Each week our culture scientists rank their 10 favorite things in the universe. The resulting list is infallible. The list is perfect. If you don't agree with the list, you are wrong. Some items may stay atop the list for weeks, others may only make a brief appearance. Some items are Portland-centric, but only because Portland is at the center of the universe. Please do not write to us, asking for the metrics behind the list. We will not provide source material. We will not be swayed. Bow down to the list. Love the list, as the list loves all things. Let the list move through you. (And, you know, if you have suggestions for the list, stick them in the comments section below.) 

1. Downton Abbey
2. The Oregon Zoo’s newborn river otter

3. The Real World Portland trailer
Where MTV Stops Getting Real… And Starts Getting Polite.


We’re just kidding. They seem like terrible people. On an appropriate note, they’ll be at the Comic Con this Friday and they won’t even have to dress up like cartoons.

4. The post-Valentine’s Day one-day warm snap
Portland’s inflated media cycle has gone on so long the whole city's getting hot flashes now. Yikes! And hooray!

5. Casey Jarman’s “It’s not a Portland Winter Until You’ve…”
Making a four-peat. Because after a solid day of spring, it’s winter again.

6. Fear of an orange cantaloupe
Does this make you feel weird? Just, you know, looking at it? Does your skin crawl? Yeah, us neither.

7. Kim Jong-Un, master mixologist!
This picture’s making its second consecutive appearance on It List because of the great artisanal cocktail that Kim Jong-Un prepared for us the other night in Portland. Our memory’s a bit fuzzy, and it was dark in there, but we’re pretty sure we remember the haircut.

Genius with Coffee and Fernet Branca

8. Studs Turkel, redescendent

Entertainment Weekly’s beautiful oral history of Roseanne kicked off a virtual Space Race in pop-culture oral histories, from Vanity Fair’s Friends and Sopranos through GQ’s Cheers and Maxim’s The Wire. But now the words apparently have no meaning. Vanity Fair’s oral history of Pulp Fiction—or so they say—has descended to earth in the form of an ass-kissy article. Oh well. It still made us really want to dust off our old VHS copy of Pulp Fiction. (Except that our collective ex-girlfriend has it. Booooo.)

Thanks, Randy Leonard!
Former City Commissioner Randy Leonard and his patented Portland Loo. 

10. Thomas Lauderdale and Ted Nugent BFFs Forever
While the rest of the country made a meme of Nugent's exasperated facial expressions during the State of the Union last week, Portland got to enjoy its own special in-joke within those same photos, with the realization that the Nuge was seated next to his diametric opposite: Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale, in attendance as a guest of Rep. Earl Blumenauer. We anxiously await their upcoming road movie.