Forget peace on earth, good will to men and all that crap. Christmas, above all else, is about one thing: draping your house and shrubbery in excessive amounts of very, very small light bulbs to the envy and/or embarrassment of your neighbors.
Two Coloradans have taken the pursuit to a whole new level of, well, something. Some would call it creativity; others would call it insanity. Here’s the breakdown.
: Alek KomarnitskyNickname
: The guy with the giant inflatable Hulk dollLocation
:www.komar.org/cgi-bin/christmas_webcamNumber of lights
: 17,000Best gimmick
: Visitors can remotely control the lights and lawn ornaments through the website from 5 to 10 p.m. each night. (Komarnitsky made national news in 2004 when he announced this accomplishment in 2004. It was anelaborate hoax
, though; he didn’t actually make it work until a year later).Proof he has way too much time on his hands
: Not only does Komarnitsky describe the operation’s circuit layout on his website, he’s also calculated how much CO2 emissions the lights generate (0.61 tons, the same amount emitted by a cross-country airlines trip) and made a contribution to Carbonfund.org to help offset the impact.Why his neighbors are likely to be institutionalized
: Hundreds of people all over the world attempting to turn on and off his lights at the same time produces a maddening Dadaist display with no appealing pattern whatsoever.Best part
: Komarnitsky solicits donations through the website for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, since his children have Celiac Disease. His efforts have raised more than $20,000 for the center.Biggest complaint
: Komarnitsky’s thoroughly over-stimulating website likely causes seizures in young children.Name
: Mike MedhurstNickname
: The Greeley Grizwalds (sic)Location
:http://home.comcast.net/~thegreeleygrizwalds/ Number of lights
: 70,000Best gimmick
: Medhurst has coordinated amazinglight shows
to the tunes of “Boughs of Holly,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra song “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.”Proof he has way too much time on his hands
: To make the synchronized light shows, Medhurst had to program the operation’s 128 computer-controlled light channels for each half-second of music. No wonder each song took him 20 hours.Why his neighbors are likely to be institutionalized
: Watching a light show to “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” is badass. Watching that same light show for the 60th time is less so.Best part
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: 70,000 lights. Nuff said.Biggest complaint
: What, no light show to “Christmas In Hollis”?
So which one is better? Or, more importantly, which designer is more insane? Feel free to weigh in – and add submissions of your own. – Joel Warner