Friday, December 28, 2012

Top posts of 2012

Since it's that time of the year where everybody takes stock of things and mocks the Mayans and makes predictions for the next year and does whatever else it is that people like to do while nursing their egg nog hangovers, I thought I'd take a look back at The Year That Was here at the Crimson Cavalier, starting with a rundown of my most popular posts of the past 12 months.

So here are my Top 10 most-read pieces from 2012, which are, naturally, all over the map. None of these posts was anywhere close to becoming my most-read post of all time (that honor belongs to this post on globalization, followed closely by this George Carlin-inspired post and this post on discrimination), but a few of them definitely registered a bit of a rumble on the ol' Crimson Cavalier pageview seismometer.

Enjoy re-reading some of your favorites, and I'll do my best in the future to reproduce more of the good stuff you all like... whatever that is.

#1: Remembering the Dream Team (June 14)

It probably shouldn't be surprising that my most-read post of the year had to do with the (tape-delayed) Olympics, which dominated the news cycle for a few weeks back in the summer. On the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team, I shared some of my own memories while excerpting a GQ oral history of the squad.

#2: The changing business of education (May 9)

The runner-up post (with about half the pageviews of the champion, which means it's a distant second, but so be it) involved one of my favorite topics, education. Inspired by a very cool new program at Virginia Tech called the "Math Emporium", I shared some of my thoughts on the future of higher education in America.

#3: Eat More Chikin (at Wendy's?) (July 30)

I'm sure you all remember the flap surrounding Chik-Fil-A this summer, way back when Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign was just shifting from "suck" to "blow". I thought the controversy was incredibly overdone, and I thought that many people were far too self-congratulatory with respect to their boycotts of the fast food also-ran. I said so, in a pretty standard Crimson Cavalier rant.

#4: I'm too busy to write a blog post (July 16)

I'm too busy to write a blurb about this blog post. Just read it, alright? Or don't, if you're too busy. Either way, kudos to the Harvard Business Review for a well-written article, one that I briefly reviewed in this post.

#5: The carbon footprint of flowers (WTF??) (May 4)

With Mother's Day approaching, I decided to take a minute to make everybody think twice about sending flowers to their mothers. Why? Because I'm a jerk, obviously. Also, because it turns out that almost all of the flowers we buy in this country are shipped here from Latin America, and that therefore the flower industry has an incredibly large carbon footprint. How's THAT for irony? "Green" economics, indeed.

#6: Is it the weekend yet? (June 6)

I wrote this post on a Wednesday, so no, it most definitely was not the weekend. I might have had a drink that night anyway. Possibly.

#7: Bernanke's Terror Alert Scale (September 14)

I wrote this post in the immediate aftermath of the Fed's announcement of infinite "quantitative easing", a program that has had incredibly underwhelming results so far. That's about what I predicted on that day, and so I'm going to take a second here to pat myself on the back. While we're at it, keep your eye on this dynamic in 2013—I have a feeling it's going to have some serious economic relevance in the not-too-distant future.

#8: When hypocrisy is good business: "The Lorax" (March 2)

"The Lorax" could have been a cute little Dr. Seuss movie with a nice message about conservation, but instead it became a symbol of all that I hate about corporate hypocrisy. I borrowed from a delightfully vicious review of the movie by NY Times critic A.O. Scott, and I shared my own thoughts about the odd intersection (or clash) between morals and business.

#9: Clip of the Week (April 6)

I'd like to thank John O'Hurley (J. Peterman) for providing me with my most popular Clip of the Week ever—a promotional video for "RangĂ©" golf balls. Good stuff.

#10: The tail is still wagging the dog at UF (April 24)

Yes, another post on education, which makes two in my top 10. This one also involved collegiate athletics, another common topic here on the blog. The University of Florida made the incredibly bizarre decision to drop its ENTIRE computer science department, an area of education that should be expanding if anything. At the same time, they increased their athletics budget by more than $2 million, an increase that was greater than the entire C.S. department budget. Well played, UF. Well played. But next time, beat Georgia.

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