For this Link-Dump-Before-Christmas, the cats wish to present a timely cautionary tale:
What the hell is trumpeting in Spokane Valley?
What the hell is "Tabby's Star?" Now we know?
Watch out for those Flying Serpents!
Watch out for those Hoodoo Christmas Trees!
Watch out for those Creepy Christmas Fairies!
Watch out for those Norwegian Christmases!
Watch out for those Caversham Christmases!
Watch out for those Nebraska Winged Things!
Christmas Eve tragedy in Gloucestershire.
This week's Advice From Thomas Morris: What not to do with a toasting fork.
A harpsichordist who is a real survivor.
A brief look at Christmas, 1824.
Christmas charades! Personally, I love playing charades, and I'm darn good at it. I wish they'd make a comeback. (While I'm at it, let me mention that I'm also an excellent square dancer. That's me, living life on the edge.)
It wasn't safe to libel Queen Christina.
One of the most unpleasant aspects of 17th century France.
Goths vs. Egyptians. Or not.
King Alfred's reindeer farmer.
An East End cat in midwinter.
A "fairy woman."
What British diplomats thought of Castro in the 1950s.
This helps explain why I despise Thomas More.
Mary Queen of Scots' ghost has a bad Christmas Eve.
William the Conqueror's first Christmas as King of England.
A strange murder in Pennsylvania.
What an Egyptian recipe for face cream teaches us about the value of ancient medicine.
Warning: this tale of 19th century bear-baiting in New York City is just as grim as you'd think.
How American time became standardized.
The dangers of being impatient for someone to die.
Stonehenge in the Amazon.
The Christmas game of Snap-Dragon.
Christmas gifts for all the Victorians on your list.
The first Christmas cards.
The mystery of the Jewish Assassin.
Starving for aliens.
This week in Weird Canada: Watch out for the car-licking moose.
And this week in Weird Russia pretty much speaks for itself.
Хороших выходных, сухопутные)! pic.twitter.com/wvMxczSjw4— Роман Федорцов (@rfedortsov) December 17, 2016
The first public Christmas tree.
There we go for this week. Merry Christmas--or Happy Holidays--whatever you call this weekend, have a good one. See you next week, when we'll be looking at a notorious Kenyan murder mystery. And speaking of Latvian Christmases, here is a track from a terrific album of folk songs celebrating the season. As you may note, it has a pretty cool cover, too.