FOR SOME OF US, THERE’S NO SWEETER SIGHT THAN A BASKET OF DAY-OLD BAKED GOODS AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE. Whether you’re a budget-conscious diner who has developed a taste for 75-cent muffins, or a carbo-loader who prefers his scones “rock-hard” just like his abs, or a gourmand who believes “stale bagels just plain taste better and I’ll beat the tar out of anyone who disagrees and mop the floor with their guts,” in 2013 we had many opportunities to partake of “the day-old sweetness.”

In fact, some bakers are privately wondering if 2013 was the best year ever for day-old baked goods. Perhaps it was the economic downturn, or maybe just people’s curiosity about day-old baked goods … but for whatever reason, those in the know are saying 2013 will go down in history as “The Year of The Day-Old” or “The Day-Old Year,” or perhaps simply “Crust Epoch 2013.”

In any event, sink your teeth into the TOP TEN DAY-OLD BAKED GOODS OF 2013:

10. Tasty day-old baked goods

9. Delicious day-old baked goods

8. Muffins wrapped in 500 yards of plastic wrap per muffin

7. Cookies with really tiny raisins like pebbles

6. “Dude you gotta try this scone … you’d never know it’s a day-old scone.”

5. Day-old bagels with fresh cream cheese

4. “I can’t believe these bargain prices for day-old baked goods”

3. (TIE) Day-old baked goods piled high in a basket / “This is the Fort Knox of old muffins, I love this coffee shop”

2. One dollar for a piece of pie

1. Day-old baked goods that are even better than fresh-baked goods

Best Of 2013: ERGONOMICS

IF THERE’S ONE THING WE LEARNED IN 2013, IT’S THAT 2013 WAS A GREAT YEAR FOR ERGONOMICS. Whether it was a new kind of lumbar support, or the latest biomorphic approach to mattress design, “the Science of Human Posture” (ergonomics) had a great year in 2013 because advances in computing power, conceptual rigor, and industry-wide innovations — not to mention all the other things related to ergonomics!

Is it any wonder that the National Journal of Ergonomics recently published an editorial called “This Wonderful Year of 2013 Was the Best Year for Ergonomics We’ve Ever Seen in Our Lifetimes?” The answer would be no.

So let’s celebrate the best of the Human Body Sciences (ergonomics) with a list that won’t give you carpal tunnel syndrome: THE TOP TEN ERGONOMICS OF 2013!

10. Ergonomics of comfortable office chairs

9. Ergonomics of kitchen counters at the correct height for food preparation

8. “Memory-foam” pillows that look just as good as regular pillows

7. Contemporary ergonomics

6. (TIE) European ergonomics / Posture games

5. Ergonomics that make your day a little more comfortable

4. Ergonomics that make your headaches go away

3. Ergonomics that make you excited to do your job

2. Some of the best ergonomics we’ve ever seen



IN 2013, WHEN WE WANTED TO HAVE FUN WITH WORDS, WE REACHED FOR OUR PALINDROMES. Palindromes (words or phrases that sound the same no matter which way you say them) are a uniquely American way to celebrate our language … and our lives. There’s nothing more fun, more distinctly “USA R A US,” than describing a current event using a custom palindrome you thought of down at the corner bar with your friends. And the best thing about palindromes is: THEY’RE FREE! The only limit is your “imaginationoitanigami.”

It was a great year for palindromes; nobody can deny that. So let’s kick back, put our feet up, and enjoy this trip down memory lane with the TOP TEN PALINDROMES OF 2013.

10. Madam I’m Adam 2013

9. No Mars Rover’s over on Mars, son

8. Ragtag dude’s a dud on guitar (this was about Bob Dylan)

7. Papal pups lap up a slap

6. Elon Musk car: Noel, scum

5. Ice caps warm Mr. Aws, is space, ci! (say in Italian accent)

4. Obama, man, web .gov sux (health), the lax us .ov be wan o mama!

3. Sal, la le goog, wears awe Google Glass.

2. Pope = Pop

1. Sweater weather

Best Of 2013: RESULTS

ONE THING THAT SETS AMERICA APART FROM OTHER COUNTRIES IS OUR LOVE OF RESULTS. Whether it’s a hotly contested football game or the latest scientific research, we’re all about the final score, the takeaway, the endgame … the RESULTS. It’s why we flip to the last page of our novel to find out how the story ends; it’s why we want to know the RESULTS of our medical tests; it’s why we like to read our grandparents’ last will and testament — because once you know the RESULT, you can decide whether anything is worth doing.

