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Halloween Roundup 106

Posted by kdawson
from the now-that's-scary dept.
Herewith a selection from the holiday-themed submissions today. severedfinger writes, "CNET reports that this Halloween some people are using the alphabet-search system on the new iPods to communicate with the dead. The writer uses an iPod nano to test the new craze. He plugs it into a loud stereo system to 'increase the scary quotient when a spirit picks a track,' and the editorial staff begin to talk to a spirit called 'Brad.'" And markmcb writes, "If you've never read much about the history of Halloween, Nick Dilmore offers an entertaining and snarky summary of how the holiday came to be. From the article, 'Halloween, that festive time of the year when kids dress up in fantastic costumes, bob for apples, and go trick-or-treating. Well, unless they live in a community that has done away with Halloween because some Christians say it's a holiday for Satan, or some Jews say it's too Christian, or some Wiccans say it makes fun of their religion (which has as much to do with ancient witchcraft as P. Diddy has to do with Bluegrass...).'" Finally, check out MAKE's geeky / tech DIY guide to "amazing costumes, scary tech, pumpkins, and gross food."
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Halloween Roundup

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  • Can anybody redirect me to a tutorial in which it shows you how to look like a ninja with just a t-shirt.
  • by Hulkster (722642) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @05:19PM (#16665431) Homepage
    While these halloween decorations [komar.org] are a bit over the top, /.'ers might find 'em entertaining and worthy of "News for Nerds"

    7000 lights along with giant inflatable Pumpkin, Frankenstein, and Homer Simpson - D'OH. View with three webcams, control (yes, turn 'em on/off & inflate/deflate) with X10, send Instant Text Messages via webcam, view Google Map of surfers, and enjoy or cuss at the Franken-Homer cursor & Adams Family Music.

    Website suggests sending your trick-or-treats to charity ... so far, it has raised over $14,000 for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease.
    • Is it real control? Or is it more "Perl-Fu photoshop the images to make it look like you have Control" Control?
    • As is Kenova, West Virginia, the armpit of Huntington, which is itself the armpit of West Virginia (and its not even in the coal fields) wasn't scary enough, just add a 125 year old Victorian and 3000 or so carved pumpkins.

      Check it out: http://www.wvpics.com/Pumpkin%20House.htm [wvpics.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wow! That is the worst looking, most over-cluttered website I have ever seen. I think you just gave me ADD.
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        Wow! That is the worst looking, most over-cluttered website I have ever seen. I think you just gave me ADD.
        Agreed, but at least it's an old-fashioned hideous mess, rather than a Web 2.0 illegibly tiny green letters on a magenta background hideous mess.

        BTW, if they could code it so that you had to make a charitable donation before you could close the page, they'd be fucking billionaires in no time.

    • This year, we have someone down the block who has:

      • A lawn full of dummy tombstones.
      • Fog machines.
      • Strobes.
      • UV-illuminated figures.
      • Misc. other lighting.
      • Motors on some of the stuff.
      • Some kind of control system running all this.

      The overall effect is of a carnival dark ride. A cheezy one.

      • by mgblst (80109)
        Don't take a picture, or upload a video to youtube or anything. Telling us what is on there has the same effect, why waist your time.
  • Evil is limited trick-or-treat times. Seriously, when I was a kid, trick-or-treat started at about 3:05 (school's out) and ended around 10:00pm. In that time we'd cover about 12 linear miles of tightly packed houses and amass about two garbage bags full of candy each.

