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Headlines: Getting Up to Speed

Wednesday, November 22 ** Final Edition

Reporting this morning from just off New Jersey Turnpike Exit 4... you gotta problem with that???!
   Today: One day until Thanksgiving. Last minute shoppers, beware!
   Holidaze: PRESIDENT TRUMP pardons two turkeys.
   Politics as usual: Investigators reportedly looking into JARED KUSHNER's contact with foreign leaders.
   Power politics: Chairman AJIT PAI sez the FCC will roll back OBAMA-era net neutrality rules. 
   Thanksgiving: Turkey trivia, Macy's Parade, and more background on the big holiday
   Business: Uber pays $100-Gs to hackers after they stole the data of 57-million passengers.
   Bad news: "Partridge Family" star, singer DAVID CASSIDY, has died at 67. See Music.
   People: "Miss Goop," GWYNETH PALTROW, engaged to producer BRAD FALCHUK.
   Sexual Harassment Update: CBS, PBS fire CHARLIE ROSE over sexual misconduct accusations.
   Royalty: MEGHAN MARKLE moving into PRINCE HARRY's two-bedroom Nottingham cottage.
   Gossip: THE WEEKND is playing the field since his split from SELENA GOMEZ.
   Broadway: "Pretty Woman: The Musical" now has a Broadway home.
   Fashion: KENDALL JENNER is now the world's highest paid model. No, we're not kidding.
   Crime: If baristas want to be half-naked while making hot coffee, they should be able to!
   In Court: JANICE DICKENSON will be allowed to sue both BILL COSBY and MARTY SINGER for defamation.
   Television: JORDAN FISHER wins "Dancing with the Stars'" mirrorball trophy.
   Hollywood: "Coco" set to top the Thanksgiving weekend box office.
   Music: SELENA GOMEZ is selling sneakers.
   Old School: NICK CARTER of the BACKSTREET BOYS has been accused of rape.
   Boonies: New Jersey baby shares a birthday with his mother and grandmother.
   Extreme: Love is in the air at the Cincinnati Zoo!
   Hot list: Rich people who live like the average Joe.
   Rocket Science: California man plans to attach himself to a rocket to prove that the Earth is flat.
   Health: How to relax when the holidays are getting to you.
   Survey Sez: Nearly half of cancer cases in the U.S. may be preventable.
   --Plus-- more of the trash you've come to expect!

Subscriber note: 
Just a quick heads up: we will not be publishing the Ross Brittain Report tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day, or the following day, "Black Friday." However, there is a large Holiday section in today's Report which will help carry you over, and of course, you still have the planning section which includes birthdays, etc., for those days as well, in case you're working. Have a great holiday! (RB)


Facts & Myths about Thanksgiving:
Myth #1 --The Pilgrims were celebrating a great harvest: actually, the harvest of 1621, when the legend of our Thanksgiving began, wasn't great at all. The barley, wheat, and peas the Pilgrims brought with them from England had failed. Fortunately, the corn did well enough that they were able to double their weekly food rations. The Pilgrims were happy to be alive: the previous winter had wiped out 47 people --almost half their community.
   It wasn't a coincidence that the corn did well. A man named SQUANTO, who was a member of the Wampanoag tribe, coached the Pilgrims on how to plant and fertilize it.

What's more:
   --The guests brought most of the food. When the Pilgrims invited their Native American guests, they weren't prepared to feed everyone who came. A Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, sent his men home for supplies.
   --The party lasted three days. They played games, shot guns, shot bows and arrows, and played something called "stool ball." (It's not what it sounds like! The game was like croquet --not something they played because they didn't have a pigskin handy.)
   --Despite what you see in some paintings, the Native American guests didn't wear giant feathered headdresses. Those were worn by Plains Indians.

Myth #2 --From then on, we've celebrated Thanksgiving every year: The truth is, the Pilgrims weren't big partiers, and they didn't always feel compelled to express their thanks. In fact, the Pilgrims didn't have another "Thanksgiving" celebration until two years later, when they held a feast to celebrate the end of a drought.
   According to "Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays" by ROBERT J. MEYERS, many colonial communities probably celebrated successful harvests locally and gave thanks at special times as the need arose. In 1644, for example, the New Amsterdam Dutch held "Thank Days" in gratitude for the safe return of their soldiers, who had been fighting with Native Americans in Connecticut.

GEORGE WASHINGTON declared a Thanksgiving in 1789 after the United States first established a government, but Thanksgiving didn't go national until the mid-19th century. This was largely the work of magazine editor SARAH HALE, who conducted a letter-writing campaign calling for Thanksgiving to be declared a national holiday. PRESIDENT LINCOLN responded, issuing a Thanksgiving proclamation that set aside the last Thursday in November of 1863 for gratitude.

