The victim of an alleged anti-gay hate crime has released an extensive statement on the experience, but stopped short of confirming that the attack was somehow motivated by her sexuality.
Mallory Owens of Mobile, Ala. was reportedly attending Thanksgiving dinner at the family home of girlfriend Ally Hawkins when she suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones after being attacked by Hawkins’ brother Travis Hawkins Jr., 18.
The 23-year-old Owens notes in the statement:
“I was unconscious when the beating ended. I do not know what stopped him. I do know he has threatened to kill me before, he has attacked me with a metal pipe before, and on Thanksgiving Day he launched an unprovoked attack on me that left me unconscious, hospitalized, suffering horrific head trauma, severe injuries and in need of surgery and additional treatment.
Since the attack, Travis Hawkins Jr. has been seen following my family and appearing at locations where they have gathered. He has threatened to finish me off. I believe as long as he is free on bond that my life continues to be in danger. Even beyond the physical harm, I am quite traumatized. I am afraid and I feel that I have been victimized repeatedly by the Hawkins family.”
Calling many of the media reports “orchestrated” by the Hawkins family as well as “premature and misguided,” Owens added:
“I am fortunate that my family’s love for me is unconditional.
More people hit the stores this Thanksgiving weekend than did last year, as big-box retailers opened their doors earlier than ever on Thursday.
Spending per shopper averaged $423 — $25 more than last year — from Thursday to Sunday, while total spending increased nearly 13 percent, to an estimated $59.1 billion, according to a survey the National Retail Federation released Sunday afternoon.
“I think the only way to describe the Thanksgiving openings is to call it a huge win,” said Matthew Shay, the trade group’s president and chief executive. Shopping, he said, “has really become an extension of the day’s festivities.”
About 35 million people visited stores and shopping websites Thursday, up from 29 million last year. More than double that number — 89 million, up from 86 million — shopped on Black Friday.
Black Friday was a big day in stores, but Thanksgiving was apparently a big shopping day online.
Data from online consumer analytics firm Experian Hitwise shows online traffic on the holiday increased 71 percent this year compared to the same day a year ago. It says the top 500 retail sites received more than 181 million total U.S. visits.
Experian’s Matt Tatham wrote in a blog post that online traffic to the top retail sites has been up 8 percent on average for the holiday week.
The most visited retail sites on Thanksgiving Day were Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Sears. On Black Friday, they were Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and J.C. Penney Co. According to Experian Hitwise, on Black Friday this year the website that saw the biggest increase in traffic was the Apple Store at 99 percent growth.
This photo of Mitt and Ann Romney has been discovered on the internet. It kind of looks like one of those Joe Biden pictures from The Onion. But it is supposedly real. Is it?
Ground rules: no internet research allowed before voting.
To a traditionalist, a stuffed loaf of tofu and wheat gluten at the center of the Thanksgiving table might be a sacrilege. But the company that makes those loaves (better known as Tofurky) says that the idea has caught on quickly.
Sales of Tofurky roasts, marketed as a holiday alternative to Thanksgiving birds, have grown at a tremendous pace over the last 17 years, according to the company that makes the roasts. Turtle Island Foods, the Oregon-based company that makes Tofurky, sold its three millionth Tofurky roast this year. In 2011, the company sold nearly 400,000 of the holiday turkey alternatives, up nearly 12 percent from 2010 and nearly double the amount sold in 2006.
Why the growth in popularity? Maybe it’s that carving a Tofurky isn’t an eight-step process. Or the pesky risk of undercooked stuffing (and salmonella) lurking in a real bird’s cavity.
WKRP: ‘As God is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly’ Thanksgiving:
The entire episode can be found here:
Today, many workers at the nation’s largest retail stores, including Walmart and Target, will have to go to work instead of spending the entirety of the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. Many retailers have decided that Black Friday, the biggest retail day of the year, now needs to start on Thursday, despite workers complaints.
Having to miss special occasions and holidays is an all-too-real phenomenon for many of America’s workers, as the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not mandate vacation time. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research found:
European countries establish legal rights to at least 20 days of paid vacation per year, with legal requirement of 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries. Australia and New Zealand both require employers to grant at least 20 vacation days per year; Canada and Japan mandate at least 10 paid days off. The gap between paid time off in the United States and the rest of the world is even larger if we include legally mandated paid holidays, where the United States offers none, but most of the rest of the world’s rich countries offer between five and 13 paid holidays per year.
In the absence of government standards, almost one in four Americans have no paid vacation and no paid holidays. According to government survey data, the average worker in the private sector in the United States receives only about nine days of paid vacation and about six paid holidays per year: less than the minimum legal standard set in the rest of world’s rich economies excluding Japan (which guarantees only 10 paid vacation days and requires no paid holidays).
President Barack Obama pardoned his fourth turkey today, in what many believe is a Thanksgiving tradition dating back to 1947, when President Harry Truman, standing outside the White House, was presented with a holiday bird by the National Turkey Federation. But there’s no evidence that Truman did anything different from his successor, President Dwight Eisenhower, who, with his family, consumed all eight birds the NTF presented them.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy became the first president to see the word “pardon” used with reference to a Thanksgiving turkey, but he did not officially spare a bird in a pre-Thanksgiving ceremony in the Rose Garden. Kennedy simply announced that he would not eat the bird, and newspapers reported that the president had “pardoned” the gobbler given to him by the California Turkey Advisory Board. Just days before that year’s Thanksgiving, he was assassinated in Dallas.
Ronald Reagan was the first president to use the word “pardon” in connection with a Thanksgiving turkey, in 1987, in response to media queries about whether he might pardon Lt. Col. Oliver North or any of the other figures involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan joked that if that year’s turkey had not already been destined for a petting farm, “I would have pardoned him.”
In fact, it was President George H.W. Bush who began the tradition, in 1989. “Not this guy,” Bush said when a holiday turkey was presented. “He’s been granted a presidential pardon as of right now, allowing him to live out his days on a farm not far from here.”
Christopher Kimball, the bow-tied host of America’s Test Kitchen and founder of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, knows the difference between good cooks and great cooks. Great cooks—and he has built his empire on this premise—understand the scientific principles involved in their techniques. They are fluent in the different modes of heat transfer: radiant heat, convection and conduction. They can explain how diffusion and osmosis maintain equilibrium in their recipes. And, perhaps most impressively, they harness this scientific knowledge to defy gravity—when making soufflés and other baked goods rise.
In a recent presentation at the National Museum of American History, Kimball flashed a photograph of Albert Einstein. “Einstein was so smart not to get involved,” he said. “The science of cooking is actually much more complicated than particle physics.”
Luckily, Kimball and his crew of editors, test cooks and food scientists at the actual test kitchen, a 2,500-square-foot culinary laboratory just outside of Boston, unpack the science and serve it to us in bites we can chew on. I’ve found that the team’s latest book, The Science of Good Cooking, offers helpful tips in explaining the science behind some Thanksgiving favorites.