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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Twenty-Fourth of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
It's Xmas Eve, folks ... !
Today is  -  Xmas Eve

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
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Today in History

1476 - 400 Burgundian soldiers freeze to death during siege of Nancy
1515 -
Thomas Wolsey appointed English Lord Chancellor
1565 -
Compromise of the Nobles in Habsburg Netherlands closes against inquisition
1568 -
Uprising of Moriscos in Granada
1593 -
Storm hits Texel: 40 ships hit, 500 killed
1715 -
Swedish troops occupy Norway
1799 -
Jacobin plot against Napoleon uncovered
1814 -
Treaty of Ghent (end of US-Britain War of 1812) signed
1851 -
Fire devastates US Library of Congress in Washington, destroys 35,000 volumes
1865 -
The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Pulaski, Tn
1889 -
Daniel Stover & William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake
1893 -
Henry Ford completes his 1st useful gas motor
1894 -
Scheveningse fishing boats destroyed by storm
1900 -
The French Chamber of Deputies and Senate pass a bill calling for an end to agitation or prosecutions against those involved in the Dreyfus affair, which has divided France since 1894
1900 -
Foreign powers present the Chinese Empress with their list of 'irrevocable conditions' before their nations will withdraw troops from China
1904 -
German SW Africa abolishes slavery of young children
1914 -
German plane drops bombs on Dover England
1920 -
Enrico Caruso gives his last public performance (NYC)
1936 -
1st radioactive isotope medicine administered, Berkeley, Ca
1956 -
"I Love Lucy" Xmas show airs, never put in syndication
1973 -
District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.

2012 - 11 kindergarten children are killed after a minivan plunges into a roadside pond in Jiangxi, China

Editorial Comment

Happy Holidays Dear Readers,

No matter if you celebrate any of the newer festivals or celebrate the original festival of the season - that is Yule by the way, it predates Saturnalia by thousands of years - we wish you a wondrous holiday.
Carolina Naturally has grown from its humble start to be a wide read blog and we that you for that.
However, the coming year of 2015 promises to bring radical changes to our staff's lives.
Starting with the first week of the year and what occurs then will set the course for this blog going forward.
Do not fret ... Carolina Naturally will continue - the most likely causality will be the publishing time, which will need to be adjusted depending on how the events of the first week play out.
Any other changes, if any, will be cosmetic.
In the short term ( i.e., the Holidays) our publishing schedule is open to the course of Holiday events - which in this case includes breakfast with the dogs (yes, they get their presents and treats, too), gift exchange within the household, lunch with family, dinner with friends, presents with the kids, grand kids and great- grand kids and birthday party ... all tomorrow the 25th. From then on through the first it only gets more hectic leading into that first week we discussed above.
Enjoy the Xmas themed stories and pictures.

Thank you and remember to learn something every day.

Yuletide Greetings

From all of us wishing you the best for the TRUE reason for the Season!
Don't be fooled by false claims of false people. 
Celebrate the season as it was meant to be celebrated.
Happy Yule.

How NORAD Began Tracking Santa

Remember when you were growing up, on Xmas Eve you could hear radio reports of how U.S. military radar picked up a mysterious object flying away from the North Pole? Those reports, called NORAD Tracks Santa, began in 1955, when a Sears store in Colorado Springs invited kids to call Santa Claus, and a typo in the phone number led children to a high-security line at the Continental Air Defense Command. Colonel Harry Shoup was the man who answered the hotline. StoryCorps recently talked to Shoup’s three children about how that first phone call.
His children remember Shoup as straight-laced and disciplined, and he was annoyed and upset by the call and thought it was a joke — but then, Terri says, the little voice started crying.
"And Dad realized that it wasn't a joke," her sister says. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.' Dad looked it up, and there it was, his red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus."
The phone calls were only the beginning. Read (or listen) to the story of what Shoup did on Xmas Eve that same year that started the tradition and led him to be called “Santa Colonel” for the rest of his life, at NPR

The Truth Be Told

Hearing Impaired Girl Delighted That Santa Knows Sign Language

Six-year-old Sadie Adam has been hearing impaired since birth. In previous years, when Sadia visited Santa, any communication she had with him required a sign language interpreter. This year, however, Westminster, Massachusetts Police Chief Salvatore Albert, who has played Santa for 15 years, learned sign language just so he could communicate with Sadie. The fact that Santa knew how to speak with her was an early xmas gift to the little girl, who was thrilled. What a sweet story.

