Disclaimer: The Wizard of 'OZ' makes no money from 'OZ' - The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow. 'OZ' is 100 % paid ad-free

Sunday, December 31, 2023

R.I.P. Shecky Greene (1926 - 2023)

Shecky Greene

Shecky Greene, legendary Las Vegas standup comedian who worked with Sinatra and Elvis, died at 97.

Greene was known for his many appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and for working as the opening act for Sinatra in Miami and Presley in Las Vegas.

Shecky Greene, born Fred Sheldon Greenfield on April 8, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois, was an American comedian and actor who left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Over the course of his career, which spanned several decades, Shecky Greene became renowned for his quick wit, unique comedic style, and memorable performances.

Greene's early life was marked by the challenges of growing up during the Great Depression. Despite the difficult times, he discovered his passion for comedy at a young age. His comedic journey began in the Catskills, a region in New York known for its Borscht Belt resorts, where he honed his skills in front of diverse audiences. This early experience served as a crucial foundation for his later success in the entertainment industry.

Shecky Greene's breakthrough came in the 1950s and 1960s when he became a fixture in Las Vegas. His sharp, irreverent humour and ability to connect with audiences made him a sought-after performer in the city's bustling entertainment scene. Greene's performances at iconic venues like the Sands Hotel and Casino solidified his reputation as one of the top comedians of his time.

One of the distinctive features of Shecky Greene's comedy was his improvisational style. He was known for interacting with the audience, incorporating current events into his routines, and adapting his material based on the atmosphere of the moment. This spontaneous approach endeared him to audiences, as they never knew exactly what to expect from a Shecky Greene performance.

Shecky Greene
In addition to his success on the comedy circuit, Greene made a significant impact on television. He appeared on numerous variety shows, talk shows, and sitcoms, showcasing his comedic talents to a broader audience. His memorable appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" further solidified his status as a comedic force to be reckoned with.

Beyond his comedic endeavours, Shecky Greene also pursued acting. He appeared in films such as "The Rat Race" (1960) alongside Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds. His ability to infuse humor into his acting roles added depth to his on-screen performances. While comedy was his primary focus, Greene demonstrated versatility in various entertainment mediums.

Despite his success, Shecky Greene's personal life faced its share of challenges. His off-stage persona often mirrored the irreverence of his comedic routines. He was known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial remarks, which occasionally landed him in hot water. However, his undeniable talent and contributions to the world of comedy ensured that he remained a respected figure in the entertainment industry.

As the landscape of comedy evolved, Shecky Greene continued to adapt and thrive. His influence extended beyond his own performances, inspiring generations of comedians who admired his fearless approach to humour. Greene's impact on the comedic landscape is enduring, and his contributions have left an indelible mark on the history of stand-up comedy.

In later years, Shecky Greene remained an iconic figure, making occasional appearances and sharing his wealth of experience with aspiring comedians. His legacy continues to live on through the laughter he brought to countless audiences and the enduring influence he had on the world of comedy. Shecky Greene's ability to find humour in life's ups and downs, coupled with his unique comedic voice, ensures that he will be remembered as a true pioneer in the art of making people laugh.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Congratulations! You made it to the end of the year!

Good Bye 2023

Happy New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve


New Year's Eve offers numerous opportunities for fun and safe activities. Here are some ideas for celebrating the occasion responsibly:

  1. Host a Virtual Party: Organize a virtual gathering with friends and family using video conferencing platforms. Dress up, play games, share resolutions, and countdown to the new year together from the comfort of your homes.

  2. Movie Marathon: Plan a movie night with your favorite films, snacks, and cozy blankets. Create a themed movie marathon or watch feel-good movies to set a positive tone for the year ahead.

  3. Cook a Special Dinner: Prepare a delicious meal at home with your loved ones. Try new recipes, experiment with festive dishes, or have a themed culinary experience. Cooking together can be a fun and engaging activity.

  4. Game Night: Arrange a game night with board games, card games, or virtual multiplayer games. Challenge your friends or family members to friendly competitions and enjoy the laughter and camaraderie.

  5. Reflection and Goal Setting: Take some time for self-reflection and goal setting. Write down your achievements from the past year, express gratitude, and set intentions and goals for the upcoming year. Create a vision board or journal to document your aspirations.

  6. Outdoor Activities: If weather permits and local guidelines allow, consider outdoor activities like a nature hike, a picnic, or a scenic drive to welcome the new year surrounded by nature's beauty.

  7. DIY Crafts or Projects: Engage in creative activities like DIY crafts, painting, or building projects. Explore your artistic side and channel your energy into creating something unique and meaningful.

  8. Virtual Fireworks Display: Many cities live stream their New Year's Eve fireworks displays. Tune in to virtual broadcasts to enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of your home. You can even create your own mini-fireworks display using safe alternatives like sparklers or glow sticks.

  9. Meditation and Relaxation: Take a moment for self-care and relaxation. Engage in meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to calm your mind and set positive intentions for the new year.

  10. Connect with Loved Ones: Reach out to family and friends through video calls, phone calls, or handwritten letters. Share well wishes, reminiscences, and resolutions, and strengthen your connections with those dear to you.

Remember to adhere to local health guidelines and regulations while planning your New Year's Eve activities. Stay informed about any restrictions or recommendations in your area and prioritize the safety and well-being of yourself and others.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

New Year's Eve PSA

Don't drink and drive

Planning a safe ride home on New Year's Eve is essential to ensure the well-being and safety of yourself and others. Here are some tips for arranging a safe transportation option:

  1. Designate a Sober Driver: Choose a responsible person among your group who will refrain from consuming alcohol and will be the designated driver for the evening. Make sure everyone in your group is aware of the plan and supports the designated driver.

  2. Ridesharing Services: Utilize ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, or local taxi companies. These services allow you to request a safe and sober ride from your location to your destination. Make sure to have the app downloaded and set up before the festivities begin.

  3. Public Transportation: Check the schedules for public transportation options like buses, trains, or subways in your area. Many cities offer extended services or special late-night routes on New Year's Eve to accommodate celebrations. Plan your journey and be aware of the schedules and routes in advance.

  4. Pre-arranged Transportation: If you're attending a party or event, check if the venue or organizers have arranged transportation options. They might provide shuttles or buses to transport guests to and from the location. Take advantage of these services to ensure a safe trip.

  5. Stay Overnight: If attending a celebration far from home, consider staying overnight at a hotel, with a friend, or at the host's location if they offer accommodations. This eliminates the need for transportation altogether and allows you to start the new year well-rested.

  6. Arrange a Designated Driver Service: Some areas have designated driver services specifically for occasions like New Year's Eve. These services provide a professional driver who will drive your car and ensure you arrive home safely. Research and book such services in advance if available in your area.

