11 completely crazy, totally twisted, deeply disturbing, over-the-top holiday hacks

Summary:We start our run of holiday hacks with rockets and end with actual nukes. Plus, there's Shatner. You gotta see this!

Thanks to YouTube, we've got a chance to delve deeper into the holiday geek psyche than ever before. In our first annual "Completely crazy, totally twisted, deeply disturbing, over-the-top holiday hacks" article special, we don't hold back. Oh no. There's actually more than 11 wacky hacks, but we batched a few together just for fun (and editorial purity).

We start our run of holiday hacks with rockets and end with actual nukes.

All told, this promises to be one of the most tasteful (heh!) rundowns of holiday tech ever documented. There's a little Shatner, a little Disney, some total thermo-nuclear destruction, some lights, dogs barking, and -- of course -- rockets.

Good times. Good times.

Hack #1: Christmas tree rocketry: the art and science of holiday recycling

Nothing truly says Christmas like rocketry. In this first of three rocket-related videos (hey, these are hard to resist), we present holiday recycling.

Next: More rockets »

« Previous: Rockets

Hack #2: Another Christmas tree rocket

This launch isn't quite as impressive as the last, but when the whole thing ends, well, you'll see...

Hack #3: When Christmas trees attack

For some reason, I can't seem to resist the rocket-propelled trees. But this raises the stakes considerably. The trees are smaller, and yes, I said "trees" -- plural. Watch for yourself:

Hack #4: RC Christmas present

This next hack isn't quite as exciting as the rockets, but it's twisted in its own right.

Keep clicking, because you haven't fully lived until you've seen the rest of these hacks.

Next: Lotsa lights »

« Previous: Rockets

Hack #5: The obligatory Christmas house (and car) lights videos

We know you've all seen the synchronized music and lights houses, but we're going to show you a few videos that are sure to make you ask, "Don't these people have anything better to do?" Here's the first:

And just because you think you've seen them all, here's synchronized Christmas lights to the song "Star Trekkin'". We'll have more Shatner later in our story.

Why, you might ask, do we keep promising more Shatner? Because, Dear Readers, because we can.

We'll take one more run at lights with this car video. It turns out the first 20 seconds or so are dominated by a sponsorship notice by some local community group, but the car itself is worth the wait.

Hack #6: Pitiful Santa on a wire hack (in German)

It's time for a quiet palate cleanser, to help us prepare for Disney, Shatner and assorted nukes. In the following video, some Germans apparently decided to fly Santa on a wire, very, very, very slowly. Now, this guy could use some rockets:

For the record, we tried to find fast holiday sleighs, but this is about the best we could find. I want to see rocket sleds! Someone out there, please make it so.

Next: Shatner (need we say more?) »

« Previous: Lotsa lights

Hack #7: William Shatner Blues Explosion - Dogs Barking Jingle Bells

So, this is disturbing at every level. I haven't entirely figured out why this thing is called "The William Shatner Blues Explosion" since Captain Kirk isn't anywhere in evidence. Even so, the woman in the video has apparently decided to, well, heck, watch it and you'll see. Weird.

And, hey, since we're talking disturbing, here's Bill going where no Shatner should go again (some minor profanity):

Next: Disney and NORAD »

« Previous: Shatner (need we say more?)

Hack #8: Disney Castle Christmas lights

I live about an hour away from Orlando, and if there's one simple truth about Central Florida, it's this: there's nothing, nothing at all magical about this place. It's flat and almost incomprehensibly boring.

Even so, those crazy cats at Disney World have managed to create a fake castle in the middle of Florida, and right around the holiday, they slather the thing with more than 200,000 LED lights and 18 miles of cable. Here, let's let one of the Disney faithful explain the hack:

Hack #9: NORAD tracking Santa's Sleigh

Strangely enough, nukes seem to keep showing up in our holiday hacks special. We're kicking off the nuke discussion with NORAD's annual tracking of Santa's Sleigh. Although it seems a disturbing use of tax dollars, most of the NORAD staff volunteer their time for this silly excursion.

There is something slightly weird, though, merging our nation's leading early-warning attack monitoring facility with the whole Santa fantasy. After all, since NORAD exists to warn the U.S. and Canada of an impending air strike, what does that say about Santa Clause? I've always felt that the holidays can do more damage than good.

In any case, this whole thing is Sears' fault. Back in 1955, they misprinted a phone number for Santa in an advertisement and calls started flooding into NORAD instead of the local Colorado store. Good thing them Russkies were quiet that night or we would have been in world of hurt.

Anyway, without further ado, I bring you CBS interviewing the NORAD commander. So, what's a little surreal among friends?

Hack #10: Ginormous gingerbread house

Those guys at Disney World are nothing if not industrious. They create an illusion for the tourists that keeps the visitors coming back. If you want to be completely disturbed, the following video demonstrates what 1050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of chocolate, fueled by the desperate dreams of millions of gullible visitors can produce:

Next: Let there be nukes! »

« Previous: Disney and NORAD

Hack #11: Christmas Island nukes

For those of you wondering why something like holiday hacks would wind up in a government blog, I have one word for you: nukes. Nothing says Christmas like nuclear detonations near Christmas Island, so to end our list of 10 completely crazy, over-the-top holiday hacks, I present to you two big booms. Here's the first, from 1946's Operation Crossroads:

And, for those of you who constantly claim I don't provide enough international joy, I present to you a 1957 explosion by the British, also near Christmas Island:

Ah, Christmas Island. Better look away or you'll definitely shoot your eye out!

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy belated-Hanukkah, fabulous Kwanzaa, and rockin' New Year! TalkBack below. For the best reading experience, click View All Expanded.

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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