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That Kid From Superbad Ain't Got Nothing On Me

I find it kind of hard to write an introduction for myself, so I'll do it from the perspective of my dog (Patton, the little one): "I don't like this article very much because I - hey, your breath smells like pizza. Do you have any left? Can I have some? Seriously, you don't have any left? I can smell it still. OK. Fine. Anyway, I don't have opposable thumbs so I can't doodle, but - hey, is that a crumb on your sleeve? It doesn't look like food, but it might be food, so I'd better try. Hmm. That definitely wasn't food but I wouldn't say no if you had some more. What was I saying? I'm suddenly so tired. I think I'm just going to - zzzzzzzz...." -Patton Conradt

That Kid From Superbad Ain't Got Nothing On Me
by Stacy Conradt

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If you didn't know me very well, you might think that I'm on meth. Or uppers. Or some sort of behavior-altering drug. See, the problem is this: I cannot sit still. I mean, if I'm sitting at a computer writing or something, sure. But I can't just sit and watch TV or watch a movie (except in a theater when I am pretty much forced to). I have to be surfing the Internet, writing an article, knitting, crafting, something. It drives my husband insane.

So, in meetings and/or classes I tend to make lists, take notes, doodle, fill the spaces in words and numbers in. I just can't sit still. I've been told that doodling and the like makes it look like I'm not paying attention, but in reality, keeping my hands busy allows my brain to concentrate on what I'm hearing. If my hands aren't busy, my mind wanders. I make mental lists, think about groceries we need, things that need to be mailed, bills that need to be paid, what needs to get done"¦ it's endless. So the doodling is actually a good thing.

Turns out, though, my scribbles put me in good company. It's been documented that Keats liked to doodle flowers in his medical notebooks and Ralph Waldo Emerson doodled scrolls and decorations all over his composition books.

Some people even make a good living from their doodles.

Dennis Hwang

The name Dennis Hwang might not ring a bell, but I bet you know his work: he's the guy who does Google logos for special occasions. Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July "“ you already know he does those. But did you know that he doodles for lesser-known "holidays" too? You can see a whole archive of them at the Google Holiday Logos page.

Sergio Aragones

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Sergio Aragones has been professionally doodling in the margins of MAD magazine since 1963.

Shel Silverstein's

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Shel Silverstein's books just wouldn't be Shel Silverstein's books without his drawings.

Check out a few more famous doodlers below:

George Washington

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(that's his checkerboard work)

Twiggy

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Ronald Reagan

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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

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Richard Pryor

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Patrick Stewart

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John F. Kennedy

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Richard Nixon

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Elton John

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You can usually tell my mood by what I'm doodling: loops and scrolls mean I'm happy or in an OK mood; squares and sharp angles mean I'm agitated or stressed. I don't typically doodle people or things"¦ just random shapes and squiggles. Are you a doodler? What do you doodle?

Check out the rest of our College Weekend festivities.

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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