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Gary Paulsen: Real-Life Hatchet

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If you read Hatchet as a child and convinced yourself that you could easily survive in the wilderness just like Brian Robeson, you’re not alone. Author Gary Paulsen thinks he can, too. In fact, he does.

For at least part of the year, Paulsen lives on 40 acres north of Willow, Alaska. “From the northwest corner of my land, there’s nothing for 4,000 miles,” he told the New York Times in 2006. “There’re no towns, no roads, no people all the way to Siberia.” There, he trains dogs for the Iditarod, which he has participated in several times.

And that’s not the least of Paulsen’s fascinating adventures. He was just 14 when he ran away from home to join the carnival; has worked jobs as a sailor, ranch hand, truck driver and engineer; and he spends winters in a remote cabin in Northern Minnesota. If he’s written about it, chances are he’s done it. “Sometimes I’m lucky and the living part of life gets folded into the writing part, like with Dogsong and the Brian books and Caught by the Sea and How Angel Peterson Got His Name,” he says. “Those books were based on personal inspection at zero altitude, I took experiences that I had and turned them into books. I’ve spent a great deal of time in the outdoors, but not with the specific goal of writing about it later.”

If you think Paulsen’s life sounds just as interesting as the fictional characters he writes about, then you can read about that, too. Guts chronicles tales from his real life, including a handy guide to wilderness nutrition and the events that inspired the pilot’s death in Hatchet.

Should you ever catch the author and professional wanderer outside of his 40 acres in Alaska, his cabin in Minnesota, or his catamaran in the South Pacific, know that he might like to preserve his solitude. Like many of his loner characters, Paulsen has developed a distrust of humans. “I don’t have anything against individuals,” he says. “But the species is a mess.”

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Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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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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