The Best From Those Ubiquitous Year-in-Review Lists

Funny, fascinating, and sometimes touching: These are 2011's best-of-the-year reports that rated most-memorable to us.

By Adrienne Farr | with Andy Simmons

Nine Stories From a Year That Might Have Been
What could have been the top stories of 2011? The New Yorker imagines different scenarios from those stories that actually played out last year. Here’s one we found particularly worrisome:

The Fall of Tokyo: As the tsunami wave recedes, TEPCO makes all the wrong decisions; the government keeps one too many secrets; there is a crucial failure of communication at just the wrong moment, and reactors 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi not only suffer a meltdown but burn and explode uncontrollably. No one can get to the spent-fuel pool at reactor 4, or keep it and the others from being the source of further radiation releases. Radiation counters between there and the capital and beyond spin upward. One of the world’s great cities is abandoned, scarring Japan and shocking the world’s economy.

Music to Our Ears
If you work at Rolling Stone magazine, you’re going to hear a lot of music. And out of all the CDs released last year, the favorite album was: Adele 21, by Adele.

Best Single:
“Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele

“Room Service, I’d Like to Order Kristen Wiig”
What did travelers do this past year? They ordered loads of films in their hotel rooms. According to USA Today, of the top 10 Hollywood movies ordered in hotel rooms in 2011, these were the top three:

1. Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures)
2. The Hangover Part II (Warner Bros.)
3. Limitless (Relativity Media)

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