Friday Five for December 10th, 2010

Welcome to the Friday Five for yet another week! As the holidays creep closer your motivation is waning – I can feel it through my monitor. You’re either knee-deep in departmental lunches and year end meetings, or sitting at your desk plotting your yuletide holiday snowboarding getaway.

If you’re done counting the hours that stand between you and your precious weekend, why not take a gander through this week’s list to fritter away a little more time? I promise you’ll enjoy.

1) Let’s kick things off with a grab bag! The New York Times does Hollywood – 14 Actors Acting is the most bizarrely compelling way to spend 15 minutes I’ve seen in a while. If a client is ordering t-shirts, here’s a great tutorial on prepping your files for a screen printer from Smashing Magazine. Freelance Switch talks about the percolator as part of their Freelancer’s Guide to Coffee (must read for all you coffee amateurs). Lastly, these Living Christmas Cards from Sweden are really neat.

2) Awkward dinner table conversation! Everyone’s favourite part of the holidays. Instead of talking about politics, which is guaranteed to end poorly, why not bust out this list of common misconceptions from Wikipedia? Or a brief history of advent calendars, or 25 facts about your favourite Christmas movies from Mental Floss?

3) New goodies from Google! Wired takes a look at Google’s Netbook, Google is testing a location-based marketing platform in Portland, and they’ve released Zeitgeist 2010, their breakdown of how and what people searched this year.

4) Year End Retrospectives, Week One. This is my favourite part of year-end – retrospectives of the best and worst of the past 12 months. Getting things kicked off are Lifehacker’s Top 10 How-Tos of 2010, Time’s 50 Best Inventions of 2010, and NPR’s Best Books of 2010 (Christmas gift ideas ahoy!).

5) Get your vote on! Even if you skipped out on your last local election, don’t worry – you can still cast your vote in The Mashable Awards. Also, investigating every nominee in every category is a great way to spend some time.

I hope you got something special or learned something new out of this week’s roundup. I’ll be back at the same time next week to share some more distracting delights. Have a marvellous weekend and keep warm!