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A blanket of white on Bethlehem

A Christmas card-like scene of the Christ child’s birthplace has captured the world’s imagination. See more photos of the unusual winter snowfall in the Middle East that are circling the Internet globe.

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony …

Here’s a recent photo zinging around the Internet from the Ukraine illustrating the power of music.

“A day before protesters in Kiev knocked down a statue of Vladimir Lenin, an unnamed Ukrainian man took a seat on a makeshift stool in front of a blue piano in the middle of a rainy street,” writes Dana Ter of PolicyMic. “Time stopped for a moment. All eyes and ears were fixed on the man as he serenaded a wall of riot police with a Chopin song. As the Ukraine descends into political turmoil, this small act reminds us of our humanity.”

It’s the Real thing…

Next time you take a grocery product off your grocer’s shelf or your pantry, take a look at the name of the corporation on the label. You might be surprised to learn that the myriad products you see lined up in neat little rows are not from hundreds of makers.

In fact, according to a chart via Reddit, ten mega-corporations control the output of almost everything you buy; from household products to pet food to jeans.

“The Illusion of Choice,” shows that “these corporations create a chain that begins at one of 10 super companies. You’ve heard of the biggest names, but it’s amazing to see what these giants own or influence.”

Kraft, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, General Foods, Kellogg’s, Mars, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble and Nestle’ are parent companies controlling the marketplace. See for yourself whose products you’re buying.

While you’re at it, here’s a look at who controls what you’re watching:

Another chart depicts which four entities control the top 37 banks.

Through the years we all will be together …

These brothers have been sitting on Santa’s lap for – well, 34 years! Ever since they were tots, this family has taken a holiday photo with Santa. And now? Well, click here to see how they and Santa have changed over time!

Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice?

More than four years ago, a fellow from Utah pranked the National Security Administration in a way that could provoke Santa into taking a second look to determine if he’s been bad or good (for goodness sake). We’ll go with “good” because anyone who could pull this off without repercussions from the NSA, a non-Santa agency itself known for making a list and checking it twice, has got to be good.

So what did this young man do? John Fenley of Provo bought the domain name “itanimullihoax.com” and redirected it to the NSA’s website, so that visitors to the itanimullihoax url would be automatically bounced to NSA.gov.

Why “itanimulli?”

Spelled backwards, it reads “illuminati.”

In a subsequent email conversation, Fenley claimed he didn’t believe in the Illuminati or the new world order, and designed the redirect as a prank: “I decided to forward the domain Itanimulli.com domain to the NSA as a joke … kind of like a rickroll + shock site. I registered the website years ago precisely because it does spell Illuminati backwards, but didn’t really do anything with it for a long time. When I had the idea to forward the domain to the NSA, I couldn’t pass it up and couldn’t stop laughing.”

The rest of the email correspondence is here.

To date, the NSA has had no comment about it, and four years on, the url still takes you to the NSA’s official website. Ho, ho, ho!

Red hat, white beard, twinkle in his eye!

An enthusiastically animated five-year-old tyke signed the words to some holiday songs because her parents are deaf, and she wanted to make sure they’d enjoy her school concert anyway! The video was uploaded Dec. 9 to YouTube, where it quickly became one of the most talked about videos of the week at five and a half million views as of this writing. Watch it and see why! I dare you not to break out into a Santa-style belly laugh! Here’s the backstory.

The official 2013 White House Christmas Card

In last week’s Surfin’ Safari, I featured a history of White House Christmas cards, including a possible contender for 2013, one that featured a White House scene from 100 years ago. Now we know what this year’s official White House card looks like. Has yours arrived in the mail yet?

Photos by Eddie Scarry, TheBlaze

 

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