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What Kevin McCallister's Awful Family Is Doing Now

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It’s that time of year again: travel, annoying family, scary neighbors and, of course, bumbling burglars. Yep, I’m talking Home Alone. Since the movie is now 24 years old, Kevin McCallister’s jerky siblings are all grown up. Here’s how they've been keeping themselves busy since they were last seen harassing poor Kev.

1. Angela Goethals, AKA Linnie.

Line:

What she’s up to: Linnie has been busy. Since her turn as Kevin’s snooty sister in 1990, Angela Goethals has been in a ton of television dramas, including 24, Six Feet Under, Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Public, Crossing Jordan and Law & Order. Basically, she’s one of those actresses that makes you go, “Hey, I know her from somewhere...” every time she appears on your television.

2. Devin Ratray, AKA Buzz.

Line:

What he’s up to: Like his movie sister, Ratray has been steadily making appearances on TV ever since he pretended to puke up Kevin’s precious cheese pizza. You might have seen him on Supernatural, Law & Order and The Good Wife. He was in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska last year, and has several movies scheduled to be released in 2015.

3. Gerry Bamman, AKA Uncle Frank.

Line:

What he’s up to: Guess who else has been on Law & Order? Yep: Uncle Frank. As four different characters over a period of nearly 15 years, actually.

4. Hillary Wolf, AKA Megan.

Line: “The dope was whining about a suitcase. What was I supposed to do? Shake his hand and say, ‘Congratulations, you're an idiot’?”

What she’s up to: Well, after landing the role of Laura in the 1992 movie Big Girls Don’t Cry... They Get Even, Wolf put acting on hold to join the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Judo team for the U.S. She didn’t medal, but she is a second-degree black belt. And you thought Kevin was the tough McCallister.

5. Michael Maronna, AKA Jeff.

Line:

What he’s up to: You’re almost definitely familiar with Maronna’s work in the mid-’90s. The Adventures of Pete & Pete was basically one of the best shows to ever run on Nickelodeon (and this is coming from a huge Clarissa Explains It All fan). Though he has had some notable parts since then - Slackers, for one - Maronna is mostly working behind the camera these days. He’s done electrical rigging for movies ranging from Sex and the City to The Smurfs.

He was also in Law & Order.

6. Kristin Minter, AKA Heather.

Line: “Eleven, including me. Five boys, six girls, four parents, two drivers, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

What she’s up to: She was only the subject of the best movie tagline ever written: “When a girl has a heart of stone, there’s only one way to melt it. Just add ice.” In case that doesn’t immediately ring a bell, let me jog your memory:

Kristin Minter played Kathy, Ice’s love interest. Though she has had parts on Ray Donovan, The Mentalist, and Nip/Tuck, among others, she has not been on Law & Order. Yet.

7. Kieran Culkin, AKA Kevin’s cousin Fuller.

Line: No lines, just a lot of references to his incontinence problem.

What he’s up to: Little Fuller has since had a pretty successful career on stage and screen. He received lots of critical acclaim for his title role in Igby Goes Down in 2002 and was also enjoyable in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2010. In between, he’s been starring on stages from New York to London and Sydney. He's currently starring in This Is Our Youth on Broadway with Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson.

8. Anna Slotky, AKA Kevin’s cousin Brooke.

Line: Brooke is one of the cousins who tells Joe Pesci that yes, her parents are home, but no, they don’t live there.

What she’s up to: After about a decade in the entertainment industry - she was Ruth Ann in The Torkelsons and had parts on Third Rock From the Sun and Sister, Sister - Slotky went to the University of California to get her JD and is now practicing law in the Los Angeles area.

9. Senta Moses, AKA Kevin’s cousin Tracy.

Line: Tracy doesn’t talk much. I think her only line in the movie is when she asks for shampoo.

What she’s up to: Moses is another one of those actresses who has been getting consistent TV work, but my favorite is her part as the bubbly Delia Fisher on My So-Called Life. However, if you weren’t into watching Angela Chase constantly make bad decisions about Jordan Catalano, you’ve still probably seen Senta Moses on Greek, General Hospital, The Mentalist, Beakman’s World, Sister, Sister and about a million other things.

