Year in review: Q&A from the news.

What a year for news – iPads, volcanoes, an oil spill, and more. The Answers.com community was busy answering as quickly as the questions came in. So here we are at year’s end to share some of the Q&As from the most popular news events of the year. If you’ve got your own fond memories of a question on the site, please share in the comments below!

One of the top three questions on Answers.com in January 2010 was “Where is Haiti located?” Searches for the Caribbean nation exploded after a deadly 7.0-magnitude quake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, killing approximately 230,000 people.

After only seven months on air, Conan O’Brien hosted his Tonight Show on January 22. NBC forced the quirky redhead out of his spot after Jay Leno’s ratings plummeted at the 10 p.m. spot. The debacle only emboldened Conan’s admirers who dubbed themselves Team Coco. He eventually moved his act to TBS.

Apple announced their anticipated tablet computer in January, calling it the iPad. Female hygiene jokes abounded on Twitter, but eventually the world came to love the touchscreen gadget.

Quarterback Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to their first Super bowl win in the franchise’s history. The victory revitalized a city downtrodden from Hurricane Katrina five years earlier.

Much of Washington, DC, was buried under snow during February 2010. Dubbed “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse” the series of blizzards dropped more than 55 inches of snow in the DC/Baltimore areas, an all-time record.

During the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, Beyonce Knowles became the first woman to win six awards in one night, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a sweeping health care overhaul, into law on March 23.

Twitter starts selling advertising on its site for the first time since its 2006 (?) founding. “Promoted tweets” bought by advertisers appear above other content.

Eruptions from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano created an ash cloud so huge, it grounded European flights for six days in April.

Lady Gaga reigned on YouTube in April 2010. With more than one billion views, the pop star broke the record for views from a single channel.

A BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 20, killing 11 men and eventually leaking an estimated 185 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean ecosystem. The leak wasn’t completely capped until mid-September.

David Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister in 200 years. He was elected on May 6.

And on the other end of the age spectrum, octogenarian actress Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live on May 9. Proving the power of social media, the Facebook page “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” gained several hundred thousand followers and campaigned to get the actress on the show.

The 2010 World Cup kicked off on June 11 in South Africa and football fans worldwide endured monthlong Vuvuzela-induced headaches.

What a year of Q&A! Stay tuned for 2011 – we wonder what will make the news then!

A 2010 Year in Review… in poetry.

The giant disco ball is set up in Times Square,
Wind gusts and sniffles abound everywhere.
The last calendar page is ready to tear,
And Uggs are officially the preferred footwear!
So as 2010 gets buried in snow
(Or actually not, if you’re in the hemisphere below)
This is the time to reflect, create a New Year’s vow or two,
It’s the Answers.com 2010 Year in Review!
We’ll travel month by month, so sit back and enjoy
Horrible, wonderful, and insane; this is the real McCoy…

January

Haiti was hit by an earthquake, Richter measured 7.0
Strongest magnitude recorded there, from tectonic plates below.
With donations from celebrities like Giselle and Sean Penn,
The Red Cross, FIMA and even the U.N.
Help came swiftly and people opened up their hearts
We are the World was re-sung and topped all the charts.
JD Salinger was finally caught, by that Catcher in the Rye,
You were a recluse but a genius; it’s sad to say goodbye.
The longest annular eclipse of this millennium was hot,
So was Senator Scott Brown, winning Ted Kennedy’s spot.
Jay Leno retired from The Tonight Show, Conan took his place
Six months later he was ousted – ouch, slap in the face!

February

Steve Jobs announced the release of the stylish iPad,
The competition from Tampax could’ve hurt just a tad.
After 44 years the Saints finally reached into their soul
Beating the Colts at NFL’s 44th Super Bowl.
Beyonce’s a winner too, six awards on Grammy night,
First time for a woman – you go girl! Pretty tight!
Toyota wasn’t so lucky, recalling nine million cars,
For sticky accelerators that were not up to par.
Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili dies while training,
Olympics ban the Canadian luge for the athletes remaining.
Obama wants to finally end Don’t ask, Don’t tell
The Supreme Court is iffy; California says ‘swell.’

March

Tiger Woods finally admits to cheating on his wife,
It wasn’t a car accident after all, that threatened his life.
Gatorade didn’t buy it, nor did AT&T,
They dumped him as sponsors; everyone but Nike.
Chile is smacked with an earthquake, a tsunami then rises,
While the southern U.S. gets hit with blizzards of monstrous sizes.
At Sea World, Tilikum kills a trainer named Dawn
He’s an orca after all, you can’t blame his brawn.
Apolo Ohno speed-skated to his eighth Olympic win,
Ends up on a Wheaties box; then you know you’re truly in!
GM announces it will stop making the Hummer,
Tree-huggers cheer while manly men grunt ‘bummer.’
The 82nd Academy Awards were lively and fun,
Sandra Bullock scored ‘Best Actress,’ then adopted a son.
Up and Avatar were movies that globally sold,
If you’re blue and cartoony, you bring home the gold.

