Come, they told him, pah-rum-pa-pum-pum!
Since uploading this music video to YouTube, Pentatonix’ a cappella version of “Little Drummer Boy” has been viewed more than 15 million times as of this writing.
Pentatonix is an a cappella music group of five who published a cover of “Little Drummer Boy” on Nov. 25 to rave reviews on the Internet, zooming to seven million views in its first week.
Artist's trunk show
You haven't seen anything until you've watched an elephant painting a self-portrait! The mammal completed the artwork in eight and a half minutes. It's truly astonishing!
Take a look at this carefully constructed world by artist Michael Paul Smith of Oregon! Not only has he replicated life in miniature, he's also artfully photographed this nostalgic and lilliputian world in a way that belies its size.
A "wrenching" story
There's no end to the creative spirit. How cool is this? A wheelchair-bound man from Victoria, Australia fashions art from – are you ready? Wrenches! Cows, sports figures, fish, mermaids, deer, you have to see them to believe it.
How are our tax dollars are being spent? Just "Open the Books" and take a look!
Tweeters offered legal tips to avoid lawsuits
Canada's chief governmental legal advisor is offering guidelines to help social media users avoid breaking Britain's contempt laws when posting about court cases. Especially helpful for our Canadian readers.
Lady Godiva. Nero. Marie Antoinette. Think you know their story? Here's the truth about them and four more notable people who’ve become "forever linked with something they never did!"
The world's first "selfie"
A new word has entered our lexicon: "Selfie." It's used to describe the act of pointing a phone at yourself and taking an instant self-photograph. But the "selfie" didn't actually arrive with the advent of smartphones. Via PetaPixel, we learn that pioneering American photographer Robert Cornelius created the selfie in 1839.
Cornelius' image, taken shortly "after Louis Daugerre revealed his daguerrotype process in 1839, is undoubtedly the world’s first photographic self-portrait and may even be the first photographic portrait of any kind."
A history of White House Christmas Cards
We don’t know yet what this year’s official White House Christmas – oops – “holiday” card will look like, although we do have an idea it might be this one, commissioned by the White House Historical Association and painted by John Hutton, 53, an associate professor of art history and professional illustrator.
Marking a Christmas of 100 years ago, the scene depicts a tribute to President Woodrow Wilson. Apropos, wouldn’t you say?
Though the Whitehouse.gov website has not yet officially announced the annual White House card design as of this writing, we can be pretty sure it’ll be Hutton's, given the subject that inspired the image – America's first socialist president and his sheep.
This year’s watercolor card features a serene, pastoral scene on the front lawn of the White House on Christmas in 1913.
All the details of the painting are historically accurate, from the elm tree Wilson planted in the front lawn to signify hope as Europe teetered on the edge of World War I, to the little sheep looking out into the snowy landscape.
And the sheep served a practical purpose, Hutton said.
“When I was doing my research, I found out that Wilson was famous for having a flock of sheep on the grounds of the White House, and I think it was because he wanted to save money on gardening expenses,” he said.
La plus ca change…
Here is my favorite, though it was never an official White House Christmas card. It should have been, don’t you think? Titled "Winter’s Eve", it was painted by Rod Chase.
And of course, who could forget the official 2012 White House Christmas Card which featured a painting by Iowa artist Larassa Kabel of "First Dog Bo" running across the White House’s north lawn. Unless Bo is a reincarnation of the Christ Child, there doesn't appear to be any religious symbol of the reason for the season. Did I miss it?
Click here for more on the history of White House Christmas cards.
Mac users: Better hurry!
What makes a better gift than something personal and personalized?
Apple is getting into the "create-a-book" business, and now you can make your own personalized books, cards, calendars, and prints on your Mac and get them delivered to your door. It's in the iPhoto app where your photos are stored. Order by Dec. 17 with express shipping to receive by Dec. 24. Free standard shipping on photo books when you order by Dec. 12.