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Most read of 2011

Curious to know what fellow students read about this year? Maclean's has compiled the ten most-read stories of 2011, with some surprising entries. Everything from class rings to prostate cancer to the most and least lucrative university degrees make the list. Read about all ten here.

Photo courtesy of NS Newsflash/Flickr

It might not have been a white Christmas for many of us, but all of us here at OOHLALA hope you had a very merry one!

2011: a year of #winning?

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="525" caption="Charle Sheen's breakfast of champions"][/caption]

Today the Globe and Mail published a retrospective of the year according to Charlie Sheen. Europe correspondent Elizabeth Renzetti takes a look at the hashtags that defined the actor and his comeback-cum-trainwreck via the world of Twitter.

Much ink has been spilt on Sheen’s 15 minutes of fame and what it means for the 21st century celebrity, social media, and the state of pop culture in North America. As #tigerblood shot up to become the second most popular hashtag of the year, it became hard to ignore the former star of Two and a Half Men. But just as quickly as it started, Sheen's antics became cringe-worthy - if you weren't appalled from the outset - and his star fizzled.

If you’re not too busy decking the halls or recovering from exams, take a look at what Renzetti has to say about one of the defining personalities of 2011 (whether we like it or not).

In Canada, talk ain't cheap

[caption id="attachment_439" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="With that new phone, Katy's monthly rates are probably skyrocketing."][/caption]

You pick up your mail and rifle through it -- fliers, postcards from globetrotting friends, and, of course, bills. You pull out an envelope marked with that oh-so-familiar Bell or Rogers logo and - with a bit of apprehension - open it.


Your monthly bill is a whopping two hundred dollars more than you expected. Sound familiar?

Canadians pay more in voice and data rates than almost any other country in the world, according to a report released last year by the New America Foundation. For many, this comes as no surprise with the so-called “Big 3” carriers dominating the telecommunications market indefinitely.

But some politicians are beginning to take notice. At Queen’s Park in Toronto, one member is fighting to pass legislation that would make cell phone costs more transparent.

"The price gouging that is taking place in this sector because of the lack of competition is absolutely horrendous," said Liberal member David Orazietti, who first introduced the bill before the latest provincial election.

While it might not do much to make cell phone usage more affordable, consumers will at least have a better idea of what they’re getting into if this bill passes. Cell phone users in Quebec are lucky enough to already have similar legislation in place, while Manitoba is also studying a similar proposal.

Less confusion and more transparency for a service so many depend on? Seems like a no brainer.