The 7 Reasons You Will Absolutely, Positively Click This Link

1. Lists are guaranteed to have useful information.Before you clicked this link, you knew there would be seven distinct, interesting pieces of information. How else could we have gotten as far as seven? There was so much to say that we literally had to divide it up and present it in a disposable, easy-to-digest format. Click through to a list, and you get tips on nutrition, dating, which features might be in the next iPhone but probably won't, the limit is limitless. Lists provide the knowledge you need to live a better, healthier, sexier life. And better means not only healthier, but sexier. Because of lists.

2. Boredom. Look, we know how it is. Right now, this very second, you need to be doing stuff. Work stuff, school stuff, household stuff, family stuff — there is a TON of shit waiting, if only you'd get off the internet and start. And you will! You totally will. It's just that ... ugh, GOD, so boring. Boring, boring, boring. But a list you haven't read yet? That could be exciting. If you're reading a list, you don't have to do all your stupid stuff. Isn't stuff stupid? So stupid.

3. It was cross-blogged. The headline caught your eye from HuffPo or Mashable or BuzzFeed. You saw it during your morning roundup, a mix of industry blogs you check out plus a few folks you know who have been writing some cool stuff lately. A friend posted it to Facebook. One of your coworkers retweeted it. The link streamed down through your RSS feeds, lurking among all the other headlines full of lists. It was on TechCrunch. Reddit, maybe? Oh shut up, you saw it somewhere.

4. You are quietly hoping that one (or more [or all]) of the reasons will be adorable animals. In ascending order of preference:

Sloths >> Hedgehogs >> Otters >> Baby hippos >> Piglets >> Dogs >> Cats >> Maru the Japanese cat >> Puppies (tie) >> Kittens (tie) >> Kittens sleeping on dogs

5. Statistics. Four out of five lists use figures to illustrate their point. This was the finding of a double-blind study conducted to generate data. The goal of such figures will simultaneously be 1) to shock you, and 2) to convince you of the viewpoint you already had. Fingers crossed, the figures will be sourced to a separate blog post with a awkwardly tall infographic.

6. Clicking the link was an accident. Hey, it happens. No judgments. There's a lot going on in the average web layout, you probably click something by mistake half a dozen times per day. Especially if you have one of those thumb-wheel mice.

7. This crack in our souls that can never be cauterized. There is nothing left to discover on the internet. Nothing. You have seen everything there is to see. And yet you click. Oh, how you click. You click like it's a mission, a search for that one missing piece of the sky that will fit neatly in the chasm within you. Did you hope this link would be it? Ouch. Maybe try clicking again?

As for us, yikes. Don't even get us started on us. We tell ourselves that lists drive pageviews but it's not even about that anymore, it's a buzzing noise that can only be silenced by your left mouse button. Content? Whatever. Read it, don't read it — hell, it doesn't even matter anymore, please Jesus, just click our link.

Seriously though, dwell rate gives us sway with our ad partners, so if you could just leave the tab open in the background for a while that'd be great.

HEAR MY VOICE. (If you're into that sort of thing.)

So I have a couple of friends, and they have a podcast. The friends are Bill Wadman and Dan Gottesman, the podcast is called Circuitous Conversations, and they were kind enough to invite me on the program to do some internet talkin'. Bill and Dan are both freelance photographers and top tier tech geeks. Bill has a blog called On Taking Pictures, and just got finished a 365 project where he posted a picture a day for 2011 — including a series of portraits in December that featured me as an Apollo-era mission control tech.

The show's about an hour long, recorded last night. We ramble on about bananas, digital media, and Henry Winkler. You can listen via the link below, or hit them up on iTunes.

Circuitous Conversations #69 - Chris Keating

New Year 2012: Completely Accurate Predictions

Analog Nation is pleased to present its 44th annual list of predictions for the coming year. AN readers may confidently risk health, safety, and financial security on these forecasts. If we may allow ourselves an uncharacteristic moment of hubris, our predictions are quite simply going to happen and that is that. • The Republican National Convention in Tampa will be crazyballs, resulting in a nominee who has yet to enter the race. Party leadership will re-stage all 23 debates to include the nominee, all of which will use the obstacle course from G4's Ninja Warrior.

Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street will swarm the Democratic National Convention. Which is a lucky thing, because otherwise it was going to be way, WAY boring.

Google will announce a cloud-based voting system, which will be implemented in at least 15 states. Very little possibility of anything going wrong with that. Right? Wait ... right?

