christmas tree on YouTube and Facebook.

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Graphic designer creates impeccably decorated sugar cookies

Los Angeles-based graphic designer Holly Fox combines her love of baking and design with these amazing iced sugar cookies.

You can see more of her designs on Instagram and even order some cookies for yourself on Etsy—although, unfortunately, Fox is already sold out through 2016. Here are some of my favorite designs:

mini monday

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:46pm PST

ringPOP

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Dec 10, 2016 at 5:07pm PST

pastel ponies {🦄}

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 30, 2016 at 5:50pm PST

cone collection

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 26, 2016 at 4:17pm PST

🍪

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 22, 2016 at 5:43pm PST

holiday ready

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 23, 2016 at 6:33pm PST

{feather flashback}

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 18, 2016 at 5:28pm PST

purple pattern

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 12, 2016 at 5:18pm PST

🍋💛✨

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Nov 1, 2016 at 5:47pm PDT

juicy

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Sep 25, 2016 at 5:43pm PDT

[color closeup]

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:50pm PDT

pink lagoon

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on Jul 12, 2016 at 5:46pm PDT

paint party

A post shared by HOLLY FOX (@hol_fox) on May 3, 2016 at 5:35pm PDT

[via Bored Panda] Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: The History of East Coast Academic Acid

Traditionally, the end of year (New Year's, especially) is a time when many on the planet indulge in LSD. To commemorate this good-minded season, here's a compact history of East Coast academic acid, including John's experience dosing at Millbrook with Tim Leary, Charles Mingus, others. Happy Holidays.

Probably fake: "Terminally ill boy who asked for final Christmas wish dies in Santa's arms"

Sorry, apparently this shit is fake because 2016. Read the rest

This massive holiday Gingerbread Castle is incredible (and edible)

This totally out-of-control gorgeous gingerbread castle is replete with elegant reclining peppermint bark reindeer and inlaid candy glass windows.

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Boing Boing Gift Guide 2016

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

Great deal on laser landscape projector ($20)

I enjoy setting up Christmas lights outside our house during the holidays I've been wanting to get a laser landscape projector for a while. They project sparkling colored dots and your house, trees, and bushes without having to string up lights. The effect is really cool. I just found this good deal on Amazon. If you use code USSR8Q9U, you can get it for $20, instead of $40. Read the rest

Insane Clown Purim

A man wearing a mask takes part in a parade marking the Jewish holiday of Purim outside the Bialik Rogozin school in Tel Aviv, Israel March 22, 2016. Read the rest

Merry Dogsmas

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

Celebrate Christmas with stolen hams and crazed yetis

The holidays are here and everyone is shopping for their hams and turkeys. Enjoy this cautionary tale from The B-52s frontman Fred Schneider's side project, The Superions. After you've learned the Disco Garbage Can (if you've watched the video above, you'll know what I'm talking about), give a listen to my hands-down, all-time favorite holiday song: Teddy and Betty Yeti, from The Superions' album Destination Christmas. That's Teddy Yeti on the album cover. Everything about it is pure Christmas genius. Read the rest

Making egg nog for the British

Did you know you can enjoy raw eggs relatively fearlessly in the UK? As an American often found hiding out in England, I was surprised to learn that they don't have egg nog here. Read the rest

Santastic No 9: more Xmas mashups for the holiday season

dj BC writes, "It's the 9th annual Santastic Holiday mashup collection. Contains much Beatles, Mariah Carey, AC/DC, Flula, Ella Fitzgerald, The Staple Singers, various holiday bad guys, DMX..." Read the rest

Great profile of a black, female World War II vet

Millie Dunn Veasey traveled to England through U-Boat-infested waters, saw war casualties in bombed-out French towns, went to college on the GI Bill, and sat next to Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington.

Her life story, some of it centered around her time in England and France working with the first all-female, all-black military unit sent to a war zone, is absolutely fascinating. Kudos to Josh Shaffer of the Raleigh News & Observer for profiling Veasey.

Back in Raleigh, Veasey saw an advertisement looking for female black recruits. Women with work experience were especially prized. At the time, she didn’t think of her role as freeing a man for the front lines. She thought, if a white woman could join up, why shouldn’t I?

Her family didn’t share her optimism. She was small, weighed less than 100 pounds, and she’d been sickly as a child. Her mother doubted she could handle the rigorous training. Her brother, already in the Army, doubted she could pass the test.

But Veasey took a bus to Fort Bragg, where she aced the exam, physical and written; she was one of three selected. Before long, the girl from Bloodworth Street who’d never been out of Raleigh found herself standing at reveille in the rain at Fort Des Moines in Iowa, wearing Army-issued galoshes that didn’t fit her narrow AAA-sized feet.

“I didn’t know how to tie my tie,” she confessed.

Here's a video of Veasey's unit, the 6888th postal battalion, taking part in a parade and drills. Read the rest

The science of eggnog

Actually, it's technically the science of creme brulee, but, more broadly, the science of custard totally applies. Also, in one of those "oh-geez-that-should-have-occurred-to-me-a-long-time-ago" moments, it turns out that the only thing that separates eggnog and ice cream is bourbon and some time in a freezer. Read the rest

A splendid little secular Christmas carol

I just discovered Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun". I'm sure a lot of you have heard this before, but it's a lovely Christmas song and, frankly, the first Christmas song to actually make me cry. Especially that last verse. For a new parent, it's an emotional doozy. Really, overall, just a great song for people who aren't religious, but enjoy a religious holiday for the cultural traditions and the time it allows you to spend with people you love. (Even though, personally, I'd rather have dinner with Desmond Tutu than Richard Dawkins.) Read the rest

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