Madonna's boobs more valuable than you'd assume - 10 Things
Gotye swept the ARIAs and smashed sales records locally and in the US, and has now been announced they 'Somebody That I Used To Know' was also the UK's biggest selling single of 2012. He's not the only Australian on the list, incidentally: Adelaide gal Sia Furler has the eighth biggest single of the year, since she delivers the chorus hook on Flo Rida's 'Wild Ones'. That's something to be proud of - or would have been, if only 360 hadn't sworn when accepting his ARIA last week thereby destroying Australian music forever. Oh 360, why you so gangsta?
£32,450: that's how much Madonna's conical bra from the 1991 Blonde Ambition tour went for at auction at Christies in London on Thursday - which works out at an impressive £15,725 per cup. It smashed the other Things What Got Worn By Musicians items at the auction, including a Mick Jagger jumpsuit (£20,000) and, um, a shirt John Lennon wore (£11,250). Here's hoping it was all bought by the same person: that's going to make one ghastly ensemble.
North Korea are clearly feeling a little foolish and emasculated after mistakenly printing an Onion story about Kim Jong-Un being voted 2012's Sexiest Man Alive as fact, as we reported last week. That would certainly give some Freudian explanation as to their announcement that they're sending a huge new long-range rocket thrusting manfully into orbit later this month, for "peaceful and technological purposes" and definitely not as a military show of strength or as a subtle threat to South Korea during their national election. In fact, the explosive release of North Korea's mighty pride prong may be timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-Il, which would weave daddy issues into this already-rich psychosexual tapestry.
Israel aren't angry about Palestine's upgrade to Observer Status at the United Nations: just very disappointed, and also incredibly angry. But they're certainly not responding by withholding tax revenues from the region and also expanding their programme of settlement over the Green Line and cutting off West Bank access to east Jerusalem… oh, hold on, sorry, yeah, that's precisely what they're doing. "A lot depends on what the Palestinians do or don't do," an Israeli official enigmatically told the Guardian when asked why they were withholding the dosh. Because nothing says "successful international diplomacy with no terrible, terrible consequences" like sulky, passive aggressive you-brought-our-invasion-on-yourself statements.
Everything's going pretty well in Egypt too, with the nation's top court deciding to bring their end-of-year break forward a bit to spend more time not having their entire building surrounded by an increasingly hostile crowd of Islamist protesters supporting beleaguered president Mohamed Morsi. The judges were meant to be making a ruling over validity over Morsi's decision to hold a snap referendum in a fortnight which, if passed, would grant him extraordinary powers (including immunity from the courts, which seems like a safe thing to give a national leader - hey, it worked for Silvio Berlusconi for a good long time, and Italy's never been in better shape!). But breathe easy, fans of international relationships: Egypt's likely future as shadow democracy run by religious extremists who answer to no-one seems set to bring them into a golden age. That's how it works, right?
Oh, and if you're wondering why your Syrian friends have been so distant for the last week, it's probably because their government cut off the internet again, along with most of their mobile phone coverage. The government insist that it's the work of rebel forces taking out a key internet cable and totally not because Bashar Al-Assad's tenuous grasp on power is slipping (not least since his regime dropped cluster bombs on a playground the other week). Of course, it was the nifty idea to cut the internet that triggered the popular uprising that ousted Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak last year… which, um, replaced him with the aforementioned Morsi. Maybe Twitter isn't the complete solution after all.
Meanwhile Australia's public servants - the people that, y'know, keep our national infrastructure running - have been asked to use the lead up to the Xmas break as an opportunity for them to find ways to cut services and put themselves out of work - sorry, "identify savings" - in order that the Federal Government can achieve that whole budget surplus thing that they promised they'd do during the election campaign three years ago when the economic outlook was entirely different. In a similar spirit, if you're concerned about not having reached your 2012 weight goal as per your New Years Resolution eleven months back, why not saw off your leg?
Those who have been assiduously avoiding spoilers from the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders should stop reading here, because it's been revealed that Asperger's Sydndrome - the form of mild autism popular with sitcom writers looking for a quirky twist for their nerd characters and/or people on the internet self-diagnosing why it's not their fault girls think they're creepy - has been removed as its own condition and rolled over into the all-purpose "autism spectrum disorder". But before you get too upset, there are a bunch of hot new disorders set to be introduced for DSM-5, including Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (aka "series of tantrums"). "Forget everything you thought you knew about a wide range of interrelated learning disorders," revision committee chair Dr David Kupfer totally missed the opportunity to declare. "This ain't your grandma's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual!" The revised manual comes out in 2013, and is rumoured to be released as a trilogy of tween action films starting Xmas 2015.
And finally, fans of Galapagos Tortoises can rejoice: a genetic study of breeding colonies on Española Island which were set up to protect the most endangered sub-species of the mighty reptiles has proven to be enormously successful, bouncing back from a population of 15 in 1971 to several thousand now. "We can now safely say that the species is saved," said the study's lead researcher Michel Milinkovitch in the sort of hubris-baiting statement that will come back to haunt him when the tortoises take over. On the other hand: awwwww! Baby tortoises!