Friday, December 9, 2011

The Holidays Make the Freaks Come Out

I'm sure these stories will get worse, but for now, it looks like the holidays make the freaks come out.  In this week's pile of the not-even-most-ridiculous, there are freaks and elves, but  no fairies.  We hate fairies.

 Neat Freaks Shine at Holiday Time
The New York Times
All of these books, however, pale in comparison with the recently published “National Trust Manual of Housekeeping” (National Trust; $75), which tops 900 pages and weighs seven pounds. It includes tips on everything from how to align your doormat (10 feet of coconut matting is recommended to truly demuck one’s galoshes, after a good night of caroling) to the proper method of moving a dining room chair (lift from the seat rails, not the back, to avoid stressing it; at least the chair will be relaxed, even if you’re not).

Remember, small concessions help you keep it together.

 'Brian, I mean Skibby, it is with great honour I call you an elf'
The Irish Times
‘Elf esteem’ and ‘elf and safety’ are just two of the training modules for those hoping to qualify as one of Santa’s little helpers.
We enter a large old building, which will double as Santa’s home for the duration of the event. I am greeted by two members of the grand elf council, Meg Mistletoe (Niamh Crowley) and Cinnamon Cracker (Liz Twomey), whose job is to prepare me for life as an elf. I derobe, yoghurt is smeared on my face to help me get in touch with nature, and a tailor elf takes measurements for my new attire.

 Honestly, each and every picture I could think to put here seemed too obvious...

Making Beauty Their Business
The New York Times
Clients can choose from looks labeled with catchy names like the Siren (a 1920s-inspired wave) or the C.E.O. (a rosy lip with defined eyes that not long ago helped steel one Fortune 500 executive at 5 a.m. before ringing an opening bell on the stock exchange). A 90-minute session of daytime hair and makeup costs $250; more-complicated nighttime looks are $325.
“Much of it is saving the women from themselves,” Ms. Platt said. “The looks keep them in check, and the makeup artists are on hand to talk them out of something that may not work.”

 ...whereas the first one works well here too.

Six Wal-Mart heirs are wealthier than U.S.' entire bottom 30%
 LA Times
And based on the most recent data, the cumulative wealth of the Forbes 400 was $1.54 trillion -- equal to the worth of the bottom half of American families.
That means the $69.7 billion held by the six Walton relatives of Wal-Mart founders Sam and James Walton in 2007 was equal to the net worth of the bottom 30% of Americans, according to Allegreto.
Today, she said, the Walton pot is estimated to be around $93 billion.
 The median household income is $50,000, according ot the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hint: not one of the Waltons.

 Act II for the Tooth Fairy
The New York Times
I lost my tooth!” she announced. Within seconds, she and her twin sister were jumping around the house as if an ice cream truck had just pulled into town, covered in mermaids and rainbows. Minutes later, though, Tybee suddenly started to cry. “But what if the tooth fairy doesn’t come?” she asked.
Um, sweetheart, not so fast.
What I am about to say is likely to get me into trouble. But before you start throwing things, please hear me out. With that out of the way, here goes: I hate the tooth fairy.

NJ Man puts rednecks, hippies and misguided tourists on the map
The Star Ledger
But while Steinfeld said the map is a joke, not everyone who saw it laughed.
"I’d ask whoever designed the map to actually travel to these areas to see how vibrant some of the neighborhoods are," said Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. The city sits on the border of "Poor Minorities" and "Russians, Polacks And Toxic Fumes" on Steinfeld’s map.

Click for link to full, readable map.

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