E.O. Wilson - Lord of the Ants

Did you know you can watch full episodes of NOVA, PBS's science show, for free on YouTube? Yeah, it was news to me too. There are about twenty episodes up at the moment, including Lord of the Ants, an hour-long documentary about E.O. Wilson, an ant biologist with a surprisingly controversial career.

I found this program totally engrossing, despite the slightly wooden narration by Harrison Ford. It's great to see Wilson digging around in the dirt, allowing himself to be stung by fire the ripe old age of 80. He explains ants' chemical communication, how they work in different ecological niches, what happens inside the colony, and other interesting ant-stuff. Kick off your shoes (check for ants first), and check it out below.

Representative quote: "He is a towering example of a specialist, a world authority. Nobody in the world has ever known as much as Ed Wilson about ants." -Sir David Attenborough.

Or, watch it a bit bigger at YouTube. If you prefer QuickTime or Windows Media, PBS has the show online as well (but broken into chunks).

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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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