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christmas crackers

by Super User
Christmas crackers are a traditional Christmas favorite in the UK. They were first made in about 1845-1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith. He had seen the French 'bon bon' sweets (almonds wrapped in pretty paper).
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Science of Santa: Here's how he delivers every year

by Super User
Saturday, December 24, 2016, 9:22 AM - In today's growing and increasingly-technological society, how might Santa Claus put science and technology to use for his trip around the world on Christmas Eve? Find out on this episode of For Science! Santa is said to use the magic of Christmas spirit to get presents to all the children of the world, but as the great science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic..." So, what kinds of technology could Santa be putting to use for his trip around the world on Christmas Eve? Modern automation First off, Santa's job has become much harder as the years have progressed. Right now, there's around to 7.5 billion people on the planet, and Christmas presents now include some pretty advanced electronics. To keep up with the times, producing all the components of the gadgets that are going under the tree, while still making all the dolls, games and other toys, Santa's workshop could now have row upon row of 3D printers, churning out whatever the elves needed, in whatever colour and even out of pretty much any material, that was needed. Flying High To deliver all those presents, if Santa flew his sleigh at the average cruising altitude and speed of a jetliner, it would take him nearly two days to make it all the way around the Earth. Even taking advantage of time zones, it would be difficult for him to get the whole job done in one night. Now, if he went a quite bit higher, though, say around 120 kilometres above the surface, and performed sub-orbital flights at the edge of space, he could fly at much faster speeds. The view from SlaRos, the first suborbital project in Greece, July 19, 2012. Credit: Konstantinos Tamateas/Wikimedia Commons Then, by setting his flight path starting at the international date line, he could fly from his workshop at the north pole, straight south to the south pole, then turns around and flies straight back north to his workshop in the next time zone, he could continuing this route, time-zone by time-zone, all the way around the planet. Each round trip would take less than 90 minutes, and Santa could have the presents under the tree at roughly the same local time for each time zone, even with some time to spare for taking a break, or for adjusting to any last-minute changes to his naughty and nice list - which he would check using satellite communications, of course. Space Santa Suit Okay, but being 120 kilometres above the surface of the planet, he'd be out in space, so how would he survive? Well, that bright red suit he wears certainly keeps him warm, but who's to say it couldn't be a space suit as well? The suits astronauts use when going out for extra-vehicular activity (EVA) are white, to prevent them from overheating in direct sunlight, however since Santa would be flying on the night side, he could stick with the tradition red for his suit. Special Delivery And what about getting the presents under the tree from way up there? Well, Santa could use quantum teleportation! Now, it's been said in the past that quantum teleportation is probably a really bad idea when it comes to sending people, especially for the person who steps onto the transmitting pad. For inanimate objects, however, this method of travel is just fine, since there's no nasty problem of "perspective" to deal with. Santa could materialize presents under the tree of every home, fully wrapped and labelled, out of thin air, and would only need to make personalized trips down the chimney to deliver special gifts, such as a new family pet or some other unique object that requires special care and attention. Scientists have reached up to 143 kilometres away with quantum teleportation, so Santa could easily get everything down to the ground all along his route, and even beam back the cookies and milk for an on-the-job snack. Now, does any of this diminish what Santa accomplishes every Christmas Eve? No way! Simply keeping up with the times, the growth in population up above 7 billion people and changes in technology is one thing, but the science and technology represented here - although they are becoming more common - are still pretty fantastic! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Santa spotted driving Great Yarmouth buses

by Super User
A Great Yarmouth bus driver is delivering festive cheer to his passengers as he dons his belly and beard and dresses up as Santa Claus. Micky Burton, a driver based at First’s Yarmouth depot has been dressing as St Nick to entertain passengers since 1992. The 63-year-old, who lives in Gorleston, has been a bus driver since 1975. “I do it every year,” Micky said. “It started many years back when we used to do coach tours. I bought a cheap Santa outfit for a laugh and people really liked it. “It has become a tradition and 22 years later I am still doing it.” The father of one who has two grandchildren, Niamh, four, and Ewan, two, wears a full outfit complete with wig, beard and boots but he still wears his uniform of a shirt and tie underneath. “From September my passengers start to ask me if I will be dressing as him. Children absolutely love it and people wave to me all the time,” Micky added. Danny Beales, operations manager at the depot, said: “Micky is well known in the town and people look forward to seeing Father Christmas drive the bus every year. “It’s a good way to make people smile in the mornings and Micky has received a lot of compliments.”

