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kottke.org posts about holidays

Come Together, a short film by Wes Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 28, 2016

Wes Anderson directed a short holiday film starring Adrien Brody for H&M. It is delightful. You can criticize the twee formality in his work,1 but this is a reminder that Anderson can bring the emotion when he wants.

  1. I mean, I love that about his stuff, but I know many don’t. Criticize away!

We Work Remotely

The Overlook Hotel in gingerbread

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 24, 2015

gingerbread-overlook.jpg

Amazing! Redditor eudicotyledon and family win the holiday season with this exquisite gingerbread rendition of the Overlook Hotel from “The Shining,” complete with scary gingerbread twins and edible wallpaper, Danny lost in a hedge maze made of green Rice Krispies, a quinoa-and-powdered-sugar snow covered roof, Jack and Wendy fighting, the dreaded room 237 and its decomposing woman in the bathtub, and an elevator spilling a hallway of Jolly Rancher blood. Unbelievable. (via Neatorama)

gingerbread-twins.jpg

gingerbread-shining.jpg

Nativity cat is feeling the holidays

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 24, 2015

Nativity cat!

nativity-cat.jpg

(Photo credit: Kacper Pempel; via This Isn’t Happiness)

I, for one, welcome our new robot reindeer overlords

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 23, 2015

Boston Dynamics wins the holidays with this trio of robot reindeer drawn sleigh.

Happy holidays, sort of

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 21, 2015

Things don’t work out so well for Santa and his reindeer in “Happy Holidays,” a video by Eoin Duffy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

When Irish eyes are literally smiling

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 17, 2015

Copyranter says this is the best St. Patrick’s Day ad ever made.

See also: Mouth Eyes, Madonna’s “Bedtime Story,” and “Born with Three Mouths.”

Happy Presidents’ Day

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 16, 2015

On the intersection of Presidents’ Day and Black History Month, Erica Armstrong Dunbar highlights an uncomfortable truth about George Washington: he was a proud and fervent slave owner.

During the president’s two terms in office, the Washingtons relocated first to New York and then to Philadelphia. Although slavery had steadily declined in the North, the Washingtons decided that they could not live without it. Once settled in Philadelphia, Washington encountered his first roadblock to slave ownership in the region — Pennsylvania’s Gradual Abolition Act of 1780.

The act began dismantling slavery, eventually releasing people from bondage after their 28th birthdays. Under the law, any slave who entered Pennsylvania with an owner and lived in the state for longer than six months would be set free automatically. This presented a problem for the new president.

Washington developed a canny strategy that would protect his property and allow him to avoid public scrutiny. Every six months, the president’s slaves would travel back to Mount Vernon or would journey with Mrs. Washington outside the boundaries of the state. In essence, the Washingtons reset the clock. The president was secretive when writing to his personal secretary Tobias Lear in 1791: “I request that these Sentiments and this advise may be known to none but yourself & Mrs. Washington.”

(via mr)

Thanksgiving across the US

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 19, 2014

From the NY Times, an epic listing of recipes for traditional (and not so traditional) Thanksgiving food from each of the 50 US states. Featuring lefse from North Dakota, salty pluff mud pie from South Carolina, turkey tamales from Texas, and cheddar mashed potatoes from Vermont. (via @jimray)

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap this year…and then almost never again

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 17, 2013

This year, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving Day. Amazingly, this is the first second time it’s happened since President Lincoln established Thanksgiving in 1863 and it is also the last time it’ll happen until the year 79,811. I’ll say that again: after this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day won’t overlap for another 77,798 years.

The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years (not bad for a many centuries old calendar!) This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday).

(via @hchamp)

Update: As noted above, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped once before, in 1888, because Thanksgiving used to fall on the last Thursday in November and not the fourth Thursday.

Change Columbus Day to Exploration Day

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 03, 2012

A group of citizens is attempting to change Columbus Day to Exploration Day. Columbus Day has always been a weird holiday, what with CC’s slavery and genocide and all, so this seems like a good idea to me. Maggie Koerth-Baker makes the case over at Boing Boing.

The logic is quite neat. Columbus Day is about one guy and the (actually untrue) claim that he was the first person to discover America. Inherently, that’s pretty Euro-centric, which is a big part of why it sits awkwardly in a pluralistic country. But exploration is inclusive. The ancestors of Native Hawaiians were explorers who crossed the ocean. The ancestors of Native Americans explored their way across the Bering land bridge and then explored two whole continents. If you look at the history of America, you can see a history of exploration done by many different people, from many different backgrounds. Sometimes we’re talking about literal, physical exploration. Other times, the exploring is done in a lab. Or in space. But the point is clear: This country was built on explorers. And it needs explorers for the future.

If you want to help out, sign this petition to Congress or this one to the White House.

White Castle burger stuffing

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 24, 2010

For tomorrow, a turkey stuffing recipe that uses White Castle hamburgers. I’d really like to try this some year, but there’s no way my wife would go for it. Come on, it’s from scratch! (Well, except for the burgers…)

April 18 is Poop For Peace Day.

posted by Deron Bauman   Mar 05, 2008

April 18 is Poop For Peace Day.

Mark your calenders!

(Gross.)

Update: Mandar suggests everyday is poop for peace day.

Update: If it so moves you — sorry! — Bennett has a post at the Utne Reader Blog about The Politics of Poop.

Gangster’s holiday: “Mother’s Day was the most

posted by Jason Kottke   May 13, 2007

Gangster’s holiday: “Mother’s Day was the most important Sunday on the organized crime calendar, when homicide took a holiday and racketeering gave way to reminiscing.”

A Wii-themed Valentine’s Day card. “Will you

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 13, 2007

A Wii-themed Valentine’s Day card. “Will you be my player 2?” More here. (thx, nicholas)

White Castle is once again doing special

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 06, 2007

White Castle is once again doing special Valentine’s Day dinners this year…you get your own server and candles! Here’s what last year’s meal looked like (more at Flickr).

What’s the cut-off date for wishing someone

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 31, 2007

What’s the cut-off date for wishing someone a happy new year? Is the end of January too late?

If you’re looking for a Christmas tree

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 14, 2005

If you’re looking for a Christmas tree in NYC, here’s a map of where they’re sold. (via sbj)

A list of the best and worst

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 28, 2005

A list of the best and worst cookbooks to give people for Xmas (or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or Festivus).

“Every Halloween in Lexington, KY, they block

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 02, 2005

Every Halloween in Lexington, KY, they block off the streets and recreate Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Pumpkin carved with winky emoticon ;) Awesome.

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 31, 2005

Pumpkin carved with winky emoticon ;) Awesome.

Nerdy Halloween costumes alert: Ricky dressed as

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 31, 2005

Nerdy Halloween costumes alert: Ricky dressed as Google Image Search. I know someone out there is planning their Web 2.0 or folksonomy costume. Let’s see it!

Happy Bastille Day

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 14, 2005

Happy Bastille Day.

My Mac sucks

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 25, 1998

I don’t want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I’ve been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won’t bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I’ve encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I’ve never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs’ faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don’t get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you’d like, but I’d rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.