As the (northern hemisphere) summer rapidly disappears, the nights draw in and temperatures plummet, so the English are Christmas shopping. Seasonal foods appear on shelves, while the Selfridges Christmas store is now open and big supermarkets flag the approaching holiday. At Harrods, the Christmas range has been launched, while in Derbyshire Christmas pudding production is ramping up, and inns and hotels in towns such as Durham compete for Christmas Day meal bookings. For shoppers too impatient to wait, the 2014 British video game "Christmas Shopper Simulator" (play through). Days to go.
An interactive web documentary (mostly in Italian with French subtitles) takes a look into Predappio - the city where Mussolini was born and where neofascists assemble yearly to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Rome and to pray over the Duce's tomb. Ironically, the town has been left wing ever since the end of the war and the current mayor, Giorgio Frassinetti, is exasperated :"We have to work on the image of the town, on the prejudices against it... but these marching imbeciles are not helping!". Frassinetti participated in the Difficult Heritage conference, part of Contemporary History Days in Braunau am Inn, Hitler's birthplace, and reflected on how easier it is to attempt to recover a town's honor when there is no dead body to be worshipped
but his performance and town strategy is still being criticized.
The Sierra Network - later the ImagiNation Network - was a gaming and chat service for PCs started by Sierra On-Line in 1991 and shut down by AOL in 1998. [more inside]
Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger TM!! (ad infinitum) is one of the sounds you're likely to hear upon descending the stairs down to Lower Michigan Avenue and walking through a big fireman-red door (perhaps for the monthly Chicago meetup?) into the Billy Goat Tavern and Grill, where the bathrooms are confusingly named but not unisex, and where you can get a "cheezborger" or any one of a number of vegetarian-unfriendly menu options. [more inside]