Remember, the key is to plan ahead and make arrangements before the celebrations begin. It's crucial to avoid drinking and driving, as it endangers lives and carries severe legal consequences. By making responsible choices and organizing a safe ride home, you can enjoy the festivities while prioritizing the safety of yourself and others on New Year's Eve.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Stop Ads Now!


Ads are a common part of the online experience, but if you find them intrusive and want to minimize their presence, here are some steps you can take to reduce or block ads while browsing the web:

  1. Use an Ad Blocker: Install an ad blocker extension or add-on in your web browser. Ad blockers help prevent ads from displaying on web pages, resulting in a cleaner browsing experience. Popular ad blockers include uBlock Origin, AdBlock Plus, and Privacy Badger.

  2. Adjust Browser Settings: Most web browsers offer settings that allow you to control how ads are displayed. For example, you can disable pop-ups, block certain website elements, or configure privacy settings to limit ad tracking. Explore your browser's settings and privacy options to customize your ad experience.

  3. Enable Do Not Track: Many browsers have a "Do Not Track" feature that signals to websites that you prefer not to be tracked for personalized advertising. Enabling this option can help reduce targeted ads based on your browsing habits. However, be aware that it relies on the websites' compliance and may not be universally respected.

  4. Clear Cookies and Browser Data: Ads can sometimes be targeted based on the information stored in your cookies or browser data. Regularly clearing these files can help reset the targeted ad profile associated with your browsing habits. Check your browser's settings for options to clear cookies, cache, and browsing history.

  5. Opt-out of Personalized Ads: Some ad networks offer opt-out mechanisms that allow you to indicate your preference to not receive personalized ads. Visit the websites of advertising companies or use industry platforms like the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) or Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) to manage your ad preferences.

  6. Use Incognito/Private Browsing Mode: Browsing in incognito or private mode can help limit personalized ads because it typically prevents websites from accessing and storing your browsing data. While it doesn't completely eliminate ads, it reduces their relevance to your specific browsing activities.

  7. Be Selective with Websites: Some websites have a higher density of ads or more intrusive advertising practices. Consider being selective about the websites you visit and favor those with less obtrusive ad placements or opt for websites that offer ad-free subscriptions.

It's important to note that while blocking or minimizing ads can enhance your browsing experience, ads also play a crucial role in supporting free online content and services. Consider supporting websites or content creators you enjoy by whitelisting them in your ad blocker or exploring alternative ways to contribute, such as donations or subscriptions.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Open Source Graphic Editing Applications

Graphics editing application

There are several popular open-source image editing programs available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are five of the top open-source image editing programs and some of their notable features, advantages, and disadvantages:

  1. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program):

    • Plusses: GIMP is a powerful and feature-rich image editing program with a wide range of tools and capabilities. It supports layers, masks, filters, and a variety of file formats. It has an active community that provides tutorials, plugins, and resources.
    • Negatives: The interface of GIMP can be overwhelming for beginners due to its extensive functionality. Some users find it less intuitive compared to commercial software like Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Krita:

    • Plusses: Krita is primarily designed for digital painting and provides an extensive set of tools for artists. It has a user-friendly interface, supports layers and masks, and offers a range of brushes and textures. It also has animation capabilities.
    • Negatives: While Krita excels in painting-related tasks, it may have fewer advanced editing features compared to software like GIMP or Photoshop.
  3. darktable:

    • Plusses: darktable is a powerful open-source software specifically designed for non-destructive editing and workflow management of raw images. It offers advanced features like lens correction, noise reduction, and color management. It has a modular interface and supports batch processing.
    • Negatives: As it primarily focuses on raw image editing, darktable may have limited functionality for non-raw image formats. Its interface may require some learning to take full advantage of its features.
  4. RawTherapee:

    • Plusses: RawTherapee is another open-source program focused on raw image editing. It provides a wide range of editing tools, including advanced color correction, exposure adjustments, and noise reduction. It offers non-destructive editing and supports batch processing.
    • Negatives: Similar to darktable, RawTherapee's primary focus on raw image editing may limit its functionality for non-raw formats. Its interface may also take some time to get used to.
  5. Inkscape:

    • Plusses: Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that can also handle some raster image editing tasks. It supports scalable vector graphics (SVG) and offers features like shapes, paths, text tools, and filters. It's particularly useful for creating illustrations, logos, and icons.
    • Negatives: While Inkscape provides some raster image editing capabilities, it may have fewer features compared to dedicated raster image editors like GIMP. Its learning curve can be steep for users unfamiliar with vector-based editing.

These open-source image editing programs offer robust functionality and can be powerful alternatives to commercial software. However, the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, level of expertise, and preferred workflow. It's recommended to explore each program's documentation, tutorials, and user feedback to determine which one aligns best with your requirements.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

"New Year's Eve"

New Year's Eve
Once, in a small town nestled deep in the mountains, there was a peculiar tradition that took place every New Year's Eve. The locals spoke in hushed whispers about the legend surrounding this night—a tale of a vengeful spirit that haunted the town's streets as the clock struck midnight.

According to the story, decades ago, a young woman named Eliza lived in the town. Eliza was known for her beauty, kindness, and love for the townsfolk. However, her life took a tragic turn when she fell in love with a young man from a rival family. Their forbidden love enraged the families, leading to a violent confrontation on New Year's Eve.

The feud escalated, resulting in a gruesome fight that claimed the lives of both Eliza and her lover. The town was overcome with grief and remorse, realizing that their animosity had caused such a terrible outcome. As the years passed, the legend grew, and it was believed that Eliza's restless spirit returned every New Year's Eve to seek revenge on the town and its inhabitants.

As the clock neared midnight on that fateful evening, the town's atmosphere turned eerie and tense. People locked themselves indoors, clutching talismans and whispering prayers to ward off the vengeful spirit. The streets fell silent, with only the distant sound of a mournful wind echoing through the deserted town.

Legend had it that those who dared venture outside on New Year's Eve risked encountering Eliza's ghostly presence. It was said that she appeared as a sorrowful figure, draped in a flowing white gown, her eyes burning with an otherworldly glow.

Those unfortunate enough to cross paths with Eliza faced terrifying consequences. Witnesses claimed that she possessed the power to inflict unimaginable fear upon her victims, trapping them in a waking nightmare of their deepest fears and regrets. Some even whispered that those who encountered her never returned, forever trapped in a shadowy realm between life and death.

The legend served as a somber reminder to the townspeople of the consequences of unresolved conflicts and the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation. It also instilled a profound sense of fear and respect for the power of the supernatural, particularly on the eve of each new year.

