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Short Hits

Canada is upset about the flood of refugees coming in from the US.

Obama apologized at the Slurpee Summit for not “reaching across the aisle”, and will try to do better. So he has scheduled meetings with some Democrats? He’s going to back some liberal legislation? What?

The Offal … excuse me, OFA, wants people to write letters supporting the Federal salary freeze. If they were cutting the salaries of the elected and appointed Federal officials they might get some support, but that would involve members of the Village, so that won’t happen. Once again – suppressing demand by limiting the money available to people who have to spend it, like the overwhelming majority of Federal workers, is going to make the economy worse, not better.

December 1, 2010   6 Comments

How Do Reindeer Fly?

Christmas Mushroom

… and how can Santa Claus visit every house, go down chimneys, leave toys, all over the world in one night?

One of the answers is found on European Christmas trees.

Read about Finland’s version of the Julbock, Joulupukki.

Note: Don’t try this at home unless you have the kidneys of a reindeer. It also explains why gnomes are so cheerful. [This is one of my most searched for posts, almost as big as the Shi’ia oil map, or the Alaska-Russia border. It is a bit disconcerting to see the number of people around the world whose interests are as weird as mine, but they are all hits on the counter.]

December 1, 2010   8 Comments

Seasons Greetings

Evergreen

Happy NODWISH Greetings

As a service to my readers I have compiled a list of useful terms for our modern global village.

It is time to wish family and friends: [select one]

Happy NODWISH
Merry Solstice
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
С Рождеством Христовым
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
Happy Hogwatch
Happy Christmas

[Read more →]

December 1, 2010   2 Comments

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah in Hebrew

MenorahHappy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. I miss the latkes and jelly doughnuts my roommates received for the holiday at college. [Their grandmothers were afraid they wouldn’t celebrate or couldn’t get “real” food at that terrible Baptist university.] It was a great break.

One of the nice things about Hanukkah is that there are established “gifts”, so you don’t have to rack your brains about what to get: a card and gelt covers just about everyone.

General background at Wikipedia’s entry for Hanukkah and even more at Chabad’s Chanukah page.

[Note: on the Jewish calendar the day changes at sundown, not midnight, so it begins at sundown today.]

December 1, 2010   Comments Off on Happy Hanukkah!

Happy NODWISH™

Evergreen Yes, it’s the time of year when the Sun dies and must be re-born through an elaborate ceremony that involves some form or type of sacrifice, such as finding gifts for people you can’t stand and smiling brightly as you receive yet another gift based on an urban legend that you actually like truly stomach-wrenching color combinations.

Of course there was a time when the Solstice sacrifices were more visceral and the evergreen was covered in things that pleased only ravens and such, but we have put all that behind us by opting for the possibility of electrocuting one another and causing chaos on the power grid.

What a brilliant idea: moving a large supply of pre-kindling soaked with highly flammable resins into your house, loading it down with petrochemical-based ornaments, lacing it with heat-producing electrical devices, and surrounding the base with cardboard boxes and tissue paper. You just can’t have a traditional celebration without a proto-bonfire in your living room.

[Read more →]

December 1, 2010   4 Comments