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The Mall of America will close on Thanksgiving. With 15,000 workers, that’s huge.

As the largest shopping center in the U.S., the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, certainly lives up to its name.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Liaison/Getty Images.

Boasting more than 520 stores — not to mention actual roller coasters! — the mall supports roughly 15,000 jobs.

Photo by Mark Erickson/Getty Images.


This year, many of those 15,000 workers will have an extra bounce in their step when the holiday season arrives.

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images.

The Mall of America announced on Oct. 6, 2016, that it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

While individual stores in the mall have the option to remain open, officials expect the vast majority to close up shop. That means thousands of Mall of America workers will have the day to sit back, relax, and enjoy some much-deserved time with loved ones (and a few helpings of sweet potato pie).

"We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about," Jill Renslow, senior vice president of marketing at the mall, told The Associated Press. "We want to give this day back."

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images.

Renslow explained to the Star Tribune that mall executives had been discussing Thanksgiving hours for months but ultimately decided to give employees a rest from the holiday hustle and bustle. The Mall of America will reopen early Friday morning.

Most major retailers haven't announced their plans for Thanksgiving yet. But signs suggest the Mall of America won't be alone in giving workers that time off with their families.

In recent years, the pressure's been on giant retailers like Macy's and Target to compete for eager holiday shoppers. As a result, Black Friday sales have sneakily crept further and further into Thanksgiving Day.

That has meant more and more workers have been forced to work while their families are nestled around the dinner table.

"Once you miss Thanksgiving with the family, I can never be put back in those pictures if I'm not there and I'm at work," one employee said in a video by Change.org.

Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images.

Fortunately, though, the tide seems to be turning back. With mounting outrage from labor groups and popular petitions demanding change — not to mention disgruntled husbands going viral over asking their wives be off the clock for the holiday — the pushback to save Thanksgiving has truly taken off.

Last year, big-name stores like DSW, T.J. Maxx, and Staples all agreed: Staying open on Thanksgiving is not the way to go.

This year, a handful of retailers have already confirmed they're keeping their doors locked on Nov. 24.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

The odd thing is, staying open on Thanksgiving doesn't just hurt families — it's not really all that great for business either.

Instead of doubling the hype around holiday shopping, retailers have discovered that opening their doors on Thanksgiving actually does more to take away the excitement surrounding Black Friday than it does to double the revenue. What's more, with the rise of online shopping, displeased employees forced to work, and the many customers who don't want to support stores that are open on a family holiday, the cons have begun to outweigh the pros.

Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images.

Sure, staying open on Thanksgiving may mean employees who work that day get more hours and make more money. After all, most workers forced into working retail jobs over the holidays are low-wage; many of them are just trying to make ends meet.

That's why if retailers truly care about their workers' well-being, they should do their part to make sure to pay them an actual living wage so that no one is stressed out over a slightly smaller paycheck.

To the folks at the Mall of America, an extra day off is nothing to fret over when it comes to their bottom line.

The mall still expects a mind-boggling 400,000 shoppers (give or take) to pass through its doors that last weekend in November.

"We’re confident we’ll still get those strong numbers throughout the Black Friday weekend,” Renslow told the Star Tribune.

If it benefits workers, doesn't hurt business, and helps keep one of America's most beloved holidays intact, what do stores have to lose?

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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