Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

B turned me on to this fascinating toy last week. It's pretty clever.

With it, the NYT makes it possible for you to "examine Netflix rental patterns, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a dozen cities." Sounds nerdy, right, until you realize it's actually a completely intriguing glimpse into pop sociology. Compare the demographics of various cities - and, more specifically, distinct neighborhoods in said cities - and find therein a reflection of class, education levels, diversity, politics, and more.

For instance - my zip code here in the heart of urban SF lists Sean Penn's "Milk" as the top-rented film of 2009. Not surprising, right? Dallas, on the other hand, features "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" as a regular in its top ten (!), and Atlanta, "Tyler Perry" and "Twilight." So interesting.

Give it a spin. Check out your own zip code's viewing habits. I guarantee you'll be hooked.


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