This year, Slate readers were obsessed with endings: Our most popular story of the year was our discussion of the final episodes of the Sopranos, and readers also raced to finish the last Harry Potter installment with our spoiler-friendly “Book Club” and spent considerable time looking at the rear ends featured in our slide show on the history of the buttocks. Other popular pieces included an “Explainer” on where your hand should be during the national anthem, a slide show on the rise of lolcats, and the tale of what happened when our reporter followed the advice in The Secret. Below, you’ll find a list of the 10 articles and five slide shows that got the most hits this year.
10 Most Popular Articles
1) Sopranos Final Season
A running dialogue about the show’s last episodes with Jeffrey Goldberg, Timothy Noah, Brian Williams, and other guest stars.
2) Digital Penetration
Invasion of the naked body scanners.
By William Saletan
3) I’ve Got The Secret
What happened when I followed the best-selling book’s advice for two months.
By Emily Yoffe
4) The Croc Epidemic
How a heinous synthetic shoe conquered the world.
By Meghan O’Rourke
5) Lolita’s Closet
Unbearably trampy back-to-school clothes.
By Emily Yoffe
6) How Barack Obama Broke the Law
Do you really need to put your hand on your heart during the national anthem?
By Torie Bosch
7) Great Question. Glad I Asked It.
Hillary Clinton gets snared by a planted question.
By John Dickerson
8) For the Love of Xenu
Scientology may be a bizarre faith invented by a sci-fi hack. But it’s not a cult.
By Mark Oppenheimer
9) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
A running—spoiler-filled!—dialogue about the final installment with Dan Kois, Polly Shulman, and other guest stars.
10) End of the Affair?
I want to end an affair with a teacher but am afraid of what might happen.
Five Most Popular Slide Shows
1) There Are 12 Kinds of Ads in the World
Resist them all!
By Seth Stevenson
2) Oh, That Darling Derrière
A history of the buttocks, in pictures (of course).
By Teresa Riordan
3) Uncle Ben, CEO?
The strange history of racist spokescharacters.
By David Segal
4) Cat Power
You cannot resist lolcats.
By Michael Agger
5) Bye-Bye to the Aye-Aye
Who wants to save an ugly animal?
By Michael Levitin