Pork barrel spending, or the rush to grab as much government money as possible, has been a staple of Washington politics since even before the term was finally coined over a hundred years ago. Getting federal funds are a little bit like sharing an all-you-can-eat buffet with a pack of starving wolves. It may look like enough to go around, but if you don't eat fast, you aren't going to eat at all.
There are many odd projects that get funding. Some of them, such as collecting toenail clippings in the mail, turn out to be legitimate scientific endeavors (in this case, the clippings were bio-samples used to assess people's risk of lung cancer). But some of them really do seem silly and wasteful. Read on for our picks of the most absurd examples of pork from 2011.