April

The lava erupted out of Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, headed south
Which was faster than the name could escape from our mouth.
Air travel was halted, Europe was distressed,
In Arizona, the Anti-Immigration Bill was the mess.
The BP oil rig explosion kills 11 in the Gulf,
Nobody could cap it, not even Gandalf.
Pelicans were dying, sea turtles were in strife,
Gas prices were the concern – but at what cost to life?
Duke wins the NCAA championship, they’re now the best
Russia signs an arms reduction treaty with the U.S.
Obama’s health care reform bill officially makes the cut,
Democrats are joyed, Republicans go nuts.
Polish president Kaczynski and his wife die in a plane,
Lindsay Lohan’s ankle bracelet falls out of its range.
In China and West Virginia there are explosions in mines.
NFL drafts begin – yup, it’s come to be that time.

May

The Afriqiyah A330 airbus crashed near the sea
Coming up from South Africa, bound for Tripoli.
The aftermath was scary, just shrapnel and fire,
But miraculously emerged one lone Dutch survivor.
‘Lookin at Lucky’ and ‘First Dude’ are names of horses
That placed 1st and 2nd at the Preakness courses.
Gary Coleman laid to rest, (child star from Diff’rent Strokes),
He had a tough life from the media, his wife, his folks.
Faisal Shahzad parked his car conveniently in Times Square,
Fully equipped with a bomb, including an ignition flare.
A vigilant pedestrian called in and he was forced to abort,
Don’t think you can mess with the people of New York!
Speaking of justice… Elena Kagan was appointed
As Obama’s first pick; hope he won’t be disappointed.

June

Roy Halladay earns MLB honor and fame,
The true-blue Philly threw his 20th perfect game.
The Indianapolis 500 is won by a Scotty,
Dario Franchitti, whose dad owns a chain of gelati.
FIFA took over full force; Shakira Wakka Wakkas,
Beckham was injured, but we still had our Kaká.
Vuvuzelas were blasted; the sound is annoying ‘like whoa’!
But hotties Ronaldo and Cruz were able to soften the blow.
Eclipse was released, fans are spreading the love,
Which team do you play for: Edward or Jacob?
After 25 years, Larry King leaves CNN,
The first phone-in TV talk show has come to an end.
Japan’s Prime minister resigns, Hatoyama can’t pass the test,
While England drinks itself silly at a summer beer fest.
China ends ties to the dollar, which could prove quite tragic
Hogwarts is no longer exclusive to wizards with magic -
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally opens its doors,
So muggles can actually play quidditch and even the score.

July

Hurricane Alex hit Mexico, but was quickly silenced,
Hurricane Mel Gibson was charged with domestic violence.
Paul the Octopus is a sports fan, psychic and gifted,
Each Mundial team that he chose won just as predicted.
Spain beat Holland 1-0; Red is the clear winner,
No Leffes now, just Sangria en el victory dinner.
When George Steinbrenner died, the Yankees lost their dad
Giuliani, Yogi Berra and New York City were ever so sad.
Justin Bieber’s video Baby became the most YouTubed ever,
His hair might be silly, but what’s behind it is clever.
BP caps the gushing oil well after 86 days,
The fish high-five with their fins, jump up, do the wave.
Serena Williams takes Wimbledon, LeBron signs with the Heat,
The U.S. and Russia swap spies as soon as they meet.
Chelsea Clinton marries Mezvinsky, clad in Vera Wang,
It’s interfaith so lechaim and amen they sang.

August

The 62nd Emmy Awards boasts Jimmy Fallon host,
Mad Men was the series that took home the most.
In the Arizona state primaries, the winner’s John McCain,
He may not be president, but as Senator he reigns.
Kaymer won the PGA Championship, took home the purse,
But on PlayStations everywhere, he doesn’t come first.
Debates ensue on Ground Zero, where the Twins Towers stood,
On whether a mosque should be built near this precious ‘hood.
The owners contend it’s freedom of expression,
Families object; it’s more than a constitutional question.
Proposition 8 was struck down, overturned – then appealed
(I’m gonna need some Pepto by the time this case is sealed.)
Former Senator Ted Stevens died in a crash from the air,
The WHO declared the end of the H1N1 scare.

