Inspired by David's (admittedly bizarre) claim that Missouri is "the" place to live, I decided to get to the bottom of this. Heading straight for Bert Sperling's popular bestplaces.net, I quickly discovered that the "best city" title is a hotly-contended one: there are at least eight U.S. metropoli vying for the honor -- and none of them are in Missouri. Satisfied that such subjective rankings will leave cities like jogger-friendly Portland, OR, Southern charmer Charlottesville, VA and spickety-span Fort Collins, CO (Money magazine's 2006 top city) duking it out for decades to come, I gravitated toward the weirder rankings. For instance:

  • Birmingham, AL: the home of mental_floss, and also the city in which you are 2nd most likely to develop a respiratory infection. #1 was Nashville; in fact, 8 of the top 10 cities are in the South. (This study doesn't discuss contributing factors -- anyone care to hazard a guess?)
  • Boston, MA: hardest city to navigate. Factoring in one-way streets, bodies of water, congested freeways and days per year when snow exceeded 1.5 inches, Boston took the cake. Can you dig it?
  • Detroit, MI: worst place to get a good night's sleep. A recent study found a link between high unemployment and sleepless nights, putting the Motor City way ahead of New York -- the "city that never sleeps" -- at #6.
  • Cincinnati, OH is the city in which you're most likely to develop a migraine headache. Big triggers include rapidly-changing weather and a high rate of red wine consumption.
  • Kansas City, MO: toughest place to get a date. A lack of date-friendly hangouts like coffee shops, bars and bowling alleys (always my preferred lady-wowing venue), combined with a lack of eligible singles 18-24 make Kansas City the city least likely to help you get your freak on.
  • The people of Las Vegas, NV have the highest rate of resistance to antibiotics. And if you need more information to explain that one, it's time you left Kansas City.