Christmas links #20

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Gets Early PVOD Release in U.K.:
"“Wonder Woman 1984” will get a premium VOD release in the U.K. a month after the film’s premiere, Warner Bros. has confirmed."

From Bake Off woes to Zoom fiascos: 2020 in lists:
"The year’s cultural highs and lows, featuring Gal Gadot’s Imagine, terrible lyrics about lockdown and unexpected horniness."

Parler Users Are Gathering on Facebook to Complain About Parler:
"Seeming more like social solitude than social networking so far." [via]

A Day in the Life of The Young Ones: 6th February 1984:
"It’s the 6th February 1984 in studio TC4, and Rik Mayall is having a circular saw aimed at his knackers."

Blast of cold air grips Northeast with fresh snow as Christmas storm approaches:
"A blast of cold air, exacerbated by a fresh snowpack, is impacting parts of the Northeast Saturday morning."

Old Blogging Sites That We Thought were Gone:
"There are many old blogging sites we all have forgotten now that social media is such a big part of our lives. Little do teenagers now know, blogging was the viral craze for teenage millenials back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the time, there were so many websites where anyone could post their journals for free."

Sorry, Wham! haters: The only thing wrong with ‘Last Christmas’ is how you’ve been listening to it:
"Earlier this month, I offered some musical stocking stuffers: a set of piano miniatures that seemed to me particularly suited to this holiday season, eschewing compulsory merriment and ho-ho-ho’s in favor of the silvery stillness and somber notes I think this winter truly warrants."

The Enduring Appeal of Santa:
"Shortly before Christmas several years ago, there erupted a cable-and-Internet fueled firestorm, a furious debate among television pundits and talk-show hosts, print and online pontificators, and doubtless more than a few families across the dinner table. This great American outrage was ginned up over the nature of Santa Claus."

10 Creative Christmas Mantle Decoration Ideas:
"The Christmas season is fast approaching, and before you know it, you’ll be hanging mistletoe and wrapping gifts to the tune of your favorite carols. It can be challenging to reinvent your holiday decor year after year, but there are simple changes you can make to give your home a new and cozy look this holiday season."

Christmas Holiday: Resources for Celebrating:
"When the red and green lights and wreaths appear and the sounds of familiar carols echo in the streets,it’s time to celebrate the Christmas holiday again."

Christmas Links #19

Scientists looking for aliens investigate radio beam 'from nearby star':
"Tantalising ‘signal’ appears to have come from Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun."

Holiday Rom-Coms Go Beyond Diversity To Center New Christmas Stars:
"Christmas romantic comedies are known for cozy sweaters, roaring fireplaces, meaningful glances over cups of hot chocolate and stars who, until recently, looked like a bunch of models from a Land's End catalog circa 1985."

‘I Don’t Like It’: Rome Reacts to Nativity Scene:
"The Vatican’s new Christmas Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square has prompted much criticism — and some head-scratching, with some trying to understand exactly what they were looking at."

13 cities across Europe will be linked with new night train routes:
"Sleeper trains in Europe are poised to make a huge comeback after four national railway companies announced new routes that will link up 13 cities across the continent."

I'm going to tell you my Concorde story:
"Many years ago the UK radio presenter Chris Evans was supposed to go on a private plane to Minneapolis to meet Prince. They had a spare seat and asked me if I wanted it. I said, "YES I DO."

GOP lawmakers' second Christmas tree vanishes from Wisconsin Capitol:
"The earlier attempt had been thwarted by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who said no permit had been provided for the display and that the coronavirus pandemic had closed the building to the public."

Christmas TV 2020:
"The home of Christmas across BBC television."

National Theatre dashes to save Christmas spirit with Dick Whittington film:
"As theatres are forced to close for the third time this year, the panto was recorded at its final preview as a gift for families."

UK spy agency challenges 'wise men and women' to solve Christmas card puzzle:
"The UK's largest spy agency GCHQ has sent out its annual Christmas card complete with a brainteaser."

Economists want you to have the most boring Christmas possible:
"According to the economic theory of deadweight loss, cash is by far the best Christmas present for people who want to make gift-giving as efficient as possible."

Christmas Links #18

The Christmas Creamguide Week Two:
"Welcome to the second part of your bumper Christmas Creamguide, which includes all the programmes for the rest of 2020, before we see out this bloody awful year and look optimistically towards a better one."

Free Games:
"Epic Games Store gives you a free game every week. Come back often for the exclusive offers. Download a free game or join a free-to-play game community today." [Editor's note: This is actually every day over Christmas].

How to Play a Fiery Victorian Christmas Game and Not Get Burned:
"Snapdragon is not for the faint-hearted."

