Greg Veis, YouTube Hunter: YouTube Turnip

Today's other mental_floss blog column, the delightful Tuesday Turnip, inspired this jet-lagged and sleep-deprived entry. You know the idea: type a word into a search engine and see what "turns up." Well, as you might expect, this leads to some rather strange results in YouTube Land. People be nuts, like Almond Joy. (That was my attempt to write a rapper-like simile. Day job: keeping it.)

Anyway, as proof of people's being a wee bit touched, typing in "Harold and Kumar" yields 175 returns. Do we really need that many bootlegged snippets of two guys on a drug-fueled hero's quest for tiny burgers? Ah, screw it, why not...

Here's another one, slightly less surprising. The word "parody" gets you 37,719 results, including this one, which isn't a parody at all but is spelled like it in a foreign country:

Okay, okay, this is more conventional and pretty clever (although it's hard to watch videos like this without wondering where whoever produced it found the time):

Punching in the name of YouTube's corporate overlord Google returns 6,166 hits. This one using some Dust Brothers music from "Fight Club" is worth your 30 seconds, though not much more:

"Anarchy" ...1,904 results, with some truly sick ones in the bunch. So let's stick to John Hughes, huh.

And for the big finale, a side-by-side comparison...

"Marcel Proust:" 8 results
"Hardcore Monkey Love:" 282 results

I'm no cultural doomsdayist, so you won't see me crying into my madeleine. YouTube's not for the faint of heart, or, it seems, the self-absorbed and French (redundant?). Go figure. Anyway, here's some Proust and "Hardcore Monkey Love" -- neither as tantalizing as it sounds:

Okay, before I sign off. let me give you a reading assignment for next week. There's an article in this month's Atlantic about the future of newspapers that talks about a video called EPIC 2014 that's enjoyed some insider cache on YouTube and elsewhere. Read the article, and next week I'll show you the video -- and then we'll talk about its merits and false predictions and generally what lies ahead for ink-stained wretches like myself. Let the navel-gazing begin!

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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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