To wrap up the year, here are my favorite things I wrote this year. Which, for what it’s worth, really *don’t* line up with the things that got a lot of views.
Whenever I write about my favorite 11 Points lists, I think of this article I read a few years ago. An interviewer asked Woody Allen which of his movies are his favorites. He went with: Purple Rose of Cairo, Match Point, Bullets Over Broadway, Zelig, Husbands and Wives and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In other words — Woody Allen has really bad taste in Woody Allen movies.
And that’s generally how I feel about the stuff I write. It’s rare that my favorite ideas for this site turn out to be the most read/reposted/popular items. I guess I have bad taste in 11 Points lists.
But it’s the end of the year and, by Internet Law, I’m required to do at least a little bit of looking back on the past 12 months. So I figured I’d pick my 11 favorites from the year, even if they match up horribly with my Most Popular section. Maybe this will lead to some of these being rediscovered and enjoyed. Or, at least, will provide a little window into my unusual psyche that will one day help Greg from Dharma & Greg and Fat Tony profile me for the FBI.
Here are the 11 11 Points lists from 2012 I liked the most, in chronological order…
I don’t really care about the topic — frankly, it’s totally generic — but I had more fun writing this list than any other one this year. In the intro to the list, I noted that I’d started working on it in 2007. So when I wrote it up this January, I decided to write the entire list using pop culture references from 2007. Since most people don’t read the intros to these lists, I have to assume that led to a lot of confusion.
2 | 11 Countries Most Secure With Their Genitalia (4/25) and 11 Countries Least Secure With Their Genitalia (4/27)
I like when I find a data set and do my own analysis on it. (I also like when I find people who read sentences like that who don’t respond, “Wow, this guy is a whole different level of nerd.”) In this case, I got to resuscitate a little of what I learned back in AP Statistics to create the world’s first and only ranking of countries based on how secure their residents are with their penis sizes and vaginal… um… pre-juvenation.
3 | 11 Shades of Grey (5/23)
This was me taking my biggest swing yet at minimalist anti-comedy… and mostly, it seems, people hated this. Except for a few people who told me it’s their favorite thing I’ve ever done on the site. The ratio was about 33 hate-to-1 love. I’ll take it.
4 | 11 Enlightening Facts About Caffeine (5/29)
It’s pretty rare that I do research on a list and find myself legitimately surprised about everything I dig up. This was a case where, yeah, I had no idea about the wild disparities in caffeine in different drinks. And even more important — I have been quoting “a cup of Starbucks coffee has the caffeine of six Diet Cokes” ever since whenever someone dares to question my raging Diet Coke addiction.
5 | 11 Strategies For Dominating Monopoly (6/6)
I’m still not sure why I chose to give away all of my Monopoly secrets. But it gives me an indescribable amount of joy when someone tells me they used my strategies here to ruin a family game night.
6 | 11 Best ’90s One-Hit Wonders (Video) (7/10)
After planning for years, I finally launched my YouTube show, 11 Points Countdown, this year. I picked this episode because I love the subject, I think it was a really funny one, and my co-host was my fiancee who was at her brilliant best as always. This pick has nothing to do with the fact that she’s doing my laundry as I write this from the couch.
A few other episodes of the show I loved: 11 Worst ’80s Fads… 11 Worst Fast Food Restaurants… 11 Least Deserving Best Picture Winners, where I had to try to match wits with two guys who knew way more about movies than I do… and 11 Most Overrated Holidays, which I think ended up being the funniest episode of the year.
7 | 11 Men’s Names Forever Tainted By Song Titles (7/19) and 11 Women’s Names Forever Tainted By Song Titles (7/22)
This is one of those that was just as entertaining to debate with friends and talkative strangers as it was to write. I also think my picks on both lists were well-reasoned and rock solid, and I’ll argue with you endlessly if you disagree.
Not only did I get to curate a bunch of great stories about fast food and religion clashing, but I also used my one soapbox moment of the year to weigh in on the Chick-Fil-A/gay marriage controversy. It would be disrespectful to my soapbox if I didn’t include this one.
9 | 11 Photos Made Raunchy With Bad Kerning (7/30)
This, like the countries secure/insecure about their genitalia, is another example of me being able to take one of the nerdiest possible routes into something raunchy. I guess that really is the peak of comedy for me.
– As far as pure interesting-ness goes, this is my pick for the year. I spent more time researching this list than pretty much any other, and I thought all 11 of the points I settled on were really entertaining anecdotes. In Twitter parlance, I’m still smh at Miley Cyrus.
I was so hot on this one that I saved it so I could launch it along with my site’s redesign. Typing that out, I realize perhaps it doesn’t sound as monumental as it felt in my head. Anyway, as I was rereading it for this, I still found myself shocked that 18 percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the Earth, 29 percent think cloud computing involves actual clouds, and, of course, two percent think Mitt Romney’s real first name is Mittens.
Thanks to everyone who read, commented, shared, liked, and posted something from 11 Points to their Google Plus circles this year. I know the Internet is flooded with lists and I deeply appreciate anyone who comes here to read lists that (I hope) are more original, intelligent, and funny than what the content farms and search engine optimizers are doing. I can’t wait to impregnate all of you in 2013.