Geoengineering: playing God?

Problem: the Earth is getting warmer. Other problem: even if we stopped producing C02 completely tomorrow, the Earth would still continue to warm -- for years -- before it started to cool again. Arguably crazy solution: put up a solar shield and stop the warming ASAP. If this sounds a bit like that episode of The Simpsons where Mr. Burns blocked out the sun in Springfield to force people to use more of his nuclear power, you're not that far off -- except that this version of the sunblock scheme comes from scientists researching ways to slow climate change.

The idea, basically, is this: spray a lot of sulfur dioxide (or some other light-blocking, preferably non-carcinogenic agent) into the air until it deflects about 8% of the sun's rays. Wait until global temperatures reach pre-industrial levels. Party. This is to a lesser degree what happened when Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991: the particulate matter it rocketed into the upper atmosphere stayed there -- cooling the Earth a few tenths of a degree -- for nearly a decade. According to a new study, doing this artificially would only cost about $100 million, vs. the hundreds of billions it would cost to change the way most of the world produces energy. So what's the downside? That's kind of the scary part: so far, they're having a problem finding one, assuming the shield was placed and maintained properly. Maybe that's a problem in itself: this method is untested and its effects would be wide-ranging; asking "what's the worst that could happen?" sound suspiciously like famous last words.

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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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