Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? I'm ... not really quite sure what the lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" mean, but this final batch of recommendations – featuring stamps, socks and streaming options – from OnMilwaukee should surely be brought to mind. Enjoy, and we'll see you in 2014.
Heat Holders thermal socks – It didn’t take much persuasion for me to accept the thermal socks that Heat Holders asked me to review. Cold toes in the winter are the worst, and I was intrigued by the product’s claim of being "the ultimate thermal sock."
Indeed, these thick socks are very warm and comfortable. According to the company, they offer a "Thermal Overall Grade" of 2.34, which is seven times warmer than cotton socks and three times warmer than ordinary thermal socks.
Oddly, though, I didn’t feel the heat all that noticeably when wearing them around the house. They really shined, however, under boots when walking around in frigid temperatures outside. Even with a below zero windchill, my feet felt fine. And in bed, my feet were sweltering, and I had to take them off. Now, because these socks are so thick, they’re not especially fashionable and work best when you can’t really see them. But in the dead of winter, who’s really thinking about stocking style, anyway? You can find Heat Holders for about $10 at TJ Maxx, or $16 online. – Andy Tarnoff
"AHistory of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps," by Chris West (Picador Books) – I'm not really a stamp collector or aficionado, but this book caught my eye when I saw it in a display. West uses three-dozen U.K. postage stamps as starting points for discussions of different chapters in modern British history, from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana, from Disraeli to Thatcher.
Though stamp fiends will enjoy his discussions about the stamps themselves and the trends in postage they represent, he doesn't really dwell on them that heavily, so if you're not into stamps you don't have to worry about a book bogged down in philatelist banter. No, the stamps really just offer a jumping off point for West's lively prose and Britain's unique modern history. – Bobby Tanzilo
Last-minute Netflix Streaming options – Normally, I recommend one particular Netflix Instant option that you may have missed back when it came out in theaters. However, since it's the end of the year, Netflix is losing a hefty collection of streaming options, many of them great films that you should definitely see (if you haven't already ... and even if you have, they're worth seeing again).
Thanks to Gilbert Cruz and our friends over at Vulture, we have a pretty comprehensive list of the movies that Netflix Instant will lose starting January 1st. The whole list is available right here. Some of them aren't exactly required watching ("Street Fighter" starring Jean-Claude Van Damme or the horror-comedy "Seed of Chucky"). Others, however, definitely deserve a viewing before they're gone in an Instant.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Titanic," "Braveheart," "Requiem for a Dream," "Platoon," "Brick," the original "True Grit" and "Jarhead" are all on their way out come next week Wednesday, and they're all on various levels of great. If you only have time to watch one last-chance Netflix option, however, I'd make it "Miller's Crossing." The Coen Brothers' 1990 crime drama, starring Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and Albert Finney, is arguably the duo's best film in a resume filled with greats. There are far worse ways to ring in the new year. – Matt Mueller