Laura Parker - AOL News
The Census Bureau has released its final figures for the 2010 count, revealing new details about the makeup of the 308.7 million people in the United States and how they live. Here are five insights about America's racial mix that emerge from the report:
1. The geography of race
The minority population, driven by a 43 percent increase in Hispanics, grew in all four regions of the country. But it grew most in the West. Nearly half of the West's population of 33.9 million is now minority. That is largely due to California, which also has the largest minority population of any state: 22.3 millio...
James Grady - Politics Daily
Wait: Even in politics, 2010 was the year of zombies?
Sure, the hot new wonky tome "Zombie Economics" tells how "dead" economic theories walk among us to shape our paychecks, and sure, zombies lumber out of our TVs almost no matter what channel we click to, and sure, my fellow fantasy prose-slingers are flinging new novels about the undead at the dust of Stephen King and George Romero, but zombies as a metaphor for 2010's politics?
What happened to vampires?
Vampires are a great political metaphor! Bloodsuckers. Say no more.
But zombies? Who are they in America's 2010 politi...
not in system - AOL News
New Years Eve 2011
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 30: Men dressed as Vikings lead the torchlight procession as it makes its way along Princess Street for the start of the New Year celebrations December 30, 2010 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thousands of people joined in the torchlight procession, fo...
David Moye - AOL News
The Times Square ball gets all the publicity, but it's not the only thing being dropped on Dec. 31 -- and we're not talking bad habits.
Seems like almost every city -- big and small -- marks the new year by dropping something from a tall building or a crane.
For instance, the city of Memphis, Tenn., will honor its musical heritage and the beginning of 2011 by dropping a giant illuminated Les Paul guitar from scaffolding alongside the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street.
Don Dunbar/Eastern Maine Images
When the clock strikes midnight in Eastport, Maine, this giant sardine will be dropp...
not in system - AOL News
They inspired and intrigued us. They entertained and enlightened us. Some made us howl with laughter or moved us to tears -- or both. When news came of their deaths this year, we remembered how each one's life left a mark in this world.
No annual list of newsworthy deaths is truly complete. As you look through these photos, you're sure to think of others we lost this year. We invite you to post a comment below about who else should be remembered and why.
David Moye - AOL News
The economy may have struggled at times this year, but 2010 was a bull market for weirdness.
That's the word from Tim O'Brien, the spokesman for Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, which just came out with its list of the year's weirdest stories.
He says that weirdness seems to work whether times are good or bad.
"Weirdness does seem to be recession-proof," O'Brien told AOL News. "That's one of the key successes of Ripley's -- the interest in weirdness never fluctuates. We've been publishing cartoons since 1918 and books since 1929 and we have never run out of material."
That said, O'Brien does b...
Donna Trussell - Politics Daily
Had John Lennon not died in 1980, this year he would have celebrated his 70th birthday on Oct. 9. And a month later, he would have seen the Beatles catalog appear on iTunes for the first time. In one week, Apple sold 1.4 million Beatles songs.
"Just imagine that we could live our favorite melodies," Carly Paige of Phoenix sings on "Just Imagine," which she composed out of Beatles song titles. She uploaded the video to YouTube on Jan. 14, 2010. She was 12 years old at the time. Now she's 13.
Paige is not the first young female Beatles fan to make a splash on YouTube. There's the MonaLisa Twi...
A.G. Vargas - AOL News
This has been a year filled with many memorable moments. The political arena has had its share of off-script instances that were oftentimes disastrous but sometimes hilarious. You may have heard about many of them -- from Vice President Joe Biden's f-bomb at the health care reform event to Christine O'Donnell's "separatation of church and state" line to former BP head Tony Hayward's complaint during the gulf oil spill that "I'd like my life back."
But there were several other off-script gems this year that you may not have seen. Here are my top 10.
1) Senator, Secretary, What's the Diff?
Steven Hoffer - AOL News
(Dec. 10) -- Search no further.
The Google Zeitgeist, an annual aggregation of search queries, was released this week, charting the many terms and topics that Web users explored during the past year, from "swine flu" to "Chatroulette." The report also offers a time-lapse map measuring searches for terms related to major world events such as "Olympics" and "ash cloud."
Google explains the Zeitgeist:
"Zeitgeist" means "the spirit of the times," and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight int...
Paul Yeager - AOL News
(Nov. 5) -- Government forecasters highlighted the potential for "another winter of extremes" in the U.S. in their recently issued 2010-11 winter outlook, and that seems an appropriate assessment coming off a year in which numerous all-time records have been set, ranging from winter cold and snow to summer heat to thousand-year rainfall events.
Winter Snow and Cold
The combination of an active southern storm track and occasional arctic blasts from Canada resulted in a remarkable 2009-10 winter across much of the eastern two-thirds of the United States.
Mark Wilson, Getty Images
A grounds wo...