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The Genius Who Invented Brunch

Hussenot/SoFood/Corbis
Hussenot/SoFood/Corbis

Guy Beringer didn’t set out to invent a new meal. Then he had a few drinks...

The next time you’re enjoying a delightful brunch, be sure to clink your glass to the meal’s inventor, Guy Beringer, and his inspiration: the hangover.

The English writer first proposed the idea for the mixed meal in his 1895 essay “Brunch: A Plea.” In it, Beringer defended those nursing their Sunday morning hangovers.

Instead of rousing folks from bed and confronting them with a heavy spread of meat pies, Beringer proposed a midmorning compromise: a hybrid meal that could lead with tea pastries and segue into meatier dishes. That way, brunchers wouldn’t be forced to stuff rich fare down their gullets. Instead, they could slowly shake off their headaches and calm their gurgling stomachs. If someone needed to chase the meal with a hair-of-the-dog cocktail, nobody would judge.

Best of all, Beringer believed that friends could share their debauched tales of the previous evening. “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling,” Beringer wrote. “It makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings.”

But for all of his pleading, Americans weren’t quick to swipe the idea. The delicious British invention took 30 years to catch on in the States, but we’ve been enjoying Bloody Marys with our pancakes ever since. Thanks, hard-drinking Englishmen!

Anyone for Blunch?

In its earlier years, the word “brunch” didn’t have a monopoly on describing midmorning meals. In 1896, the English magazine Punch warned readers, “The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour, is ‘brunch,’ and, when nearer luncheon, is ‘blunch.’ Please don’t forget this.”

This story originally appeared in mental_floss magazine.

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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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