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The Soon-To-Be Named Afternoon Links

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When You Devote Your Life to Pure Evil, Your Looks Really Pay the Price

Back in 2007 Andrew Sullivan noticed Osama Bin Laden was looking rather old in video recordings. So he penned him a satirical open letter in The Atlantic suggesting he put more effort into his personal appearance by employing a little hair dye to take off a few years.

As was reported after his killing one year ago today, Bin Laden did indeed have a stock of Just For Men dye in his compound in Abbottabad.

But the age-defying dye isn’t the only American brand to find itself regrettably tied to a mass-murdering villain. Saddam Hussein loved him some Doritos. Kool-Aid somehow got roped into the Jonestown massacre - and a cliche that won’t die - despite their product not even being used in the mass suicide. Kim Jong Il loved the film Friday the 13th, which he probably thought was a real heart warmer.

Do We Have Any Readers in Sweden?

Is this really how you spend your lunch breaks?

If You Enjoyed the New Batman Trailer This Week You Really Owe A Debt of Gratitude to Those Brave, Selfless (and Probably Unemployed) People All Over the World That Made It Possible

Who knew that Batman had so many sleuthing sidekicks?

Today I Learned on Reddit’s Today I Learned: Jim Davis Got Really Odd With Garfield For About A Week

Back in 1989, Garfield took a week off of devouring lasagna, taking naps and terrorizing Odie to ponder some deep existential dread, ponder his own existence and dwell in debilitating loneliness.

May 2, 1933: Nessie’s Big Debut

According to the History Channel, today marks 79 years since the world famous - and definitely real - Loch Ness Monster was first sighted. Later the Daily Mail ran the following headline declaring Nessie's existence a verifiable truth.

“The Only Difference Between Salvador Dali and Crazy People Is That Dali Is Not Crazy”

Nothing like asking someone a borderline insulting question and getting a very honest, hilarious answer in response. Open Culture posted this video today - and I found myself surprised to realize it’s the first time I’ve ever heard him speak.

In addition to being funny, having the best facial hair ever and taking the best pet walks ever, Dali was also an illeist.

This Gives An Entirely New Meaning to Squatting Over a Hole in the Ground

I promise you won't get in trouble for reading this article at work.

I'll pick a name this weekend. Keep the suggestions coming!

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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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Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
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.


Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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.


Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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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