Tips for a Carefree Holiday

The festive juletide! No wait. Let me rephrase that.

So, Christmas. Again. Sitting in a train through the barren, frozen wilderness that is Finland (for thirteen hours, I might add), you usually get good insight on how you'd like to spend your eternally long Christmas holiday from the toils of work and university. Let's take a look at six BTSB tips for a perfect, worry-free holiday season:

1. Embark on a quest to find the Amulet of Yendor from the Dungeons of Doom Go to and spend hours after hours learning an obscure game originating from the dark eighties and presented completely in ASCII format. No other game let's you get raped by a huge variety of nymphs (and succubi and incubi!), die from falling off a saddle (or elementary chemistry after dipping a Potion of Acid into a fountain), rob gold vaults by telling the guard that you're Croesus, play a pacifist, atheist, vegan monk and wield the mighty Excalibur to eradicate lichen, Quantum Mechanics and Keystone Kops! Just remember never to strike a Floating Eye and beware of pesky 'R' symbols.

2. Challenge Jones After claiming the Amulet of Yendor (hah, like you could make it back alive!) take your browser to warp speed and head to, where the Sierra classic “Jones in the Fast Lane” is brought to life in all its glory. Sheesh, take three friends with you and see who can beat the game of life by working at the Hi-Tech University or at the counter of Monolith Burger – I promise, much more fun than in real life.

3. Read a classic My book recommendation for the long, dark holiday of the soul is Melmoth the Wanderer, C. R. Maturin's 1820 magnum opus, often considered the last work of high Gothic fiction. Multiple layered, complex in narrative, including diabolical romance and several guys named Melmoth, this is the brick that'll last a life-ti-- through your vacation! Haven't had the guts to start it yet myself though...

For those who thirst for something lighter, check out the adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber. For something even more classic, how about the Assyrian epic Gilgamesh? I've enjoyed both!

4. Sign an address While digesting ham and gingerbread cookies, check out and sign the address to secure the future of humanities in the University of Helsinki. It might be your only shot to keep BTSB coming (just kidding, but still, important stuff)!

5. Give an Opinion Agree or not, they're yours to take and 100% BTSB guaranteed to arouse lively discussion at Christmas dinner: -there's no good reason not to cut down the consumption of goods and resources -Judas Priest is the best band in existence (even if they're on their farewell tour soon) -everyone can afford to help those who really need help, e.g., children in third world countries, political prisoners, endangered animals -lattes are great -there is no good excuse to be in any kind of positive contact with a totalitarian state like Belarus (shame on the Finnish hockey-players playing for Dynamo Minsk)

6. Just Chillax! Decapitate a bottle of beverage, sit back and, with the help of the nifty portmanteau word, enjoy the ticking of the clock, the falling snow and maybe eye the best episode of your favorite TV show. This year, I recommend the Big Bang Theory and Gilmore Girls. Life would be better with a little more chillaxing, don't you agree?

Thank you for your attention and merry Christmas, dear readers. I hope that next year will rock your woolly gift-socks off.

Esko Suoranta, in a train, somewhere on the dark stretch between Helsinki and Kemijärvi

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