The Common Good

Links (and Videos) of Awesomeness: Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

Flash mobs have been appearing quite often this year – in shopping malls, public transportation stations, occupy movements – almost always lead by a group of energetic young people; a rarity in the flash mob world is when you discover a group of senior citizens dancing with walkers and oxygen tanks parked nearby -- which is exactly what happened at a Target in Lawrence, Kansas last week. But this troop of elderly women and men have true energy and heart as they dance to Glee’s recording of “Last Christmas.”

Certain outdoor Christmas decorations have Michigan residents upset. Several families have reportedly received notes from neighbors upset that lights, mistletoes, wreaths, and other decorations are showing “honor to the Pagan Sun-God.” What might they make of these sinister lights?

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show have stood at the top of the late-night talk show ladder for the past eight years. As 2011 comes to a close, the uncontested Emmy winners present an exclusive “Year in Review,” featuring (yet to be released in full) 12 video compilations that highlight some of the best clips from each month. To begin, here’s the first roundup of January 2011.


In the Spirit of 'year end' lists… yesterday Religion Dispatches released a story on the year’s top peacemakers in the war on science vs. religion, and while it may have been a rather bleak year for reconciliation, the list is a rather notable collection of voices in art, media, and politics. Also, OnEarth released its collection of the best environmental journalism, featuring thirteen pieces on science and nature, from the New Yorker to Vanity Fair.   

England’s esteemed nature filmmaker and narrator Sir David Attenborough has a voice that could calm a storm. For the last thirty years he’s been the voice of BBC’s Life collection, opening viewers to the intricacies of life, land, and the creatures that inhabit it. In this short video, he recites Louis Armstrong’s classic song “What a Wonderful World,” to extraordinary footage of nature and wildlife.

 

This weekend Jesus stopped by the Denver Broncos locker room to visit Tim Tebow and the team, telling them he can’t always bail them out in the fourth quarter. Well, this Sunday, after a six game winning streak with a handful of last minute victories, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos lost to the New England Patriots.

Kristen Wiig has adapted a “Jill of all trades” name for herself for the ability to adapt the personality of fellow celebrities with accuracy and poise. Since she joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 2005, she’s had several recurring roles, including Michele Bachmann, Kathy Lee Gifford, and Nanci Pelosi. Here, you can see five other notable characters in, The Many Faces of Kristen Wiig.  



Justin Bieber tells AOL Music
that he’s never believed in Santa Claus. “[My mom] thought if I grew up knowing about Santa then finding out he wasn’t real, that it would be like she was lying to me. And then when she told me about God, I maybe wouldn’t believe her,” says Bieber. But he continues to spread Christmas cheer to young children world wide.

Cardinal Sin is the latest piece of work from the mysterious artist Banksy. His latest sculpture  -- which depicts child abuse scandals and the churchis -- is made from the bust of a Catholic cardinal with bathroom tiles glued to the face to present a blurred visage.

This weekend, The Burnside Writers featured a thoughtful piece on Harry Potter and the Incarnation. Bret Montgomery writes, “This Advent season, there’s another grand story of adventure and mystery being told. But, it’s a little bit different. In this other story, no one escapes from our world into some other realm. Instead … some other realm breaks into and takes up residence here in the normal, ordinary, real world in which we live.”

The University of Dayton recently assembled a huge collection of nativities from around the globe, including an unusual bakery-made nativity set. With a giant loaf of rye bread serving as the mise en scene and figurines fashioned from artisan French dough, the tasty nativity set is an ode to Bethlehem a word that means “house of bread.”

Teddy Bear, the talking porcupine that’s been taking over the internet, is featured in a new video -- dressed for the season, eating a gingerbread cookie, and wishing all a “Merry Christmas.”

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