Best of 2011

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TSA's Best 'Catches' of 2011

Explosives, snakes, and a harmless science project

(Newser) - Americans love griping about the TSA, and with good reason. The TSA, for instance, pocketed an estimated $376,480 of your loose change in 2010, notes the Huffington Post . But before your blood pressure shoots too high, consider this: TSA officers stopped some crazy and dangerous things from boarding flights... More »

The Weirdest News of 2011

From caffeinated meat to the Frozen Dead Guys festival

(Newser) - As the weirdness of 2012 begins, it's time to take a look back at the bizarre year behind us. Some of the year's oddest stories:
  • In Florida, an 8-foot-tall Lego man washed up on a beach —apparently the work of a Dutch artist, not the Lego company.
... More »

Top 10 Magazine Articles of 2011

From Paul Haggis to the weirdest movie ever

(Newser) - The year's best magazine articles cover everything from Scientology to conjoined twins to religious slavery in a Louisiana prison. Slate lists 10 favorites via , including:
  • "The Apostate," The New Yorker. Famed Hollywood screenwriter Paul Haggis reveals his falling out with the Church of Scientology. "
... More »

Thanks, Celebs, for This Year's 23 'WTF?!' Moments

Did the world really need a Miley Cyrus sex doll?

(Newser) - Hollywood has given us many, many reasons to be glad 2011 is over—including the nearly two dozen “WTF?!” moments rounded up by the Huffington Post :
  • Chris Brown shatters a window in a rage after Good Morning America.
  • Rebecca Black releases “Friday.” It goes on to
... More »

10 Most Nagging Mysteries of 2011

From murder mysteries to murky maladies

(Newser) - A lot of big news happened in 2011 ... and some of it only half-happened. The Atlantic Wire took a look at the most frustrating unanswered questions of the year, and keeps its fingers crossed that 2012 will bring new details. Highlights from its list of the year's 10 most... More »

And the Worst Celebrity Baby Name of 2011 Was...

Take your pick: Bear, Moroccan, or Zuzu

(Newser) - Celebrities tend to choose some very, er, interesting names for their offspring, but this year two names stood out: Bear Blu Jarecki, born to Alicia Silverstone, and Moroccan Cannon, born to Mariah Carey. Those two tied for the worst celebrity baby boy names of 2011 on a new More »

Our Pundit Screw-Ups of the Year

Dana Milbank and Dave Weigel take themselves to task

(Newser) - Political pundits are in the business of making predictions—usually secure in the knowledge that no one will remember when they mess up. “We’re not always wrong,” writes Dave Weigel of Slate . “But we’re wrong enough.” He and Dana Milbank of the Washington Post... More »

Top 10 Actors We Stalk on IMDb

Natalie Portman steals top spot from Johnny Depp this year

(Newser) - When you want to ogle an actor, the Internet Movie Database is a reasonable destination. So which 10 celebs racked up the most IMDb profile page views in 2011? The top spot now belongs to Natalie Portman , who snagged the crown from Johnny Depp (now No. 3, he's been... More »

Media Gaffe of the Year: the Obama/Osama Mixup

...and other mistakes

(Newser) - One is the president of the United States. The other was bent on destroying the United States. So you’d think Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden would be pretty easy to keep straight. But when the former announced the death of the latter, a really embarrassing number of news... More »

The Year's Priciest Domain Names

Top honors went to, which sold for $2.6M

(Newser) - This year was a cheap one for buying domain names—relatively speaking. sold for a wild $13 million last year, but 2011's top honors went to a domain name that cost the lucky buyer just $2.6 million. What was it? (which currently returns a... More »

And the Quote of the Year Is...

'We are the 99%' ... plus 9 more memorable utterances

(Newser) - It's been a good year for quotes inspiring, inept, and inscrutable. A Yale librarian has compiled his annual list of the year's 10 key quotations, and topping this year's selection is Occupy Wall Street's rallying cry: "We are the 99%." The runners-up:
  1. Lines from
... More »

2011's Least Fascinating People

Hey, not everybody can be interesting: Seth Abramovitch

(Newser) - Needless to say, Gawker isn’t all that impressed with Barbara Walters’ annual list of the year’s 10 most fascinating people . The good news is, that didn’t stop blogger Seth Abramovitch from offering up his own list, of the year’s 10 least fascinating people, in response:
  • Piers
... More »

And the Top News Story of 2011 Was...

...the killing of Osama bin Laden, says AP poll

(Newser) - Between the protests, the natural disasters, and the economy, it was quite the newsy year. So which story was the top dog? The killing of Osama bin Laden takes the No. 1 slot, according to the AP's yearly poll of US editors and news directors. Of the 247 ballots... More »

Top 10 Movies of 2011

Caesar makes 'Planet of the Apes' one of the winners: Dana Stevens

(Newser) - Film critic Dana Stevens of Slate is out with her top-10 list for the year, though she says that pickings were generally slim in 2011. A sampling:
  • Buck : This documentary by Cindy Meehl about Buck Brannaman, the real-life inspiration for the Horse Whisperer, includes an encounter with a nasty stallion
... More »

Top Songs of 2011

Will 'Pitchfork' keep Adele from taking the crown?

(Newser) - It’s the end of the year, which means a glut of music sites releasing “Best Of” lists. Indie-loving Pitchfork picks the top 100 tracks of the year; here are the top 10, which include some mainstream surprises:
  1. M83, “Midnight City”
  2. Bon Iver, “Holocene”
  3. EMA, “California”
... More »

2011 Google Zeitgeist Shows We're Pretty Shallow

Time to don the hairshirt

(Newser) - There's no way to sugarcoat this: We are one shallow nation. Google today revealed its annual Zeitgeist , in which it crunches billions of Google searches "to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011." Here's what the spirit... More »

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year Is...

Let's just say it's a pragmatic choice

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster’s word of the year—pragmatic—may not be exciting, but at least it’s slightly less depressing than last year’s word, austerity. The editors chose the word because it was looked up so often on its online dictionary, particularly before August’s debt ceiling vote and during... More »

Things From 2011 You Must Wipe From Your Memory

Lindsay Lohan's rotting teeth, and 44 other items

(Newser) - As the year draws to a close, it's hard not to reflect on the events that have made 2011 the glorious year it was. Well, almost. Writing for Buzzfeed , Dave Stopera, argues that there are about 45 things from the past year we should forget, while toasting to "... More »

The Big World Events You Missed in 2011

Foreign Policy lists 10 quiet but essential world events

(Newser) - What events and trends flew under the radar in 2011 but could erupt into massive headline-grabbers in 2012? Foreign Policy rounds up the top 10 "stories you missed" this year.
  1. India grows its military: India is now the globe's leading weapons importer, accounting for nearly 1 in 10
... More »

2011, as Told in 18 Items

From Steve Jobs' turtleneck to Kate Middleton cash

(Newser) - If the BBC can summarize all of history in 100 objects, then Vanity Fair can do a year in 18. The magazine offers a collection of iconic objects—some real, some fictional—as a time capsule of sorts for 2011. Among the highlights:
  • The Hello Kitty cat holding a “
... More »

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