Photo: RKO Radio Picture (Getty Images)
Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

When’s the last time you watched It’s A Wonderful Life?

It’s probably been a while. Time to remedy this! When I was a kid, my parents would let me stay up every Christmas Eve to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the local PBS station at midnight, resulting in my own, very personal holiday tradition. Lucky for me, awesome local movie theater the Music Box here in Chicago now runs a bunch of holiday movies, including It’s A Wonderful Life on weekends in December. My daughter started going with me a few years ago and it’s one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions. It holds up so well, it even made my daughter a black-and-white movie fan. For some reason this year I started crying when Mr. Gower started beating on George’s ear and didn’t stop crying until the end; it still moves me that much. The initial box-office flop remains inspirational decades later: each person’s life can matter so much, and it’s up to us to make sure that we make a difference. It’s never a bad time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, but it delivers a particularly perfect message for this time of year. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Machine-learning algorithms are bad at naming cookies

Photo: Oleksii Polishchuk (iStock)

Machine-learning algorithms are good at certain tasks. In fact, they write baseball news stories that are indistinguishable from human ones. But naming cookies still eludes them, as researcher Janelle Shane points out in this humorous post about how her artificial neural networks named cookie recipes, after the computer programs were given the recipes and ingredients. Anyone for a Brown Cheesey Cookie? Maybe an Apricot Dream Mole? [Kate Bernot]