Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 16! (Belated)


Well this graph is one day late, or as I like to look at it as a tree-half-decorated kind of guy (as opposed to tree-half-naked), one day closer to snow. That’s why we get today’s graph! Now is the time to practice your snowball crafting and snowball throwing, so that when the snow falls your arsenal is impressive and useful!


You’ll need that extra time to work on your snow fortifications


This graph is a pretty simple one. See, the difference between a snow cube and a snow ball is pretty significant. Except in the world of snow warfare, cutting corners is a good thing.


Pictured: Snow Nuke


Of course, once you get a generally good shape, the opportunity cost of  working it to a more perfectly sphere really falls of the deep end. Mostly because no matter how much you pack that thing together it’s still snow. It’s just not going to hold up at high velocity, so you’ll need a new strategy to win your snow wars.


My suggestion: Snow cavalry

Graph-a-Day til Chrismtas Part 15!


If you’ve spent anytime being alive in December, you should be intimately familiar with Christmas sweaters. It’s a combination that fits perfectly–cold Christmas and warm sweaters. Put the together and you get a decidedly neutral wearer. Except when they are explicit “Christmas sweaters,” in which case the wearer is firmly in support of the holiday season, as today’s graph shows.


Of course some people just talk about ugly Christmas sweaters.


This is an ugly Christmas sweater. Also… gold pants? Really?


Looking at a sweater like this, there is really only one thing to say about it. You’re taking one for the team. You enjoy Christmas so much that you’ll wear that to show it. Now that’s cheer.


So what does that mean for less than ugly Christmas sweaters? Are they suitably less cheerful? Not even close.


However they do encourage more pensive thought in the cold outside.


Notice how good that guy looks. Look hard. Do you see it? The cheer, oozing from his finely dressed, uber classy demeanor? Yeah, of course you do. These sweaters work just as well for Christmas, not because you take one for the team but because you represent it well. You’re looking at Christmas and saying “You know what? I’m going to dress as well as Christmas DESERVES.”


That’s the kind of spirit that spreads Christmas cheer at an optimal jingle-belling, snow-prancing, hall-decking level. With that kind of devotion, anything is Christmas-y. Even rocking it bear naked.


“Merry Christmas!”

Graph-a-Day til Chrismtas Part 14!


So check it out. What’s every person’s favorite terrifying Christmas story? Santa’s Slay? Probably not unless you really love Goldberg.


And who wouldn’t?


No. Of course, I’m talking about A Christmas Carol, that famous tale by Charles Dickens that shows us all the real impact that Christmas Cheer can have on the world. See, even Ebenezer Scrroge, who hates cripples, can be cheered up with a little Christmas spirit. I mean, seriously this Scrooge guy is a real chore. It’s a very grisly scene when we first encounter Tiny Tim.


“Ahem, I believe it’s pronounced ‘grizzly.'”


So who is Tiny Tim? He’s the son of Bob Cratchitt, an hourly employee of Mr. Scrooge who has simple dreams of one day starting a union, becoming president of that union, and then disappearing and being forever shrouded in rumors that he gets buried under the as-of-yet unbuilt Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands. (Note: That’s Bob Cratchitt’s wish. Tiny Tim’s is to one day match the insane ball-handling talents of Mugsy Bogues.)


“God bless us everyone, except for people over 5’9″”


And of course, we all get along with Tiny Tim. Why’s that? Because he’s tiny. Think about tiny things and their full sized counterparts. Loony Tunes vs. Tiny Tunes. Dr. Evil vs. Mini Me. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups vs. Fun Size Reese’s.


…Okay, so the metaphor doesn’t necessarily hold. The point is that tiny things are cuter and that’s why we all remember Tiny Tim. Don’t believe me. Well I bet this is just about the cutest darned robot you’ve ever seen.



Game, set, and match.

Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 13!


Quick, what’s Santa’s favorite pack animal? Think you got it?


A mule!


Of course Santa has a more legendary connection to a different animal that combines precipitation and hunting and that’s the subject of this graph. See I’m wondering why Santa goes with 8? The guy has magic. Why not have unlimited reindeer?


On second thought, groups of reindeer are horrifying.


Well the answer lies in simple group dynamics. When you get a whole army of reindeer together you know what they do? They get in tussles and they play games that leave the freakishly mutated reindeer out. Pretty much it just turns in to a circus. A circus with antlers. And no one wants that.


