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The Late Movies: Dogs Welcoming Home Soldiers

I can't begin to imagine how hard it would be to leave my family for months at a time, especially if my destination were Iraq or Afghanistan. And I don't know how I could deal with my wife being deployed overseas. These reunion videos—for me, at least—shed a tiny beam of light on how emotionally draining being a military family can be. They'll also make you want a dog. To commemorate Veterans Day, here are some overjoyed dogs greeting returning soldiers.

In our first clip, Gracie welcomes her dad, who has returned from Afghanistan.

I'm not sure I've ever heard anything make a sound quite like this. How great are dogs?

We've posted this incredible clip before—dogs greeting a soldier after 14 months in Iraq. Worth watching again.

Basset hound Reggie welcomes his best friend home from Afghanistan.

Rocky gives his favorite soldier the welcome home he deserves.

From the YouTube description: "Soldier daddy comes home after a month of training, and the pups go ballistic!"

This boxer was cautious at first, but that caution was quickly replaced by excessive jubilation.

Dachshunds Franklin and Sally give a vocal welcome to their dad, a U.S. Navy man returning from an eight-month deployment to Kuwait. (According to the YouTube description, Franklin and Sally are both rescue dogs. If this video has put you in a dachshund-adopting mood, contact Southern States Dachshund Rescue at ssdr.org or Dachshund Rescue of North America at drna.org.)

This soldier is attacked (and nearly hurdled) by his pups.
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On this Veterans Day eve, here's hoping all our men and women serving overseas get to come home soon. And when they do, I hope they all get equally enthusiastic greetings—from dogs and cats, sons and daughters, significant others, parents, neighbors, friends, and grateful strangers.

Thank you for your service. Get home safe. Your puppies need you.

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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Design
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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