Don’t believe America loves results? Take a look around: we’ve got the RESULTS to prove it! Take a look at the Hoover Dam. Take a gander at that American flag on the moon. Take a glance at the hottest American cars and trucks on the highway. Take a gaze at the American landscape … all you see is RESULTS after RESULTS after RESULTS. We get things done, and we have the results to prove it.

There were many results in 2013. From elections to Pope decisions to TV contests, it seemed every American conversation was about results this year. And so now, without any further dilly-dallying, here are the results (ha!) of my list of the TOP TEN RESULTS OF 2013:

10. Pleasant results

9. “Ooh, I like that result!”

8. Loose ends tied up perfectly

7. Unexpected result that turns out, upon reflection, to be preferable to the expected result

6. Scientific results

5. (TIE) Funny results (i.e. “Look at the pancake batter on your mustache!”) / Serious results (i.e. “My calculator gave me this result”)

4. Everything wrapped up with a big red bow on top

3. Unambiguous results

2. “You always get the coolest results and that’s why I love you”

1. The greatest results of all time

Best Of 2013: MUSIC

THEY SAY MUSIC IS THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES, AND IN 2013 THE SOUNDTRACK WAS BETTER THAN EVER. From the latest pop hits to classic songs from days gone by, if 2013 was all about one thing, it was all about the music. And if we wanted to hum along, nobody would stop us — because everyone had music fever this year.

There were some days in 2013 when you couldn’t walk down the street without hearing new music. And if you decided to go shoe shopping? “Fugeddaboutit,” because shoe stores were playing music CONSTANTLY in 2013! Call it the magic of music, or the Spirit of 2013, or Shoe-Shopping Delight, but for whatever reason, we heard allll the good music when we were shoe shopping this year. I probably bought 45 pairs of shoes this year, just because it’s a great way to hear free music. And that’s why music was KING in 2013. Because people love good music.

Here’s my list of the BEST MUSIC OF 2013:

10. Decent music, nothing special

9. Slammin’ club hits your niece likes

8. Music where the producers are trying their hardest

7. Opera songs where everyone’s screaming and stabbing each other

6. Rap music: “I’d like to say / rap music is here to stay (in 2013) / hip hop hooray / my name is Ray” etc. etc.

5. (TIE) Cool tunes / Guitar solos where you think, “That guy must have twenty fingers!”

4. Theme music

3. (TIE) All-American music / Music that makes ya go “hmm-mm?”

2. Songs you can’t get out of your head

1. Music that goes to #1 on the charts and changes the game


IN SOME WAYS, 2013 WAS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER YEAR: When we reached for our documents, they were right where we left them … under our turtle paperweights. As the commercial used to say: “You love turtles! You love paperweights! Do the math!!!”

Need we say more? No. In that case, take a deep breath and “fasten your paperweights,” because we’re about to take a high-speed whirlwind of a joyride through 2013’s greatest turtle paperweights.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the TOP TEN TURTLE PAPERWEIGHTS OF 2013:

10. Classic turtle paperweights

9. Unusual turtle paperweights

8. Beloved family turtle paperweights

7. Sports-themed turtle paperweights (i.e. Super Bowl turtle paperweights, NCAA turtle paperweights)

6. Glass turtle paperweights

5. Multi-turtle turtle paperweights, in which an entire family (or group) of turtles is represented, rather than an individual turtle

4. (TIE) “Yo dude, I dig your new turtle paperweight, you gotta tell me where you bought it, it’s drivin’ me crazy” / Hall-of-Fame turtle paperweights

3. Some of the nicest turtle paperweights

2. America’s favorite turtle paperweights

1. World’s greatest turtle paperweights


THERE’S NO BETTER WAY TO REVISIT A YEAR THAN BY RECITING ITS HOTTEST CATCHPHRASES. Just say a few classic catchphrases in front of the mirror and boom: Welcome to 1995. (Or whatever year you want to go to.) It’s like you’re really there! Is it any wonder people call catchphrases “Nature’s time machine?”

2013 saw an abundance of catchphrases, from TV wisecracks to sobering pronouncements seared into our memory — even to things we read on bumper stickers! When historians look back on this year, they’ll probably wonder how we came up with so many catchphrases. Answer: We worked really hard to develop amazing catchphrases. It’s as simple as that.

In fact, if we had to sum up 2013’s cornucopia of catchphrases with a single catchphrase, it’d probably be: “Got catchphrases? Yeah, we certainly do in 2013!”

