Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, a freaked-out ambient tape loop remix

Magnetic tape maestro Randall Taylor, aka Amulets, takes an old Mannheim Steamroller Christmas cassette in a totally different direction... a totally different dimension.

Just when you thought you were going to listen to some sweet christmas music it turns into a weird 7 minute ambient drone rework that no one wants to hear at your family/work/friendmas/holiday party! Give the gift of your obscure musical taste and Mannheim Steamroll your loved ones today!

GEAR USED: - Custom Tape Loops - Tascam Porta 02 - Library of Congress Tape Player - Memorex Walkman - Behringer Micromix - AC Noises AMA - Strymon Blue Sky

Support and follow Amulets on Patreon.

Previously: "Spectacular 'Ambient Walkman Symphony' and other tape-loop, circuit bent performances" Read the rest

Christmas: Trump takes kids' Santa calls amid shutdown, pretty much blows it

Donald Trump, answering a phone call about Santa Claus from a child, 7, on Christmas Eve:

"Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it's marginal, right?" Read the rest

Krautrock pioneers Can's version of "Silent Night"

In 1976, German experimental group Can, pioneers of the krautrock sound, released "Silent Night" as a 7" single. Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Read the rest

For Sale: (1) Santa in Carbonite

John Eldredge of St. Petersburg, Florida writes in a Facebook Marketplace listing that he made this lifesize Santa in Carbonite for a sci-fi Christmas party. But the party's over and Santa must go. $200.

Light settings are adjustable to flash at different speeds or not at all. Made with wood, clothes and a lot of hot glue! It's basically a craft and not a precision model, but looks cool. Side panels are made with cosplay foam. Unit is pretty light and stands about 6.5 ft. tall.

photo via John Eldredge/Facebook

(Nerdcore) Read the rest

Little Timo's Christmas Tree

A seasonal Russian animation from 1966. Directed by Vladimir Degtyarev, it's 10 minutes long and you won't need subtitles 'cause there ain't no dialogue. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

When Christmas was despised and banned for 22 years in Massachusetts

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is a holiday that is nearly impossible to hide from. It's an in-your-face holiday for at least three months out of the year, with Christmas marketing, sales and decorations appearing in malls and other public spaces as early as October. But this wasn't always the case.

Here's a fascinating short video explaining the 22-year ban on Christmas enacted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659. Back then the Puritans despised Christmas, which was associated with debauchery, according to the video. Christmas encouraged people to drink "copious amounts of alcohol," riot in the streets, gorge on food (gasp!), and was the catalyst of rowdiness and sinful behavior.

In other words, Christmas, back then, was not considered to be family friendly. "But in the end," the narrator states, "we can partially thank commercialization for sustaining the domestic brand of Christmas we have today." Yippee? Read the rest

The Flaming Lips cover David Bowie and Bing Crosby's "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy"

"Every child must be made aware."

Directed by Flaming Lips madman mastermind Wayne Coyne and longtime Lips visual art/video collaborator George Salisbury.

Read the rest

Ho ho no: risk of suffering a heart attack is 40% higher on Christmas Eve

The world is full of shitty holiday gifts: socks, piggy banks with no money in them and Star Wars action figures of characters that had MAYBE four minutes of screen time (I'M NOT VENTING, YOU'RE VENTING). But they all pale in comparison to the present that more people receive on Christmas Eve than on any other day of the year:

From USA Today:

Christmas Eve is the worst day of the year for heart attacks, researchers found, with risk rising nearly 40 percent. More specifically, research showed that most heart attacks hit around 10 p.m. that day.

The observational study analyzed the timing of 283,014 heart attacks reported to the Swedish coronary care unit registry between 1998 to 2013. Findings were published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ.

“We do not know for sure but emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress increases the risk of a heart attack,” researcher David Erlinge at Lund University’s Department of Cardiology, told The Telegraph. "Excessive food intake, alcohol, long distance traveling may also increase the risk."

According to the study and surprising maybe no one, the folks most prone to suffer a holiday heart attack tend to be over 75 years old or who have a medical history that includes diabetes or coronary artery disease. That said, scientists will have to spend considerably more time in the lab in order to nail down the exact reason why Christmas Eve myocardial infarction is a thing. Until they've got it all sorted out, it's likely a good idea to spend Christmas Eve and other holidays with the friends and family that make your life worth living--having someone around who can dial 911 is a win. Read the rest

Listen to this reverb, as a vocalist sings 'Rejoice'

Unmute this one! Read the rest

Starrkeisha’s Christmas Carols, an insanely great Holiday music video

This is my new favorite holiday video, forever. Read the rest

Every Booby Trap in 'Home Alone', the flipbook (GENIUS)

Check out this incredibly dedicated animated flipbook re-creation of all the booby traps in the 1990 holiday scare-'em film HOME ALONE, starring Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci. Read the rest

All I want (to make) for Christmas: Yip Yips stockings

OMG, these hand-crocheted Yip Yips stockings by Carissa Browning sure do make me smile. The big mouths of Sesame Street's Muppet martians are perfect for stuffing in holiday gifts (and later for storing toys, Browning suggests).

