Six Phantom Phenomena

Most of you have probably heard of the phantom limb sensation, which is what amputees sometimes complain of feeling after losing a limb. Described as painful by many, people say it feels as if the amputated limb is still there, even though it clearly isn't.

Though certainly not nearly as unfortunate, another phantom phenomenon has been making the news lately: phantom BlackBerry vibrations. That's when you feel like your PDA or beeper is vibrating even when it isn't. I know this phenomenon all too well and often find myself digging hastily through my many pockets to locate my Treo (which has been set to vibrate since the day I bought it) even when it really isn't buzzing.

All this got me thinking about other phantom phenomena. Here are four more that really annoy me:

ocean.jpgPhantom Ocean Waves

This is the sensation you feel after you've been rocked around on a boat at sea, or even playing in the water at the beach. It's that rolling feeling that sometimes affects you not just hours later, but DAYS later. For instance, I remember being bothered by this rolling sensation while trying to sleep at night a full week after a 2-week cruise, island hopping in Greece. Doctors have a name for the extreme version of this phantom: Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. For some unfortunate souls, it actually lasts years.

Grassy_field_in_the_wind.jpgPhantom Grass Itchies

This is an odd one: after lying in the grass, I often feel the blades on my skin hours later as I'm walking around or driving in my car. And it frequently itches something awful!

spider-web-1a.jpgPhantom Spider Webs

You walk through a spider web, struggle for ten minutes to get the darn thing off your arm (or worse, face!), and for the next couple hours, even though you could swear you got it all off, it still feels like it's stuck to you. Blech!

5-11.jpeg Phantom Insect Bites
Need I say more? This one can be triggered simply by thinking about bugs! For instance, I was once visiting a friend in Greenwich, CT, and she suggested we put knee-high Wellington boots on to keep the ticks from getting us while we walked in her woodsy backyard. For the rest of the day I felt like I had ticks crawling all over me. Double-blech! [note: loyal _floss reader mri correctly states below that a form of this phenomenon is known as formication.]

Care to commiserate or add another to my ever-growing Phantom list?

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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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