Dec 14 2015 - 4

A special Santa

A beautiful moment was caught on video when a British department store Santa “spoke” with a little girl who is hearing impaired. The following describes the 40-second clip:

Mali Phoenix Williams-Cody, aged 3, has visited the Cleveland Centre’s special event days several times. I have some great photos of her at Halloween as well as Christmas. She came with her mum on Saturday to meet Santa. Mali is not deaf, she struggles to communicate with speech and language. She has been attending a special school to help with her communication and this is were she learned sign language. As seen in the video, Santa asked Mali’s mum if she could sign and touched hearts all over the world when he sprung into action signing to Mali if she wanted a doll for Christmas. Her reaction is priceless and touched all of us who witnessed it live. I was so pleased I could capture such a special moment and share it with the world.

Filmed at the Cleveland Centre Middlesbrough.

Pain management

Pain management physician Todd Jaffe of Florida writes about Christmas and alleviating pain of a spiritual kind.

“In a very few days it will be Christmas. I know it is not His real birthday, but it is the day we celebrate as Jesus Christ’s birthday. A son of a virgin, a Savior, my God, the real reason for the season. How many of you remember what the reason is for Christmas? And if Herod had succeeded, we would not had this celebration of Joy and Hope, and Charity.

“I saw a couple on the side of the road with one of those signs yesterday. It had the usual words including ‘God bless. And as God stopped me at a red light, my wife rolled down the window. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a $20. She gave it to him. He was truly grateful and his wife said thank you as well. He tipped his hat to the Lord and they walked off, my $20 had met their need. In this time of strife, I still look for signs of God.

“When you see the beggar on the road, that is Christ giving you a chance to be charitable. When someone asks you for advice, that is Christ giving you a chance to share wisdom and maybe a little scripture.”

The Magi, Henry Siddons Mowbray, 1915

The Magi, Henry Siddons Mowbray, 1915

Mog’s Christmas Calamity

What’s that, you say? You don’t know of Mog, the most hapless cat in the world?

As one Facebooker posted, “It is Mog, wonderful Mog. She was created by Judith Kerr. As a child, Ms. Kerr fled Germany with her family. Her father was a theater critic who criticized Hitler. The story of the emigration, first to Switzerland, then France, and finally to the UK, is told in her book, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.”

Based on the character Mog the Cat, this ad by British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s shares the story of how Mog almost ruined Christmas for her family.

Sainsbury’s has partnered with best-selling author Judith Kerr, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Save the Children to bring this fanciful reminder of what is truly important this holiday season. Equally as fascinating is this behind the scenes making of Mog’s Christmas Calamity.

X marks the spot

Ooooh, those pop-ups drive me crazy! You too? Those annoying ads that pop up, play automatically, cover the text, and take over your screen. Yeah, those! Especially exasperating if you’re using a smartphone, where oftentimes even pressing the little “X” won’t make the pop-up go away. And worst yet, the ad dances across the screen, turning it into a chase game you really don’t want to play.

An article headlined “X Marks the Spot That Makes Online Ads So Maddening” is instructive as well as sympathetic, with some great links to related online advertising problems and solutions.

Tip: Ghostery makes a plug-in that identifies and blocks online tracking tools. Apple has enabled ad blocking apps in its new iOS 9 mobile operating system. Google blocks Flash ads on its Chrome browser.

Fighting with humor

Anti-Islamic sentiment is spreading across the globe, as seen in this video song “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” produced by an Aussie group.

Kurdish television has joined the fight against ISIS with a parody video, which labels the jihadists as brainless and says that they milk goats even if they’re male.

And here in the USA, they’re rocking it with “At The Mosque,” a take-off of the golden oldie “At the Hop” by Danny & the Juniors.

To lighten the topic, here is a video reel of funny TV News bloopers. Enjoy!

Over the top

Twitter’s top Tweets, Trends and Hashtags for 2015 have been released, and you can find them here.

Trending topics are measured in various categories, including music, TV, tech, news, politics, sports, pastimes and stars. The most-used emoji (those little symbols that emanated from the original smiley face) was “Happy Tears”, the “laughing so hard I’m crying” symbol.

Topping the Top Ten Hashtags: #PrayForParis.

Cnet has more here.

LEGO math

In last week’s Surfin’ Safari, we wrote about Sisyphus, the Greek mythological man who was condemned to push a boulder uphill for eternity, and showed you how his story was set into motion by an artist using LEGO blocks.

This week, more about LEGOs, and how these colorful little blocks can help children learn about fractional math.

Dec 14 2015 - 2

Christmas moon

Be sure to watch for the first Christmas full moon in 38 years. And for next week’s “Christmas Special” Surfin’ Safari column! Ho ho ho!

Dec 14 2015 - 3

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