The Missing Links: That Second That Screwed Up the Net

The Internet Doesn’t Want You To Miss One Single Second
You’ve wasted hundreds, thousands, tens-of-thousands, probably hundreds-of-thousands of precious seconds on the internet (not the time you've spent on mental_floss, of course). So why should the internet care if you want one of those tiny little seconds back?


Where Do Criminals Disappear To?
When you hear about criminals fleeing the United States to avoid prosecution, you don’t imagine them fleeing to Russia. And guess what -- you’d be right. Only three times has an extradition from Russia to the US happened since 2011. See where people are actually hiding out.


Germans Love ALF
ALF and 28 other American cultural entities found greater popularity overseas.


You Never Reach A G-Force of 7 On the Kitchen Floor
This past weekend the X Games made the childhood dreams of countless kids spring brilliantly to life when they built and conquered a 66-foot tall looping Hot Wheels track.

Check out this link for video of the track in action.


Turn Your Dog Into A Corkscrew
Your hot dog that is. Before your frankfurters hit the grill, make sure you give them a nice spiral cut. This video explains how and why. Although, if your hot dog becomes a good “conversation piece,” you need some new friends at your cookout.


Long Live the Laughs
In my opinion, comedy films still exist and new ones are being made every year. For one writer, however, the movie comedy is dead. And he spreads the blame for that across SNL, YouTube, Judd Apatow and even Batman.

To prove that comedic films are not a thing of the past, I offer the following tweets from Neil deGrasse Tyson, who went to see the new film Ted - and made an academic pursuit of it:

In other words: as long as you get the placement of the stars in the sky correct, you'll get no argument about the scientific implausibility of a stuffed animal that walks and talks.


...And Laughs After Death
I personally would like to be cremated. But I do see a lot of comedic value in a tombstone. As some people have proven, there are a lot of funny possibilities. Headstone QR codes offer up an even greater array of possibilities than ever before. Just imagine if people could scan a code on your grave marker and be taken to a YouTube clip of you speaking to them from beyond the grave.

And if you’re not someone with a totally perversely-macabre sense of humor, I suppose you could have the QR code redirect you to something sentimental too.

The possibilities are endless. How would you use yours?

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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