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Video games at school cure fatness

Sound like a foolhardy idea? Sure, until you realize they're not talking about Ms. Pac-Man or Mortal Kombat, but the ubiquitous, inexplicably addictive and downright exhausting game Dance Dance Revolution. Even if you're not a video game fan, you may have wandered by an arcade and wondered "Why are the kids in there moving so much? Shouldn't they be frozen, zombie-like, in front of their joysticks?" Welcome to the Revolution.

The game is played on a metal dance pad with four arrow panels: left, down, up, and right. These panels are pressed using the player's feet, in response to arrows that appear on the screen in front of the player. The arrows are synchronized to the general rhythm or beat of a chosen song, and success is dependent on the player's ability to time and position his or her steps accordingly.

If that sounds tiring, it is. So much so that Norway recently declared DDR an official sport, and the West Virginia state public school system is planning to place a game in every one of its schools to help stem the tide of childhood obesity. Studies have indeed shown that kids who play the game for at least 30 minutes five times a week maintain their weight and see a reduction in some risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. One woman even claims to have lost 95 lbs. playing the game.

Not to sound like a fogey at 27, but I grew up playing video games and playing outdoors as well, and I think it's a dark harbinger of things to come that the former is eclipsing the latter in terms of kids' entertainment! When kids stop playing sports altogether, what physical activities will video games have left to mimic?

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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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