December 24, 2009

Santa Pope

6 to 8 Black Men. Christmas in the Netherlands as described by David Sedaris (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 PM PST - 20 comments

All Quiet on Christmas Day

When Pope Benedict XV called for a cease fire over the Christian holiday of Christmas the high command on both sides of no man's land called it "impossible". But the men in the icy muck and mire of Flanders decided for themselves what was possible, what was not possible. The future held millions of dead and wounded but the season motivated the British (along with some French and Belgians) and the Germans to shake off the traditional definitions of enemies and allies. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:15 PM PST - 36 comments

Does what it says on the tin.

Tesla Christmas Tree.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:47 PM PST - 12 comments

Vic Chesnutt RIP

Vic Chesnutt dead of apparent suicide. The link covers his biography just fine, including the extra gut punch that he was apparently facing huge medical debt, so I'll just link to this fine live performance of an appropriate song of his. So sad to see you go Vic.
posted by malphigian at 10:33 PM PST - 97 comments

Everyone knows Santa isn't real

As households across the world quietly deploy presents from St. Nick, Kate Beaton, author of the charming historical webcomic Hark, a Vagrant! (previ ously) remembers the tradition in a bittersweet light. In spite of venerable op-eds (and their animated offspring), such pain moves some to question whether parents should teach their children to believe in Santa Claus at all.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:10 PM PST - 25 comments

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

If you're of a certain age, you might've seen Simple Gifts: 6 Heartwarming Holiday Stories on PBS in the late 70s or early 80s. Maybe you enjoyed it as much as I did, or maybe you still will.

Prologue, by Maurice Sendak.
1. A Memory of Christmas part one, part two
2. Lost And Found
3. Excerpted from Orlando, The Great Frost part one and part two
4. My Christmas, as told by a young Teddy Roosevelt
5. December 25th, 1914 (You might otherwise know this event from the video for Paul McCartney's "The Pipes of Peace.")
6. No Room At The Inn part one, part two
posted by kimota at 10:08 PM PST - 4 comments

20 years ago, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were executed.

"The verdict was read out after a few hours. The Ceausescus were sentenced to death. They had ten days to appeal, but the sentence was to be carried out immediately. A nod to Kafka." 20 years ago on Christmas Day, the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were sentenced to death by an impromptu revolutionary tribunal and executed by firing squad. The Times speaks with one of the men who was there that day. Footage of their trial. Translated transcript of the trial, courtesy of the very informative ceausescu.org. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:35 PM PST - 21 comments

What's a Coastie?

What's a Coastie? Two University of Wisconsin undergrads record and post to YouTube an ode to "Coasties," out-of-state students who live in expensive off-campus apartments, wear Spandex tights with Uggs, spend their parents' money on designer handbags and Starbucks, and -- oh yeah, like 15% of their classmates but only 1 in 200 Wisconsin natives, are Jews. Controversy ensues.
posted by escabeche at 7:41 PM PST - 144 comments

A New Molecular Way of Fabricating Transistors

A team of scientists from Yale University and the up-and-coming Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have managed to fabricate intricate electrical contacts to produce a transistor from a benzene molecule. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:37 PM PST - 6 comments

Moog-y Christmas

Do you like musical instruments with lots of keyboards? And lots and lots of dials? Then you may like 36 15 MOOG: Stuff with Moog and/or 60's and 70's vintage synths in it. (related Ask MeFi) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 5:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Santa, cleared to land runway 36, ceiling 300 feet.

What does Santa need after a night of delivering presents in bad weather? An instrument approach to the North Pole.
posted by pjern at 4:55 PM PST - 9 comments

Accursed be anyone who doesn't believe us!