To this day, the tale of Eliza's ghostly apparition haunts the town, serving as a cautionary reminder of the consequences of allowing grudges and animosity to consume one's heart. On New Year's Eve, the residents remain cautious, hoping to avoid the wrath of Eliza's spirit, and pray for a peaceful transition into the coming year.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Friday, December 29, 2023

The 411 - Epsom Salts


epsom salt


Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, are a mineral compound consisting of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. They have been used for various purposes for centuries and are named after the town of Epsom in England, where the compound was first discovered in natural springs. Here's some information about Epsom salts, their uses, and how to use them:

  1. Epsom Salt Composition: Epsom salts are composed of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. The chemical formula for Epsom salt is MgSO4·7H2O, indicating the presence of water molecules. The hydrated form of Epsom salt is a crystalline substance with a similar appearance to table salt.

  2. Common Uses:

    • Relaxation and Bathing: Epsom salts are popularly used in baths for relaxation and stress relief. When dissolved in warm water, they release magnesium ions that can be absorbed through the skin, promoting muscle relaxation and soothing sore muscles. This makes Epsom salt baths a common remedy for muscle aches, post-workout recovery, and general relaxation.
    • Foot Soaks: Similar to baths, foot soaks with Epsom salts can provide relief for tired or swollen feet. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salts can help reduce swelling and provide a relaxing experience.
    • Gardening and Plant Care: Epsom salts can be used as a natural fertilizer for plants. They provide a source of magnesium, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. Adding Epsom salts to the soil or spraying a diluted Epsom salt solution onto the foliage can help promote healthy plant growth, vibrant green leaves, and can assist in the development of flowers and fruits.
    • Constipation Relief: In some cases, Epsom salts can be used as a laxative. However, it's important to note that oral use of Epsom salts should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as incorrect dosage or usage can lead to adverse effects.
  3. How to Use Epsom Salts:

    • Bathing: Add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salts to warm bathwater and allow them to dissolve. Soak in the bath for at least 15-20 minutes to experience the potential benefits.
    • Foot Soaks: Dissolve half a cup of Epsom salts in a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
    • Gardening: Before planting, mix Epsom salts into the soil or sprinkle them around the base of plants. For foliar application, dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts in 1 gallon of water and spray the solution onto the leaves.
    • Laxative Use: Oral use of Epsom salts as a laxative should be done only as directed by a healthcare professional. The dosage and specific instructions will depend on individual circumstances.

Remember, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or gardening expert for specific guidance on using Epsom salts, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

In Two Days it will be New Years

NY 2024

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated with various customs and traditions around the world. Here are some examples of international customs associated with the New Year:

  1. Times Square Ball Drop (United States): In New York City's Times Square, millions of people gather to witness the famous ball drop at midnight. As the countdown begins, a large crystal ball descends down a pole, marking the transition into the new year.

  2. Fireworks (Various Countries): Fireworks displays are a popular way to welcome the New Year in many countries. Spectacular fireworks light up the skies over major cities, symbolizing a joyful start to the year. Examples include the displays in Sydney Harbor (Australia), London (United Kingdom), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

  3. First-Footing (Scotland): In Scotland, the tradition of "first-footing" is practiced. Shortly after midnight, people visit their friends and family, carrying symbolic gifts such as coal, shortbread, or whiskey. The first person to enter a home in the New Year is believed to bring good luck for the coming year.

  4. Eating 12 Grapes (Spain and Latin America): In Spain and several Latin American countries, it is customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one with each stroke of the clock. Each grape represents good luck for each month of the upcoming year.

  5. Lantern Floating (Japan): In Japan, New Year's Eve is marked by the tradition of "Tōrō Nagashi." Paper lanterns are released into rivers or the sea, symbolizing the release of the previous year's troubles and welcoming new beginnings.

  6. Hogmanay (Scotland): Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year. It is celebrated with various customs, including street parties, music, dancing, and the singing of "Auld Lang Syne," a song traditionally associated with bidding farewell to the old year.

  7. Polar Bear Plunge (Various Countries): In some countries, including Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands, brave individuals participate in polar bear plunges. These events involve jumping into icy waters to welcome the New Year, often as a charity fundraising activity.

  8. New Year's Resolutions (Various Countries): Making New Year's resolutions is a common practice globally. People set goals and make commitments to improve themselves, their habits, or their lives in the coming year.

  9. Temple Visits (Asia): In several Asian countries, such as Japan, China, and Thailand, it is customary to visit temples or shrines on New Year's Day. People pray, make offerings, and seek blessings for the year ahead.

These customs represent just a few examples of the diverse traditions associated with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day around the world. Each country and culture may have its unique customs, rituals, and beliefs to mark the occasion and celebrate the start of a new year.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Xorg vs. Wayland display managers (Linux)

Xorg vs. Wayland

Xorg and Wayland are both display server protocols used in the Linux ecosystem. They serve as the communication interface between the graphical applications and the underlying hardware. While Xorg has been the dominant display server for many years, Wayland is gaining popularity as an alternative.

Here are some key points of comparison between Xorg and Wayland:

  1. Architecture: Xorg is a mature and feature-rich display server that has been around for decades. It follows a client-server model, where the server manages input devices, graphics hardware, and rendering. In contrast, Wayland is a more modern protocol designed to be simpler and more efficient. It adopts a compositing model, where the compositor manages both the display server and the window manager functions.

  2. Design Philosophy: Xorg was developed with backward compatibility in mind, allowing it to support legacy applications and a wide range of hardware. This flexibility comes with some performance and security trade-offs. Wayland, on the other hand, focuses on providing a modern and secure display protocol. It aims to eliminate certain issues found in Xorg, such as screen tearing and input lag.

  3. Performance: Wayland is generally considered to offer better performance and smoother graphics compared to Xorg. Its streamlined architecture and reduced overhead contribute to improved responsiveness, reduced input latency, and more efficient resource utilization. Xorg, due to its legacy support and additional layers, can sometimes exhibit higher latency and slightly slower performance.

  4. Compatibility: Xorg has broader application and driver support due to its long history and widespread adoption. Many Linux applications and graphics drivers have been developed with Xorg in mind, making it compatible with a wide range of software and hardware configurations. Wayland, although growing in compatibility, may still encounter issues with certain applications, especially those that rely on Xorg-specific features.

  5. Customization: Xorg provides extensive customization options and flexibility. It allows users to configure various aspects of the display server, such as input handling, graphics acceleration, and window management. Wayland, being a simpler protocol, offers fewer customization options by design. It aims to provide a standardized and consistent user experience across different desktop environments.

