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Year in Review 2010: Crazy, Outrageous, and Just Plain Ridiculous Buildings

Let’s look back at a year of wild and wacky architectural achievements—from the super-size to the super-tall to the super-expensive.

Despite a global economic crisis that slowed the construction industry to a halt, a bevy of supersize, supertall, super-expensive buildings managed to erect themselves around the world during the past year. The world's tallest building was completed in 2010, as was the world's new tallest tower, plus the largest private development in the U.S., and the world's first billion-dollar house. Now as for whether or not all these buildings are actually occupied... well, that’s a different story entirely. Let’s look back at a year of wild and wacky architectural achievements (and a few that have yet to be seen).

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2010 Year in Review: Extreme Weather and Climate Events

Will 2010 be remembered as the year that Earth struck back? There's no arguing that it was a wild, destructive, and fatal year of extreme weather.

Looking back in a decade or two, we might well remember 2010 as the year that the weather got really wacky. Or, perhaps, as the year that the effects of long term global climate change started to really tweak short term weather patterns.

One thing is clear: this was a wild, violent, and catastrophic year in extreme weather events.

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This Exemplary Embodiment: The Year in Food Patents

I think that patent applications—where human ingenuity meets dreams of profit, within the straitjacket of line diagrams and legal prose—might be...

I think that patent applications—where human ingenuity meets dreams of profit, within the straitjacket of line diagrams and legal prose—might be my favorite literary form.

A tour through the year in food patents reveals several understated gems, from this "Grater for Gratable Food Products" to ConAgra's "Proportional Length Food Slicing System." The consistent format creates an equalizing effect, as products of massive corporate investment in R&D, such as Sysco's "High Protein, Reduced Carbohydrate Bakery Product," are shelved alongside the inventions of a lone, obsessive-compulsive salad lover whose new container design ensures that no element of the salad touches any other element until such time as the salad lover is ready to eat.

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