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10 Unusual Global Christmas Traditions

Snow falls from the sky, shops sell their Christmas wares, and the sweet fragrance of gingerbread houses fill the air—’tis the season! In the United States, there are plenty of Christmas traditions around to keep everyone happy. Gift giving, holiday meals and ornament-covered trees are in abundance everywhere. While the modern version of Santa and his hardy reindeer might be entirely American now, the way we observe the festive season has been influenced by cultural traditions from all over the world. Some of these customs might seem familiar to you, depending on your family’s heritage, while others will appear downright strange. Here are just a few of the more unusual Christmas traditions practiced across the globe.

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12 Food Rumors That Are Surprisingly True

Leave the gun, take the cannoli — and the olive oil. The Mafia is rumored to control much of the Italian olive oil market. The Toronto Star reported that Mafia-controlled oil companies either dilute the product or create fake oil with cheaper vegetable oils and dye to sell to unsuspecting cooks. Joe Profaci, a gangster who partly inspired The Godfather's Don Corleone, was dubbed "The Olive Oil King" for his involvement in a massive (and allegedly tainted) olive oil export business.

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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Bond

When young Ian Fleming was working in British Naval intelligence during World War II, he once told a friend he planned to write “The Mother of all Spy Stories.” I, for one, think he succeeded. The James bond series of films is likely the longest running and successful series in cinema history, and why not? James Bond is the kind of guy who every guy wants to be. Suave, smart, cool under pressure and utterly unshakable. While just about everybody has seen a James Bond film, or read a James Bond book, there’s still plenty of interesting anecdotes that can pass by even the hardcore fans.

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The 10 Highest-Paid DJs In The World

Forbes' latest list ranks the world's highest-paid DJs over the past year. With the increasing popularity and resurgenceof electronic dance music, better known as EDM, DJ paydays have also seen a record high. The top ten "Electronic Cash Kings," as Forbes calls them, earned anywhere from $7 million to $22 million in the past year alone. As Forbes points out: One need only look at the recent activities of the genre’s most prominent practitioners: Last year, Skrillex was one of the main attractions at Coachella; last month, Deadmau5 ended up on the cover of Rolling Stone; last week, Kaskade became the first electronic act to sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The proof is in the hundred-dollar ticket prices, EDM is officially mainstream. And the top earners who hide behind computers with headphones on, all of whom are male, are reaping the benefits.

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Top 10 Worst Types Of Video Game Achievements

If you’ve played a video game lately, you’re probably familiar with achievements. For those of you with social lives, achievements are little objectives in games that, when completed, reward you with points. You can then show off how many points you have to all your friends, because why play video games if you can’t brag about how awesome you are at them? Unfortunately, not every achievement feels like one—the 10 kinds below are less-than-satisfying to unlock.

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Top 5 Hanukkah Treats

Like many Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is all about the food. Celebrating the story surrounding the rededication of the Second Temple (circa 2 BC), where a day’s worth of oil lasted 8 days; long enough for more oil to be made for use in the temple’s menorah. Jews of course have traditionally used this as an excuse to eat as much deep fried food over an eight day period as possible. Here are some of my Hanukkah favourite treats!

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10 of the Most Unspeakably Filthy Basslines in History

As of this week, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is 50, a fact that makes us feel a little older and a little grayer ourselves. But we also noticed that Mr. Balzary just about shares a birthday with… Ginuwine! Remember him? “Pony”? That video in the hillbilly club? That utterly filthy bassline? The cosmic coincidence got us thinking about some of the other naughty, naughty basslines from throughout the history of music — of all instruments, bass has the power to get the hips shaking, both on the dance floor and, y’know, elsewhere. We’ve selected some of our favorites, so let us know your suggestions, too. Just don’t do anything unspeakable in the comments section.

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11 Odd Jobs with High Salaries

Think back to the last time you were at a party or a social event, and you had to make small talk with new acquaintances. Inevitably the question of “So what do you do?” is asked, and everyone recites their professions. While the regulars seem to always come up – doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc. – every once in a while someone comes out with a doozy that could leave you scratching your head or picking your jaw up off the floor. Did you know Horse Exerciser is a job? Or that you can make a living as a Bingo Manager? And even if you have heard of these jobs, chances are you’ll be surprised at much they make. So we dug through more than 4,000 of our job titles and picked out some under-the-radar jobs with surprisingly high annual salaries of $50,000 or more.

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The Top 5 Animal Commercials of 2012

We're not really car people, but if there's anything that could turn us, it's this commercial. We're completely in love with the simplicity of the concept: a dog's unconditional loyalty. No fancy voiceover or complicated plot line necessary. Just a chocolate Lab and a very attractive former member of the Mickey Mouse Club. (Yes, really.) Also, major props to whoever scored the commercial — the soft piano music (which, by the way, is "The Letting Go" by Mount Moriah) is perfect. The combination of beautiful music and beautiful story is what makes this our absolute favorite pet-starring commercial of 2012.

read: The Top 5 Animal Commercials of 2012