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Stacy Conradt
Stacy Conradt

James Salisbury

Stacy Conradt
Stacy Conradt

Every time we so much as touch a toe out of state, I’ve put cemeteries on our travel itinerary. From garden-like expanses to overgrown boot hills, whether they’re the final resting places of the well-known but not that important or the important but not that well-known, I love them all. After realizing that there are a lot of taphophiles out there, I’m finally putting my archive of interesting tombstones to good use.

For me, nothing was better the hot lunch pizza at school. The weird rectangular shape, the “healthy” side of plain shredded lettuce drenched in ranch, and a square of chocolate cake—totally the best day of the month.

But if Salisbury steak day was the day you refused to brown-bag it, James Salisbury is the guy you have to thank.

Salisbury was kind of like the Dr. Atkins of the 1800s. He tried single-food diets of oatmeal and baked beans, among other things, but concluded that minced lean beef provided the best nutrition and digestion. He also believed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables was hard on the system and resulted in a number of illnesses and diseases.

Stacy Conradt

After publishing his findings in 1888 (with the catchy title The Relation of Alimentation and Disease), Salisbury’s teachings became a household diet fad that was as popular as its South Beach or Atkins descendants more than 100 years later. But you don't have to read a whole book to get the gist of his diet recommendations: It consisted entirely of hot water and lean beef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To make a steady diet of cow more appetizing, the good doctor advocated shaping it into patties and seasoning with butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and horseradish.

Stacy Conradt

Extreme and monotonous though it may have been, Salisbury must have been doing something right—he lived until the age of 82, not a bad run for a guy who lived during the 19th century. Given his low-carb leanings and prejudice against vegetables, Salisbury is probably rolling over in his grave to see mashed potatoes and corn served alongside his creation in today’s hot lunches and TV dinners.

If you want to see that grave, by the way, you’ll find it at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

Peruse all the entries in our Grave Sightings series here.

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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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