Today's Christmas party games kinda suck: it's either Ugly Sweater Contests, White Elephants, or Argue About Ronald Reagan With Your Intoxicated Uncle Until He Fakes a Heart Attack. Back in the old days, however, the way people entertained themselves while waiting for Jolly Old Saint Nick was much more entertaining. Any of the following games will light a giant spark under your next holiday shindig, provided nobody tells the cops:
#5. Hot Cockles (Late 1700s-Early 1800s)
If you're bored with using Twister as a convenient excuse to touch somebody else's naughty parts, then perhaps you'd prefer a friendly game of Hot Cockles. A very friendly game. "Put your face in someone's crotch" friendly:
"Carol? Wait, no -- grandma! Definitely grandma."
Marketing products to children isn't particularly hard. Just throw a bunch of skateboards and neon backwards caps into your commercial and kids will want the shit out of whatever you're selling. But for some reason, plenty of companies out there still think that little girls want nothing to do with things like LEGOs or NERF guns unless they're covered in purple glitter and teach them how to get a boyfriend.
#5. Barbie I Can Be a Computer Engineer Book Is About Asking Men to Program Computers for You
Barbie has spent the past several years trying to overcome the stigma of portraying harmfully unrealistic standards for little girls, as most Barbie dolls (even the ones in assertive roles, like Doctor Barbie or Pantsuit Barbie) are little more than skeletal breast mannequins wearing different costumes. One Barbie storybook, 2010's I Can Be a Computer Engineer, showed particular progressive promise, however, as it ostensibly depicts Barbie working in a field that is often presented as aggressively off-limits to girls.
"We were going to include a talking toy, but she would only say, "Have you tried turning it on and off?"
Have you ever done something stupid and scrambled to make up an excuse? "I'm sorry, I was drunk," or, "I thought that was legal in this country," or, "Wait, this isn't a David Lynch movie?" Turns out, big companies do the same thing, only their excuses tend to be way worse because they can't all be drunk ... right?
#6. A Political Blog Targets the Wrong Person, Issues Lame "Correction"
Conservative political blog Breitbart.com recently published an article decrying the president's newly announced nominee for attorney general of the United States, Loretta Lynch. According to Breitbart, Lynch had a previously unmentioned controversy: she was one of the lawyers who represented the Clinton family in the wake of the Whitewater scandal.
Helder Almeida/iStock/Getty Images
A scandal so boring, we fell asleep twice trying to think of a joke for it.
For the longest time, Lord of the Rings fans had to settle for a series of disjointed cartoons and text adventure games to get their Tolkien rocks off. Some of them were so desperate that they even read The Silmarillion. It's no wonder that the franchise ended up in the hands of Peter Jackson, then known for crazy-ass horror films and puppet porn. That those movies turned out pretty good is a balrog-sized improbability.
Not a decade later came the highly anticipated Hobbit films ... and now we're back to the disjointed cartoons of our childhood. The only difference is that these cartoons cost nearly a billion goddamned dollars to make, as the newest financial documents for the films have revealed. Looking at the trailer for the new movie, one question springs to mind: Where the hell did that money go? Here's a handy breakdown for you:
#6. They Spent $2 Million per Book Page
Fun fact: shooting only two pages of The Hobbit cost the same as the entire budget for the movie Boyhood. You know, the one that was shot over 11 years, whereas the Hobbit trilogy only feels like it's 11 years long.
We're only slightly exaggerating. Now that we know that the last Hobbit film clocks in at a sensible and reserved (for Jackson) 2 hours and 24 minutes, we can calculate that the entire trilogy lasts just under eight hours. And since the movies adapt a 300-page book plus Tolkien's 124-page appendices, that means we're looking at roughly 53 pages per hour -- as opposed to the 122 pages an hour for the Lord of the Rings trilogy's 1,137 pages. With us so far? That's OK, someone made a nice graph:
Who would have guessed that Tolkien fans are nerds?