    Today, most cities only allow trick-or-treating between 6-8pm....blah.
    • No doubt, trick or treating should not be limited to 6-8pm, that sucks. But if you are time limited, use a simple technique I pioneered in 3rd grade. Have at least two, if not three or more costumes ready. You don't really need full costumes, just masks. Don costume #1 and hit up all the houses in a reasonable area. Note which houses give out the best/most candy. Don costume #2 and hit up only the best houses. Note which of those are still giving out the best/most candy. Don costume #3. Hit up the best hous
      • Don't forget stealing candy from little kids.
        • by spun (1352)
          No, that's too risky, unless you know for sure those little kids don't have gorilla sized older brothers, gun-toting maniac fathers, or a shiv made from a melted scrap of plastic pumpkin. Even a four year old can stick you in the kidneys real good if you aren't careful. Besides, Halloween is about screwing over the adults, not other kids. Siblings' candy is always fair game, however.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Today, most cities only allow trick-or-treating between 6-8pm....blah.

      The fact that towns and cities actually make those laws is a problem. This should be between the parents, the kids, and possibly the people whose houses kids go to (i.e., if you don't want to be disturbed, turn off the front porch light). Overregulation at its worst - the people who pass such laws should be hanged, drawn, quartered and burnt like they did to Guy Fawkes (obligatory Halloween grossness ends).

      -b.

  • by celardore (844933) *
    I like how the big foot is crushing the iPod at the top of the page. It made me laugh.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In the Philippines, which is probably the most catholic country in the world, Halloween is the day you go to the cemetery and honor your relatives who have passed. It is a national holiday and pretty somber. But Christmas is the holiday where everyone throws costume parties and they all go crazy.
    • Catholics do that all over the world.... see All Saint's Day [wikipedia.org] and All Souls' Day [wikipedia.org]
    • by maxume (22995)
      But Christmas is the holiday where everyone throws costume parties and they all go crazy.

      We call that 'Friday' here in the U.S., but everybody pretends that no one is wearing a costume, and that everything that happens is perfectly normal.

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      In the Philippines, which is probably the most catholic country in the world
      I don't claim to be an expert, but I'd be willing to be that the Vatican has that honour.
  • Obviously, the most important Halloween event today was my releasing a silly vampire game! It's slightly NetHack-inspired and Yipe!-inspired, except you get to eat placentas and suck blood. Yeah.

    Tess the Vampire! [sippan.se] (There is 1 naughty word on that link.)
  • you have to mention the day of the dead [wikipedia.org], which is actually tomorrow

    while some christians may be uptight about halloween, in deeply catholic mexico and the philippines people actually go camp out in graveyards tomorrow

    uptight christians must also recall that christmas trees are coopted from prechristian druidic tree worship, and that the time when christmas itself is celebrated actually predates christ as a roman winter solstice festival, saturnalia, and really has nothing to do when christ was really born a
  • liquid nitrogen, webcams, hatchets, dissection kits, power tools are used in this high-concept pumpkin carving contest [popularmechanics.com] by the editors of popular mechanics magazine. video, podcast, blog and photos included...
    • by Threni (635302)
      > liquid nitrogen, webcams, hatchets, dissection kits, power tools are used in this high-concept pumpkin carving contest by the
      > editors of popular mechanics magazine. video, podcast, blog and photos included...

      They're also the tools I'm going to use on the next fucking kid who comes to my front door demanding money with menaces. I'm with France on this one:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6103436.st m [bbc.co.uk]

      Halloween is shit!

      Now, where did I put my laxative pills...
  • The bread was, IIRC, baked with honey, making it more of a treat, getting a better reaction from those receiving them than: "Oh, bread... with currants... lovely" (followed by an awkward moment.)
    • I actually struggled a little bit to find the joke in soul cakes- I think yours works better and is more informative.
  • From the "total waste of time" department.
  • I personally think the worship of God Mammon is evil.

    While the holiday itself is fine, it's become what most holidays turned into: A way to spend money. That's not what it's about. No matter what religion it is supposedly rooted in.
    • by Wuhao (471511)
      I agree 100%. It's absolutely reprehensible that people are spending money on having a good time. IF IT'S NOT MONOTONOUS AND BLAND, IT'S NOT WORTH YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY, PEOPLE.
      • Personally, I prefer to have fun without spending a fortune for it. Fun is like software, it's best when free.

