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The Weekend Links

Think you know the 80s? Page 2 offers up their version of The Ultimate 80s Quiz. It's probably not what you think, but also pretty darn funny.
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First items to cut out of the recession budget: Pancake Warmers and other extraneous kitchen gadgets.
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I love the labyrinthine linguistics of English, which is why from time to time I feature comments on the ridiculous natures of spelling and pronunciation. Here's a great poem to read aloud that deals with just that.
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If only all the advertising for crazy kid-zones were this funny. I yearn for earlier times!
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Another problem with video games - they can lead to First Person Shooter Disorder!
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For those of you who, like me, can only make a semi-convincing Fortune Teller / Cootie Catcher, check out the work of Won Park, Origami Master

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The award for awkward urban planning (or in a more positive light: Making the Most of Small Spaces): a highway and airport runway converge. Traffic is stopped every time a flight comes in, which just can't be that often!
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There's no telling how far people will go when they are set to be vengeful. One example would be the Spite House. You know you all have seen them around! Who knew it had a name?
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This Nintendo dance is so amazing that it's nearly two-dimensional. Watch and see why that's a compliment.

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In other cool dance moves, the story and final performance of Diversity, winner's of Britain's Got Talent (for those who, like me, missed this whole thing somehow).
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tights3tights2tights1

Tights are all the rage now, but you may want to think twice before buying any of these particular fashions. Does this mean visible veins are in, too?
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Further amuse yourself at the expense of the fashion industry here.
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An example of a shirt not to wear to graduation or for any job interview ... no matter how true it is!
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In the category of "Just Because," random but beautiful pictures of hot springs.
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An amazing beat boxer harnesses the power of the sustain loop.
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See how violence and other factors in movies has changed from 1982 to 2009 with the Rambo Death Chart.
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The job market is hard, really hard ... especially when you have to solve complex equations just to get a phone number! (Girls this is an idea if you're trying to catch the heart of a geek...)
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Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend! Keep sending links, pictures and all manner of internet arcana to FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and for more oddities throughout the week, I am on Twitter!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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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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