  6. Future Development: Wayland is considered by many as the future of display servers in the Linux ecosystem. Major desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE, have been working on Wayland support and are gradually transitioning away from Xorg. However, Xorg still remains widely used and actively maintained, with ongoing development to address security and compatibility issues.

Ultimately, the choice between Xorg and Wayland depends on individual needs and preferences. If compatibility with legacy software and hardware is a priority, Xorg may be the better option. On the other hand, if you value performance, security, and a more modern display protocol, Wayland may be worth exploring, keeping in mind potential compatibility limitations with specific applications or drivers.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Thursday, December 28, 2023

NVIDIA vs. intel Built in video cards

NVIDIA vs. intel

NVIDIA video cards and Intel onboard video (integrated graphics) serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Here's a comparison between the two:


  • NVIDIA Video Cards: NVIDIA is renowned for manufacturing dedicated graphics cards designed specifically for high-performance gaming, professional applications, and graphics-intensive tasks. NVIDIA GPUs typically offer superior performance compared to Intel onboard video. They have more powerful processors, dedicated video memory, and advanced features like real-time ray tracing and deep learning capabilities. They can handle demanding gaming titles, 3D rendering, video editing, and other graphics-intensive workloads with higher frame rates and better visual fidelity.
  • Intel Onboard Video: On the other hand, Intel onboard video refers to the integrated graphics solutions integrated directly into Intel processors. While they have improved over the years, Intel's integrated graphics are generally less powerful than dedicated video cards. They are suitable for basic tasks like web browsing, office productivity, and media playback, but they may struggle with more demanding applications or modern games at higher settings and resolutions.

Customizability and Upgradability:

  • NVIDIA Video Cards: Dedicated video cards from NVIDIA offer the advantage of being replaceable and upgradeable. Users can choose from a wide range of models with varying performance levels and features. They can easily upgrade their graphics card to a newer or more powerful one as technology advances or their needs change.
  • Intel Onboard Video: Intel onboard video, being integrated into the CPU, cannot be physically replaced or upgraded like a dedicated graphics card. Users are limited to the integrated graphics solution that comes with their specific Intel processor. Upgrading the graphics capabilities in this case would require replacing the entire CPU.

Power and Thermal Considerations:

  • NVIDIA Video Cards: Dedicated video cards typically consume more power and generate more heat than Intel integrated graphics. Higher-end NVIDIA GPUs often require additional power connectors and may need adequate cooling solutions like fans or liquid cooling.
  • Intel Onboard Video: Intel's integrated graphics are designed to be power-efficient and generate less heat since they are integrated within the CPU. They do not require any additional power connectors and rely on the CPU's cooling mechanisms.


  • NVIDIA Video Cards: NVIDIA's dedicated video cards come in various price ranges, depending on the model and performance level. Higher-end GPUs can be quite expensive, catering to gamers and professionals who require top-tier graphics performance.
  • Intel Onboard Video: Intel onboard video is included with Intel processors at no additional cost. As such, it is a cost-effective solution for users who have basic graphics needs and are not primarily focused on gaming or graphics-intensive tasks.

In summary, NVIDIA video cards offer superior graphics performance, advanced features, and are suitable for gaming, professional work, and other graphics-intensive tasks. Intel onboard video, on the other hand, is integrated into the CPU, provides basic graphics capabilities, and is more power-efficient. The choice between the two depends on individual needs, budget, and the level of graphics performance required.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

The 411 - The little man in the fridge



411The concept of a little man in the fridge who turns the light on is a playful and imaginative idea often associated with jokes, urban legends, or humorous anecdotes. It is not based on any factual or scientific information but rather serves as a lighthearted and whimsical explanation for a common observation.

The notion of a tiny person residing inside a refrigerator who operates the light switch when the door is opened is a way to humorously explain how the light magically turns on when we open the fridge door. In reality, the refrigerator light is typically triggered by a small button or switch that is pressed when the door is opened, activating the light bulb inside.

The concept of a little man in the fridge is often used in jokes or comedic situations to add a touch of absurdity or to evoke a sense of wonder and imagination. It's not meant to be taken seriously but rather as a playful way to ponder the mysteries of everyday occurrences.

It's worth noting that the idea of a little man or creature dwelling inside objects or appliances is a common theme in folklore and fairy tales. However, in the case of the refrigerator light, it is simply a fun and fanciful explanation for a mundane phenomenon.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

How does Linux make any money when its free to use?


Linux is an open-source operating system, which means its source code is freely available to the public. The "free" aspect of Linux refers to the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the software, rather than its cost. While Linux itself is free, companies and individuals can still generate revenue through various avenues associated with Linux. Here are some ways in which Linux and related entities make money:

  1. Enterprise Support: Many organizations that use Linux rely on professional support services. Companies like Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical offer enterprise-grade distributions of Linux, along with maintenance, technical support, consulting, and training services. These companies charge fees for their support offerings, ensuring businesses have access to reliable assistance when running Linux in mission-critical environments.

  2. Custom Development: Linux's open-source nature allows companies to create customized versions of the operating system tailored to specific needs. Organizations often pay for specialized development services, including the customization, integration, and optimization of Linux distributions for their hardware, software, or infrastructure requirements.

  3. Hardware and Devices: Linux has a strong presence in the embedded systems and IoT (Internet of Things) market. Companies manufacturing hardware and devices, such as routers, smartphones, smart TVs, and other IoT devices, may use Linux as the underlying operating system. These manufacturers generate revenue from the sale of their hardware, while Linux helps power their devices.

  4. Cloud Services: Linux is widely used in cloud computing platforms and services. Companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure utilize Linux extensively in their infrastructure. They generate revenue through the provision of cloud services, such as hosting, storage, virtual machines, and container services, where Linux forms a fundamental part of their offerings.

  5. Software and Applications: While Linux is free, many software vendors develop and sell commercial software applications specifically designed to run on Linux. These applications include database management systems, enterprise software, graphic design tools, video editing software, and more. Companies generate revenue by selling licenses, subscriptions, or support for their proprietary software on the Linux platform.

  6. Consulting and Professional Services: Linux's widespread adoption has created a demand for consulting services from experts in the Linux ecosystem. Consulting firms and individual professionals offer services like system administration, network setup, security audits, performance optimization, and migration assistance. They earn money by providing expertise and professional services to organizations using Linux.

