Denver is smarter than every other city -- except four

There's a mechanism in every journalist that's triggered whenever a list mentions the city where he or she lives. We're powerless to resist writing about it -- and the urge is particularly strong when the results are complimentary, as in the case of The Daily Beast's roster of America's smartest cities. Employing a formula that makes about as much sense as the ones used in most of these rankings (i.e., not much), Denver places fifth out of 55 communities, because residents are "educated. They're well-read. And the denizens of Denver have a bit of cowboy swagger, as well."

That last part is because our chaps tend to, well, chap.

By the way, Denver trails Raleigh-Durham, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul -- but we absolutely crush last place finisher Fresno, California, which is said to have problems with gangs and meth. They should cowboy up.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts