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The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XXI

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Every Monday, mental_floss finds the first time The New York Times mentioned select topics. If you have a suggestion for our next episode, leave us a comment.

Books on Tape

February 20, 1977

cassette.jpgCatching Up With the Classics
Want to catch up on your reading while driving cross-country? Or dip into the classics while sunning with eyes closed on a secluded Caribbean beach? A California outfit called Books on Tape makes it happen.

Described as the "thinking man's answer to CB radio," Books on Tape was conceived in Los Angeles a few years back to aid long-haul commuters avoid "cerebral atrophy" occasioned by long traffic tie-ups on freeways.
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Clients are able to rent the cassettes at fees ranging from $6.50 to $7.50 for a complete work, based on a one-month rental period, plus $1.75 for postage and handling. If one had to buy the tapes, the purchase price would be somewhere around $50.

Keep reading for Tina Fey, Blog, Blogs, Andy Pettitte and Bobblehead Dolls...

Condoleeza Rice (one 'z')

June 1, 1990

Faces of the Summit: The Supporting Cast
rice.jpgCondoleeza Rice "“ Senior director for Soviet affairs on the National Security Council staff . . . A former associate professor of political science at Stanford University . . . At the age of 35, one of the youngest senior officials in the White House and one of the few women to hold a senior position there . . . Assigned to travel with Mr. Gorbachev to Minneapolis and San Francisco . . . Has a doctoral degree in international studies from the University of Denver . . . Worked on strategic nuclear policy at the Joint Chiefs of Stafffrom 1986-87.

Condoleezza Rice (correct spelling)

June 18, 1989

The Great Beyond
''NOW IT IS TIME TO MOVE beyond containment,'' President Bush told the Texas A & M graduating class on May 12, 1989, ''to a new policy for the 1990's - one that recognizes the full scope of change taking place around the world and in the Soviet Union itself.''

In subsequently defining his foreign policy, the President has quoted himself saying those words - ''I call it 'beyond containment' '' -evidence that he considers the phrase the one that he wants to be used in any labeling of his foreign policy. White House staffers tell me, in passionate anonymity, that (contrary to the claims from Foggy Bottom) the persons who put the idea on paper before the President are Robert Blackwill, the European and Soviet Affairs man at the National Security Council, and Condoleezza Rice, the resident Sovietologist.

Tina Fey

November 8, 1998

tinafey.jpgA Talk Show for an Indelicate Age
Saturday Night Live, which has been lampooning The View in a recurring skit since late last year, already counts the routine among its classics. "It's great material for us, because we really don't have to heighten the reality much to make it absurd," said Tina Fey, one of the writers who created the sketch. She knew The View was ripe for parody the moment she saw Ms. Vieira give Wesley Snipes a spontaneous lap dance on air.

Blog

April 16, 2001

'Blog' Technology to Be Licensed
Trellix, which lets clients like About.com provide site-building tools and Web server space to their users, plans to announce today that it has licensed from Pyra Labs technology that provides an easy and fast way to publish a personal site known as a Web log or "blog."

Blogs

February 25, 2002

Internet Experts Wonder if Weblog Technology Is a Powerful New Media Species, or Just Another Fad
awaymsg.jpgFor the last two years or so, so-called Weblogs have slowly built a following among Internet users who like to dash off a few random thoughts, post them on a Web site and read similar musings by others. In the last two months, the universe of Weblogs has grown more quickly, with mainstream media analysts praising ''blogs,'' as the sites are known, for bringing a new type of expression to the Internet, and perhaps undermining the hegemony of global media giants.

But is this a truly new media species, with the power to command the attention of big Internet media companies? Or is it simply that in this, the Internet's fallow period, anything even remotely buzzworthy is given more of a spotlight than it deserves. Is the Weblog, in other words, a fad that is destined to fade?
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But even among those whose Weblogs have gained notoriety, there are some who see this trend as ephemeral. Take Mark Hurst, who created a Weblog, goodexperience.com, in 1999 that he said attracted thousands of readers. Mr. Hurst, the president of Creative Good, a Net consulting firm in New York, eventually stopped posting daily remarks on the Web site and instead simply e-mailed a compendium of comments to a subscriber list that now numbers nearly 50,000 people.

"If you want to communicate with people, e-mail it to them," Mr. Hurst said. "Don't force them to come to your site every day to read what you've written."

[Image: chelseaperetti.blogspot.com]

Andy Pettitte

November 20, 1994

Transactions

pettitteposada.jpgNEW YORK YANKEES -- Designated Xavier Hernandez, pitcher, for assignment. Sent Billy Masse, outfielder, and Jose Musset, pitcher, outright to Columbus of the International League. Purchased the contracts of Andy Croghan, Andy Pettitte and Brien Taylor, pitchers; Jose Posada, catcher; and Ruben Rivera, Matt Luke and Lyle Mouton, outfielders, from Columbus.