September

Tragedy turned happy when Antoine Dodson made the news,
He fights off a Bed Intruder and then tops off iTunes.
Keenan Cahill is self-made, lip-syncing ‘teenage dream,’
He looks younger than his age, but he really is 15.
Sesame Street is in trouble – parents give a tough time
Over Katy Perry’s cleavage (though Elmo didn’t mind).
The sheep are running wild; the Kiwis don’t know where to perch,
A 7.2 earthquake hit New Zealand, out there in Christchurch.
Reggie Bush returns the Heisman; he was a steroid-taking man,
Sarah Shourd is the hiker who gets released from Iran.
Terry Jones decides for everyone that it’s Quran Burning Day,
Pastor, to spread God’s word, this just ain’t the right way!
British Police arrest five men over a threat to the Pope,
Lady Gaga wore a meat dress, while PETA tried to cope.
Continental merged with United – it’s the only way to fly
Kenny McKinley of the Broncos has finally said goodbye.

October

A cholera outbreak in Haiti hits the region wide and far,
Rehydration is the key to make the disease say au revoir.
A record was broken by the international space station -
For the longest time humans lived in galactic habitation.
The Social Network was released, every Facebook fan attends.
Is Mark Zuckerberg the good guy, or did he screw over his friends?
33 miners were trapped in Chile in the San Jose mine,
Just as the town gave up hope, they got a note – ‘hey, we’re fine.’
Food and water were sent daily through a pulley in the ground
69 days later, all emerge – without a single frown.
Halloween is finally here and the costumes that all score
Involve The Situation and the whole cast of Jersey Shore.
Indonesia has three disasters; Mother Earth can be so mean
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for Graphene.

November

Obama visited the Far East to promote better trade relations,
Offered to remove Sudan from the list of terror-sponsored nations.
Prince William asks Kate Middleton to be his dear princess,
With Diana’s diamond ring, it shows the love she represents.
In the 106th World Series, the Giants beat the Rangers,
Trader Joe’s recalled cilantro that could cause potential dangers.
Reps took over the House, fulfilling Obama’s fear and dread,
While the Democrats have re-elected Pelosi as their head.
The Deathly Hallows was released, part 1 of the adventures,
When the second half is out, the cast will all be wearing dentures.
Miley Cyrus is now legal, she had her Sweet 18,
Bon Jovi goes on tour, lookin’ good in skinny jeans.
North Korea’s Kim Jung Ill decides to shell Yeonpyeong,
South Korea’s swift response said, ‘We’re ready, bring it on!’
WikiLeaks unveiled a collection of top secret U.S. files,
On Dancing With The Stars, Bristol Palin was all smiles.

December

Leslie Nielson, we will miss you, you left us way too early,
Call him Dracula or Agent, but please don’t call him Shirley.
Angry Birds is all the rage – kill those pigs, they’re all corrupt,
At Level 3 you get the blackbird; with a tap, it self-destructs.
FIFA’s next World Cup in Russia, in the year twenty-eighteen,
Then it’s on to Qatar, where their plants produce benzene.
In the U.S. once again, Aiden is the most popular boys’ name,
For girls no more Isabella – it’s Sophia that now reigns.
Mark Madoff committed suicide; so sad it makes you steam,
Now he’s the latest victim of his father’s ponzi scheme.
Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper is guilty, he finally gets his time
Derek Jeter makes more millions, it’s with the Yankees that he signs.
NASA discovered bacteria which on arsenic can thrive,
Replaces it for phosphorous; not the usual, but it’s alive.
WikiLeaks is constantly Googled – in SEO it’s leadin’
But it’s founder Julian Assange is still accused of crimes in Sweden.

Wishing you an excellent 2011

from

Answers.com’s Top Questions for 2010.

Hope you’re proud of yourself! You sure did accomplish a whole lot this year. You and the rest of the Answers.com community, which now includes over 5 million registered members, have now answered more than ten million questions.

Considering the top questions throughout the year, it seems you really did accomplish a whole lot offline too. Answers.com was the place to go for answers about thousands of topics, but the biggest area we were able to address was: What are you trying to do?

Top jobs questions

Top relationship questions

Top cooking questions

Top time questions

But the top lookups on Answers.com weren’t all questions, and they weren’t all about accomplishing something. Answers.com users came to read about topics for schoolwork, education-planning, background-checking or just plain interest.

For the record, Facebook and YouTube beat sex, but sex beat love. Let’s not look too deeply into that.

Top people

The top two people are the very symbols of exploration, wide-ranging interests, and deep and wide knowledge. The third – well, he’s just trendy:

Top science

Remember 11th grade science? Neither do I. That’s probably why so many science topics made the list site-wide; the following took the lead:

Top history

Interesting descending order, don’t you think?