The Humbug

Holiday Myths

Given the mix of stories and superstitions that constitute holiday preparations and celebrations, seasonal myths can carry over year to year.

The Truth Hurts


The Elves and The Shoemaker

by the Brothers Grimm 
A shoemaker, by no fault of his own, had become so poor that at last he had nothing left but leather for one pair of shoes. So in the evening, he cut out the shoes which he wished to begin to make the next morning, and as he had a good conscience, he lay down quietly in his bed and fell asleep. In the morning, after he had said his prayers, and was just going to sit down to work, the two shoes stood quite finished on his table. He was astounded, and knew not what to say to it. He took the shoes in his hands to observe them closer, and they were so neatly made that there was not one bad stitch in them, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece.
Soon after, a buyer came in, and as the shoes pleased him so well, he paid more for them than was customary, and, with the money, the shoemaker was able to purchase leather for two pairs of shoes. He cut them out at night, and next morning was about to set to work with fresh courage; but he had no need to do so, for, when he got up, they were already made, and buyers also were not wanting, who gave him money enough to buy leather for four pairs of shoes. The following morning, too, he found the four pairs made; and so it went on constantly — what he cut out in the evening was finished by the morning, so that he soon had his honest independence again, and at last became a wealthy man.
Now it befell that one evening not long before Xmas, when the man had been cutting out, he said to his wife, before going to bed, "What think you if we were to stay up to-night to see who it is that lends us this helping hand?" The woman liked the idea, and lighted a candle, and then they hid themselves in a corner of the room, behind some clothes which were hanging up there, and watched. When it was midnight, two pretty little naked men came, sat down by the shoemaker's table, took all the work which was cut out before them and began to stitch, and sew, and hammer so skilfully and so quickly with their little fingers that the shoemaker could not turn away his eyes for astonishment. They did not stop until all was done, and stood finished on the table; and then they ran quickly away.
Next morning the woman said, "The little men have made us rich, and we really must show that we are grateful for it. They run about so, and have nothing on, and must be cold. I'll tell thee what I'll do: I will make them little shirts, and coats, and vests, and trousers, and knit both of them a pair of stockings, and do thou, too, make them two little pairs of shoes." The man said, "I shall be very glad to do it;" and one night, when everything was ready, they laid their presents all together on the table instead of the cut-out work, and then concealed themselves to see how the little men would behave. At midnight they came bounding in, and wanted to get to work at once, but as they did not find any leather cut out, but only the pretty little articles of clothing, they were at first astonished, and then they showed intense delight. They dressed themselves with the greatest rapidity, putting the pretty clothes on, and singing,
"Now we are boys so fine to see,
Why should we longer cobblers be?"
Then they danced and skipped and leaped over chairs and benches. At last they danced out of doors. From that time forth they came no more, but as long as the shoemaker lived all went well with him, and all his undertakings prospered.

Daily Comic Relief

Office Xmas Party

Back when I had an “office” job, Xmas parties were great, mainly because that was a bit of time we weren’t working. And there was food. Then one year the boss decided that anyone who wasn’t actively working had to clock out for the party. There were only two of us at the party, the two who were legally logged on those hours. And therefore, only two of us brought food -the rest of the staff clocked out and left. The moral of the story is that people who aren’t paid to be there would rather spend their time with people of their own choosing. This skit from SNL is a bit of a fantasy, as jobs are too precarious these days for anyone to actually let their hair down during an office party.

Random Celebrity Photos

Elizabeth Montgomery

A Pictorial History Of Santa Claus

Contrary to what many believe, Santa Claus as we know him today was not the creation of the Coca Cola Company. The name Santa Claus has his roots in the informal Dutch name for St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas (an abbreviation of Sint Nikolaas).
St. Nicholas was a historic 4th-century Greek saint (from an area now in modern day Turkey) who had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes left out for him. Although the east coast of America was full of Dutch settlers, it was not until the early 19th century that the figure of 'Sinterklaas' would make his way properly across the Atlantic and so give birth to the Americanized Santa Claus.


Santa's Sadistic Sidekick
Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts.
The song lyrics have never been truer. 'Oh You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why.' Yet it isn't Santa Claus that you have to watch out for - it's his sinister and somewhat sadistic sidekick - Krampus. He has a whip, and he is going to use it.