An extraterrestrial civilization will make first contact with Earth, with overtures of peace and mutual prosperity. But it will happen on February 29, so by the time we're done explaining the leap year thing, the aliens will be like "oh, fuck off already" and never return.

Michael Phelps will arrive at the London Olympics with genetically altered skin which integrates dolphin DNA. The International Olympic Committee will toss up their hands in futility and allow him to compete. NBC will still do a dozen stories on how many calories Phelps consumes on competition days. Phelps will still be a bit of a pothead.

Locusts will set off a chain of events leading to the bankruptcy filings of McDonalds and Burger King. The locust infestation will decimate tomato harvests, driving up ketchup prices to unsustainable levels. When the two fast food giants present their customers with unavoidable option of enjoying their products without ketchup, the customers respond with a resounding "Nah, we're good."

Trend alert! Carrying old-school mathematics devices like slide rules and protractors will be the latest thing. Granted, hardly any of these insufferable hipsters will know how to use them.

A dire napkin shortage will lead to hoarding and profiteering. When supply levels return to normal, people who hoarded will look around their homes and realize that they have so many napkins, so very many napkins.

A tape dispenser in Las Vegas will gain sentience and begin questioning what is real. This one is a bit of a long shot, we admit.

The Mayan calendar prophecy will turn out to be true, sort of. The 5,125 year cycle will indeed come to an end on December 21st, heralding the start of the 14th b'ak'tun. (Get used to this quip: "I'm still writing 13th b'ak'tun on my checks!") Far from an apocalypse, this new age will be one of harmony and grace — a phenomenon that the media will dub "accelerated understanding." War and hunger will fade, art and science alike will thrive.

Everyone will agree that it's a huge bummer the aliens showed up on stupid leap day rather than this.

Also worth mentioning, the entire Mayan people will rise from the grave, and boy will they be pissed. With good reason, when you think about it.

Grade for our 2011 predictions: C+ (Though to be fair, the panda fire was under-reported by the media.)

Programming note: We here at Analog Nation don't quite have the requisite level of vitriol for our 44th annual list of compulsory resolutions. However, we did want to mention real quick that all those "that awkward moment" jokes can stop now. It was here, it did its thing, it moved on, so should we.

FREE SNUGGLES!*

*Offer valid through March 31, 2012. Limit one per household. Recipient must be 18 years of age or older as of December 1, 2011. Free shipping within the United States and Puerto Rico. Flat ground rate of $40.00 applies within Canada and Mexico. International air rates apply in all other territories. Cannot deliver to post office boxes, rural postal routes, or buildings with more than five (5) flights of stairs. No purchase necessary. For a snuggle request form (SRF), submit an SRF request form (SRFRF) electronically via analog-nation.com. By submitting snuggle request form, recipient accepts the terms and conditions of Analog Nation's end user license agreement (EULA). Employees of Analog Nation, their families, their pets, and their exes are not eligible for this offer. 5¢ deposit in ME, NY, MI, WI, KS, AZ, and WA. An authorization fee of $0.34 will be charged to recipient's credit card, to be refunded upon completion of transaction. Snuggle may not be transferred, sold, or bartered in any way. If not fully satisfied with snuggle, recipient may return it in its original packaging within ninety (90) days of date shipped. Additional restrictions apply. Analog Nation reserves the right, without notice and in its sole discretion, to revoke snuggle and/or replace with an item of commensurate value. By confirming receipt of snuggle, recipient acknowledges that he/she/it forfeits all rights to this or any future snuggles delivered by Analog Nation. Events and descriptions of the snuggle remain the sole property of Analog Nation in perpetuity, and cannot be reproduced or retransmitted in any form without its express written consent. To obtain express written consent, submit an express written consent (EWC) request form electronically via analog-nation.com. Any disputes that arise pursuant to snuggle may be resolved by third party moderation. In such case, both recipient and Analog Nation will present a list of three names to an appellate court judge, who will select a moderator. Upon approval of snuggle request form, recipient will be given a date and a twelve (12) hour window for snuggle delivery. Recipient is required to accept delivery of full snuggle at appointed date and time. Snuggle guaranteed to last a minimum of three (3) seconds; all decisions made by Analog Nation regarding extension of snuggle are final. Recipient is directed neither to make nor maintain eye contact prior to or during snuggle. Void where prohibited by law. Analog Nation is not responsible for any damage to recipient's person, property, mental or emotional stability, or credit rating. Where applicable, this voucher can be redeemed for a cash value of 1¢. No weirdos.

