Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Well, it’s the New Year somewhere in the world, and if you’re like me, you are often online at all hours and could be reading this at one in the morning.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Book in Review – How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse

How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking By: Cressida Cowell
Fiction: youth, fantasy, historic fiction, 241 pages 5 grade reading level, 2006

This is a fun book. It is written as if the main character is the writer including the drawings and bits that kids like to add to their work. It is part of a series of books on being a Viking pirate/ owning a dragon. I will be on the look out for the other books. The only downside to the book is its historic problems. On one hand it expects the reader to have a basic understanding of Norse mythology and that the Vikings might have been the first Europeans to America, but on the other hand it has them eating American foods before they discovered America. But, as it is a fantasy book with dragons and other mythical things it does make it easier to overlook things that would be unacceptable in a book that was solely historic fiction.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Book in Review – Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, By: Elmore Leonard
Non-fiction, writing 89 pages 2001

We picked this book out as part of our read more to write better idea. This doesn’t count as either. The rules were stupid and the pages had about one or two sentences every other page. We were glad that we got this from the library and no one we know wasted $14.95 on it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, it is that time again, time to think up you’re New Year’s Resolution. Last year we posted a list of the most common ones. To see it click here.
We at Weird News BNI have decided this year we would work on losing weight and quit smoking, OK so we don’t smoke and as we pointed out earlier we are at one of the few points in one’s life when even your doctor tells you to gain weight. (Remember all the blogs we didn’t post due to all day morning sickness?) So our goal is to read 100 books next year, in the hopes that it will improve our writing skills. Just so you don’t have to go back and count them we have posted 67 books that we read this year. And there are 5 more we didn’t get to noting yet making the count so far this year 72. So, what is your resolution and why, we want to know. Tell us in this post’s comments, because as everyone knows telling some one your goals increases your chances of carrying them out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and All

Today is the second day of Christmas. Be on the look out for those two turtledoves. But today is also a lot of other holidays and so we thought we would list all your reasons to party today.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Happy Feast of Stephen: As noted in the song "Good King Wenceslas" who we all learned last year was the Duke of Bohemia.

Happy Boxing Day: What's Boxing Day, Click Here.

Happy Bank Holiday: UK and some former British supjects, always looking for a way off work!

Happy First Day of Kwanzaa: or if you want to save space Kwanza.

Happy Winter Break: Because everyone knows that non-Christian kids would refuse to skip school if it was a Chistmas break, but with the state of public schools we can safely assume that they will never guess that winter break starts right before Christmas every year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Fun Links

In case you can’t stand one more minute of family time, here are some fun links

On Christmas:

Remember when singers showed that they cared about things by singing? Click Here

For mildly angry Christians, Click Here (Although, many of the comments are correct X is actually an ancient shorthand for Christ making X-mas a perfectly acceptable Christian way of saying Christmas.)

For people loved by the electric co, Click Here

For 12 days of shopping, Click Here

On Other Things:

Everyone’s favorite: cars crashing to polka music (don’t worry it’s Weird Al) Click Here

For “Chuck Norris” in a blender, Click Here

For more commercialism, Click Here

Monday, December 24, 2007

It’s Christmas Eve!!!!!!

Only hours to go until Christmas!!! For those living in the Midwest remember: Meijer actually closes tonight!!! You can’t go there at 3 a.m. to finish all of your shopping!!!! For everyone else Meijer is like a super Walmart, only with slightly nicer things for $.11 more. Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Two More Days ‘till Christmas!!!!

As we have a dozen more things to do before Christmas, we thought you might enjoy this classic Weird News BNI. (Most likely from 2006.)

Weird News B.N.I. (i.e. My paper that I write sometimes.)
Holiday SUPER Edition (really same as normal edition, but in CAPITALS)

Fun Holiday Quiz
Colors and Candles
What are the 3 colors associated with Kwanzaa?
What is the name of the 7 candle candleholder used during Kwanzaa?
What are the 2 colors associated with Hanukkah?
What is the name of the 9 candle candleholder used during Hanukkah?
What are the 2 colors associated with Christmas?
What is the name of the 4 candle candleholder used the 4 weeks before Christmas?
1. Who is noted as being “not a Jew” and “still not a Jew” in Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah songs?
2. In “The Dreidel Song” what is the dreidel made out of?
3. This Christmas carol was written to be played on guitar because the church’s organ was broke.
4. What does Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks sing about wanting for Christmas?
5. Although the song is “We Three Kings” how many actually where there?
What types of foods are traditional made during Hanukkah?
What is a common Christmas day food? A) Turkey B)Ham
C) Fried rice D) waffles or pancakes E) A & B F) all of above G) none of above
Dates & Times
1. How long is Kwanzaa?
2. When was Kwanzaa 1st celebrated?
3. What is another name for the 12th day of Christmas?
4. What was the date of the 1st Christmas? (Note use the Gregorian or Julian calendar)
5. On what date (day and month) was the temple both profaned with pagan worship and purified according to Jason of Cyrene? (Note use Hebrew calendar)
Kwanzaa means “1st fruits of the harvest” in this language?
Do you know the number of different correct ways to spell Hanukkah?
Where has St. Nicholas been buried? A) Italy B)Turkey C)The North Pole – Canada D)Russia E)A and B F)A and D G)None of the above
What famous member of the back to Africa movement created the Bendera flag?
What does Bethlehem mean in English?
Judas, the son of the priest Mattathias, who lead the revolt that took back the temple, starting the holiday of Hanukkah, was called what?

