Here at HCN, we've scoured the Internet to bring you some of the most noteworthy Top Ten lists of the year, for your edification and amusement. In no particular order, and mostly from Western media outlets:
- The Top Ten Environmental Watch List, from the Vermont Law School. Scholars and students at this venerable institution researched more than 75 judicial, legislative and regulatory actions and picked the ten biggest environmental issues to keep an eye on this year (including California's climate law and steps forward in wind and solar development).
- Along similar lines as the Vermont Law School list, also see Ecopolitology's Top 10 Stories in Environmental Policy and Felicity Barringer's 2010 list of important environmental moments in the New York Times Green blog.
- Top 10 Places to Save for Endangered Species in a Warming World, from the Endangered Species Coalition. Many areas of the West made the list, including the entire Southwest and California's Bay-Delta.
- Top Issues Confronting the National Park System, from National Parks Traveler. Working off on an older list from National Geographic, Kurt Repanshek sums up a familiar list of threats to our parks, from crumbling infrastructure to climate change, and adds a few more, like funding and staffing (and the lack thereof).
and on the lighter side:
- Funny Lines from 2010 Books, from NewWest.net. Books editor Jenny Shank apparently kept notes all year about lines that tickled her. One of my favorites, from Thomas McGuane's Driving on the Rim: “They both beamed at me with the intense curiosity which we save for people we suspect might not be stable.”
- Top Ten Celestial Events of 2011, from Steamboat Today. Jimmy Westlake, astronomy instructor at Colorado Mountain College, provides a calendar of cool night-sky happenings to watch for -- comets, eclipses, meteor showers, and NASA events.
- The "Other" Top 10 Films, from The Pacific Northwest Inlander. Forget "Black Swan" and "The Social Network" and check out this list of little-noticed but very worthwhile movies released in 2010. The one I'm most anxious to add to my Netflix queue: "The Good, The Bad, The Weird", described as "A Korean spaghetti Western telling the stories of three (very) different characters: a bounty hunter, a train robber and a killer, all searching for a treasure map in 1940s Korea. It’s violent, funny, action-packed, a visual feast and just plain nuts."
- Top 10 Records of 2010, from six contributors to the Phoenix New Times. From Kelly Stotlz to Band of Horses to Toubab Krewe, chances are you'll find bands on here you've never heard of -- but you'll want to.
- Eater's list of Top Ten Beers from 2010 to Drink in 2011 contains brews from several Western beermakers, including New Belgium, Victory and Avery.
Come across any good Top 10 lists to share? Or do you have your own? Post 'em below (as a comment)!
Jodi Peterson is HCN's managing editor.