Imaginary field trip: the Ear Islands

In his Inventorum Natura the first century Roman author and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder describes a small group of islands off the coast of Germany, whose bizarre inhabitants, the Auriti (or "All-Ears") have ears so abnormally large that they cover most of their bodies. This happens to be a very convenient thing for the All-Ears, who are fishermen, because their enormous aural appendages allow them to hear the location of fish under the waves.

While Pliny's account has since proven to be fiction, he's not the first to talk about such creatures. That distinction belongs to the authors of The Mahabharata, an Indian epic dating to around 500 B.C., which refers to a tribe of people known as "Men-Who-Sleep-In-Their-Ears." They essentially had a natural sleeping bag: by resting on their side they could use one ear as a pillow, and the other as a blanket. And they were forever taunted by schoolchildren, singing: "Do your ears flip-flop? Can you use them for a mop? Are they stringy at the bottom? Are they curly at the top? Can you use them for a swatter? Can you use them for a blotter? Do your ears flip-flop?"

Yes, children. Yes.

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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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