Colors and candles
Red, green & black
Silver & blue
Red & green
An advent wreath
O.J. Simpson
Silent Night
a Hula-hoop
This is a trick question, although 3 gifts are named in the Bible it doesn’t say how many people came, 0 would also be a correct answer as the wise men were most likely astronomers and not kings
Foods cooked in oil i.e. fried foods
F, “Waffle House”, “IHOP” and Chinese restaurant are some of the few restaurants open on Christmas
Dates and Times
7 days, Dec 26-Jan 1
Jan 6th, the Epiphany, or 3 Kings Day
This was a trick question, no one knows, although some theologians think it really was in spring.
the 25th of Chislev
1. Swahili
2. Yes or No, depending on if you know
3. E
4. Marcus Garvey
5. House of Bread
6. Maccabee or Maccabeus

24 correct – I didn’t know any of my friends was an African America Messianic Jew.
20-23 – You are a holiday genius.
15-19 - You are well rounded in holiday information
10-14 – You know your holiday well
0-9 - Did you take the test?

Movie Quotes:
Ø “I can't put my arms down!!” – A Christmas story
Ø “Christmas is a very busy time for us, Mr. Cratchit. People preparing feasts, giving parties, spending the mortgage money on frivolities. One might say that December is the foreclosure season. Harvest time for the money-lenders.” –The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
Ø “Wise man: We were led by a star.Brian's mother: Led by a bottle, you mean.” – Life of Brian
Ø “First, I went through the seven layers of the Candy Cane Forest. Then, I went past the swirly, twirly gumdrops. And after that: I went under the Lincoln Tunnel.” –Elf
Ø “You're not Santa. You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa”-Elf
Ø “Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.” –National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Ø “Mordechai Jefferson Carver: Let's dance the hora.
Santa Damien: You're a hora!”- The Hebrew Hammer
Ø “Mordechai Jefferson Carver: [talking on the phone] I need you to get in contact with the world-wide Jewish media conspiracy and mass produce every holiday movie that has a Jewish protagonist who is depicted in a positive light.
Chief Bloomenbergansteinthal: So you want me to mass produce "Yentl," "Fiddler on the Roof" and Chaim Potok's "The Chosen?"
Mordechai Jefferson Carver: Right.” –The Hebrew Hammer
Ø “Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” – It’s a Wonderful Life
Ø “Marcy: Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord.
Peppermint Patty: [while Marcy is speaking] Baa! Baa! Baa! Baa!
Boy: I am Gabriel, Mary, and I couldn't hear you because of the sheep.” – It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown.
Ø “The ratio of people to cake is too big.” – Office Space
Ø “Merry Christmas everybody. And to my producer, my director, my manager and my lawyer, Happy Hanukkah, boys!” – SNL Christmas 1999

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Winter

Today is the 1st day of winter. Sure it’s been wintery for the last month, but now it’s really winter. Sure here the snow is melting now, but that is normal start of winter weather. So happy winter, Yule, solstice and any other way you can say, “Hey, it’s cold out!”

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas (4 Days Early)

As you know Christmas in on Tuesday. But, as it’s a Tuesday this year, we are sure that many people’s celebrations are starting early, on today. So enjoy your office party tonight, but remember don’t do anything stupid!!!!!!! If you get the idea to take any of your clothes off or wear anything that you find around (i.e. lamp shade, tinsel, Kim from HR.) don’t do it, that is how 90% of office parties gone wrong stories start.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Week 'till Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

Yah!!!!!!!!!!!! And it snowed so it will most likely be a white Christmas, although who knows why that is soooo important. It's not like it snowed at the first one or anything.