10. Jedidiah Cohen, AKA Kevin’s cousin Rod McCallister.

Line: Rod is mostly notable for the conversation he has with Buzz about French girls not shaving their pits and how France’s nude beaches are shut down for the winter.

What he’s up to: After getting a BA in Astrophysics and Astronomy at Harvard, Cohen was the Vice President and Operations Manager at New York real estate firm Cooper & Cooper. Then he founded RocketHub, a crowdfunding site similar to Kickstarter.

This post originally appeared in 2012.

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Big Questions
Why Don't We Eat Turkey Tails?
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iStock

Turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup. Roasted turkey. This year, Americans will consume roughly 245 million birds, with 46 million being prepared and presented on Thanksgiving. What we don’t eat will be repurposed into leftovers.

But there’s one part of the turkey that virtually no family will have on their table: the tail.

Despite our country’s obsession with fattening, dissecting, and searing turkeys, we almost inevitably pass up the fat-infused rear portion. According to Michael Carolan, professor of sociology and associate dean for research at the College for Liberal Arts at Colorado State University, that may have something to do with how Americans have traditionally perceived turkeys. Consumption was rare prior to World War II. When the birds were readily available, there was no demand for the tail because it had never been offered in the first place.

"Tails did and do not fit into what has become our culinary fascination with white meat," Carolan tells Mental Floss. "But also from a marketing [and] processor standpoint, if the consumer was just going to throw the tail away, or will not miss it if it was omitted, [suppliers] saw an opportunity to make additional money."

Indeed, the fact that Americans didn't have a taste for tail didn't prevent the poultry industry from moving on. Tails were being routed to Pacific Island consumers in the 1950s. Rich in protein and fat—a turkey tail is really a gland that produces oil used for grooming—suppliers were able to make use of the unwanted portion. And once consumers were exposed to it, they couldn't get enough.

“By 2007,” according to Carolan, “the average Samoan was consuming more than 44 pounds of turkey tails every year.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Samoans also have alarmingly high obesity rates of 75 percent. In an effort to stave off contributing factors, importing tails to the Islands was banned from 2007 until 2013, when it was argued that doing so violated World Trade Organization rules.

With tradition going hand-in-hand with commerce, poultry suppliers don’t really have a reason to try and change domestic consumer appetites for the tails. In preparing his research into the missing treat, Carolan says he had to search high and low before finally finding a source of tails at a Whole Foods that was about to discard them. "[You] can't expect the food to be accepted if people can't even find the piece!"

Unless the meat industry mounts a major campaign to shift American tastes, Thanksgiving will once again be filled with turkeys missing one of their juicier body parts.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Food
Here's the Butterball Hotline's Most Frequently Asked Turkey Question
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If you’re preparing to conquer a whole turkey for the first time this Thanksgiving, you may have some questions. Like, is bigger really better? How long should the turkey rest? And is dunking the bird in a deep-fryer a bad idea? But if data from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is any indication, the first and most important question you have concerns defrosting. As Fox News reports, how to properly thaw a turkey is the hotline's most frequently asked question—and has been for some time.

Dial the Butterball experts in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and they’ll likely tell you that there are two ways to handle a frozen turkey. The first is to unwrap it, place it on a tray, breast-side up, and leave it to sit in the refrigerator for a few days. The rule of thumb is to allow one day for every four pounds of turkey you’re thawing. So if you have an eight-pound bird, begin the defrosting process two days before Thanksgiving; if it’s 16 pounds, you need to let it thaw for four days.

Don’t panic if you’re reading this Wednesday night. There’s a quicker method for home cooks who prefer to wait until the last minute to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. Empty and clean the sink in your kitchen and fill it with cold water. With the plastic wrapping still on, submerge the turkey in the bath, breast-side down, and leave it alone. After 30 minutes, change out the water and flip the turkey so that it’s breast-side up. Repeat the process until the meat has fully thawed, which should take half an hour per pound. (So if you’re willing to stay up the night before, you can have a frozen turkey oven-ready by Thanksgiving morning.)

Have more burning questions about your dinner’s starring dish? You can call or text Butterball for guidance between now and December 24 (for those Christmas Eve questions). For additional turkey-cooking expertise, check out our list of tips from real chefs.

[h/t Fox News]

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