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The Top 10 Bizarre Stories Of 2011, The Year The Rapture Didn't Happen


<p>Our own Christopher Robbins went to <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/03/28/inside_the_911_wtc_building_7_truth.php">a 9/11 WTC Building 7 Truther Conference</a> in Hartford, and left thoroughly unconvinced. But it sparked a comments debate that was the largest in Gothamist history to date.</p>


<p>Following weeks of ominous BQE billboards, caravans of catastrophe, and CDC Zombie Apocalypse guides, <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/rapture"><em>Judgment Day 2011: Go Rapture Or Go Home</em></a> was scheduled to wipe out all the heathens on May 21. But frogs didn't rain from the heavens, locusts weren't swarming the subways, and earthquakes didn't sending cities crashing into the oceans. Then a few months later, debunked doomsday prognosticator Harold Camping declared that <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/judgmentday"><em>Judgment Day 2011: I Know What You Raptured Last Spring</em></a> would definitely-without-a-doubt-no-question-about-it REALLY be happening on October 21. Considering the fact <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/12/30/i_divorced_a_girl_russell_brand_and.php">Russell Brand and Katy Perry have split up</a>, we guess he really was right.</p>



<p>A giant 3-foot-long rat <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/08/25/brooklyn_man_stabs_giant_rat_with_p.php">met its maker at the Marcy Houses</a> in August. Look at that creature and just try telling us there aren't super-breeds of rats waiting for the right moment to take over.</p>


<p>In June, police gave two young women in Bed-Stuy <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php">summonses for eating doughnuts in a playground</a> while unaccompanied by a minor. Almost everyone agreed that it was a bit of an overreaction. </p>


<a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/02/23/anti-abortion_billboard_in_soho_tar.php">A controversial anti-abortion billboard</a> in SoHo—featuring a photo of a black girl and the caption, "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb"—<a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/antiabortionbillboard">was removed</a> just days after it was put up. But the heated discussion around it lasted a lifetime.



<p>The age-old NYC tipping debate took an odd turn in June <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/06/08/whats_worse_stiffing_your_waitress.php">when we asked what's worse</a>: stiffing your waitress on tips, or ranting about it on Craigslist? There was a huge commenter debate over the Tonic East waitress controversy, and we ended up stuck in a <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/toniceast">he said/she said purgatory.</a></p>


<p>After numerous complaints that the press wasn't taking him seriously, we wrote a story on Ron Paul in August in which we seriously laid out <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/08/16/3_reasons_why_ron_paul_will_never_e.php">three reasons why we thought he'd never become president.</a> Little did we know just how <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/08/21/from_the_mailbag_america_loves_ron.php">passionate the Ron Paul Nation truly is</a>. And thus began our ongoing love affair with <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/ronpaul">America's favorite Kantian epistemologist.</a></p>


<p>In June, a self-described "very well-educated person" <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/06/16/video_very_well_educated_person_mak.php">chewed out a Metro-North train conductor for doing her job</a>. It's such fun when very well-educated people throw tantrums!</p>


<p>While the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/09/12/opening_day_at_the_national_911_mem.php#photo-1">finally opened</a> (albeit, <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/05/22/whoops_911_memorial_and_museum_has.php">without bathrooms</a>), <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/911cross">American Atheists sued to stop</a> the famous September 11 Cross from being included as part of it. This prompted Jon Stewart <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/08/05/jon_stewart_to_atheists_suing_over.php">to pointedly ask</a>, "By the way, atheists, why do you give a s&amp;@?" </p>


<p>We asked back in May whether a NY Times correction involving Tolkien trivia <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/05/08/is_this_the_greatest_ny_times_corre.php">was the greatest of all time.</a> Whether it is or isn't, it's certainly the nerdiest correction of all time.</p>