Christmas Around the World:
"Find out how Christmas Traditions and how Christmas is celebrated in lots of different countries and cultures around the world!" [via]

6 Christmas foods to help fuel your training runs:
"The festive buffet table could actually help your running performance rather than hinder it."

Liverpool Biennial & Culture Liverpool Announce New Public Artwork by Nathan Coley:
"Coley’s text-based light sculpture is made up of the words From Here, All the Worlds Futures, From Here, All the Worlds Pasts."

I brought my kids to the Devil for Christmas. And they’re fine. Right?
"He was covered in dark, full-body fur, horns curling out of his head, rattling his heavy chains at my sweet little boys. The Devil."

'I've never felt less festive': the art of writing Christmas novels, 365 days a year:
"Drinking sherry, bingeing Downton Abbey ... how authors keep up the spirit of the season, even when writing during heatwaves and a nightmarish Christmas."

bluemarlin Redesigns Buckwud Organic Maple Syrup:
"bluemarlin recently redesigned Buckwud Organic Canadian Maple Syrup. Buckwud began its life in the UK as a premium brand with a quirky Canadian personality. It is now the single largest branded maple syrup on the market, loved for its distinctive taste and used as a natural, plant-based option to alternative sweeteners."

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Headed To Amazon Prime In UK, Europe, Australia & More Countries:
"The wait for many fans outside of North America is over. The adult animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks is finally going overseas, with a January debut on Amazon Prime Video."

Christmas Links #17

The Christmas Creamguide Week One:
"And welcome to the 21st annual Christmas Creamguide! We thought we’d be really struggling for new content this year but there’s some very interesting stuff, as well as some intriguing repeats, for your delectation, as well as a host of fascinating films which the Filmguide gang will be here to discuss."

Christmas Idents at the BBC Motion Graphics Archive:
"Christmas on BBC One Christmas Tree - ident (1996)"

The story of the other Muppets Christmas special:
"Long before Toy Story, the Muppets were telling a similar story – here’s the tale of the Muppet Christmas tale that preceded Christmas Carol."

After Searching for a Decade, Legendary Hollywood Research Library Finds a New Home:
"Need to know what an Igloo really looks like? How about a Siberian hut? Or the inside of a 15th Century jail? For 50 years in Hollywood, generations of filmmakers would beat a path to the Michelson Cinema Research Library, where renowned film researcher Lillian Michelson could hunt down the answer to just about any question."

"The things that helped us survive 2020."

Long Island Christmas tree farm gets magical rainbow makeover:
"When it comes to farming Christmas trees on Long Island, Ed Dart likes to keep it fresh and fun with his creative ideas on his farm."

Inside the making of the first-ever Doctor Who holiday special:
"Executive producer Russell T Davies recalls how he, David Tennant, and Billie Piper kicked off an enduring holiday-season tradition."

The Best of ‘This American Life’: 25th Anniversary Episodes:
"The show pioneered a new form of audio narrative journalism. Listen to some classics selected by the show’s host, Ira Glass."

Amid Australian lobster glut, supermarkets impose purchase limits:
"In Australia, there has rarely been a better time to feast on lobster. So long as you don’t eat more than four."

Band Aid: The Charitable—and Controversial—History of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?':
"Bob Geldof, to his mounting horror, realized Boy George was missing."

Christmas Links #16

How Retail Workers Deal With Nonstop Christmas Music Without Going Nuts:
"I heard ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ 27 times last week — I counted."

Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit:
"BBC Learning and Tynker Collaborate on Coding for Kids with a Next-Generation Education Technology Mini-Computer and Coding for Kids Featuring the voice and star of the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, the HiFive Inventor is a powerful Internet of Things programmable computer designed to teach kids to code."

With Most Pantomimes Canceled, Another Blow to U.K. Theaters:
"Camp, kid-friendly and hugely popular, the peculiarly British performances usually sell enough tickets to support theaters’ programs throughout the rest of the year."

The 'longest-ever photo exposure' has been found -- inside a drink can:
"A photo tracking the sun's cycles over more than eight years -- believed to be the longest exposure image ever taken -- has been discovered inside a cider can."

Blob Opera:
"Blob Opera is a machine learning experiment by David Li in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture. This experiment pays tribute to and explores the original musical instrument: the voice. Play four opera voices in real time. No singing skills required!"

The New Yorker publishes editor’s note invalidating award-winning feature on Japan:
"An award-winning 2018 New Yorker story now has a whopper of an editor’s note atop it. In “A Theory of Relativity," published in April 2018, staff writer Elif Batuman profiled a Japanese company called Family Romance, which supplies actors who sub in for missing family members. Need to convince your parents that you have a girlfriend? Need to convince your girlfriend that you have parents? Family Romance can help. The story won a National Magazine Award for feature writing from the American Society of Magazine Editors in March 2019. And on Sunday night, it collapsed."

