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October 22, 2014

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The Best of 2008

As 2008 draws to a close, lists of the year’s top things are popping up around the Web. Keeping with the trend, here are a dozen interesting "top" lists that highlight the high and low points of the year that was 2008.

Best Mug Shots of the Year

Staffers at the Smoking Gun filtered through thousands of headshots to give us their Cliff's Notes version, a 20-page photo collection of the funniest and notable po-po pics from across the country.

Some of the suspects are tattooed, some are famous, and others are just funny-looking. The hands-down favorite, however, is the montage at the top the list, "suspects busted in the act of advocating change."

20 Best Reality TV Moments of the Year

From “Rock of Love” to “Real Housewives of New York” (and Atlanta), reality shows always have a generous dose of oh-no-they-didn’t. Jezebel chronicled the past year’s top 20 moments of reality show gold as part of their year-end wrap-up.

The site’s other lists – Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s 25 most annoying moments of 2008, the 10 best talk show moments of 2008, the 10 best “Judge Judy” moments of 2008, and the 2008 Photoshop hall of fame, especially – are also well worth your end-of-the-year while.

50 Best Inventions of the Year

A ton of stuff was created in the past 365 days and Time took the liberty of ranking its favorites. The list includes the obscure, like German Olympian Dimitrij Ovtcharov's ping-pong serve and a "mobile, dexterous, social robot,” the über green (No. 35, airborne wind power, and No. 37, smog-eating cement) and creations drawn straight from the pages of a science fiction novel, like No. 28, the so-called “invisibility cloak.”

10 Best Reputation Crises of the Year

The Big Three, O.J. Simpson, Eliot Spitzer and a certain governor from Illinois... 2008 had no shortage of reputation missteps. The self-proclaimed "Reputation Doctor," Mike Paul, discusses a baker’s dozen of his favorite blunders.

Sports Illustrated's Greatest Shots of the Year

From Michael Phelps’ Olympic gold medal wins to the New York Giant’s victory in Superbowl XLII, 2008 was a fantastic year for the sport enthusiast.

We enjoyed them as armchair athletes and can now relive them as online athletes thanks to Sports Illustrated’s gallery of the most visually pleasing and athletically thrilling moments of 2008.

Best Films of the Year

Though Roger Ebert severed ties with his famed movie review program in July (after he hadn't appeared on the program for more than two years), the latter half of the iconic critiquing duo that was Siskel and Ebert (and later, Roper and Ebert) still knows his movies.

As such, the Pulitzer Prize for criticism award-winner still has the authority to tell us what was worth watching in 2008.

Delivering bang for the moviegoers’ buck, Ebert delivered two "best films" lists for the price of one, an alphabetical list of his 20 favorite films of the year and a five-film listing of his favorite documentaries.

As a special bonus, Ebert also awarded revered Canadian filmmaker Guy Madden a special "jury award" for his fantastical, fevered and bizarrely nostalgic exploration, "My Winnipeg."

Best and Worst Dressed of the Year

Forget Entertainment Tonight's style sergeant, Cojo -- The Daily Mail has the European clout to blow the whistle on the best and worst dressers of the year.

The London-based paper also doled out awards for the best-dressed “yummy mummy-to-be,” the top “red carpet reinvention,” and “best bare-all,” among others.

The worst-dressed stars in a handful of equally clever categories were also named.

Best campaign videos of the year

The 2008 election saw unprecedented campaign spending as candidates, political parties and interest groups dropped a staggering $5.3 billion on congressional and presidential races. (The presidential race alone gobbled up an estimated $2.4 of that.)

A considerable chunk of that change was spent on campaign videos -- and thanks to the kind folks at Time, we can relive the campaign that seemed like it would never end through the top 10 campaign videos. The list is just part of its wide-ranging "Top 10 everything of 2008" list.

Biggest Scams of the Year

Q: What did we learn in 2008?

A: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The IRS's list of widespread scams includes fuel tax credits (No. 4) and economic stimulus payment scams (No. 2). And if it sounds too far-fetched to be true (i.e., "unreasonable and unfounded claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe,") the IRS isn't buying it, either. And neither should you.

Despite his stellar effort, Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme didn’t make the cut.

Best Albums of the Year

Who better than Rolling Stone to tell us what we should've been listening to all year instead of trusting our musical selections to the random universe that is Pandora.

As expected, Guns n' Roses' highly anticipated but tepidly received album, ”Chinese Democracy,” didn't make the top 10. The surprise: It landed in the No. 12 spot.

25 Best Censored Stories of the Year

Sonoma State University's Project Censored feeds our inner conspiracy theorist with its list of what it feels were the biggest news stories that didn't make the news -- including Kia's "Neoliberal Invasion of India," the military and corporate America's contamination of drinking water, and the one that revealed there was "No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11."

Most Popular Search Queries of the Year

More and more, we turn to the Internet for answers to all of life’s little questions. Questions like, “What’s the five-day forecast?” “Who won last night’s game?” and “What are my friends up to?” are just the beginning.

Dictionary.com released a handful of compilations detailing the top Internet searches, including one that detailed the most popular questions people asked the all-knowing search engine.

While the most popular questions, “How do I get pregnant?” and “How do I lose weight?” were understandable, the seventh-most common question, "What is the meaning of life?" seemed a little much for the mighty search engine.

On another note, "maverick" topped Ask.com's list of top gainers, in front of “socialism,” “economy,” and “recession.”

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