(Continued from yesterday.) No discussion of Santa Claus would be complete without some mention of Coca Cola. I've heard more than once that Coca Cola invented the contemporary image of Santa Claus as part of a holiday-themed ad campaign. Snopes.com, however, notes that while Coca Cola did start using Santa Claus in their ads in…Read more Speculation on the Origins of Santa Claus, Part Four: Coca Cola
(Continued from yesterday.) So there's Saint Nicholas, who was known for his generosity, Krampus, who was known for sliding down chimneys, and Odin who had one eye and a horse with eight legs. But none of this explains why Santa Claus sometimes goes by the name Chris Kringle. This one, I think, we can trace…Read more Speculation on the Origins of Santa Claus, Part Three: Chris Kringle
(Continued from yesterday.) The reason Santa Claus is frequently depicted as winking is that he's also based to some extent on Odin, the king of the Norse gods. Odin, as you may know, traded one of his eyes for wisdom. As a result, he frequently appears to be winking, much like Santa Claus. He also…Read more Speculation on the Origins of Santa Claus, Part Two: Odin
I'd describe Santa Claus as a cultural hybrid, a nexus of myths surrounding the winter season, a placeholder of sorts where a handful of characteristics congealed over time into a single character.
I’ve long believed that monkeys are smarter than humans, and now I can prove it. Over the weekend, I heard a report on Marketplace Money about Yale researchers who had trained a capuchin monkey named Nick Nack to use money in order to figure out how the world economy ended up in the toilet. Among…Read more Monkeys vs. Humans