3 Twitter Feeds That Are Totally Worth Following

I’ve spent a few articles celebrating YouTube channel that were a lot of fun and/or added to society in some small measure. But, I feel like it’s time to show some love to other social media giants.

In all honesty, I have difficulty with Twitter. Its brand of ‘micro-blogging’ isn’t conducive to the ramblings of a long-winded so-and-so like me. That said, I still make use of it to keep up to date on happenings and goings-on. But, in my searches, I’ve found a few feeds that were genuinely good on their own merits. Such as…

Penny Underbust

I pray I look this good one day…
Source: @Penny_Underbust on Twitter

Let’s start by talking about my favorite chubby cyborg (her words, not mine).

As a recently out-and-proud transwoman, I’ve been eager to look for positive female figures to add to my life – particularly where body positivity is involved. And Penny Underbust is all about making your body what YOU want it to be and being happy with it.

As her online moniker implies, Penny’s defining trait is her rather ample bosom. And while breast augmentation isn’t quite one to one with HRT and bottom surgery, she very clearly understands the need to feel comfortable in your own skin; a need that she’s turned into a modestly successful career as a Youtuber and cosplay model who reviews clothing, plays ukelele, provides makeup tutorials, and generally spreads good vibes to all including transgender and non-binary people – “gender rebels,” as she lovingly refers to us as.

If you have an eye for fashion or just need some positivity in your life, I highly recommend following her on Twitter and YouTube and consider supporting her on Patreon.

Speaking of positivity…

Good News Network

Well, the other thing happens too, but THIS is something we can actually CHOOSE for ourselves.
Source: @goodnewsnetwork on Twitter

Anyone that has followed me on Facebook or Twitter knows that I try to start the weekend off right by proliferating the hashtag #GoodNewsFriday; my campaign to remind the world that there is good to be had in the absurdity of life. And these folks are my primary source.

The Good News Network, GNN for short, is dedicated to tracking down and reporting on people that are trying to make life just a little more pleasant for all of us. They do this through Twitter, on their website, and on their podcast. Think Buzzfeed, but less up its own tailpipe and more reliable.

There really isn’t much else to say; it’s a reputable news source that encourages people to do good in the world. What more do you want?

Pentametron

This right here… THIS is art…

So, let’s talk high-tech…

For those not in the know, a “Twitter Bot” is a kind of software that is scripted to perform certain actions on Twitter. Most of the time, it’s something annoying or outright malicious like tagging everyone that uses a certain word in a tweet to send them links to buy a useless book. But some people have begun to use Twitter Bots to create auto-generated art.

Such is the example set by Pentametron, a Twitter Bot programmed to seek out and retweet other peoples tweets in pairs that just so happen to form naturally occurring, rhyming verses of Iambic Pentameter – the style William Shakespeare was famous for using.

This is essentially a high-tech fusion of the style of Shakespeare combined with one of my favorite literary styles; the “Cut-up technique” popularized by beat poet legend William S. Burroughs in which text is scrambled and rearranged to create new works.

It’s a pleasant reminder of how art sometimes occurs by total accident and that we just need to stop and appreciate it some times.

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Return of the Forgotten Christmas Specials

So, I just realized that I skipped over talking about underrated and forgotten Christmas Specials last year. And that’s a shame because there seems to be more and more of them as time goes on.

As I said some two years ago, we just don’t see proper Christmas specials anymore and the art seems to be dying off. To that end, I’m going to attempt to breath live back into these cheap and cheerful shows and make the holiday jolly again.

Father Christmas

If the art style looks familiar to you, that’s probably because you remember seeing The Snowman once or twice in your life. That movie was directed by Dianne Jackson and she was set to return for this pseudo-sequel. Sadly, she only managed to storyboard the project before falling ill to cancer that would take her on New Year’s Day the following year.

As for Father Christmas, it’s your standard tale of Santa looking to take a much-needed vacation. It’s quite entertaining to see the jolly symbol of the holiday struggle with the usual headaches of traveling abroad and even get tanked on stiff drink (minus the usual trappings of bad Christmas comedy that those words normally follow).

It’s funny, happy, and leaves you feeling great after. What’s not to love?

Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas

You may be too young to remember the days when variety shows existed and would go all out for the holidays to gather talent from all corners of the world to celebrate. Well, this is the stop motion version of that.

Will Vinton, famous for his work with The California Raisins ( and yes, they do appear in the special), gave us this series of comedy skits and classic Christmas carols rendered in the style that only he could produce. His stylized production may be off-putting to some but are more than made up for with great writing and amazing music.

Plus, if you like this one, Will also did a Halloween special that I may go into next year.

Ziggy’s Gift

You thought I was kidding when I said Peanuts didn’t have the market cornered comic strip inspired specials, didn’t you?

This one is kind of odd but in a charming way. The story is just the titular Ziggy just being the genuinely nice and lovable (but not at all talkative) guy his always is – even as other less wholesome people try to trip him up for their own gain.

There really isn’t much to this show, but then again, there doesn’t need to be. It’s just a series of interconnected events that come together to make you feel really good at the end of the day. And that’s exactly what Ziggy would want.

The Agent’s Summer Enjoyment Assurance Kit

Here in New Hampshire, we recently had a stretch of rather sudden hot weather and are only now getting some much needed cooling rain. As such, it’s time to start planning for summer.

Now, I shared my preferred summer activities previously here at the archive. However, I failed to touch on how much fun could be had a la carte. We all get the urge for an impromptu adventure once and a while. As such, you need to have your necessary gear together for just such an occasion.

So, in this week’s topic, I’ll be sharing my summer survival kit for maximizing fun this season.

