What was best in 2009?

Between Obama getting elected and him calling Kanye West a jackass, between Roger Federer winning his 15th Grand Slam and Tiger Woods crashing his car, between dying by Swine Flu in Mexico or losing your home to rising seas in the Maldives (unfortunately unknown feature writers don’t get invites to high profile underwater press conferences), who’s had time for anything other than Michael Jackson?

That’s why I love ‘Best of the Year,’ lists – it means I don’t miss out on anything truly spectacular. Here are a couple of things I would have liked to have listened to, watched, eaten, heard about, read, laughed at, and twittered about in 2009. But this is not a list – god forbid, that we were that coherent. This, Ladies and Gentlethings, is a collage.


Before you write back to us with a list of five other albums you think deserved to be up here, this is the list published by – and it’s an aggregate of the best reviewed albums across a host of publications. A final, unarguable verdict on the best albums of 2009? Probably not. But you can take it up with them.

1. Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
2. The XX XX
3. Grizzly Bear Veckatimest
4. Wild Beasts Two Dancers
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs It’s Blitz


Up in the Air: George Clooney is Ryan Bingham - a businessman with five million frequent flyer miles to his name and a girl he’s set on.
James Cameron returned to the big screen with one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year.
A Prophet:
Prison dramas don’t get more absorbing than this.
The Hangover:
Five reasons to have your bachelor party in Las Vegas: Tigers! Drug Lords! Babies! Wedding Chapels! Amnesia!
Up: Russell just may be our favourite wilderness explorer.
Must Read:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

They had me at the first line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”(P.S Natalie Portman is going to star in the movie.)

Who said what:

“You can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it.” - Cha Sa-Soon, 68-year-old South Korean woman who passed her country’s written driver’s license exam on her 950th try.

Who they are giving prizes to:

Shouldn’t pregnant women topple over? Does your cow liked to be called Dora? When I crack my knuckles regularly do I risk arthritis? These questions and more inspired the research rewarded at the Ig Nobels - a parody of the Nobel Prizes that recognize ten achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.”

To answer those questions - women have a more pronounced curvature to their backs than men, so their bodies balance better; cows regularly called by names gave significantly more milk than those that remained unnamed and cracking your knuckles won’t give you arthritis.

But it was Elena Bodnar who received the public health prize and the most attention for her dual-use brassiere. Having lived in Ukraine at the time of the Chernobyl accident, she decided to come up with a way for being prepared for public-health emergencies.

With two colleagues, she designed and patented a brassiere with cups that can double as a pair of gas masks. In the event of nuclear accident, bioterrorist attack or smoky fire, the wearer can quickly detach the two cups, fasten one over her own mouth and nose for protection, and hand the other to a needy bystander.

And guess what’s being resurrected on Youtube? Michael Jackson’s death inspired hundreds of people to go out on the street and dance – and to watch this old video. Just youtube “Thriller Philippine prison” and you’ll find what exercise hour is like for the inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre. Also worth a watch – the same gang performing ‘Y.M.C.A’ and ‘In the Navy.’

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