Tag Archives | Holiday Season

The Slaughter of the Innocents

ChristbaumkugelThe late December holidays in America used to be known as “the season to be jolly,” with our streets festooned with bright lights, groups caroling, shopping galore, gift giving and cheer.

This year, there’s a pall over all the light heartedness because of the horrific violence that claimed the lives of 20 young school children and their teachers in a still unexplained shooting incident in Connecticut, the latest of a string of similar events involving widely available deadly weapons often in the hands of mentally ill people.

At the same time, there’s fear and trepidation among those who believe there may be truth in ancient Mayan prophecies that predict the world will end this month. Perhaps that’s why music critics are reminding us of a country classic by singer Merle Haggard, “If We Make It Through December.”

This fear has spread worldwide with 100 arrests in China for people promoting apocalyptic scenarios. “Chinese authorities have arrested at least 101 people for spreading rumors about an impending apocalypse, the state-run news agency Xinhua reports.… Read the rest

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The Power of Negative Thinking

Deep Thinking by Wissam Shekhani, ink on paperOlivier Burkeman uses his new book “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” as the basis of this essay claiming that ancient philosophy and modern psychology suggest darker thoughts can make us happier, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

The holiday season poses a psychological conundrum. Its defining sentiment, of course, is joy—yet the strenuous effort to be joyous seems to make many of us miserable. It’s hard to be happy in overcrowded airport lounges or while you’re trying to stay civil for days on end with relatives who stretch your patience.

So to cope with the holidays, magazines and others are advising us to “think positive”—the same advice, in other words, that Norman Vincent Peale, author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” was dispensing six decades ago. (During holidays, Peale once suggested, you should make “a deliberate effort to speak hopefully about everything.”) The result all too often mirrors the famously annoying parlor game about trying not to think of a white bear: The harder you try, the more you think about one.

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For the Christmas Season, It Costs $82,000/Month To Light This House

Christmas LightsCasey Chan writes on Gizmodo:
The Faucher Family in Delaware have built extravagant Christmas lights setups for 25 years now. How extravagant? They use 1,000,000 lights. So how much does it cost them to run the lights for a month? $82,320. Gulp. HouseLogic estimated the total cost by using the average price per kWh in the Faucher Family's region and assumed each of their 1,000,000 bulbs were the average 5 watt C7 bulb. They then figured the lights to run for 4 hours each night and 30 nights in total. The estimated cost came out to be $686/hour and $82,320 for those bright 30 nights. A lot of money to get in the Christmas spirit!
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