Tuesday, 31 December 2013

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Not Clear

 Boxing Day is an institution in the British calendar but there is no common consensus as to how it got its name.

According to some it can be traced back to the Victorian era when churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put donations.
However according to historian Dr Neil Armstong, the naming of Boxing Day dates back to the 17th century.

This was the day, he says, when apprentices would have a box for their employers to tip them with a coin, or two.

Dr Armstrong from Teesside University says that while the boxes may have disappeared, the custom of tipping has remained.

He added: "Tipping within the world of business is still a culture we associate with Boxing Day and the festive period."

In the Victorian age the custom evolved and on Boxing Day most tradespeople who supplied middle class houses would give their clients a gift to ensure their custom.
There were concerns, says Dr Armstrong that this was a form of bribery.

This custom declined in the 20th century as fewer people had relationships with their local businesses and shops following the rise of supermarkets and shopping centres.
It may not be the reason why Boxing Day got its name but, says Dr Armstrong, charitable giving was closely associated with Boxing Day in the Victorian era.

"In the mid 19th century there began to be indiscriminate charitable giving. There were some concerns that this would often be begging, and children were usually sent out to do this job."

Nevertheless the mentality of generous charitable giving has continued to be associated with the festive period up to the present day.

Boxing Day continued, however, to be a normal working day until 1871 when it was finally classed as a bank holiday.

According to Dr Armstrong shopkeepers made up a large part of the campaigners who were pushing for it to be designated as a holiday.

He said "They would often be working until very late on Christmas Eve so they wanted a break on Boxing Day."

With Boxing Day now an official holiday, it became known as a day of leisure. Organised sporting events such as football matches became popular- a tradition which has carried on until today.

Families would leave the house for day trips and other family-orientated recreational activities. Museums began to open on Boxing Day in the late 19th century.
In the last 20 years the most common leisure pursuit associated with Boxing Day is shopping.

However in Ireland, where St Stephens Day is celebrated, many shops remained closed throughout the day.

Boxing Day is observed only in is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some other Commonwealth nations.
In America December 26 is known as the Day after Christmas Day, and is observed as a holiday in only a few states.  


To Get You Ready

1. You’ve heard this song loads

It even turns up at the end of movies.

2. But it’s sung most often when the bells strike midnight on New Year’s Eve

Or Hogmanay, as Scottish people who are actually professionals at this stuff, call it.

3. It was mostly written by Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet

It was mostly written by Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet
He’s thought to have based the first verse and chorus on a traditional song, before doing the rest himself.

4. Auld Lang Syne roughly translates from Scots into English as “days long gone”

Auld Lang Syne roughly translates from Scots into English as "days long gone"
So it’s a song of nostalgia.

5. The key themes of the song are: let’s not forget about old friendships, and let’s have a drink

The key themes of the song are: let's not forget about old friendships, and let's have a drink
This is what a “cup of kindness” is.

6. Everyone knows you are supposed to join hands. But unfortunately, you all do it at the wrong time.

Everyone knows you are supposed to join hands. But unfortunately, you all do it at the wrong time.
You start off holding hands with the person next to you, and only cross hands in the last verse when the lyrics say: “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere / And gie’s a hand o’ thine!”

7. These people are all doing it wrong


8. So when this happened on Millennium Eve, The Queen was right and EVERYBODY ELSE WAS WRONG

I bet Tony Blair doesn’t even know there are five verses, tsk.

9. Even worse than the hands thing: some people sing “And days of Auld Lang Syne”

Even worse than the hands thing: some people sing "And days of Auld Lang Syne"
But this is basically saying “And days of days long gone” so is clearly total nonsense. It’s enough to make Burns turn in his grave (which this is).

10. Don’t worry, here’s some Scottish people getting it all right

See how easy they make it look!

11. Now that we’ve got that sorted, it’s time to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Just remember the bit with the hands.
Buzz Feed

Highly Appropriate Just Now

A small brewpub some 40 miles outside of St. Louis was forced to change the name of one of its products after receiving a formal cease and desist letter from Starbucks. The coffee giant's lawyers sent a letter earlier this month asserting that Exit 6's "Frappicino" brew — which owner Jeff Britton claims would in fact have been called "Frappuccino" if it weren't for his poor spelling — may have been mistaken for an officially licensed Starbucks product, and that wouldn't haven't been good. For his part, Britton has now apologized — profusely, repeatedly, sardonically — for "any damage Exit 6 did to Starbucks." He even sent along a check for $6. How sweet.
Britton probably heard about what the chain did to Bangkok coffee vendor Starbung, now known as "Bung Tears," and of its rigorous crackdown onCharbucks of New Hampshire.
"We just want to help a business like Starbucks. Us small business owners need to stick together," he writes, and judging from the exchange below, it seems as though Exit 6 may have had the last laugh.

The original letter.Photo: Facebook/Exit 6 Pub and Brewery


Respectfully yours.Photo: Facebook/Exit 6 Pub and Brewery

Grub Street


In her later years, Florence Nightingale kept a pet owl in her pocket.

Not a Chance

Meet the Deus Ex Machina, a wearable motorbike that brings superhero-style transport into the real world (almost). The pretentiously named vehicle clamps to the rider like Ripley’s exoskeleton inAliens, and will power them to 60 mph in just three seconds, topping out at 75 mph.
Of course, even with three wheels the upright design would be unstable at that speed, which is why the skelebike moves the rider into a scary head-first horizontal position as it gets faster. Sensors detect the wearer’s movements and send them to 36 pneumatic muscles which control the positioning and steering of the machine.
The name is sadly appropriate. Right now Deus Ex Machina exists only inside a computer, but college-going designer Jake Loniak says that all the tech needed is currently available, right down to those "muscles" which are made by a German company called Festo. To be honest, we don’t know whether this is simply preposterous or the greatest motorbike (trike?) we’ve ever seen. I’d certainly try it out, but flying along at 75 mph with my face inches from the asphalt might be a little too scary.

