Wacky Web Week

You can blame strange impulses on the holidays

Comedian James Corden has his eye out for colorful behavior, as you’ll see in this week’s video. If it all has a certain cultural topicality, perhaps we can thank Corden’s heightened English appreciation for oddities of American life during the winter holidays.

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Good taste not required to attract tourists

In mid-November, nearly two tons of used chewing gum came off the walls of a theater and other buildings in Seattle’s Post Alley. The Gum Wall had been for 20 years a surprise hit with tourists.

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Cuisine you should probably avoid in any season

It’s now the holiday season — so let’s talk about food! For the novelty and sometimes outrageousness of their offerings, let’s invoke the memories of chefs Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson, who were the “Two Fat Ladies” of a BBC cooking show in the late 1990s.

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Turkeys not in favor of being dinner

If turkeys aren’t the most combative menu item you’ve ever seen, the birds in this video certainly seem to strive for that distinction.

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The bird who might beat you at chess

Whoever uses “birdbrain” as a term of abuse ought to think again — clearly, this time. This BBC video documents the problem-solving prowess of a crow, who can work out an eight-step procedure without losing any of his tools (each of which he has to discover and retrieve) along the way.

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Famous Northwest artist wary of reporter

More than one Seattle feline has launched a big career on the Internet. Along with Henri, the philosopher cat, there’s also Cooper, an orange photographer and film maker.

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Wally the squirrel decorates a pumpkin

As you might be discovering on the Internet, squirrels can be persuaded to decorate pumpkins. In fact, once a squirrel gets his paws and teeth on one, interrupting the holiday-season munching might be hazardous.

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Irish interpreters of baseball study the game

If you’re uneasy about your command of the rules of America’s favorite pastime (baseball, remember? not football), you might take comfort in the likelihood that you know way more about the game than the Irish lads in this video. They genially accept an invitation to watch a match between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals and find much to admire in the details of the spectacle. Although they hatch entertaining theories about what’s going on in front of them, most of the game’s lingo and action and fan behavior bewilders them — but for this one penetrating insight (achieved after the first half of the first inning): baseball is not swiftly paced.

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Fashion and other tips from Jeremy Lin, NBA star

You might be aware of the basketball career of Jeremy Lin, a Chinese-American playing presently for the Charlotte Hornets under Michael Jordan. He’s the object of Linsanity, a frenzy of fandom that arose while he was playing very well indeed for the New York Knicks a few years ago.

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Don’t lose your head over enticing offers

Horrible Histories broadcasts tv shows and occasional PSAs on CBBC and BBC in Britain. Fortunately for us, they also post some of their videos on YouTube. Which is why you get to see how the 16th-century English noblewoman Lady Jane Grey reacted to a spam offer (of the throne of England) on her anachronistic computer. If you didn’t know already what Mary Tudor, rightful heir, thought about fake offers in the ether — and why you, too, should be suspicious — you’ll learn it here.

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