It's important to note that the Linux ecosystem thrives on collaboration and contributions from a large community of developers, volunteers, and enthusiasts. The open-source nature of Linux encourages innovation, drives improvements, and helps expand its user base, benefiting both individuals and businesses.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The 411 - Smarties


411Smarties are colourful and popular candy-coated chocolates that are loved by many people around the world. Here's a detailed overview of Smarties, covering their history, ingredients, production, and cultural significance:

  1. History:

    • Smarties were first introduced in 1937 by Rowntree's, a British confectionery company.
    • Originally called "Chocolate Beans," they were later renamed "Smarties" in 1938.
    • In 1949, Rowntree's was acquired by Nestlé, which continued producing Smarties.
  2. Ingredients:

    • The primary ingredients of Smarties are milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, vegetable fat, whey powder, and emulsifiers.
    • The colourful candy coating is made of sugar, colouring agents (such as beet juice, spirulina extract, and turmeric), and glazing agents (such as carnauba wax and beeswax).
  3. Variety:

    • Smarties are available in various forms and sizes. The most common are the round, flat discs, but there are also mini Smarties and giant Smarties.
    • The candy-coated shells come in an assortment of vibrant colours, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  4. Production:

    • The production of Smarties involves several steps. The cocoa beans are processed into chocolate, which is then molded into small oval shapes.
    • The outsides of Smarties are coated with layers of sugar and colouring agents. The coating process involves rotating drums where the chocolate centres are tumbled and coated.
    • Once coated, the Smarties are dried and polished to achieve their characteristic shiny appearance.
  5. Cultural Significance:

    • Smarties have become an iconic and beloved treat in many countries.
    • In the United Kingdom and Canada, Smarties gained popularity as a children's candy and are often associated with parties, celebrations, and holidays.
    • In Canada, Smarties are known for their distinctive packaging, which consists of a cylindrical tube with a resealable lid. This design allows for easy storage and portion control.
    • Smarties are also popular as decorative elements for baking, cake decorating, and as toppings for ice cream and desserts.
  6. Smarties in Different Countries:

    • The Smarties brand is available in various countries, but the product can differ slightly. In the United States, for example, Smarties refer to a different candy: compressed tablets of sour fruit-flavoured powder.
    • In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, Smarties are produced without artificial colours, making them a more natural option.

Overall, Smarties are a delightful and colourful candy enjoyed by people of all ages. Their sweet and crunchy chocolate centres, combined with the vibrant candy coating, make them a popular treat for indulgence, festive occasions, and simple moments of enjoyment.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

R.I.P. Tommy Smothers (1937 - 2023)

Tommy Smothers
Comedian Tom Smothers, who with his brother performed as the singing comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, has died, according to a family statement shared by the National Comedy Center.

He was 86.

Dick Smothers, Tom’s younger brother and professional partner, said his brother was at home at the time of his death related to cancer.

Tommy Smothers, born on February 2, 1937, in New York City, was a multifaceted American entertainer renowned for his contributions to comedy, music, acting, and television production. He is best known as one-half of the dynamic comedic duo, "The Smothers Brothers," alongside his brother Dick Smothers. Tommy's career has been marked by creativity, controversy, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of comedic expression.

The Smothers Brothers, consisting of Tommy and Dick, rose to prominence in the 1960s with their musical-comedy variety show, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." Premiering in 1967, the show quickly gained popularity for its unique blend of humour, music, and social commentary. Tommy's role was often that of the "dumb" brother, providing a perfect foil to Dick's "straight man" persona, creating a comedic dynamic that resonated with audiences.

One of the defining characteristics of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" was its willingness to tackle social and political issues of the time. The show's satirical and irreverent approach to these topics set it apart from other programs. Tommy and Dick fearlessly incorporated controversial and thought-provoking content into their sketches and routines, paving the way for a new era of socially conscious comedy on television.

However, this bold approach to content creation led to conflicts with CBS network executives. The show faced censorship and constant battles over the nature of its content. Despite high ratings and critical acclaim, the network ultimately canceled "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" in 1969, citing disputes over the show's content and its perceived political undertones.

The cancellation became a watershed moment in television history, highlighting the tensions between creative freedom and network control. Tommy and Dick Smothers became advocates for free speech and artistic expression, taking legal action against CBS. Their efforts contributed to a broader cultural conversation about the role of media and the responsibilities of television networks in shaping public discourse.

Tommy Smothers, in particular, emerged as a vocal proponent of the importance of humour in addressing serious issues. His commitment to pushing boundaries extended beyond the television screen. The Smothers Brothers' live performances featured a mix of comedy and music, with Tommy showcasing his musical talents as a guitarist. The duo often incorporated folk music into their acts, adding an extra layer of depth to their performances.

After the cancellation of their show, Tommy continued to work in the entertainment industry. He appeared in various films and television shows, showcasing his versatility as a performer. While the Smothers Brothers occasionally reunited for special performances, both brothers pursued individual projects. Tommy, in particular, explored a solo career in music, demonstrating his skills as a musician and songwriter.

The legacy of Tommy Smothers and "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" endured long after the show's cancellation. The duo's impact on comedy and television is evident in the subsequent generations of comedians and entertainers who cite them as inspirations. The Smothers Brothers paved the way for a more nuanced and socially conscious approach to humour on television, influencing the trajectory of comedic expression in the years to come.

In recognition of their contributions, the Smothers Brothers received various accolades, including Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. The controversy surrounding their show only heightened its cultural significance, turning Tommy and Dick Smothers into symbols of resistance against censorship and advocates for artistic freedom.

Tommy Smothers' career is a testament to the transformative power of comedy and the enduring impact of those willing to challenge the status quo. His journey, marked by creativity, controversy, and resilience, has left an indelible mark on the landscape of American entertainment. Tommy Smothers continues to be celebrated not only for his comedic prowess but also for his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Origins: New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

OriginsThe origins of New Year's Eve can be traced back to ancient times and have evolved over centuries. The celebration of the New Year itself dates back thousands of years, but the specific observance of New Year's Eve developed later. Here is a detailed account of its origins:

  1. Ancient Mesopotamia: The earliest recorded New Year festivities can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) around 2000 BCE. The Mesopotamians celebrated the beginning of the agricultural year with a festival called Akitu. It typically took place in late March and lasted for several days. The festival involved religious rituals, processions, and the crowning of a new king.

  2. Roman Calendar: In 46 BCE, Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, which designated January 1 as the first day of the year. This marked a shift from previous Roman traditions where the New Year was celebrated in late March. Romans began observing the occasion with various customs and rituals.

  3. Early Christian Influence: With the spread of Christianity, the celebration of New Year's Day underwent changes. The Catholic Church designated January 1 as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, also known as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. However, the religious significance of this day gradually waned over time.

  4. Medieval Europe: During the Middle Ages, the timing and observance of New Year's Day varied across Europe. Some regions continued to celebrate it on March 25, which coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation. Others followed the Roman tradition and celebrated on January 1.

  5. Adoption of the Gregorian Calendar: In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar to align the solar year more accurately with the Earth's revolution around the sun. This calendar reestablished January 1 as the official date for New Year's Day.

