London's Hammersmith and Fulham Council sent a "Christmas card" to its social housing tenants that implied that they would squander their rent money on booze. The council insists the card wasn't intended to be insulting -- rather, it was meant as a "hard hitting" reminder that to call the council's helpline if you are struggling with your rent money.
Record numbers of Britons are living in fuel- and food-poverty, a condition that continues to worsen in the face of cuts to benefits and the rise of jobs that pay sub-poverty wages for full-time employment. The council sent the card to 17,000 households (including tenants who'd never fallen behind in their rent) at an expense of £2,000.
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Sean sends us, "An atheist Christmas anthem, written by Pillow Army frontman Tim Franklin," and adds: "(Pillow Army opened for/played with Cory at a Seattle stop on a book tour a few years ago)."
They certainly did. Pillow Army has since become one of my favorite acts (check out Model Citizen from
To Comfort And Destroy). Nice to see Tim rockin' for the holidays!
Tim Franklin - "There's No Christmas In Hell (And That's Why I'm So Sad)"
Reason's video enumerating the TSA's "12 Banned Items of Christmas" is a perfect, acerbic and funny list of the most egregiously stupid and arbitrary rules for American fliers. And as they point out, the TSA has never stopped a terrorist attack. But so long as we're prevented from carrying on guacamole (but permitted to carry on avocados) and permitted to carry on pies (but not pie filling(, I'm sure we'll be safe. And never forget this pro-tip: you can carry on as much liquid as you'd like so long as it is labelled "breast milk."
The TSA's 12 Banned Items of Christmas
Every year, there's a day or two between the date that my daughter's school shuts and the day that my wife's office shuts for Christmas holidays. Those are the official seasonal mid-week daddy-daughter days, and for the past two years, my daughter and I have gone to my office to record a podcast. Last year's was great (MP3), but I think we hit a new high this year (MP3).
(Photo: Jonathan Worth)
Not Martha's 2010 tutorial for creating a Christmas tree bauble mobile that looks like an invisible tree is great, simple, and disarmingly effective.
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The headline says it all
: a rash of Nativity-Jesus snatchings from churchyards has prompted high-tech, GPS-based countermeasures.
Linguinineenie writes, "Despite the best efforts of the authorities, vandals have managed yet again to burn down the Yule Goat
in the city of Gavle. This is at least the 24th burning since Gavle started putting up a giant version of the traditional Yule Goat in 1966. While illegal, it's become something of a cat and mouse game between the erectors and the destroyers."
Redditor Imnojezus's co-worker made this Star Wars-themed Christmas sweater by felting and tufting the wampa/upside-down Luke scene from "Empire Strikes Back" onto an existing sweater, making a 3D scene. It's not for sale at present, though if it ever does go up on Etsy, I call dibs.
(via Geeks Are Sexy)
The latest piece from Roger Wood's Klockwerks studio is this brave, fire-engine-red number that's just put me over the edge into a full-on bout of Christmas cheer.
Eric sez, "I created these dice last night, with barely any time to spare before the 'twelve days of Christmas' begin (from 25 December until 6 January). I thought you might like to see what Leaping Lords, Milking Maids, and Turtle Doves look like when engraved onto a 12-sided die."
Eric'll make you a custom D12 for $4, which is a steal.
Twelve Days Of Christmas
You'd better not ___________, you'd better not __________, Santapus is coming to town.
The slo-mo footage of this Xmas tree made out of detonation cord (starts around 3:00) is just, I mean. Wow. BOOM!
Det Cord Christmas Tree
Timo writes, "Once again, 'tis the season to be sciencey as the Digital Science Team release their Christmas video - The Christmas Collider! The video includes a cameo from Robin Ince, a 3D printer, an "I Love Science" polar bear, plus lots of snow: 'A mysterious, yet strangely familiar visitor turns up at the Digital Science offices in London and deposits a package on one of the desks. Inside the box - an instruction manual explaining how you can build a working particle collider solely from seasonal decorations, and discover the secrets of quantum mechanics from the comforts of your very own home of office.'"
The Christmas Collider - Digital Science
Our Nerd Home has a great guide to the finicky, difficult, but ultimately incredible art of constructing gingerbread polyhedral dice, with a little help from our old friends, graham crackers.
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Jack from the ACLU sez, "We just posted a parody music video that pokes fun at the NSA with some holiday spirit (and some 'Jackass' thrown in for good measure)."
The NSA is Coming to Town