Celiac.com 12/06/2005 - Alek Komarnitsky from Lafayette, CO (USA) has had thousands of Christmas lights on his house for the enjoyment of friends and neighbors since 2000. In 2002, he added a webcam and webcontrol, so people on the Internet could not only view his lights, but turn them on & off and see the results on their computer screen via the Christmas webcam. It got increasingly popular each year, and in 2004, a media frenzy erupted over it and the story went around the world on the Internet, in print, on radio, and on TV - one of the more entertaining segments was when Denver ABC-7 took him up in their helicopter for a live report on the 6:00 News of the blinking lights.fun little Christmas hoax. The lights were real, but a sequence of still images were used to provide the illusion that people were changing them. Aleks wife was changing the lights when the chopper was overhead, but the rest of the time they never changed!
Concerned that his prank had gotten out of hand, Alek approached the Wall Street Journal to fess up and High Tech Holiday Light Display Draws Everyone But the Skeptics revealed the hoax after Christmas. Needless to say, the media howled over this change of events, and another round of international publicity ensued as people around the world got a good post-holiday chuckle.
For 2005, Alek suggests a headline of High Tech Holiday Display Says Bring on the Skeptics! With improved technology available, he has three (real) ChristmasCams (three more than last year!) providing real-time views of his 26,000 Christmas Lights. And using X10 power line control technology, people on the Internet really can them on and off this year. He adds Ill be sure to have it operational on Christmas Eve so web surfers can look for Santa, but realistically, I doubt well get a picture of Rudolph landing on my roof .... but HEY, you never know!
- Dirk and Kyle
While www.komar.org has always been free to Internet surfers around the world, Alek encourages those people who enjoy the Christmas lights show to consider making a direct contribution to the CFCR. Aleks two sons have celiac disease, so this cause is important to him. Individuals and companies that donate are listed on the high traffic web site for Christmas lights fans around the world to see.
And in keeping with Aleks whimsical nature, he has donated the Christmas Lights Webcam that Fooled the World to the CFCR. There actually was a webcam last year, since as the media showed up at his house in droves, he figured he should put something up in the tree across the street to make it look like there was one. So he a cobbled together a contraption of a Christmas slide projector ($10), a half a roll of duct tape ($2), and ended up fooling the world - PRICELESS!
The CFCR plans to have an eBay auction in December of this well constructed piece of history - again, 100% of proceeds for Celiac Research. So for those that missed out on the $28,000 Virgin Mary French Toast, get ready for the eBay auction of the The Christmas Lights Webcam that Fooled the World.
Make a donation at the University of Marylands Center for Celiac Disease Research
And be sure to say For Christmas Lights when make your donation.