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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.
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World Rings in 2012

Many glad to see the back of 2011

(Newser) - Revelers around the world said hello to a new year Sunday starting in Samoa, where a move across the international date line has made the Pacific island nation the first in the world to celebrate. Many were relieved to say goodbye to a year marked by economic turmoil and natural... More »

Rock Music Has Worst Year Ever

It's old acts clinging to relevance, and new ones aping them: Critic

(Newser) - How dire is the state of mainstream rock? So dire that “Sublime With Rome,” a band with no higher ambition than mimicking Sublime, has had a song on the Billboard charts every week since May. “2011 may well be remembered as the most numbing year for mainstream... 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
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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
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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”
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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 »

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
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8 Stories