The rest of the week is reserved for turkey and turkey-induced comas, so here’s some food for thought to digest on your days off.

Thanksgiving traditionally is one of the top travel days in the U.S. — AAA estimates 46.9 million Americans will travel 50-plus miles for the holiday. The New York Times analyzed Thanksgiving flight data (and produced a beautiful graphic), and there’s plenty to be gleaned from it.

The New York Times

The New York Times

In Seattle’s case, the area’s definitely a flight origin, not a destination — not surprising considering most Seattle-area residents weren’t born in Washington. There is one arrival conduit, though: San Francisco. Silicon Valley tech workers still make it home to grandma’s house in Woodinville.

According to the Times graphic, most major cities are travel origins, not destinations, during Thanksgiving, a sign of both geographic movement and the trend of folks living in rural areas moving to cities. The cities that do see an influx during Thanksgiving are vacation hubs Miami, Orlando, Honolulu, and Las Vegas. Apparently sun and slots are as enticing as Aunt Hattie’s pecan pie.


Interest in a ‘shopping orgy’ wanes

Thanks in part to retailers like REI, interest in Black Friday sales is slimming. In 2012, folks spent $60 billion on Black Friday; the total was $51 billion last year.

But that $9 billion difference isn’t going into savings accounts — it’s just being spent in different ways and at different times. As John. J. Canally of LPL Research told the Times, consumers are shopping online more often. “And they’re spending more on experiences. A day at the spa, a baseball game, the ballet — rather than a sweater or a pair of socks that no one wants.”


Hit the slopes (while you can)

There wasn't much of the white stuff at Snoqualmie Pass last year. Photo by wildwest photo / CC BY.

There wasn’t much of the white stuff at Snoqualmie Pass last year. Photo by wildwest photo / CC BY.

Ski season sucked last year. Per Bestsnow.net, maybe the best snow-tracking site for skiers, last year saw record-low snowfall at Snoqualmie Pass, Mount Baker, and Stevens Pass; Crystal Mountain’s paltry 234 inches of snowfall was just above its all-time low.

But this season’s off to a hot start, and there are plenty of skiing options for Thanksgiving weekend. You might want to ski now, as El Nino years typically aren’t very friendly to Northwest powder hounds — they’re marked by slightly warmer and drier winters.


Elsewhere on the Web

Naveen Jain, of InfoSpace infamy and owner of a very intense personal website, is back at it with his latest company, BlueDot. The company’s first projects are figuring out a way to use ambient energy to charge devices, and identifying pathogens with noninvasive tools.

Fuel is money, and a recent study suggests airlines could halve their fuel consumption at zero net cost.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation watched $96 million worth of timber burn last year. Now, the tribes are hoping to recoup some losses with salvage logging, a controversial practice.

Meanwhile, in a forest that didn’t burn, Microsoft bought 35,000 carbon offset credits tied to a Washington forest. It’s the first Washington forest-offset program that meets California’s cap-and-trade standards.