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Movies You'd Erase Your Memory to See Again for the First Time

Earlier this month we had a nice discussion of books you can't put down -- the comments led me to buy several new books, the first of which I've already failed to put down (thanks for the Shadow Divers tip, Capt Grayson!). But a comment left by septer leads us to a related discussion about movies. Here it is:

You should blog about such movies too, ones that you wish you could erase from your mind, just so you can relive the experience of watching it for the first time!

This is a particularly interesting point, because we're talking about something other than movies you love and like to watch over and over. There are lots of movies I love that I don't wish I could relive watching for the first time. For example, I feel like Rushmore is a touchstone -- I can watch it again every year or so and experience both nostalgia for the first viewing, as well as a new perspective on the movie provided by later viewings. But there are definitely some movies I'd zap my brain and watch again for the first time. Here are two favorites:

The Village - I'm not usually a big fan of twists, period pieces, or horror, but boy did I love watching this movie for the first time. In this M. Night Shyamalan picture, I actually figured out several of the twists long before they were revealed -- but I loved that feeling of figuring them out, putting together the pieces. Knowing that a twist was coming (based on seeing The Sixth Sense), I kept an eye out for clues, and became a very active viewer, questioning everything I saw and trying to fit bits of evidence into various theories...all while watching and enjoying the movie. When the twist (and subtwists) were finally revealed, it was deliciously gratifying, and I remember feeling physically tired and happy after the movie ended. Wow. Subsequent viewings have been okay, but I'll never get back that feeling of fresh engagement from the first time.

AdaptationAdaptation - Again, this movie had a lot going on structurally that wasn't clear to me at first. On the first viewing, I was utterly unaware of anything fishy going on until maybe a half hour in. At some point (perhaps during the scene -- no spoiler here -- when Kaufman describes movie-opener scenes going back to the dawn of time), aspects of the movie's plot and narrative perspective start to fray around the edges, and I started to wonder what was actually going on. Watching it come apart was a revelation for me, as I enjoyed the movie on at least two levels. On the surface it's a funny, touching, weird movie. Beneath that, there's a meta-narrative about writing and identity that floored me. Anyway, I do enjoy watching this one over again, but I feel like now it's more like studying a work of art -- trying to figure out how the writer put it together -- than the pure joy of experiencing the reveal for the first time.

So, what movies would you like to see again for the first time? (Please avoid posting plot- or twist-related spoilers in the comments!)

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Food
Learn to Spot the Sneaky Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use
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While dining out, you may have noticed (but perhaps didn’t question) some unusual features—like prices missing dollar signs, or burgers served on plates that could accommodate a baby cow.

These aren’t just arbitrary culinary decisions, as the SciShow’s Hank Green explains in the video below. Restaurants use all kinds of psychological tricks to make you spend more money, ranging from eliminating currency symbols (this makes you think less about how much things cost) to plating meals on oversize dinnerware (it makes you eat more). As for the mouthwatering language used to describe food—that burger listed as a "delectable chargrilled extravagance," for example—studies show that these types of write-ups can increase sales by up to 27 percent.

Learn more psychological tricks used by restaurants (and how to avoid falling for them) by watching the video below. (Or, read our additional coverage on the subject.)

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Animals
Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows
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We've said that having a furry friend can reduce depression, promote better sleep, and encourage more exercise. Now, research has indicated that caring for a canine might actually extend your lifespan.

Previous studies have shown that dog owners have an innate sense of comfort and increased well-being. A new paper published in Scientific Reports and conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the health records of 3.4 million of the country's residents. These records typically include personal data like marital status and whether the individual owns a pet. Researchers got additional insight from a national dog registry providing ownership information. According to the study, those with a dog for a housemate were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or any other cause during the study's 12-year duration.

The study included adults 40 to 80 years old, with a mean age of 57. Researchers found that dogs were a positive predictor in health, particularly among singles. Those who had one were 33 percent less likely to die early than those who did not. Authors didn't conclude the exact reason behind the correlation: It could be active people are more likely to own dogs, that dogs promoted more activity, or that psychological factors like lowered incidences of depression might bolster overall well-being. Either way, having a pooch in your life could mean living a longer one.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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