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On my Christmas list #5: A Week in the Caribbean

And this is one you're going to be hearing about all next week, as I gloat take you with me on an Armchair Field Trip (or in my case, an actual trip) to Grenada. I got my wish! But don't worry, I'll still be checking in with you guys while I'm traveling, because I am an enormous dork.

A little trivia from Wikipedia and Grenada Explorer to get things started:

  • The recorded history of Grenada begins in 1498, when Christopher Columbus first sighted the island. The Amerindians called their island Camerhogue, but Columbus renamed it Concepcion. However, passing Spanish sailors found its lush green hills so evocative of Andalusia that they rejected this name in favor of Granada. The French then called it La Grenade, and the British followed suit, changing Grenade to Grenada (pronounced Gre-nay-da).
  • Grenada is sometimes called spice island. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, and especially nutmeg, providing 20% of the world supply, are all important exports. There is a nutmeg on the nation's flag.
  • The island was invaded [in 1983] by forces from the United States purportedly at the behest of Dame Eugenia Charles, of Dominica. Five other Caribbean nations participated with Dominica and the USA in the campaign, called Operation Urgent Fury. ... Political scientist Stephen Shalom later said that the invasion was carried out "not to save U.S. nationals, who would have been far safer without U.S. intervention, but so that Washington might make clear that it ruled the Caribbean and that it was prepared to engage in a paroxysm of violence to enforce its will."

Yup, paroxysms of violence are just what I look for in a vacation spot... Ah, well. Wish me luck!

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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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