1. The Scientology Christmas Catalog is equal parts mind-bendingly insane and embarrassingly pathetic... just the way you probably would have imagined it would be. The link provided actually doesn't take you to the catalog itself, but rather to a Deadspin rundown of some of the more ridiculous items that can be purchased therein. Here's an example:
Copy: "The Student Hat Dictionary contains every technical term, every slang word and phrase, every historical reference, defined exactly in the context Ron used them. This is a dictionary Scientologists have long dreamed of. With over 4,500 definitions …."
Drew says: Yes, 4,500 definitions! All of them wrong! Imagine paying $75 for your child to unlearn the language of English. Ah, but this dictionary of gobbledygook (sample entries: "all but," "all-out," "all the way through") is a bargain compared to the rest of the literature on hand in this catalog. In fact, if you want to talk like a weird old dead guy who once thought aliens were buried in volcanoes, this is pretty much your cheapest option. As you will see …
2. Did you ever hear the one about the Canadian City that Eliminated Poverty and Everybody Forgot About It? Read all about it.
Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached.
And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated.
The program was dubbed “Mincome” – a neologism of “minimum income” – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification.
The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t.
But the Conservative government that took power provincially in 1977 – and federally in 1979 – had no interest in implementing the project more widely. Researchers were told to pack up the project’s records into 1,800 boxes and place them in storage.
A final report was never released.
Of course not.
3. If you're anything like me, then you looove a good free online comic story. So what, then, could be better than a rundown of the year's best free online comic stories? Thanks, io9, for bringing us the likes of...
Think of this as my Xmas present to y'all... cuz you sure ain't gettin' anything that costs me money! Cheers, ya bums!