Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Scientist: Dieter Adam

This blog has publicized some pretty ludicrous ways of stopping global warming in the past, but today's might really be more than just a gas: Dr. Dieter Adam of New Zealand proposes to do it by genetically engineering "fuel-efficient" cows that don't need to burp very much. According to The Age, this could end up being a $4 million project. The AFP explains:

The project aims to breed more efficient cows that convert their food into more milk and less methane, one of the greenhouse gases blamed for rising temperatures across the planet. ...

In 2003, the New Zealand government attempted to impose a methane tax on farmers because their livestock was responsible for more than half the country's greenhouse gas emissions. But the so-called "fart tax" was dropped after protests from farmers.

We're not talking about an insignificant amount of methane here; Cecil of The Straight Dope says a single cow produces 400 quarts worth of burps every day. Cow poop also releases a lot of methane when it's broken down; some farms have harnessed that power to produce their own electricity. Waste not, want not, I guess.

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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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