Australia begs for mercy from pitiless Sun God - 10 Things
Ah, hubris: you are a harsh and unforgiving mistress. After declaring that Sydney was to escape the brutal heatwave that is engulfing the nation comes news that tomorrow temperatures in the city's CBD will hit 43 degrees - which is thankfully a little hotter than Melbourne got, because this rivalry isn't going anywhere. Apparently it will last for a single day, mind, partially because of a cool change coming through but mainly because the O'Farrell Government have maintained their shrine to Ra, the mighty Egyptian god of the Sun, with more piety than the other state governments.Having just barely saved the US economy from meltdown, the Obama administration are looking to try something a little easier and more lighthearted next, like passing a suite of gun control laws in the wake of 2012's series of mass shootings, most notably at Sandy Hook Elementary. Vice President Joe Biden is heading the taskforce which seeks to ban semi-automatic weapons, tighten controls on how insane people are allowed to be when owning guns and increase penalties for having guns near schools, among other things. The NRA has predictably flagged that it's not a fan of the proposals, preferring it's own arm-everyone-all-the-time method of gun control.
Remember the music industry? Well, those hoping that 2012 would see a turnabout in its fortunes thanks to the exciting young artists making compelling music will be delighted to know that the US's biggest selling album in 2012 was Adele's 21. You know, which was released in 2011. Say, have you heard these Beatles fellows - word is they have some nifty tunes!
Maybe our benighted musical future is because of the ravages of the demon weed. Yes, despite the lessons taught by the Thompson Twins' 1985 anti-drug hit 'Don't Mess with Doctor Dream' it appears that some of our best and brightest are not in fact just saying no to drugs: after photos were published purporting to show Justin Bieber smoking pot he tweeted that he's "trying to be better", while Frank Ocean was charged with marijuana possession on New Years Eve - even while Snoop Dogg/Lion/Aardvark/whatever the hell he's calling himself these days is telling the press that he'd love to show his kids how to smoke dope. Seriously, today's pop stars: if the Thompson Twins aren't enough, maybe you'll heed the lessons of John Farnham and Dani'elle. Ask yourself: do you do the drug… or does the drug do you?
Channel Nine are stepping in to address one of their longest running series after receiving news that two of its most popular characters are taking a hiatus from upcoming episodes. Coverage of Australian Cricket has been a solid hit for the network for decades and a staple of its summer programming, but the news that characters Michael Hussey and David Warner will not be appearing in the upcoming two parter "One Day Games In Melbourne and Adelaide" has lead the network's director of sport to tell the SMH "From an entertainment point of view, and as a fan, I struggle to understand how those two are not in the side." Fans of the show are predicting some exciting stunt-casting, with former Voice judge Keith Urban, Australia's Sweetheart Lisa McCune and Today dreamboat Karl Stefanovic among those rumoured to open the batting order on Friday.
Argentina have renewed their calls for ownership of the Falkland Islands, with president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner declaring that the UK must abide by UN resolutions aimed at ending colonialism and return the small lumps of sheep-infested rock to their sovereign owners. Fernández's call - and British PM David Cameron's outright refusal - is all about national pride and geopolitical justice, and not at all connected with the increasing evidence that the islands may be conveniently close to a shitload of oil. However, it's worth noting that there are currently no calls to return the islands to their traditional owners: penguins.
Is Everything Sorted In Syria Yet update: it's still a no. President Bashar al-Assad has hit back at smart alecks like the UN who think they know so much about handling a populist uprising by armed rebels by declaring in a public speech that "Everyone who comes to Syria knows that Syria accepts advice but not orders" – which is a terrible tourism slogan, though still not as bad as the "So where the bloody hell are you?" campaign that Tourism Australia ran in 2006. The Syrian National Coalition, Assad's opposition, claimed the speech was "a waste of time" and "empty rhetoric", and should do exactly zero to open dialogue that might prevent the country descending into a full-blown civil war.
People have been complaining about shortcomings in Apple Maps, but maybe it's reality that is the problem. After all, the smartphone app is accurately telling Melbournians that the quickest way to get to the lovely beaches of the Mornington Peninsula is via the Peninsula Link freeway, and it's hardly its fault that the road isn't, y'know, open yet. Maybe if you were looking at the map more as an aspirational model of the Platonic ideal of a route to the beach rather than a grubby tool for your sordid holidaymaking then you'd see it for what it truly is, Victoria. Stop blaming Apple for wanting to create a better world.
In a little bit of hilarious life-imitating-gaffe news, final definitive counts of the US election results have revealed that Mitt Romney received a total of 47% of the popular vote. You might recall that Romney was filmed at a fundraising dinner declaring that 47% of people would vote for Obama because they were, y'know, welfare sponges and stuff - and that "My job is not to worry about these people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Oh Mitt, you adorable goof!
And finally, if you're a parent tired of your child always playing those darn video games, here's a fun idea: hire an in-game hit squad to kill his characters. Kotaku report that one Mr Feng was so irked at his son Xiao was playing Chinese RPGs rather than looking for a job that he hired players with higher-level characters than Xiao's to kill his character off, figuring that his son would get sick of having to level up from scratch every time. Given that we stopped playing GTA: Vice City after losing that goddamn car race against the hacker nerd half a dozen times, it seems like a good strategy to us.