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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.


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About toozie21

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday August 4

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Just one?!?!?
  • Location
    Maryland, USA
  • Biography
    Not much to tell.
  • Interests
  • Occupation
    General slacker
  • About my display
    Not as big as I would like it.

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  1. Don't know his location or house size, but that seems about right for architectural shingles in my area. Sadly... [emoji31] Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  2. Not sure if you are talking about my project, but some general comments about it for anyone interested. I appear to have made it California seismic rated for the MD area.... The base and walls can be made MUCH lighter. If you see in the videos at the end the linkage for the satellite dish, it is a little heavy. Because of that, I recommend keeping the roof sturdy. Lastly, doing a homemade dish on top is probably easiest, but hanging a static real dish off the side as well could have a cool look. Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  3. I still use the one I posted earlier in the thread. The original intention was to use a dish someone gave me. But I abanded it when I realized the size and weight of it. I ended up with just a round wood dish, and it is working great, just not nearly as sexy... Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  4. It probably isn't the one you are referring to, but here is the one I made:https://www.tooz.us/north-pole-command-center.html Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  5. I liked the price and I almost did it, but $14 to ship 50 of them seems a bit extreme.
  6. That is a great price on them, I just wish they had a smaller count to buy than 50. I could probably get away with 25, bu 50 is probably pushing it. Thanks for the links.
  7. Where are you guys getting vampire plugs these days?
  8. I had thought about that. How are you doing it? Text? Audio? FM transmitter? Merry Christmas to all! Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
  9. Yeah I just did not too long ago, I forgot to say something about it, thanks for the reminder.
  10. I have a video, but I need to get it onto youtube first. You basically have the idea though: *All is off *Mary/Joseph and farm animals come on *Jesus comes on *The start turns on and then I pull it to its height *The shepard and his sheep come on *Lastly the wisemen and a camel come on *Then they all turn off and the star resets itself The whole process takes about 55 seconds to go through the progressions. Yeah, I was trying to workout something for the pages turning, but it seems like it might be too complicated. The scrim idea is really interesting. I hadn't heard that term, but I know the effect you are talking about. I will definitely have to look that up!
  11. This year I automated my blowmold nativity so that it turns on in sequence to tell the story (along with a star that physically gets raised). I think for next year I need to physically tell the story along with the animation to complete the setup, but I am struggling with how to go about it. One thought I had was an outdoor projector that when triggered would show different slides that told the story, but I am having trouble finding projectors that can do that (as opposed to just showing a single slide all the time). Another thought was to have a large book (think 3ft tall) that have the pages be physically turned. I like this idea the best, but I think logistically that could be really tough, and I worry about the wind catching the pages and making it hard on the motor (not sure what the pages would be made out of, wood, coro, etc.). I also thought about having an MP3 player broadcast the story (I am not broadcasting anything right now), but I am not sure I want to set everything up for a 60sec of repeating sound, and then I have to worry about switching "tracks" when the microcontroller goes to the next stage. Lastly, I thought about normal signs that have lights that come on at each stage. This is pretty easy and wouldn't be much of a step to get to there from what I have, but I think that the signs would be pretty readable even when their light is off, so it isn't super appealing to me. Anyone have other thoughts? Just trying to give myself something to noodle over during my commutes.
  12. Doh! Not sure how I missed that! You are right. I looked through the specs, but I am not sure what phrase I was looking for, whatever it was, it wasn't that. Thanks for pointing to it!
  13. I have a quick question about the ULN2003. I know that it can handle 500mA per pin, but is there a limit for the whole IC? Can I max out 500mA per 7 pins for 3.5A total?
  14. I have a carousel that is a number of years old that only seems to want to only go in reverse these days. It doesn't have any twists in it and it inflates fine. I had it setup in my garage and let it run for 2 days straight and it still had the issues, so I am not sure what to do. I've read that there is a sensor that tries to determine if there is a kink and will go in reverse to untwist it, so maybe that sensor is broken. I have stopped/started it numerous times, so it doesn't appear to be realizing that everything is OK. My thought is to reverse the power to the motor to force it to go the other direction (if it is indeed stuck going the one direction), but I haven't taken apart a carousel before, so I am not sure where to start. Does anyone have a different approach to take, or have done a similar thing to the motor?
  15. In case anyone stumbled upon this thread looking for a similar answer, I ordered a Maxim MAX4544 SPDT analog switch to solve this. I haven't had a chance to test it out, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work.
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