Surf's up -
I have no empirical evidence to back this up, but my guess is that Christmas Day tops the other days of the year in terms of number of photographs snapped. Pictures are hard to resist. The surprises of Christmas morning, the glee on children's faces and the joy of families brought together.
Our first stop in this week's web tour is a video that makes great use of family pictures, in a musical kind of way.
Christa Borden: 'O Holy Night'
Borden's newly released version of the hymn is splendid, and she has the voice to pull it off: only the brave and/or talented, for instance, will want to try those famous notes at the end. For the accompanying video, Borden reached out to the community, and asked friends and fans to send her some of their Christmas pictures. Here's the resulting video, which was posted a week ago to YouTube. It's sentimental and sweet - and a bit of a pleasure amid the seasonal bombardment.
Elsewhere this week
Still have some cards and things to put into the mail? It may not be too late, depending on what it is and where it's going. Here's a link to Canada Post's guide to deadlines for delivery.
Christmas Mah Jong
Mah Jong games, in which you click on matching tiles to eliminate them, have been an online staple for years. Here's a variation with a Christmas theme, featuring images of Santa, gingerbread, and so on. It was the first game of its kind my son played, so it took a while to get the hang of it; if you'll recall, only tiles with one border free can be clicked and released. A fine diversion for with the holidays coming.
I had never heard of Tee Fury until a couple of weeks ago, when I randomly came across a hilarious T-shirt design, featuring a scene from the Hoth battle sequence of "The Empire Strikes Back," redone with a Christmas touch. (Maybe you need to see it to believe me.) I'm glad I read the small print, as the shirt was available for that day only. That's how it works on Tee Fury: cool designs, cheap prices (US$9), and a big catch. The limited edition shirts are on sale for just 24 hours, so it pays to check regularly.
Give It A Ponder
Hats off, or beards off, rather, to James Lipton of "Inside the Actors Studio" for mocking his own image in a clever and really funny series of commercials for communications giant LG, all about the hazards of texting. The message: think before you blurt. Lipton deflates his stuffy image with ads that any tween, teen or older should see.
Whether or not you've bought any of the Waldo books, chances are good you would recognize the lanky dude in the striped shirt. (If you're British, you may know him better by his original name, Wally.) This online game follows the books: your mission is to find not only Waldo, but his friends, marking them as you go. Look for the "game widget" when you load this page. You can also create your own avatar, and shutterbugs can have fun with a Flickr-powered photo challenge.
The sprightly St. John's literary journal has just finished its fourth issue; you can't read them online, but you can get a taste of what it's about, plus directions on how you can contribute to upcoming editions.
John Gushue is a writer currently on leave from his job with CBC News in St. John's. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com. Twitter: @johngushue.