  6. Scottish Hogmanay: In Scotland, the celebration of New Year's Eve, known as Hogmanay, developed its own unique traditions. It originated from the Viking Yule celebrations and has a blend of Norse, Gaelic, and Christian influences. Hogmanay is characterized by customs like "first-footing" (the first person to enter a home after midnight brings luck), fire festivals, and the singing of "Auld Lang Syne."

  7. Modern New Year's Eve Celebrations: Over time, New Year's Eve evolved into a festive occasion celebrated around the world. It is marked by parties, fireworks, social gatherings, and various cultural customs. The iconic ball drop in New York City's Times Square, which began in 1907, has become a globally recognized symbol of New Year's Eve.

Today, New Year's Eve is observed with enthusiasm and anticipation, symbolizing the end of the old year and the welcoming of the new. It is a time for reflection, resolutions, and joyful festivities, bringing people together to celebrate the passage of time.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

This day in history

On this day, December 27, several significant events took place throughout history. Here are some notable occurrences:

  1. 537: The Hagia Sophia is inaugurated in Istanbul, then known as Constantinople. It served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral, later converted into a mosque, and is now a museum.

  2. 1831: Charles Darwin sets sail on the HMS Beagle, commencing his famous voyage that would eventually lead to his theory of evolution.

  3. 1904: The first successful transatlantic radio transmission is made by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, who sent a message from England to the United States.

  4. 1945: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is established when the necessary 29 member countries sign its Articles of Agreement.

  5. 1978: Spain adopts a new constitution, marking the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorial regime and transitioning the country into a parliamentary democracy.

  6. 2001: The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States, leading to its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) the following year.

  7. 2007: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in Rawalpindi, sparking widespread unrest and political turmoil in the country.

  8. 2011: North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-il, dies, and his son, Kim Jong-un, assumes power.

These are just a few notable events that occurred on December 27 throughout history.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

"Round Tuit"

Round TUIT

A "round tuit" is a humorous term often used to refer to a fictional or novelty item. It is shaped like a coin or a small circular object, with the phrase "Tuit" imprinted on it. The term is a play on words, combining the physically "round" with the phrase "get to it." Essentially, it humorously suggests that with a "round tuit," one has no more excuses for procrastination or delaying tasks.

The concept of the "round tuit" is rooted in the idea that people often put off tasks or projects for various reasons. It serves as a lighthearted reminder or joke to encourage individuals to stop procrastinating and take action.

The phrase is commonly found on novelty items such as keychains, coins, or plaques and is often given as a gag gift or a token of motivation to someone who tends to procrastinate. It is meant to provide a playful nudge towards accomplishing tasks or goals, reminding individuals to seize the moment and "get around to it."

While the concept of a "round tuit" may be light-hearted, it carries a meaningful message. It encourages individuals to embrace a proactive mindset, overcome procrastination, and make the most of their potential. By acknowledging the tendency to delay, the "round tuit" humorously motivates people to break free from the cycle of putting things off and instead take decisive action.

Overall, the concept of a "round tuit" is a whimsical way of reminding people to overcome procrastination and take action on tasks they have been delaying.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

The 411 - Script Kiddies


small boy at computer

411Script kiddies, often referred to as skiddies, are individuals who engage in hacking activities without possessing advanced knowledge or skills in computer programming or security. They are typically inexperienced and rely on pre-existing hacking tools, scripts, and software developed by others. Script kiddies are often motivated by a desire to gain recognition, cause disruption, or simply for the thrill of engaging in cybercriminal activities.

Here are some key characteristics and actions associated with script kiddies:

  1. Limited Technical Expertise: Script kiddies lack in-depth knowledge of computer programming, networking, and security. Instead, they rely on easily accessible hacking tools and scripts developed by more skilled hackers.

  2. Use of Existing Exploits: They search for known vulnerabilities and exploits in computer systems, networks, or applications and use pre-written scripts or tools to launch attacks. They rarely develop their own techniques or exploit new vulnerabilities.

  3. Lack of Originality: Script kiddies do not possess the skills or creativity to create new hacking methods. They rely heavily on tutorials, online forums, and hacking communities to guide their actions.

  4. Destructive or Disruptive Actions: Their activities can include launching DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, defacing websites, spreading malware, or attempting to gain unauthorized access to systems. Their goals may range from seeking attention or causing chaos to defying authority or pursuing personal vendettas.

  5. Minimal Understanding of Consequences: Script kiddies often underestimate the legal and ethical implications of their actions. They may not fully comprehend the potential harm caused to individuals, organizations, or even their own lives.

It is important to note that script kiddies differ from skilled hackers or cybersecurity professionals who possess extensive knowledge and expertise. While script kiddies may cause some disruptions or annoyances, they generally lack the sophistication and strategic thinking of more advanced cybercriminals.

As for who script kiddies are, they can be individuals from various backgrounds, ranging from teenagers seeking excitement to individuals exploring the hacking world out of curiosity. They may lack the dedication to acquire in-depth knowledge or skills in the field of cybersecurity, often viewing hacking as a means of testing their own limits or seeking attention within online communities.

It's crucial to emphasize that engaging in hacking activities, even as a script kiddie, is illegal and unethical. Cybersecurity laws exist to protect individuals, organizations, and the overall integrity of computer systems and networks.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Origins: Boxing Day

Boxing Day

OriginsBoxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas, December 26th, in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It has its origins in England and has evolved over time. Let's delve into the detailed origins of Boxing Day:

  1. Historical Background: The exact origins of Boxing Day are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have emerged in the Middle Ages or even earlier. It is rooted in the practices of charitable giving and the distribution of alms to the less fortunate.

  2. The Tradition of Almsgiving: In medieval England, churches would place collection boxes outside their doors during the Christmas season. On the day after Christmas, the boxes would be opened, and the contents would be distributed to the poor and needy in the community. This act of giving to those in need became associated with Boxing Day.

  3. Servants and Tradespeople: Boxing Day also had ties to the social hierarchy of the time. On this day, the wealthier members of society would give "Christmas boxes" filled with money, food, or other gifts to their servants, tradespeople, and employees as a token of appreciation for their services throughout the year.

  4. Feast of St. Stephen: Another theory suggests a connection between Boxing Day and the Feast of St. Stephen, a Christian martyr traditionally celebrated on December 26th. St. Stephen was known for his acts of charity, and the day became associated with generosity and helping the less fortunate.

  5. Sporting Traditions: In the 19th century, Boxing Day also became associated with sporting events, particularly in the United Kingdom. Horse races, football matches, and other sporting competitions were organized on this day, providing entertainment for both participants and spectators.

