Why You Might Let Someone Crack a Coconut on your Head

It's amazing to me how many different types of Hindu ceremonies there are, and how many I'm not familiar with. This National Geographic video showcases an annual ceremony in Tamil Nadu, in Southern India, where priests break one coconut after another on people's heads as a way of thanking the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Devotees-- who are required to be 18 years or older-- offer their skulls as a coconut cracker as thanks for having their prayers answered.

According to National Geographic, the ceremony has a bit of post-colonial lore behind it as well. As one local told reporters: "When the British were trying to draw a railway line against the wishes of the villagers here, they found big stones just like coconuts, beneath the ground. They sarcastically told villagers that if they could break these stones with their heads, they would change the course of the railway line. The villagers broke the stones and the line was shifted." Some of the locals say since then the ritual has been performed at the temple using coconuts, and that these rituals draw thousands.

Be sure to click here to watch the full video. The vigor and speed with which the priest performs the ceremony is stunning (and a little frightening, even for someone who was dropped on their head as a kid!).

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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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