        Seriously now. I hate it when holidays are reduced to spending money. It has ruined so many very meaningful holidays, nowadays it's just a tack in the sales statistics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FLEB (312391)
      I would have to say that if you're going to criticize any holiday for consumerism, Halloween is probably the least. Compare it with the gifting orgy of Christmas, the "buy me love" fest of Valentine's day, and the complete card-sale fabrications like Fathers', Mothers', Secretaries', etc., and some candy and a costume is rather tame. What's more, the halloween costuming aspect at least gives people a chance to engage their imagination and creativity. Yeah, there'll always be those that buy a plastic lobster
      • by colanut (541823)

        Yeah, its when I used to get most creative. But better, some of our more inspired kooks [nwsource.com] come out. Hooray for the last vestiges of commercial free fun.

    • I personally think the worship of God Mammon is evil.
      That brings up an interesting question. Do you think it'd be unreasonable to celebrate money/capitalism? It is to us now what the church was to us in the middle ages...
  • Ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @05:44PM (#16665793)
    I have always found it ironic how evangelical/fundamentalist churches often shun the Christian aspects of the holiday (dead people) to embrace the pagan aspects of the holiday (the harvest). I don't know whether to laugh or . . . well I just laugh.
  • is the amount of code I have to write.

  • I called it [slashdot.org]. iPods are possessed by evil spirits.
  • by mkiwi (585287)
    or some Wiccans say it makes fun of their religion (which has as much to do with ancient witchcraft as P. Diddy has to do with Bluegrass...).'"


    I thought we established that "P." Diddy was no longer to be used :P. "Diddy" wants to be closer to his fans, especially the ones who are bluegrass freaks.

  • ...And all I got was this lousy assimilation.

    Of my own free will, I decided to build my own brain slug [scarytoyclown.com] for Halloween.

  • The table's rumbling

    The click wheel's turning

    No I was not pushing that time

    It spells M-S-Z-U-N-E

    The table's rumbling

    The click wheel's turning

    No I was not pushing that time

    F-U-C-K O double F

    (Ouija Board [youtube.com])
  • From TFA: By around 43 AD Rome had conquered most of the Celtic lands.

    No way Jose. The Romans never touched Ireland, and they left Scotland to the Scots (even built Hadrian's Wall to keep them out). That leaves Wales, Cornwall and Brittany under Roman rule, although even there Asterix and his mate stopped them in their tracks!

    • From TFA: By around 43 AD Rome had conquered most of the Celtic lands.
      Way Jose. Here's an interactive map [resourcesforhistory.com] showing how the conquest progressed.
      • Er, you just proved the OP's point. Scotland and Ireland were never occupied by the Romans.
        • by Kehvarl (812337)
          The OP clearly stated "No way Jose" in response to "From TFA: By around 43 AD Rome had conquered most of the Celtic lands," and then tried to assert that "The Romans never touched Ireland, and they left Scotland to the Scots..." proved his point. T

          he response to that included a map showing that the Romans did indeed conquer the majority of the lands controlled by the Celts, with the exception of Scotland and Ireland.

          So, yes the OP is correct in the observation about Scotland and Ireland, but incorrect in
  • I figured the /. crowd would get a kick out of my jack-o-lantern [cexx.org] this year. The realistic lighting is powered by a bundle of six RGB LEDs, each individually controlled by its own tiny PIC10F200 microcontroller - so technically my pumpkin is pulling 6 MIPS right now :-P (The 'flickering' pseudorandom table is generated with the blue channel all 0s, and the green limited to about 3/4 the intensity of the current red value so that it can only produce a flame yellow and not a sickly green...)
  • Life was good for the Celts, if by "good" you mean living in constant fear of pissed off faeries (it's less gay if you spell "faeries' with the "ae" than "ie") and evil spirits.

    Thank you.

    For anybody who asks: I celebrated Halloween by fucking a handsome Russian. He was an excellent lover!

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