Jill Harness's Blog Posts

It's Not Wise to Upset A Wookie With An Empty Stocking

Better remember to fill this stocking all the way up on Christmas Eve because wookies aren't exactly happy when their stockings are left empty. On the upside, there's nothing like a giant, appreciative wookie hug on Christmas morning.

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Watch These Cuties Grow Up

Neatorama readers The Campanelli Family started taking pictures of their puppies in front of the fireplace in 2006. When the twins were born in 2008, they were added right into the mix and the resulting yearly costumed pictures are utterly adorable. Every year,the kids and dogs are kept in the same order, from left to right: Max, Kyle, Beau, Aiden and Ben

Merry Christmas to the Campanelli's and remember, if you have any cute pet pics you'd like to share, feel free to send them to jill@neatorama.com.

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Eggnog Marshmallows

Like the flavor of eggnog but wish it wasn't so heavy? Then try making your own tasty eggnog marshmallows. Of course, if you follow this tasty recipe based on traditioinal eggnog, make sure you don't share with any youngsters, because these bad boys are boozy.

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The Eggheaded, Noggin-Filling Story of Eggnog

There’s something deeply polarizing about eggnog. People either love it or hate it and of those that love it, even they are usually at opposing sides when it comes to homemade nog versus the commercial variety. Whether you love it have drank gallons of it this year or hate it and gag at the very thought of it, here is a little trivia about the milky treat.

Image Via texascooking [Flickr]

What the Heck is A Nog Anyway?

The true origin of the drink is hotly debated, as is the reason for its name. Some, including Alton Brown explain that “nog” was a 17th century slang for a strong beer brewed in East Anglia, England. Others say that the name was a combination of the words “egg” and “grog,” a term for a drink made with rum. When the words are put together to form “eggngrog,” it’s easy to see where “eggnog” would come from. As for the origin of the drink, it is believed to have come from posset, a medieval drink made with warm milk, booze and spices. One thing’s for sure though, before the drink came to America, it was popular with British aristocrats –but they called it an Egg Flip.

Its Patriotic Roots in the New World

In England, only the rich could afford the fresh eggs and milk required to make “egg flips,” but when the drink crossed the Atlantic, it soared in popularity as practically every American had access to these fresh ingredients and some kind of hard alcohol. Perhaps the biggest difference between the American eggnog and the British predecessor though is that brandy and sherry were the most common alcohols used in England, but these two items were heavily taxed in America so the locals instead turned to rum –which was particularly cheap thanks to a close trade association with the Caribbean. When the Revolutionary War made it more difficult for the colonists to find rum, they instead turned to using bourbon in its place –which is the most common alcohol used in eggnogs today.

George Washington was a huge proponent of the creamy mixture and helped cement it into the nation’s history. In fact, he kept eggnog on hand all year long. Of course, his was not just any eggnog. White House records show that his recipe included rum, rye, whiskey, sherry and brandy.

Need more proof of how important eggnog was in our fledgling nation?

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Cooper, Ozzie and Dewey Get In The Christmas Spirit

Reader Michelle McKee sent in these great pictures of her parakeet Cooper and her friends Dewey and Ozzie decking the halls, trimming the tree, hanging stockings with care and lighting up the minorah this holiday season. Let me just say, these are some seriously cute and cudly little birdies.

You can keep up with Cooper's fun adventures all year long on her blog, Cooper's Corner.

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How to Make Your Tree Ready to Exterminate

Not only is this little Dalek a great way to make your Christmas tree a little more deadly, but it's easy to put together on your own and enjoy a little Doctor this year.

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Fantastically Fun Burger Creations

Look out, it's Crabzilla, filled with crab meat, lemon, lettuce, mango, oranges, and tomatoes. Not your style, well don't worry, Thomas and Quentin of Fat and Furious are sure to have something that will impress both your tastebuds and your eyes, like the fancy Bun, James Bun below with gold tinfoil-wrapped patties, quail eggs, lettuce, crème fraîche, and mini-octopi.

Link Via That's Nerdalicious

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Macy's SPCA Christmas Windows

Every Christmas, Macy's on Union Square partners up with the San Francisco SPCA to help introduce visitors and locals to the many adorable adoptable animals available at the shelter. As if the critters weren't cute enough on their own, the background decor makes each window memorable. In fact, you can actually watch the critters in the windows on the live webcams available at the SPCA's website.

Link Via Cute Overload

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Make Your Salad Perfect for the Holidays

You're obligated to have some kind of healthy option availble at Christmas dinner, but usually they get ignored in favor of the more tasty treats available. If you actually want people to munch down on the salad though, maybe you should try sprucing it up into a wreath to better fit the holiday season.

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Things You Don't Know About Christmas Carols

You’ve probably heard them over and over throughout the last month, and might even be dying for them to finally disappear again, but what do you actually know about Christmas songs other than the lyrics? Here are some fun facts about the carols you keep hearing.

