Technology Meets Tradition, As Pope Francis Lights Tree with a Tablet

The world's largest Christmas tree is aglow again on a hillside above the Umbrian town of Gubbio.  Pope Francis used a tablet to light the tree, which is made of 1,000 colored lights and measures 2,460 feet (750 metres) tall by nearly 1,500 feet (450 metres) wide.The Gubbio tree was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1991 as the "world's largest Christmas tree."In 2011, Pope Benedict touched the button which lighted the tree.Photo source:  Vatican Radio … [Read more...]

St. Peter’s Square Prepares for Christmas With Unique “Twin-Trunk Tree” and Opera

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  The Vatican's tree, always a beauty, has just arrived in St. Peters Square.  This year's tree is different in that it's got a "double trunk"--that is, two trunks growing together.  There's a homily in there, I'm sure:  A twin-trunk tree would be a great metaphor for married  love, for example, or for the family. Another interesting thing:  This year's Nativity display in St. Peter's Square will have an opera theme, with life-size terra cotta figures … [Read more...]

“Average Is Beautiful”: The Anti-Barbie Doll Goes on Sale This Week in the U.S.

Just in time for Christmas:  The "Lammily" doll, a doll that is short, brunette, has an average body shape and can, if you prefer, come complete with acne or cellulite.Parents and other concerned adults have long criticized the long, lanky Barbie for her unrealistic proportions.  Now a 26-year-old graphic designer, Nickolay Lamm, has developed a doll that won't set young girls on the path to anorexia by teaching them that "ultra-thin" is the only acceptable body type.Lamm created his pr … [Read more...]