Open Letter to the Couple Whose Apartment I Rented on Airbnb Last Weekend

First of all, we're all adults here. Before this gets out of hand, let's just agree that a situation developed, a situation involving mistakes. To declare that those mistakes were the fault of one side alone would be folly. There would be no point. The proper course is to own this situation, you and I together. Let's have no more finger-pointing. Let's have no more cries about, and I'm quoting here, "you fucking destroyed our fucking apartment." Here are the facts:

Approximately ten days ago, I searched Airbnb and found your listing, which offered the use of your apartment on Grand Street, in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, for $85 per night. The listing stated that the apartment would be available for the duration of Thanksgiving weekend, as you would be, quoting again, "surviving another roast turkey with the fam in Chicago." I booked the apartment, arrived on Wednesday evening, and departed Sunday afternoon. These appear to be the only facts on which we agree.

However, because we are are all adults, I will take responsibility for certain aspects of the situation. In return, I only ask that you do the same. Allow me to begin.

• Yes, there was some damage to the front door. This is normal when a person has to pick some locks to gain entry at 4:00 in the goddamn morning, a time that is not blessed with natural light. (Or do you plan to argue that as well? Was the sun up in the middle of the night?)

• I will admit that I overreacted when the neighbor's cat crawled down from the fire escape. Okay, fine. Who am I, Temple Grandin? The animal is perfectly alive, and you can paint over those burn marks on the ceiling. On the plus side, it is safe to assume that the cat will not bother you anymore. You're welcome.

• "Excavation" is a strong word, but yes, I wound up conducting more exploratory digging than I anticipated. The note I left on the counter clearly offered a 60/40 split of any valuables I found, which I still think is crazy generous, though it was thoughtless of me not to have it notarized. (Besides, if that kind of exploration bothers you, go live in a newer building.)

• Four homeless people was probably three too many.

• Likewise, I should have touched base with you before offering use of the apartment as an Occupy Wall Street staging area. You guys clearly aren't in the One Percent (I'll pretend I didn't see the FreshDirect receipt in your trash), and those guys did leave a bunch of Quizno's wrappers lying around. Not cool.

Now then, let's start solving for X on your side of the equation, shall we?

• Picking the lock(s!) on the front door would not have been necessary if your hellhole shithole of a hole of an apartment weren't locked down like the Federal Reserve. Are you guys guarding gold bullion? The answer is no, because I would have found it.

• The toaster was like that when I got there, so either someone else has keys to your place or you should be profoundly ashamed of yourselves.

• I get creative when I drink and I drink when I'm angry, so on Thanksgiving I got very creative indeed. What you label vandalism, I label art. My sincere apologies for making you confront a world of color and shape. Installations like that go for millions, and now you freaking live in one. No one will miss your dumb clothes or your dumb dishes.

• Is one of you an Orioles fan? How does that even happen anymore? Jesus. If you're from Baltimore, just stop liking baseball and take this shit down off your walls. If anything, you should be thanking me for dousing those posters in hydrofluoric acid.

• By the way, have you even so much as offered to return my excess barrels of hydrofluoric acid? Nope. Funny how your voice mail rants have been nothing but tearful gurgling about security deposits and lost heirlooms, with ZERO mention of returning my property.

• Okay, for real? Soho? FULL of bridge & tunnel poseurs on Saturday afternoon. I understand that there is both a bridge and a tunnel nearby, but my God. You could have said something. You leave a note about jiggling the handle but you don't leave a note about that?

• Just admit you like the new bathtub.

• If you were so concerned about identity theft, maybe you should have traveled with your documents securely in tow rather than leave them behind where anyone might stumble upon them. That safe was a total joke, I watched Ripshot Jimmy tear through it like a cellophane bag. The man's an artist, honestly I should have put the whole thing on YouTube. Identity theft isn't even that big a deal anymore — just go to the FTC website, there's like a whole info packet on there. Or, here's another option, cry like a fucking child. Right, because that helps.

Anyone reading this will clearly see that my case outweighs yours. I don't even care at this point, it's obvious that I'm not getting an apology from you. My goal here is simply to walk off the field with a draw. Can we do that? Can we call it even and go our separate ways? Because if not, go ahead and call the cops. Call your uncle the lawyer. Leave a bad review for me on Yelp or Foursquare or whatever the fuck.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Hugs and candy,

-LH