One catch: If you want these, you'll have to crochet or knit them yourself. Fortunately, Browning has provided patterns for them which can be downloaded for free from her Ravelry page.

The spaceship has landed, and any fan of late 20th century children’s public television will recognize these lovable aliens.

Crochet them or knit them, use them as holiday stockings, toy storage, kids’ laundry, whatever really!

You should also be prepared to play with ping pong balls and pipe cleaners, and do a little light sewing.

Yip yip uh-huh uh-huh

(Cool Mom Picks, Daily Crochet)

photo via Carissa Browning, used with permission Read the rest

Quirky holiday-themed award ribbons for grownups

Hey, I started something new. When I'm not blogging for Boing Boing or publishing my inbox zine, I'm busy crafting ways to take over the world. I mean, I'm busy trying to think of fun side hustles for myself. The first "hustle" out of the gate is Chicken Dinner Prize Co, a site I whipped together that sells award ribbons for grownups. Yes, I know there are other sites that make similar items but they all seemed to be geared to millennials. I thought it would be fun to make award ribbons for grownups like me, i.e. the more "middle-aged but still full of childlike mirth" variety.

Since it's December, I decided to start with holiday-themed ribbons. I missed out on Hanukkah because it was so early again this year. But I was able to get out some Christmas ones. In the photo, you'll see the "Naughty," and "Nice," as well as "Log Off." I thought it would be amusing to hang one or the other (both?) on someone's stocking and have them discover it. I also thought they could be used as fancy gift tags or even bookmarks. I also made a ribbon with a saying my 14-year-old daughter SJ thought of: "Drunk on Eggnog." We both thought was funny. The final one speaks to that line between naughty and nice, "Nice-ish."

I'll be making more (non-holiday) ribbons in near future. I have TONS of ideas ("I survived my mid-life crisis!" with clipart of a dumpster fire, for instance). Read the rest

Calamityware now makes porcelain ornaments with its signature disaster scenes

If you're not familiar with Don Moyer's Calamityware, you should be. His series of blue-and-white porcelain pieces look like ordinary dinnerware at first glance but look closer and you'll spot the fantasy disaster scenes he's cleverly included (like UFO attacks and active volcanoes). You can get Calamityware as plates, mugs, bowls, platters and now, ornaments. Yup, he's essentially shrunk down the dinner plates and made ornaments that can be hung on the Christmas tree (or wherever).

There are 12 designs in all (see the rest at his site). A set of four ornaments is $52 or get all 12 for $144.

Previously: Calamityware: horrifying blue-china plates

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

UK retailer offers Christmas trees for cat lovers

Cat lovers who celebrate Christmas, your tree prayers may have been answered. Argos, a UK retailer is selling six-foot-tall "half parasol trees" with the description, "Keep your perfectly placed baubles, bows and bells out of reach of curious, crawling kids or your cats' playful paws."

That means no more of these kinds of shenanigans (dangit):

Argos' half trees cost £33.33 (about $43) and their flocked half trees cost £37.50 ($48).

(Ladbible) Read the rest

Melania's 2018 White House holiday decor includes blood-red trees and a 'Be Best' pencil wreath

This morning, an official video was released of Melania Trump walking through the White House, silently admiring its new Christmas decorations.

Holding leather gloves in one hand, the FLOTUS first makes her way through a forest of blood-red trees (bring on the metaphors!). We are then shown a glass ornament of the White House and then some laser-cut art of U.S. cities. Tasteful enough, I suppose. But as the minute-long video goes on, it strays back into the strange. Some decorations featuring the First Lady's initiative of "Be Best" are revealed including an ornament and a wreath made of pencils that has to be seen to be believed.

simonoftheplaya:

Previously: Just Be Best: Randy Rainbow sings about Melania

(Mashable) Read the rest

Potato chips that taste like Christmas trees

British grocer Iceland (yes, that's really its name) is not messing around with "autumn" and "pumpkin spice." How pedestrian! They're headed straight for the taste of December 25th with their "Luxury Christmas Tree Flavour Salted Hand-Cooked Crisps." Yup, they've made potato chips that taste like pine trees.

What gives the chips, sorry crisps, that distinctive Christmas tree flavor? Pine salt and pine oil, according to the ingredients.

A bag costs just £1 (approx. $1.30) but it's only available in the UK (for now).

(Extra Crispy)

Thanks, Kent! Read the rest

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