Xmas Balls


39 Dishes from the First Christmas Menu, Published in 1660

If you want to try something new for Xmas dinner, you might try something very old. However, you’ll need to have a particularly carnivorous guest list.
The first known suggested menu for Xmas dinner was from 1660 book The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May. May was a chef to the nobility, so let’s assume this menu is supposed to feed a lot of people. It’s a list of 39 dishes, in which 35 or so of them are meat. Then there’s salad, quince pie, and custard. There's also something called “Made dish in puff paste,” whatever that is (probably meat). Otherwise it’s a flock of geese, chickens, swans, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, and other birds, plus venison, mutton, rabbit, pork, beef, and fish -and a few other animals. Read the list, with some information about some of the more obscure recipes, at mental_floss. In case you were wondering, there are partridges on the menu, and pears, although not in the same dish.

How Xmas crackers were made in the 1930s

Book Tree

RC Flying Xmas Tree

In a few days/months, it'll be time for you to take down your Xmas tree. In the meantime, anchor it down so it doesn't fly away. Otto Dieffenbach's tree might. He's the marketing director of Flyguy Promotions, a company that creates amazing aerial drones and RC planes. He doesn't explain how it works, but I'm guessing that it's powered by the magic of Xmas.

How to Decorate a Blue Xmas Tree

Trees come in all colors, and it just takes a sense of humor to turn a blue one into Cookie Monster! Redditor enhydra-lutris did just that, with a couple of styrofoam balls and a pillowcase for his mouth. Next project- baking lots of cookies to hang as ornaments! Santa might have a little problem taking them away from him, though.

Planet Balls

Just the ornaments for the scientist in the family

Hideous $10,000 plastic Xmas tree

Grad writes, "While cruising Amazon looking for some new Xmas tree magic for my family, I ran across what must be the world's most expensive Xmas tree."
It's a Xmas-friendly price of only $9,993.50. I like the way they kept it just a hair below $10K -- and I love the specificity of the price point.
Yes, it's a pretty special tree, that's for sure -- first of all it's 'pre-lit' -- so the lights are included -- and it's pink (which is super fun) and it's a massive 4 feet tall. What's really driving the price IMO is the massive 110 branch tips and staggering 70 UL-listed pink bulbs. People -- they're *UL-listed* -- this tree isn't f'ing around!
And the value continues -- the tree stand is INCLUDED. Yep, let me repeat that -- the tree stand IS INCLUDED. The topper is simply stunning -- the tinsel needles are flame retardant. Sure, maybe you wanted to light this baby up, but sorry -- no flames for you!
I bought two.
Kidding aside, I'm guessing that this is one of those auto-pricing algorithm bugs that crop up from time to time on Amazon; different vendors use bots to set their prices relative to one another and the bots get into a race condition and set the prices to astronomical levels.
The other outcome is race-conditions that drive prices down, as happened on Amazon UK on Black Friday, when someone figured out how to induce the race-condition and drove the prices of many goods down to 1p.

