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The Funny Story Behind a Classic Simpsons Scene

As the longest-running scripted series of all time, The Simpsons has built up its fair share of folklore surrounding how the series comes together. Just last week, How I Met Your Mother actor Josh Radnor (of all people) gave the world another anecdote to add to the history books.

In an appearance on the podcast You Made It Weird, Radnor told host Pete Holmes about a conversation he had with longtime Simpsons producer Bonita Pietila. He asked Pietila about a specific episode—one of his favorites—from 1993. The season five, episode two installment is a Sideshow Bob-centric parody of Cape Fear called “Cape Feare.” It’s a classic, and one of its well-known bits involves Bob stepping on a series of rakes after freeing himself from the underside of the Simpsons' car, which they’ve driven to their new home on Terror Lake as part of their new life in the Witness Relocation Program. The rakes scene is one of those jokes that lasts so long it goes from funny to annoying and back to funny all over again.

Here’s what Radnor had to say about his conversation with Pietila: “I said, ‘I love the rakes so much,’ and she said, ‘I’ll tell you a story about the rakes.’ She said, ‘It was the one episode that we're short on time-wise and a writer goes, ‘What about more rakes?’’ That’s why that’s in there. Which I thought was amazing.”

And there you have it. A classic joke from a classic episode was spawned from a simple need to fill time. To listen to Radnor tell the story, skip ahead to about 1 hour and 14 minutes in. He notes that, in syndication, the scene is shortened for time (irony of ironies), so make sure you watch the clip above for the full effect.

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Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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