In 1939 President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT touched off a two-year squabble when he moved the holiday to the third Thursday to give store owners a leg up on holiday shopping. Detractors dubbed the relocated holiday "Franksgiving," and in 1941 Congress finally made the fourth Thursday in November the official day. So, in truth, it took 320 years to make Thanksgiving stick.

Myth #3 --The United States invented Thanksgiving: no country does gluttony quite like the United States. The Calorie Control Council, an industry group, says that Americans consume as much as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, as much as twice what the FDA recommends for an entire day. That said, humans have been holding harvest festivals for ages. We may wish we invented Thanksgiving, but we didn't.
   In ancient times, Middle Eastern peoples offered wheat to "The Great Mother" or "Mother of the Wheat." In medieval times, central Europeans celebrated their harvests at Feast of Saint Martin on November 11th. And we can all be thankful our celebrations aren't like those of the Aztecs, who each year would behead a young girl representing Xilonen, the corn goddess.

Colorful traditions aside, human beings have found reasons to be thankful --and reasons to celebrate-- for as long as we can trace our history. What people have felt thankful for has certainly changed over the years. The Pilgrims were happy to be alive. The Founding Fathers were happy to have established a government. And Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation expressed thanks that the Civil War had not destroyed the country.
   So when you sit down this year with your family, you're participating in an ancient tradition. And it's a great time to figure out what you're thankful for.

That Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table and making everyone name something they're thankful for may be cheesy, but it may also make you healthier. There's a catch, though. You can't only be thankful on Thanksgiving.
   USA Today reports that the act of counting your blessings can lower your blood pressure, ease stress, and ward off disorders like depression, bulimia, and alcoholism.

Turkey trivia
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, when most of us will chow down on turkey, along with ham, or prime rib, or turducken for the adventurous, and tofurkey for the Vegans.
   But for most of us, the main course is you know what. The National Turkey Federation says 95 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving --average weight of the family bird: 15 pounds. Yeah, that's nearly 700 million pounds of turkey that will be eaten tomorrow.

Factoid: About 280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving dinners in the U-S each year. (Source: Woman's Day magazine).

Factoid: Frazee, MN, is home to the world's largest turkey. It's 22 feet high. It's a statue.

Factoid: it takes longer in certain parts of the country to cook a turkey? In Boston it takes about 5 hours; in Denver it takes about 7 hours because of the altitude.

Other turkey facts from the National Turkey Federation:
   --Early visitors to the New World quickly acquired a taste for turkey and took birds back to Europe. By the 1500s, turkeys were being raised in Italy, France and England.
   --U-S turkey consumption has increased nearly 220 percent since 1970.
   --Fifty percent of all turkey consumed in 1970 was during the holidays. Today, the holidays account for only 32 percent of total usage. We eat a lot more of it year round.
   --We eat an average of 14 pounds of turkey a year, each. That's a couple of nice, 7-pound birds apiece and it's twice as we ate in 1970. Biggest reason for the increase: great for your diet. It's nutritious, low in fat, high in protein, and relatively cheap.
   Turkey Quotable: "I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character... The turkey is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America... He is, though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards." (BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, in a letter dated January 26, 1784)

Turkey fun factoid: The largest turkey in history was raised in the United Kingdom and weighed in at 86 pounds. That's not counting the CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES, who's actually more closely related to a horse (sorry).
   FYI: 86 pounds is about the same weight as an 11-year old boy.

Meanwhile, according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), today's turkeys are so fat they can't stand up, they're susceptible to heart attacks and they have trouble mating... no, I'm sorry, that's us they're talking about, that's Americans, not turkeys.

That big 'ol Thanksgiving meal
The U-S Census Bureau loves to tabulate obscure statistics related to some 20 holidays throughout the year; Thanksgiving is no exception. The typical American eats 13.7 pounds of turkey and 4.7 pounds of sweet potatoes annually.

A survey from the Lenox China Company about Turkey Day revealed the following:
   --90 percent eat turkey
   --9 percent eat ham
   --2 percent will also serve pork or beef
   --and 1 percent will serve chicken

America's favorite pies:
   --Pumpkin, 63 percent
   --Apple, 26 percent
   --Pecan, 7  percent
   --lemon meringue, 6 percent
   --sweet potato, 5 percent
   --chocolate cream, 4 percent
   --coconut custard, 3 percent

Thanksgiving Factoid: Sweet potatoes are sometimes referred to as yams. Yet, true yams come from Africa, Asia, and Latin America and are not often found in the U-S-of-A. Yams can grow as big as 7 feet long and 150 pounds. The word "yam" is derived from the African word "nyami," which means "to eat." The average American consumes 4.7 pounds of sweet potatoes a year.

