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Morning Cup of Links: Singing Hipster Princesses

Unpopular teenager Whitney Kropp was selected for the homecoming court as a cruel joke. But her community gave the Carrie scenario a happy ending.
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A small church in Ethiopia claims to have the Ark of the Covenant. Whether it is real will never be proven, as only one lifetime caretaker at a time is allowed to see it.
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The Berkeley Korean band RaOn performs an acoustic version of "Gangnam Style." It's a strangely soothing sound.
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The Saudi Arabian version of the IKEA catalog has no women in it. They've been edited out to conform with that nation's fear of females.
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The Hipster Disney Princesses Are Too Cool To Follow The Bouncing Ball In Their Own Sing-Along Video. How are they ever going to stage a musical when they are so busy being ironic?
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Neeson Season is a musical explanation of how Liam Neeson is going to wreck your world. And there's nothing you can do about it.
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A Halloween haunted house with performers playing real-life serial killers? That's a real scary idea, but it's happening in New York.
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This time, "Somebody That I Used to Know" is played by instruments like a scanner, an oscilloscope, and some other weird machinery.
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9 tips for 2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane. First off, learn from the mistakes of those who came before.
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Are you ready for baseball post-season play? Learn about 7 Famous Baseball Pitches (and some physics behind them).

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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iStock

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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