  6. Evolution of Boxing Day: Over time, the significance of Boxing Day has evolved. While the charitable aspect remains, it has also become a day for relaxation, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying post-Christmas sales and shopping. Many people take the opportunity to continue the festive celebrations and engage in outdoor activities.

  7. Modern Celebrations: In present times, Boxing Day is celebrated in various ways. It often involves visiting relatives, enjoying leftover Christmas meals, going for walks, engaging in sports, or taking advantage of sales and discounts offered by retailers.

In Canada and some other countries, Boxing Day is a public holiday, allowing people to have an additional day off work to unwind and enjoy the holiday season.

While the specific traditions and customs associated with Boxing Day may vary between countries, the core themes of giving, gratitude, and community remain at the heart of the celebration.

Overall, Boxing Day has deep historical roots connected to acts of charity, appreciation, and the spirit of giving. It continues to be an important holiday that allows people to extend the festive spirit beyond Christmas Day while also offering an opportunity for rest, recreation, and quality time with loved ones.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve

Once upon a time, in a small town nestled among snowy hills, there lived a close-knit community that celebrated Christmas with love and warmth. Christmas Eve was a special time when the entire town seemed to glow with a magical aura.

As the sun began to set on that peaceful winter evening, families gathered in their cozy homes, preparing for a night filled with joy and togetherness. The air was filled with the scent of freshly baked cookies, cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and the crackling of logs in fireplaces.

In one particular home, the Henderson family was getting ready for their Christmas Eve tradition. The living room was adorned with twinkling lights, and a beautifully decorated tree stood tall in the corner. Mrs. Henderson hummed a familiar carol as she arranged the last ornaments, while Mr. Henderson stacked firewood near the hearth.

Their children, Emma and Jack, excitedly prepared plates of cookies and milk for Santa Claus, carefully placing them on the coffee table. They couldn't wait for the jolly old man's visit during the night. The whole family wore matching pajamas, their hearts filled with anticipation.

As darkness blanketed the town, the Hendersons lit candles, casting a soft and warm glow throughout their home. They gathered around the fire, sharing stories and laughter, enveloped in a cozy atmosphere that seemed to embrace them all.

Outside, snowflakes gently fell from the sky, transforming the town into a winter wonderland. The Hendersons could hear the faint jingle of sleigh bells and distant laughter echoing through the streets. The magical spirit of Christmas was in the air.

Just as the clock struck midnight, a soft knock came from the front door. The family's eyes widened with excitement as Mr. Henderson opened it to find their neighbors, the Parkers, standing there with smiles on their faces. They were holding steaming mugs of hot cocoa and a basket filled with freshly baked gingerbread.

The Parkers had noticed the Hendersons' porch light burning brightly, a symbol of welcome and friendship. They decided to extend their own warmth and invited the Hendersons to join them for a midnight stroll around the town to witness its beauty under the moonlit sky.

Wrapped in scarves, hats, and mittens, the families walked hand in hand through the glistening streets. The snow beneath their feet sparkled like diamonds, and the hushed silence of the night allowed them to appreciate the simple beauty of the season.

They strolled past beautifully decorated homes, their windows glowing with soft light. The sound of carolers singing in the distance filled the air with melodic harmonies. Snowflakes landed on their noses and eyelashes, making them feel like characters in a storybook.

Upon returning to their homes, the families bid each other goodnight, hearts overflowing with gratitude for the magical experience they had shared. The Hendersons settled back into their cozy living room, where the fire crackled, casting dancing shadows on the walls.

As they sipped hot cocoa and nibbled on gingerbread, they spoke of the magic of Christmas and the joy of community. They felt blessed to have each other and to be a part of such a loving town, where warmth and kindness abounded.

Finally, the Hendersons headed to bed, their hearts full of love and contentment. They fell asleep dreaming of the joys that awaited them on Christmas morning—of laughter, love, and the simple pleasures of being together.

And so, in that cozy home, with love in their hearts and the spirit of Christmas surrounding them, the Henderson family drifted into slumber, cherishing the memories of a magical Christmas Eve and eagerly awaiting the dawn of a beautiful Christmas Day.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

"Twas The Night Before Christmas"

"Twas The Night Before Chrsitmas"
"The Night Before Christmas" (A Visit from St. Nicholas):

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

This timeless story captures the magic and excitement of Christmas, as St. Nicholas visits homes to deliver gifts and bring joy to children around the world. It continues to be cherished as a heartwarming tale and a symbol of the holiday season.

Source: Some or all of the content was generated using an AI language model

Mary-Be- Got

I will place a disclaimer at the start of this story; it is a paganised Yule story of the classic Christmas story.

It has offended some people who are of a more Christian path, and even upset some folks who are Pagan as well. Others have made this story as much a part of their own personal Yuletide tradition as a tree, or feasts with loved ones.

With that warning in mind, I hope you enjoy it.


By Ave Riddler

The fire light flickered across the smiling faces of the ladies in inner ring of the dance circle. Each of the ladies had their hair loose and flowing, with a crown of flowers and white ribbons. The ladies giggled breathlessly, as one after another they were spun out of the inner circle they were dancing hand in hand, towards the outer circle where the men danced. One of the men would dance with her for a short while, before sending her spinning and giggling back into the inner circle. Mary still linked with the inner circle, saw who she was to dance with next, and suddenly her heart was pounding with more than the fever of the dance. She sighed softly as the hands linked to her own vanished, and she was spun towards a green painted man, with antlers bound to his head that seemed to touch the moon above. As his warm calloused hands pressed to her narrow waist, his breath brushed her flushed cheek, “Happy May-eve sweet Mary,” He spun her dizzily around until once again she was pressed to his broad chest, “I morn your engagement to Joseph. Let us for only this instant pretend that you are the Goddess and I am the God…” Then he brushed his lips softly to her cheek, and released her.

Gaze lingering on the man as she rejoined the inner circle of dancing ladies, she gasped and giggled as she blushed. Moments after her hands linked with those in the inner circle the drums hushed and a voice cried over the singing “LET US FEAST!!!” Cheers rose through both circles of dancers, as well as those watching and clapping. Linked hands released, and the dancers as well as spectators drifted towards the platform where the food was displayed. A strange voice murmured into Mary’s ear “your life is about to change the lives of billions.” Startled she spun around to confront the stranger, only to find no one there. Feeling uneasy, she started forward again, only to collide into a warm green painted chest.

The deep voice that came from above her head as she shyly gazed up sent shivers down her back, “Mary sweetness. Mind where you walk or you will have the villagers talking of us…” Blushing she met his gaze boldly, and breathlessly asked “And what could they possibly say about the great horned God and I?”