Item #1: Your Bank Account

Dolla dolla bills, ya’ll.
Source: Century Products LLC

It’s never a good idea to travel without cash on hand. You never know when you may travel farther than expected and need to fill your gas tank or get the urge to stop by that burger shack you’ve been thinking of checking out.

Most people keep a written record of their purchases and deposits, but it’s a good practice to get into to check your account balance – either online or at an ATM – before every trip just to be on the safe side.

Item #2 Utility Kilt (With Optional Sporran)

#ScottishnessIntensifies (yes, that is me)

It’s hot. Like, really hot. You don’t want to wear jeans and shorts are only a mild improvement.

As stated in my very first article, I’m a proponent of the Utility Kilt. They’re comfortable, functional, and stylish (I get tons of compliments on my style when I leave the house). They also allow breathability to the parts of the body most likely to be bound in multiple layers of clothing.

What’s more, most “Utilikilts” sport exterior pockets that hold more than the average pants pocket and are more comfortable; no more car keys jabbing you in the hip.

Still not enough storage space for you? You could get a satchel bag, but that’s a lot of uncomfortable pressure on your shoulder. Why not compliment your new kilt with a sporran (that leather pouch that hangs in the front of the kilt). They’re surprisingly inexpensive and look awesome.

Item #3 Baby Powder

Now when you say you’re going to the powder room, you can mean it.
Source: Electronic Products

Okay, let’s get into hygiene.

In happens every summer; you start sweating hard in the sun which causes your nethers to chafe under the combination of heat, moisture, and friction.

There’s a simple answer to the problem that your mom was using on you as a babe – baby powder.

Baby Powder (or, failing that, pure cornstarch) works by absorbing moisture. Dusting a healthy dose on your undercarriage helps to protect against groin chafing and the most dreaded of all summer time faux pas – Swamp Ass.

Item #4 The Multi-Tool

If it’s good enough for those pseudo-survivalist guys on T.V., it’s good enough for us, right?
Source: Tech On The Side

It’s the one thing that I will carry with me at all times year round, but gets the most use in the summer – my trusted, carefully maintained, well-honed, multi-tool.

You don’t really need a complicated, fancy multi-tool like the a Leatherman either. All you need are a few basic essentials to help you on your summer frolics.

Going camping? You’ve got a pen knife for cutting rope and preparing food. Invited to a party or a cook-out? You brought your own bottle opener. Rebuilding your favorite [insert prized possession here]? Most multi-tools have at least two screwdrivers and a set of pliers.

It’s the right tool for any job… or any joy for that matter.

Three Christmas Songs I will Never Get Tired Of

Last week, I gave you a short list of songs that manage to suck the Christmas joy out of me every time I hear them (and as we all know, sucking out joy is ‘Disney Evil’).

So in an attempt to lighten the mood, it’s only fair that I look at the other end of the spectrum.

These are songs that have stuck with me long enough that they’ve become a yearly tradition and I can’t call it Christmas until I’ve heard them at least once.

Snoopy’s Christmas (Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron) – The Royal Guardsmen

I actually know a number of people who don’t like or even hate the Peanuts comics and T.V. specials. But, for me, they were a formative part of my youth. They were the earliest cartoons I remember seeing.

Even ignoring the nostalgic comfort of the image of Snoopy boldly flying his dog house into battle, the story behind this song reflects what the holidays are all about in a microcosm; two people pitted against one another putting aside their affiliations to remember that they are both human (or canine as the case may be) and kin. And even though they know that they will likely meet again as enemies, they can forget their animosities for at least one day.

This song serves to remind me that we have the ability to seek out and obtain peace, effectively restoring my faith in humanity.

The Little Drummer Boy – Various Artists

This one would have to make the list regardless how I constructed it.

Sadly, in these more conservative times, I feel this song falls by the wayside due to its religious connotations and people fearing that they may offend someone. But if you look past that, you can see the true touching nature of this little carol.

The titular boy is practically destitute and has no gifts to offer; all he can do is play a small song on his drum. But that little kindness is still felt and cherished. During a time known as ‘The Season of Giving’, wouldn’t you want a song that reflects that spirit so well?

For my money, the best versions of The Little Drummer Boy focus mostly, if not exclusively, on the percussion for obvious reasons and get more powerful and booming near the end as the boy, “[plays his] best for him.” That said, I have yet to find a single one of the over thirty covers of this song I don’t like.

Wait, Justin Bieber covered it with Busta Rhymes?! NOOOOOO!!!

The 12 Days Of Christmas – Straight No Chaser

What would ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ be without a few good laughs?

Leave it to Straight No Chaser to take some of the most tired and overused Christmas anthems (plus one stray Chanukah song and a one-hit wonder from the 80’s) and breathe new life into them by creating a medley of hilarity.

The humor here is subtle. By combining so many staples of Christmas music, they satirize the way many of us feel during the holidays whenever those carols play – every song just fades into one another creating a big bland mess of sound.

Props to you, Straight No Chaser for saying what we’re all thinking in the most creative way possible.

Bonus: Santa Claus and His Old Lady – Cheech & Chong

It’s not music, but it just feels wrong to leave my most important and favorite Christmas audio tradition out of this list.

If you can’t laugh and slacker comedy pioneers Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, you have no soul and I can’t help you – close your browser window and just walk away.

This little recorded anecdote between the two most famous stoners in the history of comedy covers Cheech’s attempts to explain the story of Santa Claus to Chong because he, “[doesn’t] know too many local dudes.”

The humor comes from the fact that Cheech is attempting to explain the story in the only terms they can understand – putting it in the context of a sub-standard urban community like the one they live in. When you realize that, you also come to realize that every culture on earth has been doing the same thing for thousands of years.

Thanks for the Christmas cheer, you two. May your tree not be the only green you have this year.