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Wednesday links

December 21 is the winter solstice, the first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year. Here are science, history, and short video explanations of the celestial mechanics involved, plus descriptions of the concurrent celebrations of Saturnalia and Halcyon Days.

How The World Looked When Jesus Was Born, According to Roman Geographers.

A collection of downloadable, printable templates for Star Wars snowflakes.

Classic Christmas drunken fruitcake recipe: Check the whiskey. Pour 1 level cup and drink. Repeat.

The 1914 Christmas truce.

The Origin of the Myth of the Poisonous Poinsettia. Related, why we kiss under the mistletoe and how the plant got that strange name (spoiler – it literally means “dung twig”).

ICYMI, Friday’s links are here, and include advice from ~1200 on how to survive the winter (don’t forget to lay off the purging and blood-letting, and keep your hands and feet covered in wolf grease), the complicated history of humans and cats, an island where donkeys wear pajamas, and, on one sheet of paper, a map of the entire internet as of 1973.

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