Napoleon Dynamite is considered the most difficult film to recommend based on your likes and dislikes!
When analyzing the best movies to recommend to a person based on their previous likes and dislikes, specifically on Netflix, computer analyst Len Bertoni had a difficult time finding anywhere Napoleon Dynamite fit in. He developed a software which improved the matching system Netflix had for what movie to watch next. He began by analyzing patterns of what movies subscribers had previously watched and from there predicted what would be best based on their behavior, yet ran into a problem with one particular movie. Indie cult hit “Napoleon Dynamite” doesn’t seem to fit in to anyone’s pattern!
Bertoni claims it’s nearly impossible to determine how much anyone will like the movie because it’s so different from virtually every other movie. He says the reason for this is because the movie is so weird and polarizing and there are few who would watch it without either loving or hating it, leaving very little room for a middle ground. Even stranger, people who routinely watch the same type of movies still do not agree whether Napoleon Dynamite is good or terrible, meaning whether someone likes it is almost entirely independent of the other movies they watch!
There are six standard time zones throughout the United States, with a seventh encompassing Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. However, before these were established, it was nearly impossible to accurately schedule trains because every town kept its own time! Before 1883, almost every town decided their own times based on sunrise and sunset, which was extremely inaccurate.
For example, if you were at one town and it was noon, you could go to a town only a couple of miles away and it could be 3! When railroads became the chief mode of transportation, the government encountered a huge problem coordinating what time the trains were supposed to arrive. In response, they developed standardized time zones in the Standard Time Act of 1918, allowing transportation and communication to happen much more easily!
Students at Bernard College did an experiment in Manhattan where they purposely “lost” their wallets across the city and observed where they were most likely to be returned. Each student picked a different area across the city and “dropped” a handful of wallets with a few dollars, fake credit cards, and business cards with numbers and addresses to have them returned. In total, 132 wallets were dropped, and most of the time as soon as they were dropped someone picked it up and ran to the person who had dropped it to return it. 82 percent of the time the wallets were returned, while 3 percent of the time someone tried to return it but failed, mostly by attempting to give it to the wrong person.
13 percent of the time the wallet was simply unseen or ignored by people as they walked by, and amazingly only 2 percent of the wallets were taken! So where were the most wallets taken? Surprisingly, it was the Upper East Side, the wealthiest area of New York. Where the median family income was nearly $200,000, the student who placed the wallets expected a high rate of return, yet he observed several people who appeared well-off to simply pick up the wallet without looking around and keep walking as if nothing had happened! The results? Don’t lose your wallet in a rich area or your most unlikely to get it back!
Christians were routinely punished by the Romans who saw their religion as impious and backward. Beginning with Jesus, Christians were rounded up and executed for their religion over the course of three centuries. The Romans characterized them as “impious atheists” because they did not believe in many gods. Virtually everyone in the ancient world agreed there were many gods, which is why Christianity and Judaism were considered so bizarre.
In fact, the act of praising only one God was so foreign to the Romans that they considered it equivalent to denying the existence of all gods and thus labeled them atheists!
The head of Columbia Studios had Sammy Davis Jr. kidnapped by the Mafia to keep him from marrying a white woman!
Sammy Davis Junior was one of the most famous African Americans of the 1950’s and perhaps most well known as a member of the infamous “Rat Pack” along with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Even with his fame however, Davis was a victim of racism throughout his life. One of the most famous and interesting events that he encountered was with the mob and one of his prospective wives. Kim Novak was a famous actress for Columbia Studios and was a white woman.
Harry Cohn, who was the head of Columbia, was terrified that the interracial couple would damage the credibility of the studio and Novak’s career and so he called his friend in the mob. The mob confronted Davis and told him he had to end the relationship…or else. They then had Davis kidnapped for a few hours before releasing him. Davis was so terrified, he hastily married black dancer Loray White in 1958 as a cover up!