Thursday, November 19, 2015

Trivia

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.


He is an elected councillor on the Council of North Pole, Alaska.

Some facts:
  • He is aged 68, was one of 2 councillors elected in October 2015 and had previously been President of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce.
  • Santa legally changed his name from Thomas Patrick O'Connor about a decade ago while living in Nevada. 
  • He decided to grow out his beard “for fun.” It grew full, soft and white, and people started telling him he should portray Santa Claus at Christmas. He did, then prayed about how to best use his image to benefit child advocacy. Seconds after his finished his prayer, he said a car drove by and a male voice shouted “Santa, I love you!” He started the name change process the following day.
  • Mr Claus does not accept requests for presents. He says the greatest gift people can give is love.
  • Oh, and he’s a Christian monk.
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How come I didn’t hear about this?

Chang'e 3 is an unmanned lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), incorporating a robotic lander and China's first lunar rover. It was launched in December 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The spacecraft was named after Chang'e, the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology, and is a follow-up to the Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 lunar orbiters. The rover was named Yutu (literally: "Jade Rabbit") following an online poll, after the mythological rabbit that lives on the Moon as a pet of the Moon goddess. 

Chang'e 3 achieved lunar orbit on 6 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013, becoming the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976.

It was commanded out of sleep mode on 11 January 2014 but on 25 January 2014, China's state media announced the rover had undergone a "mechanical control abnormality" caused by the "complicated lunar surface environment". Translation: it got screwed by big rocks.

The rover established contact with mission control on 13 February 2014, but it was still suffering from a "mechanical abnormality". The rover was still intermittently transmitting as late as 6 September 2014 but ceased to transmit data in March 2015.


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The Macy's Thanksgiving parade started in 1924, with floats and marching employees in vibrant costumes. Live animals were also borrowed from the Central Park Zoo, and Santa Claus closed the parade, tradition that still exists. Balloons first appeared in 1927 to replace the zoo animals. In 1928, all the balloons - including Felix the Cat, the very first - were released into the air but unexpectedly burst. Following that, they were redesigned to stay intact, and each had address labels sewn into them so that whoever found and returned the stray balloons would be rewarded with a Macy's gift. 

1931

Live animals were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo to entertain the crowd at Macy's first parade in 1924, but were replaced with the giant balloons in 1927. Pictured, an alligator balloon at the 1932 parade.


Now this is scary.
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“Christmas creep” is the phenomenon whereby retailers put Christmas items, decorations etc out earlier and eafrlier.

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The first Popeye, 1929

The first Superman, 1938

Homer Simpson 1987, 1989, 1990


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