Top university majors

Well, more like top lookups that make it seem like college students out there are researching possible majors:

It’s been a wonderful year for Answers.com: Our product team saw hundreds of features through, our content team integrated thousands of new topics and videos into our reference library, and you, the community, continue to amaze us every day.

As the clock ticks towards 2011, we thank you for the questions, answers and other contributions you have given over this past year. Looking forward to another year together, fulfilling all our curiosity!

It’s gonna be a looong day…

Today is the Summer Solstice for all you Northern Hemispherians. Since you have a bit more daylight to play with, go on and turn off your artificial lights and learn a little more about what this means:

By the way, the folks in the Southern hemisphere will have their day in December, the opposite end of the year. Meanwhile, hope you enjoyed the Winter Solstice down under!

And now to leave you with today’s quote:

“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” – Hal Borland

Have a great day!

The 7 weirdest Olympic sports.

The 2010 Winter Olympics are set to kick off in Vancouver this Friday, featuring 15 winter sports. While that sure is a bag of fun, are you aware of the weirdest Olympic sports of all time? Learn about it below. Oh, and be prepared – a bunch of them involve animals.

The 7 weirdest Olympic sports

  1. biathlonBiathlon.

    Biathlon: Sounds like a contest to see how much biology you know. In general, it’s a sporting term for one event with two disciplines. In relation to the Olympics, it’s a winter sport combining-cross country skiing and… rifle shooting. Yeah… I’ll stay a safe distance away from that one.

  2. pigeon racingPigeon racing.

    Imagine a time when there was no Internet. No Super Bowl. Not even World Wars to look back on. That was the year 1900 – a year when pigeon racing was an Olympic sport.

    And, well, the only year that it was an Olympic sport.

  3. skeletonSkeleton.

    Dare to believe in a whole new take on sledding. No, this is not the Rosebud from your childhood, folks. This is skeleton, a one-man face-down sled race on an ice track. I shudder to think why it’s called skeleton.

  4. skijoringSkijoring.

    How much do you really trust your pet? Would you let Rover take the lead while attached to him with a rope… on skis? That’s skijoring, and it’s ski-aring the bejesus out of me. In the 1928 Winter Olympics it was a demonstration sport, using horses.
  5. Curling.

    curling

    Curling, to me, sounds like it should mean something completely different – like some kind of salon Olympics. It’s anything but: the game involved two four-person teams sliding heavy stones towards a circle drawn at either end of an ice court. It originated in Scotland; somehow that makes sense.

  6. handball fieldHandball.

    You may be familiar with handball as a school recess favorite, but an older version of the game known as field handball did play a role as a sport in the 1936 Summer Olympics. It even had six teams contesting.

  7. korfballKorfball.

    Korfball is a version of netball played in outer space… Kidding! It is, however, a mixed-gender version of netball played in 57 countries. It was a demonstration sport in the 1920 and 1928 Olympic games. Each team consists of four men and four women… but no mixed duels! Keep it clean, kids.

That’s a Super Bowl… of food.

Colts? Saints?

Unicorns? Leprechauns?

Whatever.

Yeah, that’s right – I’m a girl, so what? I join friends at Super Bowl parties and cheer along with the team I like better. And no, it’s not always dependant on the color of their uniforms.

As a girl, though, my favorite part of the Super Bowl isn’t the commercials. I happen to think you’re a sucker for spending 4,328,968 trillion dollars for 25 seconds of marketing. My favorite part of the Super Bowl isn’t sweaty men ramming each other, either. And I can take or leave the betting – swimming pool over office pool any day.

No, what I love… is the grub. You take the football, I’ll take the food-bowl.

First thing’s first: The chicken wings. Take a buncha wings, slather them with your favorite sauce and bake, deep fry or brown ‘em. Answers.com has a great recipe for the Buffalo wings variety, including a video for making the dip.

Once that’s out of the way, make sure you have the right crunchy snacks. It’s all about the chips: potato chips, tortilla chips, sour cream and onion potato chips, corn chips, rippled potato chips, pita chips, barbecue potato chips… and pretzels.

With the chips come the dips. Salsa, guacamole, cheese, mustard, sour cream, humus… Whatever your spread, make sure there is plenty of variety.

And what would a Super Bowl party be without the football-shaped cookies (with frosting laces)? Oh, c’mon, boys – a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

But, whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just along for the advertisements, check out the Super Bowl Q&A on WikiAnswers and make sure you have all your facts straight. Or at the very least, the colors of the uniforms.

What are your favorite Super Bowl snacks?

Helping Haiti.