The Man Behind The Music

While he hasn’t created every carol, no man has contributed more to the Christmas music genre than Jonny Marks, who wrote such classics as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold,” and “Run Rudolph Run.” Interestingly, despite writing so many of modern day Christmas classics, Marks didn’t even celebrate the holiday because he was Jewish.

His career in carols all started when he wrote “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in 1949. The song was based on a poem that was written by his brother-in-law, Robert L. May, for the Montgomery Ward Company. The song was also his biggest hit, selling a total of 25 million copies, making the album the best selling record of all time up until the 1980s.

Sources: Wikipedia #1 and #2

The Best-Selling Single Ever

Because we might only listen to Christmas songs for a short part of the year, they often become some of the most enduring pop songs since they are a lot harder to get burned out on. In fact, the best-selling single of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide, isn’t sung by the Beetles, Michael Jackson or even Justin Beiber, but is instead by Bing Crosby. When you listen to “White Christmas” though, it’s easy to see why it has continued to sell so well throughout the years -Crosby’s classic crooning immediately sets the mood for Christmas, even seventy years after it was released.

Funny enough though, when it was featured in the film Holiday Inn in 1942, the song didn’t do well and was overshadowed by the movie’s other big hit, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” Within a few months though, the holidays were nearing and “White Christmas” started climbing up the charts. The melancholy, homesick vibe of the song only helped its sales, being as how it came out right during the middle of WWII, making it feel incredibly appropriate to both those away at war and those who stayed at home.

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Thank Hollywood

Think Christmas songs are too commercial now with Justin Beiber, Cee Lo Green and Mariah Carey topping the charts? Well, get used to it because that’s nothing new. In fact, two of the most widely celebrated Christmas songs were written for movies. As mentioned above, “White Christmas” was written for Holiday Inn, and the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was first performed by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis, even if the more popular version was recorded later by Frank Sinatra.

Like “White Christmas,” WWII was part of the reason “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was so popular thanks to lines like “let your heart be light/Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.” Interestingly, the song was originally much darker, but Garland and her co-star Tom Drake pushed creator Hugh Martin for a few rewrites to make it a little more cheerful. In fact, the lines above were originally, "It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past” –not quite as full of holiday cheer is it?

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Wishing You A Very Merry Meatmas

This is the most taste-filled nativity scene ever created -even if it is also the most tasteless one at the same time. It's made by legendary Charles Phoenix, the famed creator of Frosty the Cheeseball Man and the tiki Thanksgiving.

Link Via Laughing Squid

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The World's Ugliest Dog Goes Caroling

(Video Link)

He might just be a little Chinese crested, but he's got one heck of an operetic voice. The other pups can't even compete with his voice, so they just rock their head back and forth in support.

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Merry Christmas Little Dexter

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This little guy knows exactly where to run on Christmas morning -right to the presents filled with treats!

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This Is Why Santa Doesn't Use Cats

Just look at this guy's attitude. There's certainly a reason the big man works with reindeer and it's not just their strength. It's also their great personalities. Just imagine if they were as tempermental as kittens.

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This Little Piggy Has Met His Match

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What happens when Hamlet the pig meets his Christmas light-up match? Adorable holiday frivolity, of course!

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The Christmas Tree Slaughter

(Video Link)

Every year over 100 Christmas trees are ruthlessly massacred and why? -So the lions, tigers and other cats of the Big Cat Rescue have a fun enrichment at Christmas time. Even if they don't celebrate Christmas they still love rubbing their scent all over these new trees.

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16 of the Scariest Santa Pictures Ever

Almost everyone has a childhood picture of themselves perched up on Santa’s lap and while the youngsters sometimes cry and sometimes smile, Kris Kringle usually maintains his jolly expression of glee. But sometimes Santa just isn’t the Old Saint Nick we’ve come to love. Sometimes he’s downright creepy and here’s the proof. Here are some of the creepiest Santa photos in order of “kind of weird” to “better sleep with the lights on tonight.”

Special thanks to Creepy Santa Photos for their impressive collection of horrific images of Mr. Claus.

The only explanation I can think up for everyone’s expression in this photo is that Santa just told Flickr user RaGardner4’s son Dylan he’s on the naughty list and whatever put him there angered Santa to his very core.

I have no idea what’s going on with this Finnish Santa spotted by Flickr user esaskar. Is he trying to be incognito? Maybe he’s trying to be funny? Or maybe that’s just what Finns think American Santas look like. Whatever the case, the end result is just plain odd.

Here’s a sadly stereotypical Santa picture –Old Kris Kringle curled up with a bottle of booze. Thanks for confirming all the tales istolethetv.