Good Riddance

1. Liking Things Ironically 
The Baby Boomers rebelled against their dorky parents. We Gen Xers, however, couldn't rebel against our parents since rebelling against your parents had been done, so instead, we cultivated irony; it was all we could do. This subtle, handcrafted irony, however, has fallen into the hands of subsequent generations who have been misinterpreting ever since, and now we have dorky a cappella singing competitions on TV. Ironically, that's what happens when you try to be ironic — you end up making things a million times worse. Therefore, all intentional irony should be abolished until everyone's clear on what's good and what's bad. It'll probably take about five years.

2. Being All Ghetto
Getting your drink on, making it rain up in here, giving a shout out, being all about things, and throwing gang signs in pictures are all about 15 years out of date and weren't that great to begin with. Classically, a ghetto is a tragic place from which to emerge, not dive into and declare fabulous. 
3. Stepping Up Your Game and/or Bringing Your A-Game
Just forget about your game completely.
4. The Namaste Gesture
When directed at, let's say, the dry cleaner, this abridged prayer and bow combo comes off as highly insincere. As with everything, if you can imagine Adam Levine doing it, you should avoid it.
5. Being Stoked
All too often, being stoked leads to giving a shout out. Best to avoid it.
6. Giving It Up
Conversely, giving it up for someone or something often succeeds giving a shout out, and should also be avoided.
7-9. Honoring Yourself, Practicing Mindfulness, and Manifesting What the Universe Wants for You
Over, over, over.
10. Chillaxing
Oh, don't feel bad for chillaxing. It had a good run.
11. The Falsetto Flourish
The advent of You Tube, Funny or Die, and other such do-it-yourself comedy outlets has had the odd effect of turning everyone into Jack Black. Saying something like, "I'mo get my drink on" with the "drink on" part sung in falsetto is a stylistic choice that cannot carry over into the new year. It might not seem like much now, but after a while, when things start to seem somehow better, we'll know it's because the Falsetto Flourish is gone.
12. Strong, Amazing Woman
It's become increasingly rare to hear women described without these two pat qualifiers. Maybe we could come up with two other ones, or maybe — better yet — we could let the strength and amazing-ness of women be quietly understood in a way that is truly strong and amazing. In the meantime, here's what you can say when describing a woman: "I want you to meet my friend Donna. She's really great." 
13. Inventive Uses for "Much"
As in, "not so much" and "_____ much?" They may have been delightfully fresh in the '90s, but when your idioms are used to sell fast food and car insurance, it's time to abandon them.
14. Literally
Since "literally" can now mean "figuratively," we must stop interjecting it into our conversations in favor of the latter. Let's see if we now can get "figuratively" to mean "literally." Wouldn't that be great? We should figuratively do that.
15. Hey Lady
"Hey lady" has become the new "In the future" — a phrase that signifies something you don't want to hear. If I get an email that begins, "Hey lady," I delete it unread.
16. Being a Hater
Feel free to do it, just don't say it.
17. The Baby Clap Gesture
This stiff-handed, largely silent, staccato clap gesture that is often accompanied by a soft "Yay" (see below) stands in direct contrast to everything a clap should be. It's really goofing up clapping, and once clapping goes, we're doomed.
18. Right Now 
As in, "Are you kidding me right now?" and "Are you serious right now?" A totally unnecessary utterance that takes time away from constantly saying "figuratively."
19. Awesomeness
The unauthorized noun-ification of a dead adjective. Lose both.
20. At the End of the Day, It Is What It Is.
Across this great land, roughly 500,000 times a day, one person says this to another person, who nods in agreement, neither of them realizing that they've just participated in the emptiest experience two people can have. No more.
21. Gamechanger
As previously stated, please delete all references to one's game.
22-25. Wheelhouse, Random, Bow Chica Wow Wow, and I Know, Right?
For obvious reasons.
26. Yay!
Perhaps it's because everyone's so thrilled about everything that this once vibrant exclamation has grown feeble. If we're going to talk like children, I propose we say, "Goody goody gumdrops!" It's just as dumb, but at least it's different.
27. Calling Something the Best _____ Ever
You can still do this as long as you only do it once in your life. Only one thing can be the best thing ever, so you'd better think long and hard about that scone before you open your mouth.

Heading Home

University students home for the Christmas holidays are currently compiling a list of reasons why it’s time to put their parents in an old people’s home.
Barely a fortnight into their month off, students across the country have reported senility and early onset dementia amongst the middle-aged people who raised them.
Philosophy student Simon Williams told us, “My Dad can’t programme his DVR to record match of the day, so can I really expect him to look after himself day-to-day?”
“Sure, today it’s just a missed Match of the Day, but I fear he’s just one step away from electrocuting himself in the bath or starving to death over prolonged period.”
“Plus selling a 3 bed semi in the midlands would probably be enough to find him and mum a decent-enough home and clear my student debts.  I think that’s the very definition of win win.”
“Do you know any good estate agents?”

 Students want parents in a home

Many students have explained how a single term living away from home has brought home just how close their parents are to losing their marbles completely.
Returning Geography student Sharon Smith told us, “Is there some sort of home DNA test I can take – I can’t believe for one second I’m from the same gene pool as these people.”
“Sure, I look a bit like them – but it’s like they’re a different species entirely.”
“I mean, I love them dearly, and I’ll try to find a nice home for them, but they can’t be allowed to look after themselves in modern society.”
“I’ve rung around a few, but so far none of them is willing to taken a 46 year-old couple. Any ideas?”