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And now for something completely different

Whew! That was a heavy way to start the morning. I need a palate cleanser -- something that's cute and fanciful and playful and the exact opposite of a serial killer. I need...

The world's silliest animal: the tapir. From Tapirback:

  • There are four species of tapirs worldwide, and all of them have babies with striped coats that make them look like "watermelons on legs." They lose the stripes within the first year of life.
  • Nobody knows whether their ancient ancestors began in Asia or North America. Tapir fossils for millions of years back can be found in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., but there are none in Africa, Australia, or [editor's note: unsurprisingly] Antarctica. Today, tapirs live only in South America and Southeast Asia.
  • They'll eat basically anything, but almost all of them love bananas.
  • The tapirs featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey are Tapirus terrestris, or lowland (Brazilian) tapirs, which would not survive in the desert environment Kubrick designed for them. These particular ones came from the Twycross Zoo in England.
  • Apparently the great French zoologist Georges Cuvier once announced to the world that all the large land mammals had already been discovered. The next year, the Malayan tapir became known to Western science.

_39482725_pa200baby.jpgHere's one more fact we didn't find on Tapirback: The male tapir is so well endowed that, when he's in a good mood, his manhood can extend past his front legs.

If you're near a zoo that has a tapir, particularly a baby one, go visit! If not, at least check out this blog that's entirely about tapirs -- because it wouldn't be the interweb if there weren't one of those.

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Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies
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Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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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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