Reviving my Christmas daddy-daughter podcast, with Poesy!

For nearly every year since my daughter Poesy was old enough to sing, we've recorded a Christmas podcast; but we missed it in 2016, due to the same factors that made the podcast itself dormant for a couple years -- my crazy busy schedule. Read the rest

Last-minute gifts for Trump-haters

A pass to the national parks ($80); vulva-shaped chocolates ($20; a donation to Planned Parenthood (varies); anything from Patagonia (they're suing Trump); ACLU tees ($28); Cards Against Humanity ($25) and many more items, all in The Guardian's Ultimate gift guide for the Trump-hater in your life. (Thanks, Mom!) Read the rest

Merry Mixmas 2017: DJ Riko drops another album of festive mashups

Tis the season (1:12:27). Read the rest

Bosses seed Silicon Valley Christmas parties with models who impersonate fellow employees, after briefing them with back-stories

Business is booming for Silicon Valley modeling agencies that specialize in "ambiance and atmosphere models" who are sent to company Christmas parties after being briefed with back-stories that allow them pretend to be super-good-looking fellow employees, thus lulling the workers at the company into thinking that it's a kind of haven for extremely beautiful people and raising their self-esteem. Read the rest

Christmas is under attack: vandals steal Satanic Temple's tree-topper from San Jose's Christmas in the Park event

Christmas is under attack! The Satanic Temple was one of the many faith organizations who applied to put a tree at the record-breaking Christmas in the Park event in San Jose, an event that in no way abridged the separation of Church and State because it allowed any religion to participate. Read the rest

Celebrate Xmas with your little makers with conductive play-doh kits from Technology Will Save Us

Back in July, I blogged the Kickstarter campaign for Technology Will Save Us's Dough Universe kits: kits for 4-7 year olds that use conductive dough to make squishy circuits that can power all kinds of electronics projects. Read the rest

How to get a signed, personalized copy of any of my books, shipped anywhere in the world!

The kind folks at Dark Delicacies, my local specialist horror bookstore here in beautiful Burbank, California have volunteered to fill orders for my novels; since they're walking distance from my front door, I'll be popping in there a couple of times every week between now and Xmas to sign and inscribe any orders you place; they make fabulous gifts and also excellent firelighters! Call them at +1-818-556-6660, or email darkdel@darkdel.com. Read the rest

A twitterbot that generates hypothetical Hallmark holiday movies

Mark writes, "Nothing marks the holidays like the predictability of a formulaic chestnut featuring '90s stars, magical religious holidays, SFW romance, good hair, and reliable stable camera work. For all those who need a bit more than TV can deliver, my kids and I created the Hallmark Holiday Movie Bot, which generates one feel-good Chrismukkah hit after another for your seasonal celebration!" Read the rest

Cards Against Humanity's Xmas Bullshit mystery gifts are once again on sale, will save America

Every Cards Against Humanity Christmas surprise box has been amazing, and this year, the company promises to do something that will save America and hints that it will annoy Trump voters. I gave 'em $15. (via Waxy) Read the rest

A Trump Christmas Carol

Roz Kaveney, Laurie Penny, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton: "Democracy was dead to begin with. There was no doubt whatsoever about that. The election proclaimed it and the electoral college confirmed it and Trump himself signed off on the note, vaguely annoyed that Clinton had somehow still gotten 2.9 million votes more than he had. Well, they were from California. Everyone knew California didn’t count." Read the rest

When up on Deck 9 there arose such a clatter

I sprang to the bridge to see what was the matter (via Atomic Chronoscaph) Read the rest

Just in time for Hanukkah: Maccabees and Menorahs, a dreidel powered RPG

Randy sez, "Maccabees and Menorahs is a one page RPG played with a dreidel and gelt. Designed to run over 8 short sessions, one for each night of Hanukkah." Read the rest

Pitting 11,000 virtual vicious penguins against 4,000 murderous virtual Santas

Brilliant Games Studios wanted to show off its new crowd rendering system, so they created 15,000 virtual characters -- 11,000 penguins and 4,000 Santas -- and loosed them on each other in an "epic battle" -- "Units now navigate complex terrain, Bodies now pile up, movement and avoidance improved and smoothed." (via JWZ) Read the rest

Nothing says Christmas like an aluminum tree

Lisa Hix of Collectors Weekly has just published a great interview with Sarah Archer, whose new book, Midcentury Christmas: Holiday Fads, Fancies, and Fun from 1945 to 1970, explains how companies like Alcoa Aluminum used Christmas to capitalize on the technologies it had developed for World War II.

Here's a snip:

The company that produced the most aluminum for the war effort was Alcoa, but there were also some smaller companies, too, many of which were based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, of all places, which was one of the big aluminum capitals of North America. Like a lot of mid-century Christmas items, including the acrylic rubber that coats Christmas lights cords, aluminum trees came from thinking about repurposing a material produced for the military. The aluminum strips that were used to make the trees were originally designed for something called chaff, which was sprinkled over enemy territories to scramble radar because the little pieces of metal would diffuse the signal.

Many 1950s aluminum tree producers used Alcoa branding. The exterior of the box would say, “We proudly use Alcoa aluminum.” You could put ornaments on these trees, but one of the challenges of decorating them was not getting electrocuted, which was mentioned prominently in the how-to pamphlet that came with the tree. Because it was not safe to put electric lights on the metal, the companies distributing the trees would sell a rotating lamp that would shine different-colored lights on the tree to bathe it in magenta or purple.

Read the rest

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

dj BC has your Christmas mashups covered with this year's amazing Santastic holiday music sampler

dj BC writes, "My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year's Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our 'Menorah Mashups' Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It's all free." Read the rest

Chestburster roast turkey

Prepare a turkey as usual, but add a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with spaghetti teeth into the just-split chest cavity of the bird, garnished with dye-enhanced gravy and cranberry sauce -- YUM! Read the rest

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