The Weekend Links

"¢ You might have heard of Project Greenlight, but what about a competition for the WORST movie ideas? It's called Project Redlight, and was judged by Harvey Weinstein himself, who chose an all-out winner from a competitive field of ten. I fear the one with Rob Schneider might actually get produced.

"¢ Flossy Reader Joseph R sent in this stunning time-lapse footage of a rotting strawberry (seriously cool). And just as fascinating, see it happen to a lemon.

"¢ Definitely one of the strangest videos on the internet (and that's saying something). One of my old Professors described it as "net-era Terry Gilliam-esque." Note: some images may be disturbing to the sensitive. See more of Cyriak's animations here. (Thanks to Kevin for that one)

"¢ The celebrity rumor mill has been around for as long as there have been, well, celebrities. Today's antics are no worse than before - judge for yourself here, with 25 of the best rock rumors ever.

Fetch these goats some smelling salts! I'm talking of course about a rare condition that causes excited goats to succumb to brief and sudden fainting fits. (Thank you, Stuart!) For a first-hand account of fainting goats, read Jason's Armchair Field Trip from last summer.

"¢ How about those Davidson Wildcats? Now there's no excuse for not knowing where Davidson is. Test your knowledge of schools in the NCAA Tournament with this quiz.

"¢ I know you guys love illusions, so here's an entertaining video montage of visual tricks that will make you reconsider your reality."¢ Not all movies about the future give us hope of a Utopian society. In fact, here are 10 Movies That Prove the Future Will Suck. Though definitely not as much as if any of those Project Redlight movies get made.


Wearable maps by designer and artist Elisabeth Lecourt. The latest must-have fashion for our GPS-crazed society.

"¢ Today, many cities are participating in Earth Hour. Even if you don't live in these places, consider doing your part starting at 8pm.

"¢ Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The new World's Smallest Man.

"¢ Slate Video brings us The Stupidest Bike Lane in America. I don't understand much about choices the DOT makes, but this one really is a head-scratcher.

"¢ Watch as two guys take their turn as Mythbusters to see if two phonebooks linked together are really impossible to pull apart. See it to believe it!

"¢ To close, here's a picture sent in by my friend Andrea. This one goes out to leash-kids the world over. Were any of you guys leash-kids? Are you a leash-mom?

Do some spring cleaning of your online bookmarks and send in some links! All submissions and suggestions go to Hope to hear from you!

[Last Weekend's Links]

Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album

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.

What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?

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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