It's a shame Thanksgiving only comes once a year. The Harvard Heart Letter claims that the feast you eat on Turkey Day could be good for you --turkey meat is easy on the heart, cranberries are packed with antioxidants, and sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins, potassium, and fiber. Pecans contain fats that are good for your heart. Pumpkin is low in fat and calories (at least before it is turned into a pie), and is a mega-source of potassium.
   Of course, you should also control how much you eat at Thanksgiving. Too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing.

World's Most Fattening Holiday Foods:
   (Source: Forbes magazine):
   14. Potato Cakes (Latkes) --Calories: 319, Calories from fat: 18, Total fat: 2g
   13. Creamed Corn --Calories: 330, Calories from fat: 247, Total fat: 27.5g
   12. Egg Nog --Calories: 335, Calories from fat: 187, Total fat: 20.9g
   11. Christmas Pudding --Calories: 344, Calories from fat: 165, Total fat: 18.4g

   10. Almond Kulfi --Calories: 363, Calories from fat: 189, Total fat: 21g,
   9. Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows --Calories: 419, Calories from fat: 123, Total fat: 13.7g
   8. Christmas Cheeseball --Calories: 421, Calories from fat: 350, Total fat: 39g
   7. Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake) --Calories: 519, Calories from fat: 158, Total fat: 17.6g
   6. Apple Pie --Calories: 552, Calories from fat: 230, Total fat: 25.6g

   5. Churros Con Chocolate --Calories: 553, Calories from fat: 488, Total fat: 54.3g
   4. Melkkos (Milk Food) --Calories: 682, Calories from fat: 266, Total fat: 29.6g
   3. Roast Goose --Calories: 784, Calories from fat: 465, Total fat: 51.7g
   2. Fried Carp --Calories: 840, Calories from fat: 457, Total fat: 50.9g
   1. Roast Pork with Pineapple --Calories: 852, Calories from fat: 302, Total fat: 33.6g

Factoid: Here's a good thought --prepping a Thanksgiving feast is not only time-consuming, it gobbles a lot of calories. Carrying a 20-pound turkey from your car to the kitchen burns 25 calories, tidying the house eats up 213 per hour and baking apple pie zaps 114 in an hour. (source:
   Quotable: "Of course people will be eating turkey on Thanksgiving. A lot of people like to bake it, some broil it, a lot of people pan fry their turkey, some roast it. DICK CHENEY plans to have the CIA torture his." (Letterman)

Looking forward to a feast for the ages tomorrow? Chances are you'll splurge on platefuls of appetizers, rolls, stuffing, casseroles, delectable desserts and --of course --turkey. While all of it tastes delicious going down, the after-effects ain't always pretty. Luckily, the foodies at Cosmopolitan have come up with a few tips for feeling better ASAP after overeating.
   1. After five minutes. First off, step away from the table. Then, throw on some sweats or stretchy pants to let your GI system relax. Drinking peppermint tea can relax the esophageal sphincter, which will release air in your tummy and soothe your digestive system, while a cup of coffee can get your bowels moving.
   2. After 15 minutes. Resist the urge to watch football with Uncle Harold and stay upright. If you're feeling physical pain, take some Gas-X, an antacid or Pepto Bismol.
   3. After 30 minutes. Go for a little walk, then rub your belly to relax your insides.
   4. One-to-two hours later. A few yoga stretches can release trapped gas.
   5. Two-to-three hours later. Any residual discomfort at this point is probably acid reflux, so go ahead and lie down.
   6. Five-to-six hours later. Feeling better? Good! Just take it easy if you eat again and don't repeat the same behaviors. (Lee)

Signs you've eaten too much: 
   --Hundreds of volunteers have started to stack sandbags around you
   --Doctor tells you your weight would be perfect for a man 17 feet tall
   --You are responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the Earth's axis
   --Right this minute you're laughing up pie on the carpet
   --You decide to take a little nap and wake up in mid July
   --World's fattest man sends you a telegram warning you to "Back off!"

   --On NBC's "Biggest Loser," you're your own team
   --Getting off your couch requires help of the fire department
   --Every escalator you step on immediately grinds to a halt
   --You've burnt out two refrigerator bulbs and it's only halftime of the football game
   --On a recent cruise you were asked to stay in the center of the ship
   --You're sweatin' gravy

Seven holiday foods that are actually good for you:
   (Source, Some of the foods below are fattening, but they're also nutritious. The rest? Gee, they're just plain good for you.
   1. Pumpkin: 3 1/2 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and a lot of fiber per half-cup serving.
   2. Roast Turkey: three ounces of skinless turkey breast gets you a whopping 20 grams of protein with practically no fat. All that and only 100 calories. Plus you fill 25 percent of your daily need for niacin and vitamin B6.

