Houston: The 352nd-Happiest American City. We Analyze Our Closest Competitors
A new survey based on Twitter use -- and actually filled with all sorts of math -- has ranked 373 American metropolitan areas in terms of how happy and sad residents are.
Watch out, Tuscaloosa!!
The study, by the Vermont Complex Systems Center, looked at more than 10 million geotagged tweets. It looked for "happy" words like rainbow, love, beauty, hope, wonderful and wine (are we sure they didn't mean "hippie" words?) and "sad" words like damn, boo, ugly, smoke, hate and lied. ("Smoke" is sad?)
The results? The happiest place in the whole USA is....the Napa Valley in California. The saddest is Beaumont, which probably doesn't surprise too many people who know of Beaumont but don't live in it.
And Houston? We come in with a not-so-respectable showing of being the 352nd-happiest city, which is pretty depressing.
How can we improve this dismal result? Easy: Invent a weather machine that makes our summer highs about 75 degrees.
Unfortunately, a project like that might be almost as expensive as light rail. We as a city have to be smarter about this, and that begins by studying your competition. Baby steps, people: Let's look at the towns or areas that finished in the five slots directly before us.
5. Anniston, AL
What the website's Visitors section says: "Welcome to the City of Anniston. If you haven't enjoyed the azaleas on Quintard, an evening on Noble Street, a summer night to the sounds of frogs croaking and the Symphony at McClellan, you will find it here."
Comment: Well, I have been looking for those damn frogs. Point, Anniston.
4. Fayetteville, NC
Visitors: "Several box office hits have been filmed in North Carolina including Patch Adams, Dirty Dancing, and both Teenage Mutant Turtles I and II."
Comment: Oh man, the sequel to Teenage Mutant Turtles? This is gonna be tougher than we th -- WAIT!! We had the sequel to Terms of Endearment!! Yeesss, they made one. No, really. They did. Actually, we forget what it was called.
No, Jack Nicholson wasn't in it. Nevertheless, point Houston!!! Hah!!!