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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Happy Holidays from Bad Astronomy

By Phil Plait
Klingons are always waging a war on Christmas. Credit: Phil Plait

Well now, today is Christmas.

I've noticed over the years that Internet traffic in general drops precipitously on this day, so as a scientist I can assure you that the odds you're reading this right now are very low. Which is no excuse for dialing in some lazy attempt at a short, droll, photo-laden least-effort article. Who would abuse the holiday season in such a way?

But just in case you are reading this, please let me wish you a happy holiday. It's no stretch to say that this year has been very trying for a lot of folks, so it is my honest hope that at least for today you can have a momentary respite, breathe deeply, and let your brain ease down a bit.

And if you can't: Hey, that's OK too. Not everyone has the luxury of relaxing today. Do what you must, and give yourself permission for it.

As for us, 2017 has been an odd one at Maison du BA. We added a lot of newcomers to our house, and it's impossible not to do the calculation (if you're a nerd) and find that the average number of legs per mammal is going up. With that in mind, I'm not the only one who hopes this holiday treats you well. Natasha does, too:

Natasha the horse was very patient with us at sunset feeding time while we snapped this. Credit: Phil Plait

To be honest, we were hoping to get our newest family member, Tiny Elvis, to wear the hat, but he was having none of it. Too bad; the joke captions for such a picture were so easy. For example: Tiny Elfis.

OK, maybe his skittishness in hat-wearing was for the best. But he says hi, too:

Your host and the littlest equine, Tiny Elvis. Credit: Phil Plait

That hat on Tasha wasn't our first attempt at coercing our animals into holiday cosplay. Clayton Forrester did not dig this very much, but he was so darn cute:

Dr. Clayton Forrester, when not battling Martians or TV's Frank, makes an adorable elf. Credit: Phil Plait

I know, right? There's video, too.

Also, earlier in the year I moved to my new blog home, and so this is my first Christmas with SYFY. I'm really glad to be here. Honestly, how many websites would not only let me post a picture like this, but actively encourage it?

Klingons are always waging a war on Christmas. Credit: Phil Plait

It was only after I took that shot that I realized the ornament could stand in for the Fesarius. My Trek geekery runs deep.

Let me add one more thing. I wasn’t raised celebrating Christmas, and I only really started getting into it after I got married. What I found is that, stripping the holiday of all its festoons and tinsel and advertising, one of the best things about it is it reminds us to be better, and to care for our fellow humans.

If you have a moment and the means to do so, give it a shot. Support an artist. Give someone a book. Tell someone you like what they do. Get active politically to make something better. Volunteer. Take it from this weary agnostic but fundamentally optimistic progressive: It'll make your heart grow three sizes.

It's also a good way to end the year. Next year, I promise, I’ll be showing you more of the Universe. But in 2018, let's all make it a better world.