Bobblehead Doll

September 29, 1993

Don Imus: It's a Hideous Life, and You Get to Hear All About It
bobblebeheaded.jpgIf he didn't invent shock jockery, he pioneered it, siring WXRK-FM's Howard Stern, among others. "People perceive me as Howard Stern," Mr. Imus, who reportedly earns $2.5 million a year, says off the air, seated in a reclining chair in his cluttered station office. "It's not the case. I'm Howard Stern with a vocabulary. I'm the man he wishes he could be."
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Mr. Imus's four interviews with Bill Clinton -- three before the election, one after, and two of them broadcast live on the "Today" show -- vaulted him out of the dirty-deejay hamper. Mr. Imus credits himself with reviving Mr. Clinton's New York primary campaign and thus assuring his election.

"The I-Man is now a fashioner of kings," Mr. McCord says on the air.

"You don't have to suck up to me," Mr. Imus says. "Everyone else does."

"My man Bubba," as Mr. Imus calls him, may keep a Don Imus bobble-head doll on his Oval Office desk (there are snapshots to prove it), but Mr. Imus has not refrained from calling the President "that pantload in the White House," or simply "Fatso."

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Our Archives

"¢ Volume I: Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, iPod
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"¢ Volume III: JFK, Microwave Oven, the Internet
"¢ Volume IV: Larry David, Drudge Report, Digital Camera
"¢ Volume V: Walkman, Osama bin Laden, Iowa Caucuses
"¢ Volume VI: Times Square, Marijuana, Googling
"¢ Volume VII: Lance Armstrong, Aerosmith, Gatorade
"¢ Volume VIII: Bob Dylan, New York Jets, War on Terror
"¢ Volume IX: Hedge Fund, White Collar Crime, John Updike
"¢ Volume X: E-mail, Bruce Springsteen, George Steinbrenner
"¢ Volume XI: RFK, the Olsen Twins, Digg
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"¢ Volume XVII: New York Edition
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"¢ Volume XIX: TV Edition
"¢ Volume XX: Wrestlemania, Phil Knight, My Two Dads
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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Food
Let Alexa Help You Brine a Turkey This Thanksgiving
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iStock

There’s a reason most of us only cook turkey once a year: The bird is notoriously easy to overcook. You could rely on gravy and cranberry sauce to salvage your dried-out turkey this Thanksgiving, or you could follow cooking advice from the experts.

Brining a turkey is the best way to guarantee it retains its moisture after hours in the oven. The process is also time-consuming, so do yourself a favor this year and let Alexa be your sous chef.

“Morton Brine Time” is a new skill from the cloud-based home assistant. If you own an Amazon Echo you can download it for free by going online or by asking Alexa to enable it. Once it’s set up, start asking Alexa for brining tips and step-by-step recipes customized to the size of your turkey. Two recipes were developed by Richard Blais, the celebrity chef and restaurateur best known for his Top Chef win and Food Network appearances.

Whether you go for a wet brine (soaking your turkey in water, salt, sugar, and spices) or a dry one (just salt and spices), the process isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. And the knowledge that your bird will come out succulent and juicy will definitely take some stress out of the holiday.

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Big Questions
Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving?
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Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Because it's tradition! But how did this tradition begin?

Every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record has been. It all goes back to when the Lions were still a fairly young franchise. The team started in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Spartans. Portsmouth, while surely a lovely town, wasn't quite big enough to support a pro team in the young NFL. Detroit radio station owner George A. Richards bought the Spartans and moved the team to Detroit in 1934.

Although Richards's new squad was a solid team, they were playing second fiddle in Detroit to the Hank Greenberg-led Tigers, who had gone 101-53 to win the 1934 American League Pennant. In the early weeks of the 1934 season, the biggest crowd the Lions could draw for a game was a relatively paltry 15,000. Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, Richards hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. Since Richards's WJR was one of the bigger radio stations in the country, he had considerable clout with his network and convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations nationwide.

The move worked brilliantly. The undefeated Chicago Bears rolled into town as defending NFL champions, and since the Lions had only one loss, the winner of the first Thanksgiving game would take the NFL's Western Division. The Lions not only sold out their 26,000-seat stadium, they also had to turn fans away at the gate. Even though the juggernaut Bears won that game, the tradition took hold, and the Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving ever since.

This year, the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings.

HOW 'BOUT THEM COWBOYS?


Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Cowboys, too, jumped on the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving as an extra little bump for their popularity. When the chance to take the field on Thanksgiving arose in 1966, it might not have been a huge benefit for the Cowboys. Sure, the Lions had filled their stadium for their Thanksgiving games, but that was no assurance that Texans would warm to holiday football so quickly.

Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm, though, was something of a marketing genius; among his other achievements was the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Schramm saw the Thanksgiving Day game as a great way to get the team some national publicity even as it struggled under young head coach Tom Landry. Schramm signed the Cowboys up for the game even though the NFL was worried that the fans might just not show up—the league guaranteed the team a certain gate revenue in case nobody bought tickets. But the fans showed up in droves, and the team broke its attendance record as 80,259 crammed into the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 that day, and a second Thanksgiving pigskin tradition caught hold. Since 1966, the Cowboys have missed having Thanksgiving games only twice.

Dallas will take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.

WHAT'S WITH THE NIGHT GAME?


Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In 2006, because 6-plus hours of holiday football was not sufficient, the NFL added a third game to the Thanksgiving lineup. This game is not assigned to a specific franchise—this year, the Washington Redskins will welcome the New York Giants.

Re-running this 2008 article a few days before the games is our Thanksgiving tradition.

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