   3. Sweet Potatoes: Ounce for ounce, they have as much beta-carotene as carrots; four ounces contains 50 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C, as much potassium as a banana and a good amount of fiber.
   4. Cranberries: We all know about helping prevent urinary tract infections; they also contain a potentially cancer-preventing compound called ellagic acid.

   5. Potatoes: loads of vitamin C and potassium, plus fiber, iron, copper and plenty of B vitamins.
   6. Figgy Pudding: Figs are a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium and niacin, plus they have a natural laxative effect. Ahem.
   7. Eggnog: Choose only the low-fat variety and enjoy a holiday tradition while getting a good amount of protein and some calcium (Just be sure not to drink too much, since there's still lots of sugar and calories in even the low-fat version).

Other stuff you'll do on Thanksgiving
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
The 91st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 am (Eastern) tomorrow in New York City. This year, in addition to the 10-thousand Macy's employees, there'll be 12 marching bands (including ones from the US Air Force, the NYPD Marching Band, Ohio University and Prarie View A&M as well as high school bands from Rosemont, MN, Rockford, MI, Palmer, AK, Ft Mill, SC, and Gulfport, MS), more than 19-hundred cheerleaders and 800 clowns. There are also 16 giant helium balloons, and performers include GWEN STEFANI, 98 DEGREES, SARA EVANS, ANDRA DAY, CAM, COMMON, DUSTIN LYNCH, WYCLEF JEAN, GOO GOO DOLLS, SMOKEY ROBINSON, KAT GRAHAM, OLIVIA HOLT, JoJo SIWA, ANDY GRAMMAR, PADMA LAKSHMI, LESLIE ODOM, Jr, BEBE REXHA, LAUREN ALAINA, NICKY JAM and PATTI LABELLE.

   Parade history: The very first Macy's parade happened on Nov 27, 1924, and more than half-a-million people lined the streets of Manhattan to watch bands, floats, 25 animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo, and more than 400 Macy's employees marching in costume. It was the first time Santa Claus showed up at the end of the parade to mark the official start of the Christmas season. The first huge helium balloon was of Felix The Cat in 1927.
   There were no Macy's parades on the Thanksgivings of 1942, '43 and '44. That was during World War II. All the rubber and helium for the balloons went to the war effort. The first televised parade was in 1945, but it was only shown in New York. For Thanksgiving 1963, there was a parade, but all of the floats featured black bunting, because former PRESIDENT KENNEDY had been assassinated just days earlier. There were no balloons in the 1971 parade due to high winds, and in 1989, the parade had its first snowstorm.

What you're buying this year:
Gifts consumers plan to buy (or give as gifts) this holiday season:
   --Clothing or clothing accessories: 61.2 percent
   --Gift cards or certificates: 55.9 percent
   --Books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games: 43.6 percent
   --Toys: 42 percent

   --Food /candy: 31.2 percent
   --Consumer electronics or computer stuff: 29.5 percent
   --Personal care or beauty items: 25 percent
   --Jewelry: 21.4 percent
   --Sporting goods: 17.4 percent

   --Home decor or furnishings: 20.6 percent
   --Cash: 19.5 percent
   --Home improvement items or tools: 12.3 percent
   --Flowers or plants: 8.6 percent
   --Other: 4.6 percent
   (Source: National Retail Federation)

How much of your shopping is done:
Although 55.7 percent of shoppers have already started buying holiday gifts, the National Retail Federation says that's a bit less than began early last year, with NRF President MATTHEW SHAY noting that "This time of year is about finding the right gifts while staying on budget. For those looking for anything from toys to apparel at retailers large and small, in-store or online, retailers are ready with great merchandise at affordable prices." But here's an interesting fact --more than ten percent of us have already gotten half our gifts purchased... and nearly three percent of us are finished shopping!

   --Not started: 44.3 percent
   --1-10 percent done: 19 percent
   --11-25 percent done: 13.4 percent
   --26-50 percent done: 9.8 percent
   --51-75 percent done: 6.8 percent
   --76-99 percent done: 3.8 percent
   --Finished: 2.9 percent

Traveling for the holiday:
Triple-A says nearly 51 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving weekend --with 89 percent driving and almost eight-percent flying. That's an increase of 2.5 million travelers over last year's holiday. That's the most people traveling for the holiday in 12 years.
   Triple-A says the increase in holiday travel is thanks to improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, and despite gas prices that have gone up, on average, around 40-cents a gallon.

   So where's everybody going? The most popular destinations this Thanksgiving, based on bookings, are:
   10. Seattle, WA
   9. Philadelphia, PA
   8. Fort Lauderdale, FL
   7. Anaheim, CA
   6. New Orleans, LA

   5. New York City, NY
   4. Orlando, FL
   3. San Diego, CA
   2. San Francisco, CA
   1. Las Vegas, NV