The Nature Theater of Oklahoma is a theater troupe from NYC. [more inside]
posted by degoao at 3:40 PM PST - 3 comments

Son of a Carpenter

A forgotten gem from The Band, and a Christmas Card to all my fellow MeFites.
posted by timsteil at 2:55 PM PST - 10 comments

Immortal Defense

Immortal Defense, "the 'topping-out' of the tower defense genre," is temporarily available for whatever you care to pay.
posted by Iridic at 2:47 PM PST - 23 comments

Dit-Dit-Dit Dah-Dah-Dah Dit-Dit-Dit

Just because those amateur radio operators on the Jay Leno show can out-text Ben Cook, former world SMS champion (160 chars in 57 seconds or about 33 wpm), doesn't mean that you can't try to beat them by joining them: iDitDahText lets you input Morse code on your iPhone with a software iambic keyer at up to 50 words per minute, no sleeve garters or green-visor required.
posted by autopilot at 12:47 PM PST - 10 comments

Tweeting Home Alone

Twenty-two new accounts created in order to tweet John Hughes' Home Alone in real time. Merry Christmas.
posted by jefficator at 12:40 PM PST - 26 comments

The Dispossessed

"I am not going to rehearse any arguments pro and anti the “Google settlement.” You decided to deal with the devil, as it were, and have presented your arguments for doing so. I wish I could accept them. I can’t. There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle." - Ursula Le Guin resigns from the Authors Guild over the Google Book deal. (Previously)
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM PST - 116 comments

A Very Merry (Unauthorized) Children's Scientology Pageant

Witness the spectacle as Chicago's A Red Orchid Theater presents A Very Merry (Unauthorized) Children's Scientology Pageant, through January 17, 2010. It's time to celebrate, it's time to open up your eyes. Critics agree - it's a hit!
posted by scalefree at 10:45 AM PST - 9 comments

Florence and the Machine and Billy Bragg - Fairytale Of New York

Florence and the Machine and Billy Bragg - Fairytale Of New York - Live in Session Video of Florence and the Machine and Billy Bragg performing Fairytale Of New York Live in Session on BBC Radio 1 SLYT
posted by Sailormom at 9:12 AM PST - 36 comments

OMG I'M THE ADULT

OMG I'M THE ADULT Documenting all those little moments of realization, when suddenly it is revealed that you are, indeed, a grown-up now. [via mefi projects]
posted by hippybear at 8:18 AM PST - 159 comments

Free games of 2009

Games blog Critical Distance presents 99 Free Games from 2009. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:52 AM PST - 8 comments

Happy Happy Christmas and Hari Hari Krishna

Each year from 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded a short Christmas message for their fans*: The Beatles' Christmas album. An oldie but a goodie!
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:26 AM PST - 12 comments

HCR: Naughty or Nice?

Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote. So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals and last minute surprises, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide" to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 AM PST - 113 comments

"... as the rambling voice scraped and whispered on I shivered again and again..."

“West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut...” — In the true spirit of the holiday season, Mark E. Smith presents: a reading of that classic old Christmas tale, Howard Phillips Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz at 6:11 AM PST - 30 comments

Protecting Nature's Gems

Rising up from deep within the aquifer, cool clear water flows from hundreds of springs that dot the Florida landscape. Florida springs are natural wonders that are threatened constantly. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:09 AM PST - 14 comments

The Nativity. With Vegetables.

The Day Before Boxing Day [SLYT]. From the ever-unusual Robyn Hitchcock, and friends.
posted by scruss at 5:20 AM PST - 8 comments

Studying the War to Prevent Southern Independence

Secretive Scholars of the Old South. The Abbeville Institute is a scholarly society that seeks to promote a "distinctly Southern interpretation of American history and identity ... a valuable intellectual and spiritual resource for exposing and correcting the errors of American modernity." Founded in 2003 by Donald Livingston, philosophy professor at Emory University, the Institute will hold its 8th annual conference, "State Nullification, Secession, and the Human Scale of Political Order" next February.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:38 AM PST - 80 comments

give the little drummer some

We're mostly pretty familiar, I guess, with the ol' rum pa pum pum of the Little Drummer Boy. He shows up every Christmas, marching drum slung round his waist, rat-a-tat-tatting for the Son of God, thanks to that familiar song about him. A catchy little tune it is, too... heck, David Bowie and Bing Crosby think so! Let's keep in mind, though, that back when a certain Holy Infant made his first grand appearance at a stable back in Bethlehem, any little drummer boy that might've serenaded him wouldn't have been playing any paradiddles or ratamacues. Nah, he'd have been laying down beats more like this, or this, or (from actual boys), this. I think the baby Jesus would've dug the groove, too. Merry Christmas, y'all!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:36 AM PST - 32 comments