So let’s have three cheers for the TOP TEN CATCHPHRASES OF 2013:

10. “Whaaaassssup in 2013″

9. “Let’s get it started in here”

8. “Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can”

7. “Go big or go home”

6. “I love you Martha”

5. “They updated that app”

4. (TIE) “Happy birthday to you” / “Twerking 24/7 at the club, can’t touch this”

3. “Wave your arms like you just don’t care, 2013 represent this great year 2013 for life guys, I’m serious”

2. (TIE) “OMG check out this text” / “Selfie”

1. “Yo mama so fat she broke Facebook when she sat on it”

Best Of 2013: TRENDS

“Hey, Tony!”

“Good morning Ralph. What is it?”

“Didja hear about what’s going on in society? It’s the latest thing and everybody’s talking about it!”

“Say WHAT?”

“It’s the newest trend!”

“I swear to God sometimes I feel like I’ll never be able to keep up with all these trends in 2013.”

“Well, they’re even saying 2013 was one of the best years for trends OF ALL TIME.”

“(sighing) 2013 … what a year for trends.”

Ladies and gentlemen, heed the wise words of Ralph and Tony. When it comes to trends, they just plain GET IT. This was the year when trends influenced fashion, music, and lifestyle choices. We saw clothes that were trendy as well as slang phrases and dance moves. You couldn’t leave the house in 2013 without knocking your head against the latest trend — so I hope you wore your “Trend Helmet!” Anyway, it was a lot of fun.

So without any further introduction, let’s take a look through the “way-back machine” and set our dials for “The Top Trends of 2013.” Ladies and gentlemen, no need to check your dials: Here are THE TOP TRENDS OF 2013:

10. Fads

9. Memes

8. Styles

7. Crazes

6. All the coolest things that are happening

5. The latest cool stuff

4. “Heeenry! Did you remember to do all the hottest trends?!” “Yes, dear.”

3. Everybody’s talking about it

2. Passing fancies

1. When you can’t wait to see your friends and talk about all the trends

Best Of 2013: SCIENCE

Some say “Love makes the world go ’round,” but if you really want to know the answer, you should look to Science. From the furthest reaches of space to the tiniest atom sitting right in our lap, when we look to science for the answers, we’re on the right path.

And whether you were reading the hottest peer-reviewed journal or talking to a friend or relative who works with science, you must admit: 2013 was a banner year for science. Because of the exploding human population, we have an abundance of scientists — more than we’ve ever had before. According to some estimates, there are now five scientists for every regular person on Earth. And we couldn’t be luckier, because there’s a lot of weird diseases out there and they need to be cured ASAP! Not to mention global climate change, pollution, and cars that can drive themselves Good Lord when did we lose our way on that one? Let’s ask … the scientists.

Here is my list of THE BEST OF SCIENCE FOR 2013:

10. Chemistry

9. Laboratory Science

8. Computer Science

7. “Heeenry! Did you remember to do your experiments?!” “Yes, dear.”

6. (TIE) Physics / Solve the quadratic equation about molecules

5. Explaining science in school (science education)

4. “We ran the test three times in a double-blind study. The results are clear: THIS IS REAL SCIENCE.”

3. Ethnomusicology

2. Some of the best science

1. Winning a Nobel Prize for our science and then walking home from the ceremony and finding a $20 bill on the sidewalk (i.e. even more free money)

Best Of 2013: MOVIES

We go into the room … we take our seats … the lights go dark … the big light comes on the screen … we see things on the screen … we laugh, we cry, we gasp, we scream, we sigh … the lights come up … we leave and go home …

Q: Where were we just then?

A: We were at the movies!

Movies have the ability to transport us to anywhere the movie director can imagine. In 2013, that meant we could go to space; to a ship that got attacked by pirates; to a land of hobbits and talking monsters; and even to the land of dirty comedies — America when did we lose our way at the movies? No matter. In the end, it’s all just “the magic of the movies.”

So buy your ticket, take your seat, wait while the lights do down, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime IMAX experience of a list that sneaks up and floors you!

Here are THE BEST MOVIES OF 2013:

10. Crummy movies nobody wanted to see

9. Decent movies that some people wanted to see

8. Romantic comedies

7. Thrillers

6. (TIE) Franchise reboots / Experimental movies (no words in English)

5. 3-D movies

4. Documentaries

3. Wonderful arts and entertainment of movies but it could be better

2. “You won’t believe what I saw at the movies”

1. The Academy Awards


Someday I want someone to make a movie about my lists. It would be called, “The Lists That Moved A Nation: A True Story Based On My Lists,” and it would star fifty of the hottest actors and actresses with an exclusive soundtrack by the best singers of all time. Hollywood, when did you lose your way? You want to make a hit movie, right? So call me … or are you all a bunch of dingdongs?