The Most Popular Stories of 2009: #20 to #14


This week, we'll be counting down the year's most-read stories. I know the suspense is killing you, but we'll start with #20.

20. Strange Geographies: The Mojave Desert's Airplane Graveyard
by Ransom Riggs

Out in the Mojave Desert, two hours from anywhere, you can see the silhouettes of a hundred parked jetliners. A mean-looking perimeter fence keeps onlookers at a distance, but our own Ransom Riggs managed to find someone to let him—and his camera—inside.

19. Cheetos Lip Balm & Other Bizarre Brand Extensions by Mario Marsicano Corporate brand extensions are serious attempts to grow a brand beyond its initial range of products. Sometimes the tactic works. Other times, it just leads to good comedy.

18. 31 Unbelievable High School Mascots
by Jason English
After we declared that the Laurel Hill Hoboes had the best high school nickname/mascot/logo combination, we invited readers to try to top it. Here are some of the best.

17. 6 Movies With Far More Depressing Alternative Endings by Danny Gallagher Hollywood test audiences are always giving low ratings to movies with depressing endings, sending them back to the editing room for a little "cheering up." Here are some films that were given a heavy dose of Paxil.

16. 7 Civil War Stories You Didn't Learn in High School
by Eric Johnson
The Civil War is a source of some bizarre and surprisingly cool trivia, like these seven stories.

15. Who Approved That? 7 Food Promotions Gone Horribly Wrong by Mario Marsicano From infecting your customers with a computer virus to promoting pizza with Heath Ledger's corpse, here are a few fast food and cola promotions that didn't go the way the marketing gurus had planned.

14. What 8 Classic TV Shows Were Almost Called
by Kara Kovalchik
TV shows often go through several name changes from original concept to pilot script to pitch meeting to "We think it would be more marketable if you called it"¦.." Here are 8 examples, including early names for Diff'rent Strokes and Fraggle Rock.