The World’s Longest Christmas Card Exchange

The Purse is infamous in our family. A couple (ahem, maybe a few) decades ago, my grandma bought my mother a handbag. The Purse in question had the appearance of denim but was plastic-y to the touch. It came with a matching wallet. My mom apparently opened the gift and had a pretty good laugh, thinking my grandma had gotten her a hilariously terrible present on purpose. My grandma, meanwhile, was wondering what was so funny about the lovely accessory she had taken great care to select just for my mom. Her look of total bewilderment only added to the tears of laughter streaming down everyone’s faces.

Ever since then, the Purse makes an mysterious appearance every year, not unlike Mr. Claus himself. Sometimes it’s hidden within a real gift; sometimes it’s concealed by reindeer wrapping paper in a box so big you’d never dream it was a purse; sometimes it even comes with money hidden inside.

Although this little bit of holiday cheer has been going on for 30 years, it’s still got nothing on the 57-year Christmas card exchange between Warren Nord of Mesa, Arizona, and Thor “Tut” Andersen of Ashtabula, Ohio. The pair started sending the same card back and forth to save a few pennies in 1930. Presumably the friends decided to continue post-Great Depression, not because the cost of cards was wallet-busting, but simply for the tradition. The only thing that stopped the worn card from being mailed in 1988 was Andersen’s death - though wouldn’t it have been great if he had arranged for it to be mailed one last time?

My family has a few years to go until we catch up with Warren and Tut, but I’m confident that the Purse will still be hiding inconspicuously under the tree even in 2036.

Do you have any long-running cards (or purses) in your family? Give us the backstory.

Take a Rare Glimpse Inside the World's Largest Seed Reserve

Since 2008, the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen has been home to the world’s largest seed storage facility, known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The 11,000-square-foot facility contains nearly 865,000 seed samples—many of which are crops—and functions as both a reserve in the event of a catastrophe and as a backup for other seed banks around the world. Countries can send samples for preservation and access the reserves as needed (the effort is funded by Norway in conjunction with the organization Crop Trust). The vault was opened for the first time last year in light of the destruction caused by the Syrian War.

Access to the fault is notoriously limited, but AJ+ has a glimpse inside on its YouTube page. It’s a rare look at a place that isn’t known for its looks, but holds some of the planet’s most beautiful and valuable offerings.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

This Infographic Explains the Difference Between Perfume and Eau de Toilette

Ever wondered why you can't smell the perfume you dabbed on earlier this morning? Maybe it's because you aren't actually wearing perfume. Instead, you likely applied eau de toilette, cologne, or another type of fragrance.

These sprays contain different concentrations of fragrance oil dissolved in solutions of alcohol and water. Scents with a heavier amount of oil are stronger, they're more expensive, and they also last for longer periods of time. Even the most discerning shopper might not know whether to opt for parfum or eu de parfum when perusing bottles of Chanel No. 5 at the fragrance counter—or even realize there's a difference. 

If you'd prefer to smell like a few roses instead of a field of them, it's handy to know the difference between perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, cologne, and eau fraiche when you're out shopping for a new scent. Lifehacker recently ran this handy infographic by Real Men Real Style, which breaks down the strength of each fragrance along with how long it lasts. Use it as a guide to purchase the perfect product for you.

[h/t Lifehacker]


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