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Dyson Uses Science to Create a High-Tech Christmas Tree

Vacuum manufacturer Dyson has gotten into the holiday spirit by building a high-tech Christmas tree, which is currently on display at the company’s office in Wiltshire, England. The 12-foot-tall tree, which was created by eight of Dyson’s researchers, engineers, and designers, is deceptively simple looking, consisting mostly of transparent hoover tubes with air pumped through them. That air (pine-scented, one hopes), in turn, keeps nine ornaments and one foam ball—standing in for the star at the top of the tree—afloat in mid-air.

“We had about a month to create a Christmas tree that no one had attempted before,” explains a Dyson spokesperson in a statement. “We had to start from scratch. We went through loads of iterations, but we finally settled on a design. Whether it was the weight of the baubles, or the angles of the pipes or ‘branches,’ there was so much to consider. A team of us were on board from across RDD—we had to call in a few favors, from fluid dynamics, to acoustics and model making.”

[h/t Discovery News]

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Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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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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How to Say Merry Christmas in 26 Different Languages
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“Merry Christmas” is a special greeting in English, since it’s the only occasion we say “merry” instead of “happy.” How do other languages spread yuletide cheer? Ampersand Travel asked people all over the world to send in videos of themselves wishing people a “Merry Christmas” in their own language, and while the audio quality is not first-rate, it’s a fun holiday-themed language lesson.

Feel free to surprise your friends and family this year with your new repertoire of foreign-language greetings.

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