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The PK 5: Top 5 Top 10 Lists of 2010

Got that? We’re rounding up some of our favorite top 10 lists of 2010. After all, there’s something irresistible about discovering a top 10 list. You feel utterly compelled to dive in, to agree or disagree with the collector’s assessments and to post them to Facebook, where your friends and followers will continue the debate.

But for the sake of being a little different, we’re showcasing our top 5 top 10 lists. Ironic? Maybe. Cheeky? Probably. A perfect distraction? Definitely.

Top 10: Unsolved Mysteries of the Past

Whether we’re talking about Rongorongo–the heiroglyphic written language penned by early Easter Island inhabitants–or why the Anasazi people suddenly abandoned their elaborate city of cliff dwellings, there are few topics as fascinating as an unsolved historical mystery. Bog-men (and women): How did they get there? The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica: Why, just plain why?

The Village Voice: The 20 Worst Songs of 2010

So maybe numbers aren’t our strong suit, but this list offers hilarious commentary that debunks everything anyone ever thought was good about any of the included ditties. Collected among the best of the worst is Susan Boyle’s rendition of “Hallelujah and Ringo Starr-along with Joss Stone as his sidekick–taking on “Who’s Your Daddy?” Didn’t anyone mention to Ms. Boyle that Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” isn’t exactly in praise of the Baby Jesus? Taking the cake as the worst song of 2010, however, is Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” which made some of us feel a little gleeful after a year’s worth of struggle to banish it from our heads BECAUSE IT’S EVERYWHERE.

The New York Times Magazine: The 10th Annual Year in Ideas

While this isn’t exactly a top 10 list, we felt compelled to include it in our round-up because, hey, it includes the right number and we’re in the business of ideas, after all. Spanning everything from cultural phenomena to tangible inventions, the NYT’s list offers an intriguing jumble of possibilities–some of which may sound familiar, while others are less obvious. One of our favorites is a little Microsoft Outlook plug-in calles ToneCheck, which functions as an “emotional spellcheck.” If you dash off an email with too many words and phrases the tool deems angry or sad, for example, a warning box pops up before you hit the send button. Or, if you write up an email that’s so happy it borders on unseemly, the tool will also petition you to revise before sending.

The Quentin Tarantino Archives: Quentin’s Favorite Movies of 2010

Quentin Tarantino makes us sit up and take notice because he’s, well, Quentin Tarantino–and he always offers a blur of fast-talking, smart commentary. While many folks complain about the abundance of violence in his movies, those same individuals might be surprised to learn that his top pick for 2010 is Toy Story 3. And while his list also includes a number of expected titles such as The Social Network, I Am Love and True Grit, we’re a little baffled by Toy Story 3. Maybe that’s why we should actually have a PK movie day and watch it.

National Geographic: 10 NatGeo Stories You Might Have Missed in 2010

No doubt many of us pay attention to the year’s “big headlines” such as the BP oil spill and the harrowing rescue effort that saved 33 chilean miners trapped underground. But a number of fascinating stories just slip under the proverbial radar, so National Geographic rounds up the 10 most interesting news items that didn’t get much play from viewers in 2010. For example, did you know that countless dead mice filled with drugs were air-dropped into the thick jungles of Guam in an effort to kill off the pesky brown tree snake? Neither did we. Or have you heard that the universe is roughly 20 million years older than scientists previously thought, according to the latest round of data from a satellite launched in 2001? Never even read about that one.

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