Not even Bearly.


So you find the optimal number at 8. It’s enough to fly the sled, which is hard when a heavy sled is pulled by landborne animals. On the other hand, it’s too few to breed too much discontent. The only problem arises in bad weather, where lighting on one side of the 4 pairs might throw off Santa’s perception. That’s why in inclement fog, Santa busts out the hideously deformed ninth reindeer.


Also a future X-man.

Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 12!


I know what you’re all thinking. “Good King Wenceslas? Really? That’s like the Peter Criss of Christmas Carols!” Also I know that deep down, you are all huge KISS fans. Also to answer your question– YES. Good. King. Wenceslas.


And he’s ready to throw down with all you punks. Especially if you’re in a unitard.


So I’m sure that if you’re anything like me, you are wondering what Good King Wenceslas is all about. If not and you just want to listen tot he song, here ya go:


So the Good King is this pretty rocking dude from Bohemia right? He goes out all the time (even the Winter) even though he’s a Duke (more on that later) and gives alms to all these people that’s crowding his streets because that is how Wenceslizzle rolls.




How good was he? Well wrap your head around this. Not only did the Good King get his own Christmas Carol, he also got his own Bohemian cult. These days you have to be an acoustic rock band to get that kind of attention.


Good King Death Cab and his Fair Cuties.


Oh, and that whole thing about him being a Duke? Well the Good King was so Good that centuries after his death he got a Pope to declare stories of his life as straight up facts and some righteous brother named Otto proclaimed this Bohemian superstar a King. Not a bad deal just because he hung out barefoot in the cold.



“Also all bears are henceforth supreme emperors.” –Otto I

Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 11!


You know, I’m chock full of Christmas spirit–or I’m anti-empty for all the Christmas pessimists out there–but something is bothering me. Giving is the spirit of the season right? Yet we encourage our kids to write letters to Santa to do what? To demand goods. Seems like a catch 22.


May as well be a bomb threat.


Then I realized something. What kinds of things evoke the Christmas spirit? The color red? Check. White, fluffy stuff? Check. Cookies? Check. Santa? See previous answers.


Heck, you could almost call him “Father Christmas”


And you know what makes kids believe in Santa Claus? All those presents under their Christmas trees. All they need to do is send out some letters to reinforce that belief and before you know it–BOOM–Santa’s real.


Suck it, kid NOT under the bike rack.


That’s why writing those letters doesn’t put you on the naughty list OR the nice list. It’s a nice equilibrium. And that solves my problems. Thanks, graphs.

Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 10!


By now, all of you should have your Christmas trees up and decorated. If not, stop reading and put it up now. You’ll thank me for it later. Either that or never read another blog until you work up the ambition to go buy a tree. Either way, good stuff will be coming your way. And one of those great things is an ornament.


Pictured: A Great Thing


Of course some ornaments are better than others. They’re kind of like cold sores in that way. Actually, no they aren’t. Sometimes there are good ornaments. So what makes up a great ornament?


Glass. Class over.


There are four components to a good ornament. The first is balance. See, ornaments live their lives hanging from trees, so let me amend my previous metaphor. Ornaments are like monkeys, not cold sores. But anyway, a good ornament balances. Otherwise you get a crooked tree.


Included in this is the curious question of weight distribution.


Moving on… Next up on the the list is a healthy dose of nostalgia. Some of you may notice that this is listed twice on the graph, but this is no mistake. See, every good ornament is two parts nostalgia. It’s like an Old Fashioned. Remember that. Ornaments are like old fahsioneds.


Don Draper f%&ing loves ornaments.


That leaves us with one final component, a component that is actually larger than the two parts of nostalgia in a fashion that can only be adequately explained by quantum physics, probably. That last component is Christmas cheer. See, when you take a tiny statue and hang it from a tree it doesn’t draw up awful memories of vigilante justice in the rough and tumble Wild West, it brings up dreams of yesteryear.


Not to be confused with yesterBEAR


Also, my sincere apologies for not offering up a new metaphor with that last one. As penance, I’ll combine two that already came before. Ornaments, for those who are keeping score, are basically just old fashioned monkeys.


Silly monkey, go buy a Lenovo