While looking up something else on YouTube, I came across Santa Claus, the world's first Christmas movie! This British silent film, a little over a minute long, was made in 1898 and was directed by George Albert Smith, a "stage hypnotist, psychic, magic lantern lecturer, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, inventor" and noted film pioneer. It was considered a technical marvel in its time and definitely worth a watch.
Michael Brooke of BFI National Archive reports that the movie had "considerable technical ambition and accomplishment for its period," and that it "uses pioneering visual effects in its depiction of a visit from St. Nicholas." He also writes that it is "believed to be the cinema's earliest known example of parallel action and, when coupled with double-exposure techniques that Smith had already demonstrated in the same year's The Mesmerist (1898) and Photographing a Ghost (1898), the result is one of the most visually and conceptually sophisticated British films made up to then."
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In this picture you see two children being placed in bed by a maid, lights are then shut off. Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and proceeds to trim the tree. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. This film surprises everyone and leaves them to wonder how old St. Nicholas disappears.
Utah-based online clothing brand Beloved makes something called the "Belovesie," which is a long-sleeve, unusually-patterned onesie for grownups. It zippers all the way up from deep crotch to the top of your head, completely covering your face. That feature, I think, is best described as "disconcerting."
Enter the Sexy Christmas Belovesie which has truly nothing sexy about it. See for yourself:
Sexy or not, I can think of one particularly great use for this suit: SantaCon. Get it now for $129.95.
(Dangerous Minds) Read the rest
This is why I eat at Denny's. Read the rest
Everybody knows that North Korea is a failed state basket-case full of starving people and multigenerational concentration camps, but South Korea is hardly the model of good governance: from the long-serving leader who stole $200M and gave it to his kids (who now live happily in America off his nest-egg) to those long-ago days of 1988 when the government kidnapped homeless people and developmentally delayed people and put them into forced labor camps -- some of which still operate today. Read the rest
Distractify has thirty mall santas to be on the lookout for. There's plenty of listicle filler here, but would you just look at those vintage masked bastards. There's even a website dedicated to creepy santas. [via MeFi, which has even more]
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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.
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I guess that NORAD fighter escort didn't work out, huh. [Photo: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado. Bobble hat tip: Tonx] Read the rest
The bones of St. Nicholas (or, at least, his purported relics) rest in the crypt of in Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy. They've been disinterred, measured, and documented, and over the years various anatomists and forensic anthropologists have taken a stab at reconstructing what the real Santa might have looked like. The results vary widely. Why?
In 2010, Caroline Wilkinson of the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification at the UK's University of Dundee wrote an easy-to-read (and publicly accessible) research paper about the flaws of facial reconstruction techniques — flaws that are exacerbated when all you have to go on are dry bones. Read the rest
"Cash-strapped Ukraine on Wednesday reminded entertainers making money by posing as Did Moroz - the local version of Santa Claus - and his helpers to pay income tax." [Reuters] Read the rest
SantaCon 2012, official "Why the Nose
" edition, San Francisco. Music by Kevin MacLeod
, video by Mark Day
Please visit the TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE and/or follow RUBEN BOLLING on TWITTER. Read the rest
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.
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