While Santa masks are usually horrifically terrifying for no good reason, at least this Santa has a reason for looking so evil –it was apparently so cold in Edmonton that even Jolly Old St. Nick had to wear facial protection that made him look like a masked murderer. Of course, this isn't even close to the worst Santa mask anyway, as you'll see a few images down.

Not only is this guy making a creepy face, but he also looks just like the killer from Silent Night Deadly Night. Fortunately, Arleen was too young to have seen that movie at the time. Of course, these days she wonders, “I don’t know how my mother let me sit on his lap!”

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The Trashiest Nativity Ever

You know what they say, "It's always sunny in Bethlehem" -or at least it is with these adorably tasteless Christmas cards by Etst seller CastleMcQuade.

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How The Grinch Stole Cakemas

Every detail of this great amazing Grinch cake is simply amazing from the Whoville home at the bottom to the massive mountain with Max hanging off the edge to the Grinch's grouchy mug. With a cake this fantastic, you'd better re-read the story to everyone around before cutting into it, just so everyone can recall just how many details are incorporated into the design.

Link Via That's Nerdacious

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The Disneyland Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House

Ray Keim made a paper model kit of the Haunted Mansion and some seriously skilled gingerbread craftsmen took his plans and converted them into this amazingly detailed gingerbread house. I think this one certainly falls under the category of too pretty to eat.

Link Via BoingBoing

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The Chihuahua Christmas Song

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Admittedly, this song is full of stereotypes, but when they're about a dog recognized worldwide as the Taco Bell mascot, it's not really that bad -especially when he's this cute.

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The Slowest Flying Saucer Ever Recorded

He might not be great at abducting innocent victims or flying away before investigators can make it to the scene, but he just might be the cutest UFO you've ever seen.

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12 Proposed Disney Attractions That Were Never Completed

Did you know the original Tower of Terror was supposed to involve Mel Brooks? Or that Disneyland almost had an Edison Square? Throughout the years, imagineers had plenty of ideas that never transpired and Mental Floss has a great list of some of the most interesting projects that never happened.

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10 of the Weirdest and Grossest Vodka Flavors Ever

That's not a photoshop image, there really is smoked salmon vodka -and that's not the only bizarre and gross flavor out there, there are also varieties in pickle, lemongrass and waffles as well.

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Start Your Morning Off Right With Ice Cream

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you just aren't content with the calories and cholesterol in bacon and eggs, then perhaps you should try adding some cream and sugar to turn the mixture into ice cream. It certainly would be an easy way to get the kids to eat breakfast.

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Wu Tang Dog Ain't Nothing to F- With

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This guy knows what he likes, and he likes Wu Tang!

Warning: The video has Wu Tang lyrics, so it's NSFW.

Via I Can Has Cheezburger

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Someone Call the Count

(Video Link)

How many towels can this dog balance on its head? One...woof...woof...woof...woof...Two...

Via I Can Has Cheezburger

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A Few Tolkien-rific Facts About the Book Version of The Hobbit

As you might be aware, if you’ve been online or watched any television over the last month, the long-awaited Hobbit movie is finally in theaters and while plenty of people are talking about the movie, we’re here to talk about its inspiration, the classic Tolkien novel, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. So grab your second breakfast and sit back and relax because there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to this classic children’s book.

Tolkien Started to Create Middle Earth Long Before He Thought Up The Story

While plenty of fantasy authors create mythologies to work with their characters and their plot lines, Tolkien, who had an academic background in Germanic and Norse language and religions, instead started creating a mythology and elven languages in 1917 -long before he ever thought about the characters that would later star in his stories.

He didn’t even start to think about hobbits until the early 1930’s, when a sentence popped into his head as he was grading some tests. He immediately scribbled down the words, “In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit” and within a few years, he finished the story.

He Didn’t Even Send the Manuscript to a Publisher

After finishing The Hobbit, Tolkien sent it to few friends and colleagues to review, including a student named Elaine Griffiths. In 1936, Elaine was talking to Susan Dagnall, who worked for a publishing company, when she recommended that Susan take a look at the manuscript. Susan was impressed with the work and gave it to Stanley Unwin, the head of publishing house George Allen and Unwin. Stanley gave the book to his 10 year-old to review, as he was the target age for the title, and the boy’s positive review led to the publishers deciding to print the book.

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All 7 Horcruxes On One Necklace

Sure, putting all the horcruxes on one necklace makes for an impressive piece of jewelry, but it sure doesn't make much sense if you're trying to keep yourself immortal -after all, then your arch nemesis just has to find the necklace to destroy you in one fell swoop.

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Evil Dead: The Wedding Cake

There are tons of Evil Dead and Army of Darkness references in this amazing wedding cake, but let's just hope the inside doesn't resemble anything from the movies -particularly the monster in the fruit cellar.

Link Via When Geeks Wed

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Profile for Jill Harness

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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