holidays

Inside The Design Of The New Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

The bright ball that hovers over Times Square on New Year’s Eve is special this year. Sure, it’s iconic and colourful and mesmerising as it always is. This year, however, the ball will captivate us all with a brand new crystal coating. And, boy, is it pretty.


Who Needs Christmas Lights When You Have Glowing Mammalian Cells?

Who needs Christmas lights when you have glowing mammalian cells? This wreath, assembled from cells with proteins and structured stained different colours, was made by Dr. Donna Beer Stolz at the University of Pittsburgh. It won 19th place in the 2011 Nikon Photomicrography Competition — but top honours for holiday cheer. [Nikon]


Hubble Captures Christmas Tree Topper 200 Times Larger Than The Sun

I wish I could put the southern hemisphere superstar RS Puppis on top of my tree — if it weren’t 10 times more massive, 200 times larger, and 15,000 times brighter than the Sun. This “holiday wreath made of sparkling lights” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is amazingly beautiful.


The Scientific Formula For Perfect Eggnog

Have you ever felt like making boozy eggnog is a total crapshoot? Half the time you get a smooth and delicious cocktail, and half the time it’s a lumpy, curdled mess. What gives?


Tiny, Intricate Trees Cut From Discarded Shopping Bags

We collectively use about a million plastic bags a minute, a figure that will peak during next week’s holiday rush. As you’re sitting around in a post-Christmas funk next week, consider following the lead of Japanese artist Yuken Teruya, who carves tiny, perfect trees out of the flimsy walls of old shopping bags.


Japanese Christmas Light Displays Are Simultaneously Absurd And Calming

In south Japan, Mie prefecture is rocking 7 million LED Christmas lights. Hence the awesome light tunnel above. “Illuminations” or Christmas light displays have been a big deal in Japan since the 1980s. But there’s something a lot more contemplative about these lights compared to some of the spectacles in the U.S..


Gift Guide: Boozy Gifts To Fancy Up Your Happy Hour

Nothing helps put you in the holiday spirit like…spirits. We all know that person who believes truly, madly, deeply that alcohol makes everything better. (In moderation, of course.) Whether that person’s a liquor lover, a beer snob, or a wine connoisseur, I’ve distilled a fine selection of the choicest gifts, straight from the internet’s top shelf. And I wanna hear what you’ve got in mind for lovers of alCOOLhol, too!


Oh, Magical Piano, You Fill My Heart With So Much Joy

Imagine you’re waiting around in a train station, munching on some Cinnabon, when all of a sudden the ornamental baby grand piano just starts playing music all by itself. Magic? Not quite, but definitely pure whimsy. See for yourself.


Google's Auto-Awesome Will Make Your Photos Snow Or Twinkle

Google’s Auto-Awesome feature that’s baked into Google+ already does cool things, like make your pictures more balanced, auto-stitch panoramas, and even create animated GIFs. Today, it’s adding two new Holiday-ish Auto-Awesomes. It’s either the best new feature, or the cheesiest, worst new feature. You decide.


10 Of The Most Ridiculous Flight Horror Stories Ever

With so many people cooped up in a tiny cabin 10,000m in the air, it’s inevitable that at least one flight experience in your life is going to be less-than-stellar. But some experiences are much, much worse than others. So while you’re travelling home this holiday season and that baby next to you won’t stop screaming, just be glad you weren’t on any of these flights. And if you were, we are so, so sorry.