10 Ideas for Antiquating Your Modern Technology

Modern technology is amazing and efficient. But there is something to be said for the giddy nostalgia created by products from the past. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to combine the two experiences.

1. Rotary iPhone Dialer App

For just 99-cents you too can be really frustrated every time you call your friend who has a couple of 9s in his phone number.

2. Make Your Tablet An 80s-Style Coin Operated Video Game

No more pining for days gone by spending hours in the local mall arcade when you can just turn your brand new, expensive iPad into your own really old, cheap gaming experience.

3. Morse Code Tweet Writer

With this handy computer enabled Morse code tweeting device, all our trusty editor Jason English would have to do is enter this:

- .... .. .-. - -.-- -.-- . .- .-. ... .- --. --- - --- -.. .- -.-- .--. .-. . ... .. -.. . -. - .-. . .- --. .- -. ... .-- --- ..- .-.. -.. -... . .- ... ... .- ... ... .. -. .--- --- .... -. .... .. -. -.-. -.- .-.. . -.-- .-- .- ... ..-. --- ..- -. -.. -. --- - --. ..- .. .-.. - -.-- -... -.-- .-. . .- ... --- -. --- ..-. .. -. ... .- -. .. - -.--

And out would come this:

4. Play Halo With An Atari Controller

ThinkGeek offers a USB-enabled Atari controller for use on your computer. Right on the product page they helpfully recount how to play an Atari version of Halo (called Halo 2600) that was developed by one of the game’s developers.

5. Turn Your iPod Into A Gramophone

Crank up the old timey tunes!

6. Use A Throwback Key Pad

A lot of people miss the clicking of keys as they type on their Apple products. The iPad typewriter should more than solve their problems.

7. Gaze Into the World of Childhood Magic

Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the simple technological pleasures of the past like a good old ViewMaster. Lucky for you, Hasbro created this modern version that prevents you from actually having to put your phone down.

8. Make Your iPod An Enormous Shoulder Accessory

It’s been far too long since you walked through the mall with a blaring boombox on your shoulder. Get yourself some Adidas kicks and a nice track suit, pop your iPod into this dock and make that happen pronto.

9. Make Instant Communication Take A While

Twitter is so instant that you can post a silly or insane message on there before you actually have time to think. Better that you should sit down for a moment and think through your thoughts. That seems to have been the rationale of Giles Turnbull when he started Twitter By Post. Who says you couldn’t do the same?

10. Make Your Phone A Lot Bigger

Maybe Zack Morris was secretly talking on an iPhone hidden inside one of these primitive-looking cases.

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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