is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


Merry Christmas to all. The real St. Nicholas is not delivering presents. His bones were stolen and are stored in a leaky crypt in Italy. I shit you not. (Straight outta Metafilter)

The whole neo-pagan ideology began as a deconstruction of the accepted way of telling the story of Europe. Supposedly, the "Old Religion" had been systematically eradicated by a bloodthirsty church. In a long and pretty persuasive article, the Atlantic Monthly argues that the whole ideology is an invented tradition. When I think of Wicca I always think of Shawnee Keck, a debater at Western Washington, who was a Witch. I also think of the Mists of Avalon, a very well written book about Camelot told from the women's point of view. It is set in the universe that the Atlantic Monthly article is arguing never existed. Oh well, I guess the moral is not to get your history mixed up with your ideology.
I find it interesting that in this collection of ten disappearing inventions at least four of them are making a comeback. Although not making any returns, the Edison wax cylinder is featured with this tidbit:

Norman points to Edison's cylinders as the principal example of a superior technology defeated by one that was inferior but "good enough." Although the last cylinders were manufactured in 1929, the year Edison's company closed, the band They Might Be Giants went to the Edison National Historic Site in New Jersey to record "I Can Hear You," a track of their 1996 album Factory Showroom, on wax cylinder.(Link from Follow Me Here)

I had an idea that I am sure someone else has already thought of: A weblog as a work of progressive fiction. We get five or so good writers to sign up, then each day an author writes an entry to a continuous work of fiction. We go for a preset number of days, such as five chapters per writer, so 25 days, for example. I think it would be fun. I will even set the page up, should there be sufficient interest. To volunteer to be a member of the Dynamic Storytellers Blog, write me. To make fun of me for thinking I came up with this, write me.

Personal update: This is my first official white Christmas. Mom tells me I had one in Louisville, the city where I was born, but I don't remember it. I have five or six solid memories from Kentucky, and that is not one of them. Nonetheless, this sucks. The low is forecast at -20 tonight, it's -8 currently, but at least there's no wind. This is also only the second Christmas for me away from my mom, and Maggie's first Christmas without her dad, and we're both feeling pretty low.

However, that doesn't mean we're not going to have any fun. I got Maggie a neat miniature demitasse cup and saucer set from Lehman's Nonelectric Catalog, and I know she'll love them. I also found a liquor store that sells Franziskaner, a sort of Munich microbrew (a Weißbier Dunkel, to get technical) that we drank a fair amount of in Germany when the whole Stiffler clan visited two years ago, and I bought enough for each of us to have one for dinner tomorrow.


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