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

The Best From Those Ubiquitous Year-in-Review Lists© Hemera/Thinkstock
What with all the office parties to attend and Christmas Story reruns to watch, it’s understandable that publications don’t have time to produce real news (by the way, that’s why we put out our double issue around then). So to fill empty space, magazines, newspapers, and websites spend their time leisurely looking back on the past year and compiling top 10 or top 15 lists if they didn’t have too much fun at the parties. We had so much fun at our office party we couldn’t even be bothered to compile our own lists, so we cribbed from our favorites — compiling an entrée or two from several sites that we found to be funny, fascinating, and sometimes touching. And in case you don’t believe we pulled the best, we added a link here and there to the list so you can see for yourself.

Seek and Ye Shall Find!
What were people searching for online in 2011? Depends on which search engine you ask:

Of Yahoo’s top 10 searched terms, number one was: iPhone.

Googlers were looking for something different. Google’s number one search was: Rebecca Black

Mad Hatters
What was the best hat topping a head that didn’t belong to Princess Beatrice? The Huffington Post had a veritable runway full of them.

Picture This
The year 2011 was chock-full of photo ops, some fun, others dripping with despair. Of the numerous ones picked by Yahoo’s editors to be part of their photo-of-the-year roundup, this is the one that kept us up nights.

Calling Dr. Frankenstein!
The past year offered MSNBC scads of candidates for its Weird Science Award. Here’s our favorite because it’s so … weird!

Glowing Dog Has an On-Off Switch
“In past years, our Weird Science Award winners have included glow-in-the-dark kitties and glow-in-the-dark puppies. How could scientists possibly top that? Would you believe a dog with a gene that turns the fluorescence under UV light on or off, depending on whether a particular drug is added to its food? That’s exactly the kind of dog that South Korean scientists produced in 2011. Why, you ask? Well, the ultimate aim of these glow-in-the-dark exercises is to splice in genes that can help treat diseases—and having an on-off switch would give physicians more control over the treatment. That feat would make other researchers turn green … with envy.”

Down the Tube
There were plenty of reasons to turn on the television last year and just as many to turn it off. USA Today offered its best and worst on TV list. Here are two winners and one loser:

Best Drama: Homeland
Best Comedy: Modern Family
Most overproduced, overwrought, underthought reality show. Ever. | The X Factor

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Delish.com served up some of 2011’s most mouthwatering food events. Here’s one we wish we had been invited to:

New Dating Site Matches Singles by Fridge Contents
Restdejtiing, a new dating site in Sweden, uses a unique formula to match prospective mates. Members enter up to five ingredients they have in their refrigerators, which are posted on Facebook, where other users can see them. If one user has leftover Chinese and another has a bottle of soy sauce, it could be a perfect dinner date match.

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