Santa spotted driving Great Yarmouth buses

by Super User
A Great Yarmouth bus driver is delivering festive cheer to his passengers as he dons his belly and beard and dresses up as Santa Claus. Micky Burton, a driver based at First’s Yarmouth depot has been dressing as St Nick to entertain passengers since 1992. The 63-year-old, who lives in Gorleston, has been a bus driver since 1975. “I do it every year,” Micky said. “It started many years back when we used to do coach tours. I bought a cheap Santa outfit for a laugh and people really liked it. “It has become a tradition and 22 years later I am still doing it.” The father of one who has two grandchildren, Niamh, four, and Ewan, two, wears a full outfit complete with wig, beard and boots but he still wears his uniform of a shirt and tie underneath. “From September my passengers start to ask me if I will be dressing as him. Children absolutely love it and people wave to me all the time,” Micky added. Danny Beales, operations manager at the depot, said: “Micky is well known in the town and people look forward to seeing Father Christmas drive the bus every year. “It’s a good way to make people smile in the mornings and Micky has received a lot of compliments.”

Santa Claus spotted riding in London in aid of London Cycling Campaign!

by Super User
If you live in the London area you may have already had a shock at the sight of a white bearded, red suited man who’s pretty famous at this time of year, riding a bicycle around the city. Don’t worry; your coffee wasn’t spiked with sherry this morning and the bearded one is still busy with his elves in the North Pole getting presents ready for the big day! The Cycling Santa is in fact one of our members, busy raising money on behalf of LCC. Denny Vlaeva has decided to challenge herself in December by getting dressed up as Santa Claus and is cycling 100 miles to help us with our hard work to improve cycling provision in London. Denny has been commuting in the capital by bike for almost seven years, but on a recent trip cycling across Europe including a visit to Copenhagen she was inspired by the infrastructure and the difference that good cycling provision makes for everyone. She says; “It creates healthier communities, a cleaner environment, safer and more livable urban spaces for everyone. It can even boost the economy.” Like us, she is keen for London and other cities in the UK to be the same and wanted to do something to help us with our work. We are extremely proud of Denny’s efforts and creative ways to raise vital funds for LCC that will help us with the 2014 Space for Cycling campaign. LCC welcomes and is grateful for any fundraising that you might wish to do to help our work, and if you have any questions or would like to tell us about anything you our doing on our behalf, please email us; info@lcc.org.uk You can follow Denny’s progress via her Blog and also on Twitter @girlgoescycling. Please also send her some words of encouragement by tweeting her with #cyclingSanta and if you see her on the streets please do take photos as she'd love to see them. You can also donate towards her modest target of £200 through her Just Giving page.

Christingles

by Super User
The idea of Christingles came from a Moravian Church in Germany in 1747. The minister, John de Watteville, gave children at the service a lighted candle with a red ribbon around it. This represented Jesus being the light of the world and the final prayer of that first service was "Lord Jesus, kindle a flame in these children’s hearts, that theirs like Thine become". The custom went around the world with the church. Missionaries brought the Moravian Church to England in the 1700s. In Moravian churches, the Christingle Service is usually held on the Sunday before Christmas or on Christmas Eve. Photo from thisischurch.com Over the years the symbolism of the Christingle grew into what's known as a Christingle today. Here's what the different parts of the Christingle represent: The orange is round like the world. The candle stands tall and straight and gives light in the dark like the love of God. The red ribbon goes all around the 'world' and is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed when he died for us. The four sticks point in all directions and symbolise North, South, East and West - they also represent the four seasons. The fruit and nuts (or sometimes sweets!) represent the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain. You can find out more about the first Christingle service on The Moravian Church British Province's website. The word Christingle could have come from several sources. It might be an 'English' version of 'Christkindl' (meaning little Christ child), the present bringer is some parts of Germany and other European countries, who represents the baby Jesus. It could be a the putting together of the words Christmas and ingle. Ingle is an old Scots word for fire and so that would make it mean the 'Christ Light'. As Christingles originally came from Germany, the first theory is more likely. Christingles were made popular in the England by The Children’s Society (one of the earliest children's charities in the UK and it has strong connections with the Church of England). The first Christingle service held in the Church of England was in 1968. The idea came from John Pensom who was also known as "Mr Christingle"! People didn't think the service would work as making the Christingles would be too complicated - but they were wrong! The custom has spread through to all kinds of churches and is one of the most common and popular Christmas services in the UK, especially among children. Christingles services still normally raise money for children's charities. #459217707 / gettyimages.com There's a New Year's Day tradition in Wales which dates back to the middle ages called Calennig. Children would go round houses, singing songs and rhymes and wishing people good luck for the new year. They hope to get some money and treats in return! Some adults would go Calennig very early in the morning/night on January 1st and sing very loudly! It has similarities to Carol Singing and Wassailing. People would often carry a Calennig apple - an apple on a tripod of twigs or sticks (so it can stand up) and decorated with nuts, cloves and greenery. This has sometimes been associated with Christingles although they're not related at all! Calennig means 'New year celebration or gift/first day of the month'. Calennig can also now mean the big New Years celebrations held in Welsh cities like Cardiff. Contact Facebook Twitter Youtube © 2000 - 2017 James Cooper | About | Cookies & Privacy | Site Map | Other Links | Support | Website logistics by LetterBlock