TIME Thanksgiving

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Thanksgiving

Some tidbits about the holiday you can use to impress everyone around the Thanksgiving dinner table

If not for some fortunate circumstances, Thanksgiving could have been a holiday of fasting — rather than feasting — every fourth Thursday of November. And though it’s a well-cherished occasion today, it was met with some disapproval in past centuries.

In the video above, we present you with a few facts about the history of Thanksgiving that just might give you a few more things to be thankful for this season.

TIME Parenting

What Bill Gates’ Kids Do with their Allowance

How do you teach insanely wealthy kids how to manage money?

The rich are different from you and I, but they still want to give their kids an allowance. So what do the world’s richest man’s kids do with their money? Melinda Gates came to TIME’s offices to talk about her new focus on women and children and especially on contraceptives, but she spilled some secrets about how she tries to get her kids to be purposeful with their money.

First of all, she tries to be true to her values, to articulate them and live them out. Then, they do a lot of volunteering together, at “whatever tugs at their heartstrings” says Gates. And of course, they’ve traveled with her. “They have that connection I think to the developing world,” she says. “They see the difference a flock of chicks makes in a family’s life. It’s huge.”

Read the 10 Questions with Melinda Gates here

Gates has always made a point of getting into the streets and poorer neighborhoods when she travels for meetings and conferences. And sometimes she takes her kids. It’s there, she says, that she meets mothers who tell her that their biggest struggle is having so many children. Although Gates was raised Catholic, she is heading up an initiative to get family planning information, contraceptives and services to 120 million more women by the year 2020. That includes new technology, better delivery system and a lot of education, including for men.

She’s similarly rigorous about her home life. Her kids save a third of their allowance and designate a charity they’d like to give it to. (They can also list donations to charities on their Christmas wish list.) As further incentive, their parents double whatever money they’ve saved. Which means they may be the only children in the world to get a matching grant from the Gates Foundation.

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TIME leadership

Melinda Gates on How Women Limit Their Opportunities

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, former Microsoft executive and spouse of the Uber-nerd has turned her attention to the issue of women and girls. Her purview is mostly the world’s poorest, but she had some things to say about how even educated and affluent women hold themselves back.

“They doubt themselves,” Melinda told TIME during this week’s 10 Questions interview. “Women don’t tend to see themselves as ready for the next role, as they ought to.” Gates, who recently raised $2.3 billion (that’s with a B) at the London Family Planning Summit, said that at first she didn’t want to head up the drive to make contraceptive choices available to women in developing countries. “I wasn’t sure I was the right person,” she said. “I kept looking for somebody else to lead the effort.”

But she noted that good managers can provide a simple workaround for this problem, simply by making sure to give the women a little nudge to throw their hats in the ring. “I think it’s up to the managers—men or women— to reach down and pull those women up and say, “No, you are ready for that promotion,” or, “You’re at least as qualified as the men.”

In the interview Gates also spoke about what she’s doing to make sure her kids handle their great wealth (including how they allocate their pocket money) and how she refocused her life after turning 50. Subscribers can read the interview here.

TIME movies

See Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is So Photogenic

Behind the scenes of TIME's latest cover shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch’s face doesn’t have a good side or a bad side — he’s very symmetrical, says photographer Dan Winters, who shot him for this week’s TIME cover.

“I’m not as concerned as I would normally have to be about where I’m positioning him, where I’m lighting from,” says Winters. “A lot of actors are pretty asymmetrical, and you have to work around that.”

In the cover image, Cumberbatch is seated behind a table, framed by both real and recreated World War II items: a rare vintage Enigma machine, a bomb wheel made by Winters, and more. The setup was meant to capture Cumberbatch as an actor with a nod to his upcoming film, The Imitation Game, says Winters.

“He showed up with a cool and modern retro version of what he wore in the film — something, he told me, he thought Turing would have worn if alive today,” Winters told TIME LightBox. “He had done his work and we used that in the shoot.”

The resulting mood of the photo was “quiet, a little pensive, sort of contemplative.” And yes, Cumberbatch looks great in it.

Click here to read more about the shoot.

Read next: Go Behind TIME’s Benedict Cumberbatch Cover With Photographer Dan Winters

TIME movies

Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About Playing the Role of the Genius

The actor talks about the challenges of his various roles while on the set of TIME's cover shoot

Geniuses, no matter how smart or intimidating, still have some things in common with the rest of us.

Benedict Cumberbatch says of portraying them, “It’s also, actually, the great gift I suppose — is to realize that they’re bound by the human condition. They’re blood and flesh like us. They live in the same worlds as us.”

