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.


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 3:19 PM In Defense of Congress Leaving Town Without a New War Vote
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 5:43 PM Oracle’s Larry Ellison Steps Down, Will Be Replaced by Hurd’n’Catz
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.