In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Celiac.com 12/04/2009 - Yes, 'tis the holiday season again, and back online for 2009 are the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease:
Once again, three live webcams and X10 technology allows web surfers to not only view the action, but also *control* 20,000+ lights. Heck, you can even inflate/deflate the giant 12' Santa, Elmo, Frosty Family,
fifteen foot ballloon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH!
The website is totally free (and totally fun) and is one of my zany ways of raising awareness & soliciting donations for Celiac Disease:
my two sons have this condition, so it's personal for me.
If folks are so inclined, you can make an optional donation directly to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. Over $40,000 has been raised with ... holiday lights - go figure!
While people around the world (152 countries last year) enjoy seeing the lights ON, environmentalists will be happy to know that they can turn the lights OFF with a click of the mouse. Better yet, this is the 6th year I'm using Wind Power and even though that is "clean" energy, I even did a Carbon Offset contribution for the 0.6 Tons of CO2 for the ~MegaWatt-Hour of power consumed - that's about the same as *one* cross-country airline trip. Finally, by providing viewing via webcam, you don't need to burn fossil fuels by driving around to see Christmas lights; Al Gore would be proud!
But HEY, the couple bucks a day in electrical costs are well worth the joy it brings to people (especially the kids) when they see the display in person and/or on the web. There's even a Hi-Def option, so gather your family around the large screen and open up some Eggnog as the chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.
So surf on by, tell your friends, blog about it, spread the word, etc. Merry Christmas and HO-HO-HO!
P.S. One notable event in 2008 was winning the nationwide Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas Lights contest which had a first prize of $1,000 (donated to Celiac Disease Research) plus free KFC (extra crispy buckets - BURP!) for a year - as Fox News put it: "Clark Griswold move over - a Lafayette family can now officially lay claim to the best Christmas Lights Display in the entire country" (my wife would say most tackiest.