Cumberbatch is no stranger to portraying individuals of remarkable intelligence, having taken on roles ranging from Star Trek‘s super-human Khan to Alan Turing in the upcoming film The Imitation Game.

“I suppose being remarkably stupid in comparison to any of these people’s abilities is difficult sometimes, but that only really manifests when you’re actually asked to do something that they can do,” says Cumberbatch.

For example? Playing the violin as Sherlock Holmes.

Above, watch Cumberbatch reflect on his past roles and what he relishes about the experiences.

TIME Drugs

One Family’s Illegal Journey to Get Medical Marijuana for Their Child

A look inside the quasi-legal, science free world of medical marijuana for children, from TIME's Red Border Films

When you’re driving across the country with a stash of marijuana in your trunk, you follow the speed limit. You signal when changing lanes. You might even pick a route that skips Colorado, because ever since recreational pot was legalized there, police just over state lines have been on the lookout for anyone ferrying the drug from the area.

But the Colorado-free route from California, where you bought your marijuana, to the Northeast, where you live, presents a curveball. Cruising along I-40 in Arizona, you encounter a border patrol checkpoint. “Good evening, officer,” you say. A German shepherd approaches your vehicle and somehow doesn’t detect the marijuana that’s under a pile of ice in a cooler. As you’re sent on your way, adrenaline pulses through your body. Tears pool in your eyes.

You are, after all, committing at least several state and federal crimes, but when you get home a few days later, it’s business as usual.

Read the full TIME article by Kate Pickert here

TIME Music

WATCH: U2 on the News Events That Shaped Them

The members of U2 discuss the first news stories they recall from their childhoods

Everyone has a first memory of learning about a major news event as a child, and for U2, each band member’s personality is reflected in the specific moments that shaped and touched them while growing up.

From Neil Armstrong landing on the moon to the death of Elvis, here’s a look back at history with Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton.

TIME Music

Exclusive: Bono and U2 on Why They Released a Free Album on iTunes

The band members tell TIME how they came up with the release of "Songs of Innocence"

Bono doesn’t view his songs as children—they’re more like parents.

“They tell you what to do, they tell you how to behave,” the U2 singer told TIME. “These songs, we worked quite hard on them over the years, and we really didn’t want—they really didn’t want them to be ignored.”

The best way to get the world’s attention? Give the album, for free, to all 500 million iTunes users. The unique release of their latest album, Songs of Innocence, was announced at Apple’s event on Sept. 9.

In the video above, the members of U2 explain how the first album release of its kind came about.

TIME Culture

Why It’s O.K. to Wear White After Labor Day

The dated custom of avoiding it in September is no longer in fashion

Tradition holds that this is the time of year when wearing white becomes a major fashion faux pas. But it turns out that the history of the “no white after Labor Day” rule isn’t so black and white.

In the video above, TIME’s Archives Editor Lily Rothman explains why Americans stopped wearing white after Labor Day (and also why you should feel free to rock your white jeans well after summer is over).

TIME tennis

What It’s Like to Be a U.S. Open Ballperson

Veteran U.S. Open ballboys and ballgirls relive their best and worst moments on the court

Zach Rosenblatt works in investor relations at a hedge fund in New York City. Every summer, he spends his vacation days chasing after tennis balls.

But they’re not just any tennis balls — they’re balls that have bounced off the racquets of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andre Agassi, just to name a few.

Rosenblatt, 28, is entering his 15th year as a U.S. Open ballperson.

He’s just one of hundreds of athletic young men and women who silently crouch on the edges of the courts, retrieving balls, handing players towels, and shielding them from the sun — with umbrellas — during changeovers.

“One thing that I think the public doesn’t understand is that it’s hard on your bodies,” Rosenblatt says. “You start when you’re 14, but I’m 28 — a lot of us are up there, [in our] mid-20s, and it hurts.”

It could be an unexpected missed ball that pegs you in the chest at 117 m.p.h., or Federer (a former ball boy himself) hitting a ball right at you just to test your reflexes — the range of stories, along with potential injuries, are endless.

But there are rewarding moments as well. Laray Fowler, 30, who’s been a ballperson for 16 years, was on the court the moment her favorite player, Kim Clijsters, won her first grand slam in 2005.

After the game, Clijsters found Fowler, who had been working for all her matches leading up to the final, and gave her a hug.

“We started crying a little bit,” Fowler says. “And I told her this was the best moment of my life, and it’s something I would never forget.”

Understandably, there are also stories that ballpersons would rather not repeat to the press about some not-so-nice players. But the general consensus seems to be that the perks make the job well worth it. Says veteran ballperson Nathan Hollins: “It’s just probably the best seat in the house.”

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