Slate’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2011

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Dec. 28 2011 12:33 PM

Slate’s Most-Read Stories

The 10 most popular articles of 2011.

Every year, Slate publishes a list of its most-read stories, and it’s always intriguing to see which topics piqued reader interest. In 2011, you were avidly following the red-hot Republican primary race, reading stories about Rick Perry’s ranch, and Michele Bachmann’s “crazy eyes.” You were also fascinated by the secret history of the Muppets’ catchy “Mahna Mahna” song—which has its origins in an Italian soft-core film—and enthusiastic about Farhad Manjoo’s fervent takedown of the practice of putting two spaces between sentences. But the top story of the year was “Ghost Ship,” Paul Collins’ tale of the mysterious Mary Celeste, whose crew disappeared without a trace in 1872. Below you’ll find links to Collins’ story and the rest of our most-read pieces.

The Mary Celeste.
The Mary Celeste, the unluckiest ship ever.

1. “Ghost Ship: In 1872, the crew of the Mary Celeste disappeared without a trace. Her story only got weirder from there,” by Paul Collins. Posted Dec. 6.

2. “The Perfect Day: His dog was dying. But they could spend one last day together,” by Jon Katz. Posted Sept. 29.

4. “Gringo Gulch, Dago Spring, and Polack Swamp: How many racist place names are there in the United States?” By Brian Palmer. Posted Oct. 3.

5. “The Greatest Country on Earth: What the United States can learn from the tiny island nation of Mauritius,” by Joseph E. Stiglitz. Posted March 7.

6. “ ‘Mahna Mahna’: How a ditty from a soft-core Italian movie became the Muppets’ catchiest tune,” by Sam Adams. Posted Nov. 23.

7. “Space Invaders: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period,” by Farhad Manjoo. Posted Jan. 13.

8. “I Did a Crazy Fad Diet From the Internet: And it worked,” by Rachael Larimore. Posted Oct. 19.

9. “Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life,” by Mark Regnerus. Posted Feb. 25.

10.  “Canine Commando: Why did the military send a dog to help kill Bin Laden?” By Brian Palmer. Posted May 4.

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