Slate’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2011

The inner workings of Slate.
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.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 1:38 PM Mad About Modi
 Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 12:42 PM How to Save Broken Mayonnaise
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 11:55 AM The Justice Department Is Cracking Down on Sales of Spyware Used in Stalking
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.