Henri presents the best Wackys of 2012

Henri 5

From the Windows Secrets editors

As is our tradition, this holiday season we present the Best of Wacky Web Week from the past year. (Yes, technically the season is over, but because this issue was put together last week, it’s close enough.)

Here are the Top 10 Wackys from 2012. But first, we must present a new video from one of our favorite online contributors: Henri, the philosopher cat. In the fifth of his existential ruminations, Henri muses on the holidays — and on sharing with others. Play the video




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#1 Well-choreographed mayhem in a town square

BelgiumWacky

Who wouldn’t want drama served up only when you asked for it? And if it were well executed, fast, stylish, and in the end funny, what more could you ask for on a quiet day in a calm country?

You’re in luck! And you don’t even have to be in Belgium to watch it. Play the video

#2 Texting while driving: A required tutorial

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We at Windows Secrets obviously don’t use Wacky Web Week to demonstrate our devotion to best practices. By their nature, best practices are rarely wacky. But this week, we’ve found a driving test both devilishly pedagogical and too delicious to keep to ourselves.

We’re revisiting Europe for this experience. The town squares and roads in Belgium are serving up spectacles. Play the video

#3 Henri’s existential ennui continues

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Perhaps you were unaware that a handsome but disaffected French intellectual named Henri has been speaking his piece on the Internet. Henri will tell you he’s surrounded by morons. But that’s no reason to avoid his company — au contraire.

After you meet the subtle Henri in this video, you might experience an expansion of understanding — for which Henri would not congratulate you. But go ahead: enjoy it anyway. Play the video

#4 Hard news from Pippa the weathergirl

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Whatever your opinion about global warming, it’s a topic as ripe for satire as it is for serious discussion.

Happily for those of us who like dark humor, there’s a weathergirl who’s ready with the seven-day forecast — and willing to acquaint us with our bleak fate. Play the video

#5 Maybe a bit too much miniature craftsmanship?

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If you’re a model-train enthusiast, perhaps you know about the miniature world that Hamburg, Germany, has captured and placed on display in its warehouse district. If you haven’t seen or heard of it, well — Hamburg has 900 model trains (with 12,000 wagons) and numerous miniature planes and automobiles with which to fascinate you.

You’ll also find tiny fire-breathers, traveling animals, and “surprisingly strong girls.” You’re certain to be mesmerized by the recitation of statistics as well as the spectacle on view. Play the video

#6 Beautiful, strange, and highly disciplined

Cirque du Soleil: Alegra preview

Since its founding in Montreal in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier, Cirque du Soleil has raised its tents all over the world — and sent out armies of acrobats, contortionists, clowns, dancers, and musicians to entertain even larger armies of admirers.

Amazingly, every new Cirque du Soleil show manages to delight its audiences with startling, never-before-seen acts. Luckily, we can experience some of these feats in a trailer for “Alegría,” now touring cities throughout Europe. Play the video

7 Glamorous Vancouver, B.C., can take a joke

VancouverWacky

We at Windows Secrets live in Seattle, which is practically next door to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet — Vancouver, British Columbia. But we think very highly of our city, too, which might explain why we’re eager to spread less-flattering (but true, of course) facts about Vancouver. Some of these you’ll find in this week’s video.

But just so you know, Canadians made this video and thoroughly documented the stereotypes you’re about to see. Stylish Vancouver, stuffed to the skyline with civilized denizens of the British Commonwealth, can also laugh at itself! Play the video

#8 Tech-savvy magician is an artful, honest liar

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Magician Marco Tempest used an application he wrote to synchronize videos across the screens of multiple iPods — which he collected from audience members just before show time — for a TED talk last summer.

His demo worked just like (and with) sleight of hand, which is impressive under any circumstances but especially when computer code is involved. His patter was a genial meditation on deception: all of it charming and truly skillful. Play the video

#9 Three inanimate dancers: Kite choreography

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Ray Bethell is a world-champion, professional kite flyer from Vancouver, British Columbia.

He has managed stacks of kites in the air — as many as 39 at a time. In this video, he flies three kites balletically. Enjoy the show. Play the video

#10 Middle Earth flies Air New Zealand

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Middle Earth didn’t originate in New Zealand, but thanks to the celebrated movies based on the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy and filmed there, Middle Earth is pretty much part of the Kiwi landscape now.

To celebrate the Hobbit (and the rest of the adventurers in these stories), Air New Zealand has produced an epic safety video. It’s certain to surprise and entertain jetloads of tourists on their way to see the fictional and real life of a dazzling country. Play the video

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