PEACE AND LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS, Lyceum Ballroom, London, 15 Dec 1969:
"John & Yoko and the Plastic Ono Supergroup secretly headline the UNICEF fundraising Xmas concert at Lyceum Strand, 15 Dec 1969."

How Hallmark Took Over Cable Television:
"By “leaning into Christmas”—and claiming to avoid politics—the greeting-card company has come to dominate screens across America."

Saddleback Church creates ‘Light of the World’ Christmas drive-thru display:
"Saddleback Church is doing its best to make sure this year’s Christmas isn’t humdrum and dreary by offering lucky reservation holders and some others a huge light display spanning nearly a mile of the church’s main Lake Forest campus."

The Christmas I learned that prosecco is not a personality:
"I thought my friends bought me fizz because I was fun. In fact, it was because they barely knew me any more."

Christmas Links #15

How to Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree:
"Here are some tips for participating in a classic holiday tradition."

How to save money on a Christmas feast and also cut food waste:
"From dinner boxes to apps and buying local produce, there are traditional and ethical options."

A chain of 900 strangers bought one another’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-through:
"It started with an older gentleman who pulled up to the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill drive-through window in Brainerd, Minn., at the height of the lunch hour on a Thursday."

Books worth fondling, if you can lift them: The rise of the Massive Auteur Monograph:
"The fears that electronic publishing would kill off the physical book have abated. Just as home video and theatrical moviegoing managed to coexist, readers seem to have divided their commitment between e-books, to be read on the go or tapped into for certain purposes (cooking, exercise, reference), and books they want to have and to hold."

Left Over Cream Cheese Frosting Chocolate Truffles:
"These chocolate truffles are quick and easy to make with leftover cream cheese frosting."

Cheap Parcel Delivery:
"Tips for sending via Royal Mail, discount web couriers & online retailers."

A Charcuterie Wreath Will Be the Centerpiece of Your Christmas Appetizer Table:
"We love a festive twist on a classic bite."

This Holiday Season, Zoom Into Your Favorite Nick Cartoons:
"Holiday Zoom backgrounds to make video chats extra festive."

Wild Place Project appeals for aftershave for animals:
"A wildlife park is asking for donations of unwanted perfume or aftershave for its animals' Christmas stockings."

Christmas gifts for coffee lovers: Presents to give them all the barista feels:
"From subscription services and cafetieres to reusable cups, take inspiration from our caffeine-fuelled guide."

Christmas Links #14

Did Kevin From ‘Home Alone’ Grow Up to Be Jigsaw? A Deadly Serious Investigation:
"The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: rampant consumerism."

The Cyberpunk 2077 Review Drama:
"Cyberpunk 2077 is out in the wild. After eight long years the whole world can now judge it for themselves, through whichever perspective or tint of glasses they so choose. And best of all, for 99.9% of those players, they won’t ever have to justify their feelings to the rest of the audience."

Heritage railway decked out with 13,000 Christmas lights:
"A heritage railway unable to run services for four months has had a spectacular Christmas makeover."

Lynn Shelton remembered by Mark Duplass:
"The actor, writer and director on a film-maker with a generosity of spirit and love for her performers that elevated indie movies and big-budget TV alike."

33 Best Christmas Towns That'll Instantly Transport You to the North Pole:
"Pictures of these stunning Christmas Towns will instantly put you in the holiday spirit."

“Please stop telling me how much exercise it takes to burn off my Christmas food”:
"After the year we’ve had, the calories in your festive food should be the least of our worries. Yet people are still talking about how to exercise away the calories we eat…"

Advent calendar of Christmas treasures 2020:
"In the 21st century, Christmas seems to start as soon as Halloween is over. In the Western Church, Advent – from the Latin word Adventus, which signifies 'a coming' – starts on the Sunday closest to the feast of St Andrew on 30 November and ends with Christmas Eve on 24 December."

A Charlie Brown and Coca-Cola Christmas? The holiday classic you love is actually missing some scenes:
"Even though the 1965 animated TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” features the beloved Charlie Brown learning that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about consumerism, did you know the iconic short was created by a corporation?" [Here's an link for readers in the EU.]

Cannibal Sandwiches: A Polarizing And Misunderstood Wisconsin Tradition:
"A Holiday Dish Going Back Generations, The Raw Beef Delicacy May Be Making A Comeback."

Christmas Treats I’ve Tried in Norway:
"A foreigner living in Ă…lesund takes us through some of her first tastes of a Norwegian Christmas."