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Wedding Registries That Don't Include Gravy Boats

Wedding season is in full swing, so chances are you'll be scouring a registry or two in search of the perfect gift over the course of the next few months. While most couples register for the fairly mundane "starting a home together" items like linens, dishes, and flatware, these certainly aren't the only options available for brides and grooms. Many couples who have been living on their own for a while are pretty well stocked for housewares by the time the big day rolls around, so instead of hitting Bed Bath & Beyond with a scanning gun, they take a more offbeat approach to their gift requests. Here are a few options you might not have seen before:

Charitable Donations

Perhaps the most extreme version of "Please, don't give me another spatula!" involves eschewing gifts altogether in favor of charitable donations. After all, if people are already prepared to open their wallets and fork out some dough in honor of your nuptials, why not put the cash where it can do some good? A number of groups, like the I Do Foundation and JustGive.org, allow couples to register for easy charitable donations through their websites. Wedding guests just have to provide their credit card number and the amount of their donation. Best of all for the givers, the donations are tax deductible; let's see a china place setting that can do that.

If you need to bag some merchandise from your wedding but still want to be charitable, there's a solution for that, too. A number of stores will take a percentage from each purchase made off of your registry and donate it to the charity of your choice.

Your House

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There's no sense in registering for a bunch of stuff to fill your house when you can't afford a place to live. Since a wedding can cost as much as the down payment on nice new digs, why not just register for the house itself? Lots of couples are doing just that; they request donations to a house-down-payment fund in lieu of more traditional gifts. Sites like mydreamhomeregistry.com ("Because You Don't Need Another Blender!") allow friends and family to give gifts of money earmarked for a house down payment. When the couple finds a house they want to buy, the site transfers the cash from a savings account over to the home purchase.

What if you've already got a house you'd like to spruce up? The registries have thought of that, too. The same site lets people register for renovations and remodeling; couples can put up a plan of what they want to change in the house, then receive gifts to help cover the costs of paint, carpentry, etc.

Your Honeymoon

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This option's been around for a few years now, but it still seems like a terrific idea. After you've sunk all of your funds into a blowout wedding, it can be tough to scrape together enough cash to take a nice honeymoon. Luckily, the registry industry thought of this potential snag and now allows for well-wishers to contribute to part of couples' honeymoons. Want to go snorkeling on your getaway? Terrific, your great aunt can foot the bill if she wants. There are dozens of websites devoted to honeymoon registries, so if you've got a hankering to do something special on your first trip as a married couple, you can probably find a way to get it financed. [Wedding cake topper image courtesy of Flickr user pauline@weddingtreasures.]

What about you, dear readers? What offbeat wedding gifts did you receive (or give)?

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Food
Are Restaurants Undercooking Your Steak on Purpose?
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Many steak lovers have had the dissatisfying experience of sitting down at a steakhouse, ordering their cut prepared their favorite way, and slicing into their meat only to find it's a shade redder than it's supposed to be. Some undercooked cuts can be chalked up to a mistake on the kitchen's part, but according to the New York Post, some cooks know exactly what they're doing when they take your steak off the grill too early.

Based on anecdotal observations from the Post, high-end steakhouses around New York City are serving steaks that were ordered medium-rare (130°F to 135°F) at a rare temperature (120°F to 125°F) so often that it's become a trend. At first this seems like an issue restaurants would want to avoid: A meal that's not prepared to the customer's liking has a higher chance of being sent back, costing chefs precious time. But the extra minute or two they spend firing a rare steak to medium-rare may pay off in the long run. An undercooked steak can be salvaged, unlike an overcooked steak, which needs to be thrown out and replaced with a whole new cut of beef if the diner is unhappy with it.

At a pricey steakhouse where steaks range from $50 to $150, tossing out premium, dry-aged cuts every night can do some real damage to a restaurant's bottom line. Undercooking steaks on purpose may be inconvenient for both the diners and the cooks, but it can act as a kind of insurance against picky guests.

So what does that mean for carnivores who want to enjoy their steak the way they want it as soon as it hits the table? Do as meat industry insiders do when they're eating out and try gaming the system. If you want your steak cooked medium-rare, the temperature most experts agree maximizes flavor and moisture, ask for medium-rare-plus instead. That way the cook will know to cook it a little longer than they normally would, which will hopefully produce a steak that's pink and juicy rather than blue and bloody.

[h/t New York Post]

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Design
Graphic Design Series Shows Which Fonts Your Favorite Logos Use

Unless you’re a dedicated design geek, you probably can’t recognize the fonts used in the logos of some of the most recognizable companies in the world—even if you see them every day. Enter graphic designer Emanuele Abrate, whose latest project, Logofonts, illuminates the favorite fonts of the brands you see every day.

As we spotted on Adweek, Logofonts takes a logo—like, for instance, Spotify’s—and replaces the company’s name with the font in which it's written. Some fonts, like Spotify’s Gotham, might be familiar, while others you may never have heard of. Nike’s and Red Bull’s Futura is so commonplace in signage in logos that it’s the subject of an entire book called Never Use Futura. (Other companies that use it include Absolut Vodka and Domino’s Pizza, and many more.) But you most likely aren’t familiar with Twitter’s Pico or Netflix’s Bebas Neue.

Abrate is a managing partner at grafigata, an Italian blog and online academy focused on graphic design. In his work as a freelance designer, he focuses on logo design and brand identities, so it wasn’t hard for him to track down exactly which fonts each brand uses.

“When I see a logo, I wonder how it was conceived, how it was designed, what kind of character was used and why,” Abrate tells Mental Floss. The Logofonts project came from “trying to understand which fonts they use or which fonts have been modified (or redesigned) to get to the final result.”

The Nike logo reads 'Futura.'

The Twitter logo reads 'Pico.'

The Red Bull Logo reads 'Futura BQ.'

The Netflix logo reads 'Bebas Neue.'

You can check out the rest of the Logofonts project and Abrate’s other work on his Behance or Facebook pages, and on his Instagram.

[h/t Adweek]

All images courtesy Emanuele Abrate

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