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The Late Movies: Get Your Guitar On

For thousands of years humans have been playing guitars, mostly in ill-fated attempts to overcome severe genetic disadvantages and impress members of the opposite sex. Tonight for the Late Movies we'll take a look at a few people who can play the guitar in interesting and unexpected ways.

Simply labeled "Ronnie THE MAN," here is a guitar player from Botswana playing a fantastic tune.

What guitar series would be complete without an homage to Super Mario Bros.? Here is a version of that famous theme played on two guitars...by the same person!

Going the opposite direction, this clip features both Antoine Dufour and Tommy Gauthier performing "Jerry's Breakdown," composed by Jerry Reed, all on a single guitar.

When I was ten years old, I could barely handle a handful of Legos. This ten year old seriously puts me to shame with his U2 playing abilities.

And, yeah, who needs hands anyway?

Drifting is a style of guitar playing where both hands work independently to create layers of sound. Here we have Andy McKee demonstrating this exceptional talent.

Finally tonight: "Over 1000 cuts. 6 hours of guitar tabbing. 1 hour of shooting." This is a stop motion version of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" played on acoustic guitar.

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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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