Monday, December 17, 2007


While thinking up ideas for fun blogs these last few days we looked at last years ones and decided that we just did too good of a job then. How could we improve on such perfection? What more is there to say? And so for today’s blog we would like to remind you to look threw our archives of blogs from last December for more Christmas fun.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shameless Begging

It is once again that time of year when we at Weird News B.N.I. put together a list of ideas to give the Computer Cultured American (i.e. nerds and geeks) in your life. While you all full well know 1) what a CCA wants and 2) we are only shamelessly trying to get you to give us these things, maybe someone’s grandma will happen appond this blog looking for the web site on Medicare and give a good gift this year. (Not to say that older people can’t understand the internet: my grandparents are online because my step-grandma’s dad wanted to be able to email them, but I once had to write out instructions and post them on the computer so my dad could turn it on and off.) Anyway here are some gift ideas, that keeping with the: you really don’t need help with this theme, can all be found on-line. (Which of course I don’t know for sure how wonderful they are as I do not own then yet, but look at how shiny the picture is.)

*A shirt that actually detects Wi-Fi signals- Makes walking fun and useful
*A set of various sided dice in hematite- Or for the traditionalist real bone
*Plush Ninja – Cute and deadly
*A Sonic Screwdriver- Does not actual turn screws, but why would it?
*LED Candles- used 1/1000 of the electricity of old incandescent candles
*Japanese candies- or are they marbles, what’s with that bunny anyway, are they bunny flavored? Is it a mascot? What the ?!?!?!?!!???!
*Duct Tape Wallet- You will never need a new one, something happens. . . Get More Duct Tape!
*Caffeinated Soap – The Doctor only said to cut down on eating and drinking caffeine

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today in Holidays

Today is St. Lucy’s day also known as St. Lucia. It is used as the start of the Christmas season for some people and is even the day that some exchange gifts. It is also an unusual of a saint’s day for two reasons. First, excluding the area of Italy that she was from the holiday is mainly celebrated by Protestants. And second it has quite possibly the most dangerous festivities of any modern Christian Holiday. One the first part this is a holiday that in modern times is mostly celebrated in Scandinavia and in the parts of America that Scandinavian people moved. In America the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America sets asides today and often the Sunday closest to today in honor of St. Lucy including special vestments and activities. In many Scandinavian countries it is celebrated as a national holiday. Second, it is possibly the most dangerous holiday as in all countries traditions one girl (often the oldest in the family, but still could be as young as 7 or 8) is expected to dress in a white robe (often tied with a red ribbon to symbolize St. Lucy’s martyrdom) with a evergreen wreath on her head with many burning white candles in it. Her and her other siblings might also be expected to make their parents breakfast in bed with no adult help. And the young boys might make a traditional alcoholic drink to go with breakfast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deck the Halls and Read These Books

A Dickens of a Cat and Other Stories of the Cats We Love Edited by: Callie Smith Grant
Non-fiction: cat stories 185 pages 2007

This book is full of heart warming tales of cats and how they helped/saved the life of people around them. That is all. Given the title we were hoping for fun stories of the silly things cats do. Instead it was Lifetime for cat lovers. So if you know someone that likes to cry at touching stories and loves cats, this is the book for them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Giving for Free

Last year I included a list of web sites for various charities for your last minute end of year giving. This year I wanted to tell you about a way to give to your favorite charities without spending any money or doing extra work. Just go to when ever you need to run a search on the web. Type in what charity you would like to help out. (Many large ones are there as well as smaller ones like churches and schools.) And search away. If you are doing shopping online you can also connect to many different online stores threw this site and have money go to your charity.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Deck the Halls and Read These Books

Father Knows Less or: “Can I cook My Sister?”, By: Wendell Jamieson
Non-Fiction: Science 253 pages 2007

This book is a list of questions that children ask their parents and answers given by experts in the field of the question. The questions and experts are varied answering everything from “Why the Beatles Broke up?” to “Why is the Sky Blue?” with answers from scientists, cops, a dominatrix, and even Yoko Ono her self (Who refused to answer that she was the reason for the brake up.) It would be a great present for a new parent or an inquisitive older child. (The answers are not dumbed down making the answers to complex scientific question or on things like porn not necessarily appropriate for young children. [And no that is not the question answered by the dominatrix; she explained how a whip makes that cracking noise.]) Also, even in primitive cannibal societies you would only eat a family member if they died and food was scarce, not because they are crying and won’t shut up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!!!

I wanted to spend today’s blog talking about all the wonderful heartwarming Hanukkah specials and movies that will be airing now; however, the only Hanukkah “specials” on are a few children’s cartoons TV shows where one or two of the kids in the cartoon are Jewish and so they made an episode on Hanukkah which may be not much more then an explanation of the holiday in a kid friendly format for non-Jews. And I know of only two movies on Hanukkah and both are comedies geared for adult only audiences. One “The Hebrew Hammer” aired yesterday and I can find no more listings for it and “Eight Crazy Nights” will be on Saturday on some channel, which as the search for it only gave me the number on my TV, I don’t know what channel it’s on. Which made me ask the question, “Why are there not more Hanukkah specials and movies?” Sure it hasn’t been as commercialized as Christmas and modern Jewish holidays are more about family togetherness then “Everybody it’s a holiday be joyfulled NOW!!” But, the almost complete lack of holiday media is odd. Kwanzaa has almost as many things for it and it is 2 ½ thousands years younger of a holiday (give or take a couple decades) and has all of the controversities around it like: its founder, anti-Christian aspects of its founding, and how it lumps all African peoples together as if they were unified into one culture. So if anyone knows why this shortage of movies and TV specials or for that mater why “The Dradiel Song” and “The Hanukkah Song (Parts 1 and 2)” are the only Hanukkah carols anyone knows or why Adam Sandler alone has doubled the number of Hanukkah things please let us know are we are really interested!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hanukkah !!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so if you are reading this before dusk it’s not Hanukkah yet, but as I may be busy then I thought I would say it now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hanukkah Quiz

