It Was A Good Year For Some People, Places And Things For many, 2011 wasn't a great year. But look closely at the worlds of business and sports, music and politics, and there were also people and places that had it pretty good. In a weeklong series, we learn about the trends that shaped 2011, and why some companies — and some lab mice — have reasons to be happy.

The two "eyes" on the Anybot are actually a camera and a laser. The camera "sees," the laser points, and the person on the screen controls it all. Anybots.com hide caption

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No Excuses: Robots Put You In Two Places At Once

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Phyllis Siegel (right) kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, after the two exchanged vows at the Manhattan City Clerk's office. The couple were the first same-sex pair to tie the knot in New York City after the state's Marriage Equality Act went into effect on July 24. Michael Appleton/AP hide caption

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Michael Appleton/AP

2011: An Extraordinary Year For Gay Rights

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For Lab Mice, The Medical Advances Keep Coming

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Midwestern manufacturers are bouncing back — revenues are up at Chicago White Metal Casting for the second year in a row. And the company is hiring, but mainly specialists, such as die-cast machinists and the people with the skills to fix those machines. Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ hide caption

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Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ

Midwest Learns To Manufacture More With Less

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Heirloom beets served at Bibiana Restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. Joseph Silverman/The Washington Times /Landov hide caption

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Joseph Silverman/The Washington Times /Landov

A Year That Was Good To Beets

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godutchbaby/Flickr

Coconut Water Companies Sell Image, Not Taste

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Turkey Prospers Amid Neighboring Nations' Woes

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Chrysler President Olivier Francois reintroduced his company to the world at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

2011 Put Chrysler Back In The Fast Lane

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African Prints More Sophisticated, Subtle In 2011

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For Grassroots Protests, Big Gains In 2011

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Reason To Smile: Samuel Palmisano, president and CEO of IBM, walks by an IBM logo at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Palmisano is set to step down later this month, and Virginia Rometty will take over on Jan. 1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

IBM Sees A Big Boost As It Turns 100

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The Undertakers Of The Retail Industry

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Credit Unions Booming From Anti-Bank Outrage

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Chris Carl, foreman of the Shelburne Limestone Corp. quarry in South Wallingford, says Vermont's weather woes helped to more than double the quarry's business. Nina Keck/Vermont Public Radio hide caption

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Nina Keck/Vermont Public Radio

In Vermont, Gravel And Road Business Is Up

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