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7 Extremely Focused Art Sites

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They say when you find something that works, you should stick with it. You may find that others want to participate too, even if your site is all about one very specific subject.

Big Beautiful Wonder Woman

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Cartoonist Jamar Nicholas started The Big Beautiful Wonder Woman Blog to share his collection of drawings featuring the zaftig superhero. He invites artists to share their own vision of queen-sized Wonder Woman, whether that vision is curvaceously cute (like the drawing by Chrissie Altese on the left) or covered in cellulite (as in the drawing on the right by Derrick Fish).

Ice Cream People

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Brian Butler is conducting A Survey of Ice Cream Entities, and wants your photgraphic or artistic evidence of Ice Cream People.

The intent of this project to get the Ice Cream Person recognized among the greatest of supernatural beings, (right up there with Bigfoot, Lochness, and UFOs).

According to the FAQ, an Ice Cream Person is "a hybrid creature composed of both human and ice cream parts." The hybrid on the left is by Sir Mitchell and the plush on the right was created by Jenny Harada.

Skull a Day

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Noah Scalin makes skulls. He created Skull-A-Day to showcase his artwork, and posted one every day, as you could guess from the title. The skulls are made from some surprising materials, such as his Googley-Eyed Skull and Sewn Skull.

The reality of making so much art is eventually I burned through all of the materials/ideas at hand and had to reach out to others for help, and really that's been some of my favorite work. I was also completely surprised by the community that grew up around the project and the fact that the Braincase (the submissions section), which I had never intended to be a part of what I was doing, turned into such a large part of the project.

Scalin still produces a skull for every day, but posts submitted skulls in addition. A recent contest invited people to illustrate Mr/Mrs Squarehead Skull.

700 Hoboes

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The 700 Hoboes Project was inspired by the book Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman, in which the author names 700 hoboes (800 in the paperback edition). Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing suggested that artists illustrate each name, and that's exactly what happened. The submissions initially came into a Flickr set, and then a website was created for the project. There are now 1769 illustrations of hoboes. Honest Amelia Dirt by Ape Lad (Adam Koford) is on the left, and Slow Motion Jones by xandrian is on the right.

Mickey Feio

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Mickey Feio (Ugly Mickey) is a Brazilian site with depictions of Mickey Mouse that would make Walt Disney turn in his grave. It began as a showcase for the International Ugly Mickey Contest, but after contest was over, the Mickeys kept coming! The mouse on the left is by artist Danilo Beyruth, the emo Mickey on the right is by Monike Demikoski.

Che Feio

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Ernesto Che Guevara was a very handsome revolutionary in life and an icon in death, but that icon is fodder for parody. Che Feio (Ugly Che) as another Brazilian blog that takes submissions of Che art using massive amounts of artistic license. In Portuguese. The works here are by Estenio Arantes (left) and Bruno Pagani (right).

Bad Spock Drawings

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The idea behind Bad Spock Drawings is stated in the first post by creator Jason Robert Bell, also known as Caveman Robot.

A few weeks ago I was doing my daily hour of "mindless doodling" and this Bad Spock was created, something about it made me laugh, and I realized that there needs to be more Bad Spock drawings! Not just drawings by me, but all the other artist/ free thinkers I know as well, a giant step for illogical thought.

The picture that inspired him is on the left. Many have contributed, including Kyle Thye, who did the confused Spock on the right.

Do you know of more sites that would fit this description?

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Food
Let Alexa Help You Brine a Turkey This Thanksgiving
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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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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?


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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?


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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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