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Pippa, mini-skirt Mondays, horoscope hijinks: 2011's top Hot Button stories

From Pippa stealing the spotlight to the riot picture the whole world noticed to a shift in the stars, the most popular Hot Button posts showed a wide range of subject matter in 2011. Here, a look back at the top 10.

1. Homeless man's radio voice makes him a web star

No one could resist the fascinating tale of Ted Williams, a homeless man with a golden voice. After his story hit the Internet, the former alcoholic was inundated with job offers from the likes of MTV and the NFL. He was hired by MSNBC to do voice over work for the network but then entered a rehabilitation facility due to alcohol abuse. Last month, Williams became the official voice of a New England-based cable news network.

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2. Did Pippa outshine her sister? Awkward!

The royal wedding may have been Kate Middleton's big day, but her sister Pippa stole the show. The younger sister, who also wore white, ended up trending higher on Twitter than her sister and becoming a hotter watercooler topic than the newly minted Duchess of Cambridge.

3. The Kate and Pippa effect: Would you do the Dukan Diet?

French physician Pierre Dukan's eponymous diet book was already a success in Europe when it got the best word-of-mouth endorsement any such book could hope for: Kate Middleton's mother praised it in the lead up to the royal wedding, and once it was linked to Kate and Pippa, it was guaranteed to fly off shelves everywhere.

4. The Vancouver riot picture everyone's talking about

The photograph of a young couple lying on the ground kissing during the Vancouver riot was a viral sensation in June. The couple, Scott Hones and his girlfriend Alex Thomas, were knocked to the ground by riot police, it was discovered shortly after the photo became an Internet hit.

5. Why your zodiac sign might have changed

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It clearly wasn't just those worry-wart Virgos who were shocked to learn that today's astrological signs are out of sync with the originals. When an astronomer from Minnesota pointed out that the earth's "wobble" has shifted the signs of the zodiac by about one month, everyone took notice.

6. Did Gretzky tell his daughter to close saucy Twitter account?

Pauline Gretzky became a Twitter legend, thanks to the many racy photos she regularly posted of herself on her feed. When rumours surfaced that her famous father made her shut down her Twitter account, the story was bound to have readers clicking away. Sex and this country's greatest hockey player? Gold.

7. Public servant sues after she's hurt mid-sex on a work trip

How could a headline like that not attract huge numbers of curious clicks? The story of the Australian government worker who sued her employer after a light in a hotel room fell on her face while she was having sex during a business trip was just about as perfect a tidbit of ridiculousness as they come.

8. The most bizarre use of Facebook in a divorce case ever

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Woman creates a fake teenage girl online to spy on her husband. Husband is on to the ruse from the beginning. Husband has to prove this to authorities after confiding in the "teenager" that he wishes to kill his wife. Welcome to divorce in the age of Facebook.

9. Mini-skirt Mondays? Woman sues over 'dress code'

There's casual Friday, and then there's Wet-t-shirt Wednesday. A Utah woman who sued her former boss for a dress code schedule devised for female employees, which included Wet-t-shirt Wednesday and No-bra Thursday, proved that gender equality is still a long, long way off at some workplaces.

10. Kid an Internet hero after fighting bully

In a year in which bullying finally began to receive the attention it deserves, one video caught everyone's attention. Fighting back may not be the best response, but the sight of a boy getting bullied slamming his attacker to the ground was fantastically compelling.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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