He started to chuckle “That Mary may not be so pure a virgin.” Then his eyes widening he whispered near her ear “But you called me the God, not as Christopher?” Heat and longing filled his eyes as he looked into her gaze “On this a May-day eve?”

With a shy glance down along his green painted chest she sighed “And how can a lady on this day, deny her lord?” Then as he watched with shock, she removed a blossom from her hair and placed it among his horns. Then turning from the feast, they linked hands, passing through the oblivious crowd.

Later in a moon lit clearing surrounded by trees, he his antlers tossed aside asked sadly “what of Joseph?”

Mary smiled gently “he must never know of this night. I will go to him still a virgin. He will never learn of Christopher the village shepherd…or that his bride’s faith is towards a faith different from his own. I must go to him the pure bride my father gave him.” Christopher touched her hand eyes beseeching her to stay. With a sorrowful shake of her head, she stood, and turned towards the village. He called out to her, concerned she would get lost, but she promised to remain on the path.

A month later sick with nerves, Mary gazed down at her wedding garb, knowing that from this day forth she would be Joseph’s wife, gone were the May-days, and Solstices. Joseph would be a fine husband; he was so kind, and so attentive, he had even noticed that she had gained some weight, praising her for it, saying it would be good for when she was with child. As she walked slowly towards her father, and Joseph she let her eyes drift around at the gathered villagers, seeing young and old, friends and family, sheep…Startled she glanced back in the direction of the animals, and found her gaze locked upon the face of their shepherd. He, his face no longer painted green, stared at her with tears in his eyes and a dried flower in his hand. As she gazed at him his lips moved silently around the words “no Mary”

A strange voice murmured into her ear, “you, young Mary are with child!” Frightened Mary glanced behind her, and saw no one near enough to have voiced this announcement. With a final slow step, she found herself standing at Joseph’s side. All through the complex marriage ceremony, Mary thought not of her place in her husband’s life, nor of her place in her new God’s house, but of that one night of sacred love. As the ceremony drew to its end, Mary did notice Joseph glance at her waist with a faint frown.

As was custom in her village she was separated from her new groom for the week when her blood tide was to flow, and she worried when it did not come. Alone in the hut where the women of the village spent their cycle she paced as she wondered how she could possibly explain her situation. Then she recalled the strange voice and exclaimed “An angel!” Almost joyful she sank onto a chair “an angel from the heavens! Came to tell me I am carrying a God’s child! How else could a virgin newly married be with child? It will be a miracle! A blessing!”

Once alone with Joseph on the night she was presented to her husband, cleansed and blessed, she fell to her knees and begged Joseph not to bed her. “I have been chosen! I am a living miracle! I had a vision, an angel came to me…” she raised her hands towards the heavens, “I a virgin, am with child….Free of sin…Carrying a God’s seed! A blessing!” Joseph raged, asking over and over what other lies her father had told him? Who had known his virgin bride? How could she betray him in this way? Then he stormed out of the bed chambers.

Mary was sleeping when Joseph finally returned, he angrily agreed “Fine! An angel came to ME, told ME of this baby, before we came together for the first time.” Softer spoken, but still with a hint of anger in his voice he said “I have spoken with your father, he finally told me I married a pagan. You went to those heathen rites…But he vows he knows nothing of any sexual acts, claims you always came home untouched. So a virgin you are. MY God’s child you shall be carrying.”

Months passed and the newlyweds were the talk of the villagers, “a virgin mother?” Some called it a blessing, others call it a curse. As the conflict grew, Mary and Joseph were shunned. Asked to leave the village, they were permitted only to pack up a few meager belongings, the belief of the people being that if this baby really was God’s child, He would provide for the family. Her father gifting the couple a mule sent them on their way. Mary saw a lone figure in the shadows of the building watching as they leave. Faintly in the shadows she could see a pure white lamb by the figures feet. “Go away Christopher” she whispered silently “Stop watching over me.” Then as Joseph started on his way, she turned to follow him with her shoulders hunched, tears in her eyes and walked away.

Night after night, Mary had nightmares where leering faces with strange voices howled at her “Your life will change billions” As Joseph and Mary travel she continued to fill out, and travel became more and more difficult. Each village they came to they found the same lack of welcome, it seemed every person knew of the virgin mother, saying that God will provide, and turning the couple away.

The seasons changed, and Mary secretly found a small log of wood, which late at night as Joseph slept she whispered her hopes and dreams for the future to the log. The weather grew colder, the nights longer yet Mary stayed awake more and more fearing the nightmares she had of her child turning completely from the earth, renouncing his mother, placing men above all things.

The longest and darkest night found Mary placing her log in the fire where she watched as it burned. With the warmth of the fire on her face, she pulled out a scarlet ribbon from her bag and twisted it into her hair. Singing softly, swaying side to side, she placed her hands against her large waist, her quietude broken when suddenly pain lanced through her body. Panic in her voice she called out desperately “JOSEPH!!! The baby!” As rapidly as possible they packed up their camp, heading at a renewed speed for the nearby lights of a small village. Both of them knowing a forest is not a good place to try birth a baby, with hopes of finding a warm safe place in the village.

Once inside the village, they wandered from house to house, only to be turned away by people that had fear in their eyes. The next building they came to they saw a man bickering with someone who was obviously a stranger, Joseph sighed “he too must be trying to find a place to stay. We’ll have to move on.”

As they started to turn away a voice called out to them from the building “You there!” Startled Joseph turned and watched warily as an old man limped towards them. Wheezing the old man said “That shepherd over there” gesturing behind him to shadows that were now empty “well the shepherd that was over there gave me all his sheep in return for a warm place for the two of you to rest for a while.” The old man gazed closer at Mary seeing now the sweat on her brow and her rounded belly he gasped and choked out “you’re the virgin mother aren’t you? It seems I will be the one fool to interfere with the divine will then.” He then turned and led them to his small barn.

Alone with Mary in the barn Joseph helped as Mary labored with the birth of her child. Overwhelmed by agony, Mary cried out, her mind fearing death, her ears not hearing anything outside of her pain, she sobbed out her confession. Mary was oblivious even to Joseph as he listened, his face filling with understanding as he gazed at the sheep surrounding them.

Late in the night, Mary with babe in her arms rested in a bed of hay, wondering where Joseph was. She was thinking also of Christopher, wondering if the sheep around her could possibly be his. When Joseph returned all fury was gone from his eyes, he gazed silently at Mary and the baby for a while. Then he handed her a set of antlers, watching as shock entered her eyes. He smiled slightly and said “So you do recognize them. I just had a talk with a shepherd who gave up all his wealth, so that a God’s child could be born. I think we shall name the baby Christ.”