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The Weekend Links

Nicole has made my week by finding this amazing HuffPo article on ... crazy pregnancies! Step right up to see the 19 pound baby! Black and white twins! The oldest woman to give birth! And so much more.
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From the Annals of Geekery and Hilarity: 5 video game Facebook status updates.
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Headlines you just can't make up, and all in one place: 103-Year-Old Runs Marathon, British Prisoner Drunk on Hand Sanitizer, and the World's Oldest Man Gives Diet Advice.
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Speaking of the World's Oldest man, here are some other elders with a wise word or two to spare, as they are all incredibly healthy and capable of amazing feats! (Thanks David!)
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How are you celebrating World Rabies Day? With Rabies Fun Facts? My favorite part has to be the WikiAnswers bit at the bottom. And here I thought Yahoo Answers brought out the most ill-informed users ....
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From my friend Dekalb, 25 Awesome Dirty Car Window Drawings.

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A foodie road trip that won't gain you a pound (in theory): Appetizing Architecture, found by links-faithful Jan.
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Eric Idle sings about the galaxy. What more do you need to know? It's brilliant, of course (and catchy!) and got a true laugh from me at the end.

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Some super cute animals get all the attention ("You mean ... like this baby pygmy hippo who's barely bigger than a lettuce leaf?" Precisely). However, there are plenty of other very cute, yet underrated adorable animals out there too, lest we forget.
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Behold his majesty, the king of herrings: Regalecus Glesne! Honestly that sounds like an obscure royal, or possibly a former Hogwarts professor.
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Flossy reader Rudy asks, "why would anyone live in the Midwest?", but luckily provides this website to give us some good, if not slightly apocalyptic answers.
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The Georgia Capitol building in Atlanta has a gold dome, with materials from Dahlonega, Georgia, site of the nation's first gold rush. But there are plenty of other odd objects gilded in gold - in fact, here's a list of 11 of them. (Thanks, Andy!)
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Hell planet where rock falls as rain found. Yes indeed, COROT-7b, an alien planet where a rain of pebbles falls from clouds of rock vapour into lakes of molten lava, has been found by astronomers.
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For those of you who enjoy the occasional gawk, as I myself am prone to do, take a gander at Food Gawker. In particular, the most gawked at of all time.
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Having trouble kick-starting your writing ideas? Mark sends in The Brainstormer - a writer's block buster that I can actually get behind as being helpful in addition to being very well designed!
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So meta it's like a meme within a video within a meme ... The Best and Worst of YouTube in Four Minutes.
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Warning: Don't Die Around Geeks or this might happen to you ...
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Who needs a girlfriend (or boyfriend) when you can spend your time designing Legos that can open beer?
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"Big ups," as people cooler than myself are allowed to say, to everyone who sent in such fantastic links this week. Keep 'em coming! Send all finds to FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and have a marvelous weekend!

[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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