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From Pennies to Chocolate: 11 Examples of Creative Flooring

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1. Pennies


Photo from NotCot.com
If you're like most people, you probably have cans and jars full of unused pennies. If you have, say, 480,000 or so, then why not do what the Standard Hotel in New York City did with them in their restaurant? Make a copper floor.

2. Wooden Type


Photo by Flickr user Kris Arnold (wka)
The beautiful maple wood floor in the checkout area of the Seattle Public Library mimics the appearance of a raised bed of wooden type. Designed by Ann Hamilton, the floor has 556 lines of text, in reverse, in 11 languages and alphabets, and consists of the first sentences of several books found in the library's collection. The type is set in reverse for two reasons: to reference how books are produced from typeface and to reference how we learn to read, from symbols that are at first unknown to us.

3. Glass


Photo by Flickr user Charlotte Morrall
When it comes to walking on this surface, the first step might be the hardest. At Chicago's Willis Tower (better known by its old name, the Sears Tower), on the 103rd floor, there are glass balconies that give you a bird's eye view of the Windy City below. The balconies – or ledges, really – boxed in with glass walls and ceilings, are 1,353 feet in the air and jut out four feet from the building.

4. LED-Lit


Photo by Flickr user Leon Brocard (acme)
Finsbury Avenue Square used to be a rather unremarkable public square in London. But after Maurice Brill Lighting Design laid in a taut grid of LED-backed frosted glass strips, it became like the set of Tron, a fun and futuristic space. The lights can change colors and are currently programmed to display ten different geometric patterns.

5. Salt Designs



Photo by Stefan Warring from Motoi Yamamoto's website
Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto's medium of choice is table salt. Working on large open floors, Yamamoto first draws out complex labyrinthine patterns, then sprinkles salt onto the floor with a plastic bottle. Each design requires a careful hand, enormous patience, and up to 2,000 pounds of salt. Why salt? Yamamoto says, "Salt seems to possess a close relation with human life beyond time and space."

6. Energy-Producing


Photo by Flickr user Studio Roosegaarde
"People, Planet, Party!" is the advertising logo of Club Watt in Rotterdam. As the world's first "sustainable dance club," it boasts a dance floor that converts the movement of people dancing into usable electricity. And its multi-colored illuminated surface looks really cool, too, like something from a 1970s-era TV dance show.

7. Optical Illusion



Photo from TheFabWeb.com
In the entrance to the Sunshine City shopping mall in Tokyo, there's a fountain surrounded by a large circular tile floor that looks like one of M.C. Escher's maddening optical illusions. Seen one way, it appears to be a series of descending stairs. Blink your eyes, and the stairs flip upside down.

8. Fabric



Photo from The London Design Festival website
At last year's London Design Festival, French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec came up with a colorful and comfy way to encourage appreciation of Renaissance art at the V & A Museum. They filled the floor of the Raphael Court at the museum with pliable, plush fabric panels that invited patrons to lie down, gaze up, and contemplate the magnificent canvases.

9. Moss Carpet


Photo from Inhabitat.com
How about having soft green moss on your floor? Another inventive Japanese artist, Makoto Azuma, has created an organic carpet. An eco-friendly plant-derived knitted fabric called Terramac acts as a receptacle for roots and seeds, and keeps the moss all tufted together like yarns in a rug.

10. Salami Slices


Photo from Wim Delvoye's website
This floor might make you hungry. Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye designed what on first glance appears to be an elegantly designed pink, red, and tan marble floor. On closer inspection, we see that the floor is made with salami slices. Well, not actual cold cuts, just printed pictures of salami.

11. Chocolate


Photo from Domain.com.au
This floor will definitely make you hungry. At a shopping center in Lithuania, artists used 611 pounds of chocolate to create an entire room – walls, furniture, and floor.

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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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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?


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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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