With more and more details coming out of Haiti after the massive earthquake there on Tuesday, it’s crystal clear how much the people of Haiti need the international community’s support and aid.

There are ways we can help even from far away; the following are some examples (thanks Chris Sacca) – and some more information.

In the meantime, hoping for the healing and restoration of Haiti.

Happy New Year from Mike 2

Our holiday poet Mike 2 is back in the Poetry Cafe by popular demand with this poem about the new year 2010.  It’s hard to believe we’re in a new decade already!  How time flies when you’re having fun wiki’ing.

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

Happy New Year, by Mike 2

Happy new year, to one and all
Just seems like a moment, since the start of the Fall

09 has gone, now 10 is here
Let’s raise the roof, and have some cheer

A new year is a time of hope
Better things to come, and that’s no joke

May the new one for you, bring a better start
This wish comes to you, right from my heart

May two thousand and ten, be a be a year to remember
It won’t be long before its December

Answers.com 2009 Year in Review.

Break out the bubbly – it’s that time of year again.

It’s time to celebrate turning one year older and one year wiser (er, well, at least one year older). Let’s take some time to sit back and reflect on some of the most inspiring, outrageous, unfortunate and touching stories of 2009 through the eyes of Answers.com’s most curious contributors.

History was made as the first African American president of the United States was inaugurated into office. A record number of people watched President Barack Obama’s moment in person, as well as from their TV sets and computers around the world. But wouldn’t it have been even better to have been a fly on the White House wall that day? On second thought, maybe not

Speaking of TV, the commercials of the year go to:

  1. Corona, for casting a mysterious hot babe in their beach-front ad…
  2. Geico, for vocals, animation and ingenuity
  3. HTC, for getting us pumped with song

…combine ‘em all and you have a jamming pothole in a white bikini!

If you’re not on Facebook, that means two things. First of all, you are a freak of nature. Second, you missed playing the top three hottest apps on the site: Mafia Wars, YoVille and Farmville. Lucky for you, the WikiAnswers community can answer that question you’ve been dying to know: How do you get the purple sheep in Farmville?

While on the topic of animals, it would be wise to note that our little oinker friend, however cute and tasty, is being held responsible for one of the worst virus scares in history. When the World Health Organization raised the warning level for H1N1 to a shocking level 6 (global pandemic), everyone wanted to know how to avoid the Swine Flu.

Although sickness is avoidable, death, unfortunately, is not. This year saw many fallen stars, such as: gossip columnist James Brady, Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett, Dirty Dancer Patrick Swayze, U.S. Senate powerhouse Ted Kennedy, ‘most trusted man’ Walter Cronkite, all-around actress Natasha Richardson, ‘philosopher of adolescence’ John Hughes and globally-recognized pop music legend Michael Jackson. RIP.

Those stars passed away, while other stars killed their own reputations. Kanye West ripped the mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands faster than Chris Brown could throw a punch at Rihanna. ‘Jon and Kate Plus Eight’ was renamed ‘Kate Plus Eight’ after Jon supposedly strayed from his wife. Tiger Woods was also outed as an 18-hole ‘Cheetah.’

But fret not! Many other rising celebrities have proven their worth to the public in 2009. Underdog Susan Boyle was, at one point this year, the most YouTubed person in the world. She ‘dreamed a dream’ – and so did Justin Bieber, a 15-year-old singing prodigy who became famous after posting his work online.

Another irresistible YouTube sensation included the ‘Forever’ wedding dance.

The Yankees also performed well this year and won the World Series for the 27th time. Baseball was a great distraction from the economic recession, which started with the crash of the stock market in 2008 and led to a global scare – and stimulus plan – in 2009.

Almost as scary was your grandma trying to figure out the conversion box for the TV to HDTV switch.

Why not just ask for the directions on Twitter? Any computer-literate person knows that information is just a twitter – I mean, a tweet – away.

Tweeting was one of the ways many learned about Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenburger’s safe landing of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, after both engines had been struck by birds. He even sparked a new phrase… Way to ‘land it in the Hudson,’ Sully!

What would Oprah have to say about all this? You have about one more year to ask. To the disappointment of millions, she announces this year is the last season of her show.

Avatar posterWipe those tears from your eyes and put on some 3D glasses. It’s time to go see Avatar! The 500 million dollar blockbuster is making history as the most expensive movie ever made. If the storyline of Avatar is a predecessor for the future, I’m all smiles. Who wouldn’t want to welcome in the New Year with an aesthetically-proportioned blue giant trying to save the universe?

Happy New Year, everyone! We hope 2010 proves to be another year of getting your questions answered… on Answers.com, of course.