So a Polish guy walks into an IQ testing center...

This ought to interest the six people in the world who still find "dumb Polack" jokes funny "“ it turns out Poles are smarter than all the other Europeans, save the Germans and the Dutch. A British professor recently surveyed all the nations on the Continent and found that those three nations had the highest average IQs (107 for Germany and the Netherlands, 106 for Poland), while the poor Serbians clocked in last at 89.


I'm not sure the nutty professor's work is all that solid "“ as the token girl on this blog, I take issue with his claim that men are smarter than women "“ and I'm also not sure I buy his explanation for the higher IQ scores in Northern countries. Early humans living in cold environments ate more protein-rich meat than their warm-weather counterparts, which may have caused them to evolve bigger brains. (The neurobiologist William Calvin wrote a fantastic book on this subject.) That theory is pretty well regarded, but Professor Lynn takes it further and says the cold weather and resulting bigger brains led to the higher IQs in his survey. The relationship between IQ and brain size is a touchy subject among psychologists; it's by no means proven. I wonder what the professor would have to say about the brain of mental_floss patron saint Albert Einstein (that's it in the photo), which was organized in a unique way but not especially huge. Clearly, at least in that case, size didn't matter.


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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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