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Weekend Links: Halloween Themed!

Let's set this up right with a little bit of Halloween by the numbers. Do you fall into these stats? (Decorating the yard, carving the pumpkin, etc!) Or are you on the non-festive side? (i.e. my parents turning off all of the lights and pretending they aren't home every year!)
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History lesson: So how exactly did trick or treating and other Halloween and holiday traditions come about?
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I have this typed out as just "the best pumpkins EVER." I think that sums it up pretty well!
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From my friend Paul, a link to the greatest pumpkin idea of all time (co-sponsored by the Annals of Too Much Time).
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Not sure what to crank up on the stereo to get you in the Halloween mood? Made Man has you set with their list of the Top 10 Best Halloween Songs (any good ones that they forgot?)
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If you need a quick costume, consider an Internet Meme from this past year (I like how they made the female versions the same as the males with "sexy" preceding it. The best comment I saw on the subject was a newspaper headline when I was in college, "Girls Dress for Tricks, Boys Wait for Treats!" - But you know it's true!)
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Check out this great, great shot of 1957 Rangers-Red Wings game from the Sports Illustrated vault. The crowd really makes it.
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Infographic of the Day: World-Changing Charts From the Victorian Era (I like that the URL calls this "Victorians Did It Better."
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Finally, one of those "things that exist just because" - enjoy! (?)
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime, send your submissions to FlossyLinks@gmail.com!

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Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy
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Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.

[h/t weartv.com]  

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Health
The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice
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Every Halloween, children and adults alike gorge on candy. One estimate puts the number of junk calories consumed at up to 7000 per kid, the equivalent of 13 Big Macs. While all of that sugar is most certainly not healthy, Consumerist reports that there’s actually a more immediate danger to your well-being: black licorice.

Most versions of the candy, which gains some popularity around the spooky season, contains glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]

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