Chris Brown and Rihanna show love can triumph over savage, unprovoked beatings - 10 Things
As promised yesterday, the winner of 2012's Boxing Day challenge - the traditional nationwide competition in which every Australian attempts to put every other Australian into a box - was won by… Mr Greg Pead, aka Yahoo Serious! Congratulations, Greg: you get to hold onto the cermonial bronze wombat until Boxing Day 2013 - and hey, enjoy the single largest peak in your Google search results since Mr Accident.
It's a Xmas miracle! Chris Brown has graciously forgiven Rihanna for getting in the way of his teeth and fists when he, y'know, beat the living hell out of her a few years ago, and has allowed her to join him at a Lakers game on Xmas day where they were a-cuddling and a-canoodling. Rihanna even Instagrammed a pic of the pair with the caption "ThugLife #merryChristmas", which is just so sweet - especially since Brown's other girlfriend Christina Milan supposedly reckons they're still an item. Chris Brown is basically all class, is what we're saying, and also totally not a violent psychopath being rewarded for his antisocial behaviour and violent treatment of women, which is definitely not going to happen again. But hey, they're in love - or whatever the equivalent of "love" is for a man incapable of understanding human emotions.
It's another Xmas miracle! As the gun debate rolls on, and mad people open fire on emergency workers in New York State, authorities in New York have admitted that mental health services are in severe crisis, what with most of the service providers having been knocked out by Hurricane Sandy. Inpatient services are turning folks away, patients that should be in care are being treated in emergency only, and of course there are a bunch of guns around. Happy holidays!
Rafael Nadal's triumphant return to tennis has been postponed because he's a bit under the weather: he was meant to make a post-knee-injury comeback this weekend in Abu Dhabi, but has pulled out due to illness - but promises to be back for the Qatar Open at the end of December. The take away here is this: wow, the Arab states sure do like tennis.
In legitimately good news, Nelson Mandela has been released from hospital after things were looking rather touch and go there for a bit. Apparently treatment for a lung infection and gallstones went to plan, which is impressive for a guy who's 94-freakin'-years-old.
Lonely Planet have killed one of their online forums after accusations that there was paedophilia-related material on it. The travel forum Thorn Tree has been deep sixed without warning after a user (said to be a banned user with a history of trolling, so a source of unimpeachable quality) claimed there was a bunch of discussion about child prostitution in Thailand. There's no word on when the forum will return, or whether the claims are in any way accurate.
The Australian Greens have given their platform a spit and polish ahead of the federal election, which principally consists of changing a bunch of their policies to the more vague-sounding (and non-binding) "aims" and "principles", bringing them more in line with the fluffy, nonsensical nice-sounding bullshit peddled by the Liberal and Labor parties that allows them to sound leader-ish without committing them to actually doing stuff. Ah, Greens, you're growing up!
The UK are trying to work out what to put on their new £10 banknote, with the current frontrunners including the Beatles, Mick Jagger, David Beckham, John Cleese, Shakespeare and Princess Diana. Oddly, Jimmy Saville doesn't appear to be on the list - but you just know that if this was happening two years ago he would have been…
You know what birds hate? Dance music. That's the necessary finding of a study being published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, showing that a pair of African Grey Parrots (which, as sample sizes go, is kind of useless) liked a bunch of different kinds of music (including UB40 and Joan Baez, because obviously), but not dance music. "Well, technically, we're both into Krautrock and early electronica," the birds clarified, "and we have a soft spot for the Human League and early Depeche Mode, but now EDM's just noise - we like something you can whistle, something with a bit of a tune. Actually, have you heard the new Mumford & Sons? We think those kids have got something."
Most of the UK is looking at introducing tough new laws on prostitution, because that'll fix everything: Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are looking at the so-called "Nordic Model" (which isn't nearly as hot as that name suggests) under which the act of buying sex will be a criminal act. "If you recognise prostitution is violence against a woman then this makes a lot of sense," said Labor MSP Rhoda Grant, dismissing suggestions that the move would drive prostitution underground and lead to higher levels of actual violence against women, as has been the case pretty much everywhere else.
And finally, if you need to get the last of your Xmas sentimentality out, have a look at this special seasonal animation by UK artist Cyriak. It's not long, but maybe just check there aren't any kids watching over your shoulder…