Hanukkah starts tomorrow at sunset so here is a short quiz on the holiday.

1. Which is not a correct spelling of the holiday?

a. Channukah
b. Xanuka
c. Chanuko
d. Khanukkah
e. they are all considered correct

2. Which is not a reason given for Hanukkah being 8 days long?

a. Because that is how long the oil lasted in the Miracle of the Lights
b. In honor of 7 brothers and their mother that were tortured and killed because they refused to give up there Jewish faith.
c. Because 8 is considered a perfect number in Jewish mysticism.
d. To make up for the holiday that they couldn’t celebrate when oppressed.

3. Hanukkah is first called the Feast of Lights by this famous Jew.

a. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
b. Josephus
c. Jesus
d. Rabbi Hillel the Elder

4. As you may know there are all sorts of laws on being Kosher, so according to the Code of Jewish Law your menorah can be no taller then. . . .

a. You (max height 6 feet)
b. a horse (max height 7 cubits)
c. a two story house (max height 30 feet)
d. the length of your rabbi’s beard (varies)

5. All of the famous people below are Jewish, once were or have hinted at maybe being Jewish except. . .

a. Madonna (the singer)
b. Stephen T. Colbert (either the person or TV personality)
c. Bob Dylan
d. Adam (as in 1st man)

1. e. they are all considered correct. Other spellings include Hanukkah and Kanukkah although spell check refuses to believe me.
2. c. Because 8 is considered a perfect number in Jewish mysticism. There are many important numbers in the mystic branches of Judaism such as 6, 7, 12, and 40 but as far as I know 8 isn’t one of them and I have never heard of it being a reason for Hanukkah’s length. For more info on the correct answers click here.
3. b. Josephus. Josephus was a very important first century C.E. Jewish historian.
4. c. a two story house (max height 30 feet) officially it can be up to 20 cubits high, which is 360 inches or 30 feet to be Kosher. The world’s tallest one was over 60 feet tall.
5. d. Adam (as in 1st man) As there was no one but his family around and what we think of as Judaism wasn’t started until the times of Abraham and Moses, Adam wouldn’t have called himself a Jew or any other religion. Madonna of course is into Kabala, a Jewish mysticism (She would have no problem with question number 2.) Bob Dylan (aka. Robert Zimmerman) was born in a Jewish family, was a practicing Jew for a time, became Christian and then I have no idea what he is now as he seams to go back and forth. And Stephen T. Colbert found out threw tracing back his genetic heritage that he has a 75% chance of being part Jewish.

1-3 right: Come one, you could have gotten 4 right just by reading last Hanukkah’s blogs. Read more WNBNI!!!!

4 right: Congratulations!!!! You have either read the Hanukkah blogs from last year on WNBNI, or you know a lot about it.

5 right: Great job give yourself a gold star, or silver to be more festive (unless you are unable to find a kosher sticker then imagine one.)

Today in Holidays

Today is the 1st day of Advent. It is also the start of a New Year for churches that use a liturgical calendar for their readings. This year it sounds like the Gospel readings with be from Matthew. Advent comes from the Latin word for arrival and is about preparing for the arrival of Jesus, both in the celebration of Christmas and in our own death/ end of the world (which ever comes first.) It started out in 581 as a time of fasting much like Lent (hence all the purple used as a sign of fasting and penitence) and was even known as St. Martin’s Lent as it started on the Feast of St. Martin (November 11th.) This was then slightly changed in the 7th century to be counted based on the number of Sundays before Christmas, but was still 6 weeks long. It was then changed by Gregory the Great to be four weeks long, who also wrote prayers for the season. The people in what is now France added the end time’s message and by the 12th century many of the ideas of modern Advent were in place. The Advent wreath like many beloved Christian customs started out as a pagan tradition that with a few small changes worked great to illustrate a Christian ideal. In this case it started out to represent life lasting in the winter and the circle of time with the candles votive offerings to the sun god for light. And was changed to be a symbol of the coming Christ, the light of the world and the everlasting life he brings. For a brief introduction on the Advent wreath click here.