12 Bizarre Xmas Products

Xmas is the king of commercialized holidays, the one time of year when we buy-buy-buy and give-give-give, but some of the crazy holiday themed crap some companies come up with takes the spirit of giving straight over the top!
Here are twelve of the strangest, WTF inducing Xmas themed products ever sold to a holiday merchandise hungry world. Time to update your Xmas list!
1. Santa Bathroom Set-
Sitting on the throne has never been more festive! Let Santa make your movements a little more pleasant, it's a lot like sitting on his lap only you don't get a candy cane when you're done...
2. Santa Big Head Costume-
Is this abomination for Halloween or Xmas? You make the call when you wear this Big Santa Head costume, but when you sport this bad boy around town make sure you're wearing pants!
3. Xmas Tree Baby Bunting-
It seems like most baby costumes take the fact that the baby can't walk into account during the design phase, but the look on this baby's face says wearing this Xmas Tree Baby Bunting is pure torture. Believe it or not some kids remember traumatic incidents from their babyhood, and they'll spend the rest of their lives plotting their revenge...
4. Santa's Butt Earrings-
They say wearing an image of Santa's butt on your person will bring you good luck come Xmas, but it will also make you the butt of many jokes throughout the year.
Luckily, there are these Santa's Butt earrings, which are small enough to cover up if you have long hair. That way you can wear Santa's Butt all year long, and it will be your own little Yuletide secret.
5. Santa Pooping Candy Dispenser-
Santa is such a sweet guy he must poop delicious candy nuggets, right? That's the premise behind this Poo-Pooing Santa Claus toy- it's cute, it's deliciously tasteless, it'll make ya glad Santa only leaves coal in your stockings!
6. Beard Ornaments-
They're not beard shaped ornaments for your Xmas tree, they're little tiny ornaments for your beard, so you can share your festive spirit with the world. What the heck is that beard good for? Put it to work showing the world you're the most festive bearded fellow in town. Hipster Santa outfit not included.
7. Peeing Santa Drink Dispenser-
Looking for a little stress relief in the form an adult beverage? Let Santa relieve himself into your glass and watch all that stress wash away as you laugh at the absurdity of it all! The drink might taste fine after being dispensed in this improper way, but this gift is about as tasteless as they come!
8. Santa's Dirty Flirty Thong Ornament-
People like to put all kinds of different ornaments on their tree, but who the heck is going to want this Santa's Dirty Flirty Thong ornament? Perhaps a thong aficionado, or someone who owns a thong store? Only Santa knows for sure...
9. Iconic Xmas Shapes Lucha Masks-
A Japanese company decided the best way to celebrate Xmas is with a reindeer, star or Xmas tree shaped Luchador mask on your face and a wrestler's spirit in your heart. Slip one on and fight for your presents!
10. Baby Santa Beard Beanie-
Parents aren't normally in a hurry to see their babies grow up and become bearded men, but if you want to get a glimpse at what that might look like about eighteen years before it's an actual possibility then you might want one of these Santa Beard baby beanies. It'll make a hairy man out of your hairless little man, and keeps his face nice and warm at the same time!
11. Santa's Farting Butt Travel Pillow-
There sure are a lot of Xmas products featuring Santa's rear end! I guess there really must be something to that legend about Santa's Butt bringing you good luck, but did they have to make one with real farting sounds?!
I'm not sure who would want this crazy thing, but if you see someone carrying one on board your flight request a seat by a window!
12. Xmas Ham Flavored Jones Soda-
Their 2007 Jones Soda Xmas Pack featured more appetizing flavors like Egg Nog and Sugar Plum, the totally bizarre Xmas Tree flavor, and the flavor that started as a special creation for the David Letterman show, originally called Big Ass Canned Ham soda.
The folks at Jones were doubtful anyone would even want to buy the Xmas Ham flavored soda, much less drink it, but it became an internet sensation and now is sold as a collector's item, a remembrance of crazy beverages past.
We hope you get everything you ask for this Xmas, and if you asked for anything on this list of bizarre products you have excellent taste!

16 Very Strange Xmas Ornaments You Can Buy

What in the world is this? It’s a watermelon, terrified because he is falling, no doubt thinking about the big mess his splat will leave on the floor. It’s a glass Xmas tree ornament available at eBay, and just one of a collection of 16 inexplicable, obscure, or just plain bizarre Xmas ornaments you can still purchase over the internet. See the rest of them in a list at mental_floss

Xmas Truck

If 'Rudolph' Took Place Today

The 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a treasure of storytelling and stop-motion animation. Watching it every Christmas was a cherished tradition in my home, both when I was a kid and now that I have kids.
But the world has changed since 1964. Both America and the North Pole are different places. At the beginning of the original program, Santa says that no red-nosed reindeer can serve on his sleigh team. You could say things like that 50 years ago. But in 2014, as this Fatawesome video points out, you've got to be careful. Someone could be recording your words. The end of your career could be just a YouTube upload away.

Legend of the Christmas Spider

Christmas Spider Web
One December, a mother was busily cleaning the house for Xmas. She swept every corner of every room completely clean, for she wanted everything bright and shiny in time for Xmas Day.
The spiders fled upstairs to the attic to escape the broom, for they knew she was far too busy to follow them up there.
On Xmas Eve, as soon as the house became quiet, the spiders slowly crept down for a peek. They scuttled into the living room and oh what a sight they saw!
A beautiful Xmas Tree! In their excitement they scurried up the trunk and out along each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed among its glittering beauty.
Christmas Spider TreeAlas, by the time they had finished climbing, the tree was completely covered with dusty gray spiders' webs.
Midnight came, and Santa Claus came with the gifts for the children. When he saw the tree, he smiled to see how happy the spiders were, but he knew how heartbroken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered with dusty webs. So he turned the gray spiders' webs to silver and gold.
The Xmas Tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before.
That is why we have tinsel on Xmas Trees, and every tree should have a Xmas spider in its branches.

Animal Pictures