New apocalypse hopes for 2013 - 10 Things

Merry Boxing Day, readers! Yes, today we celebrate the traditional trapping of one another in impenetrable boxes until only one Australian is still at liberty. Last year it was Stuart Rudd, former bassist with the Superjesus, but who will it be this year? Magnate and poetess Gina Rinehart? Former soap star and TV Week cover idol Dieter Brummer? That guy who wanders around Adelaide's Central Market yelling a pigeons? It could be literally anyone - and we'll be first to announce tomorrow! 

You know how every time you use the word "YOLO" right thinking people come up to you and punch you in the mouth? Well, it's not simply because that is good and proper: it might be because they represent Drake, the rapper who coined the abbreviation for "you only live once" in his track 'The Motto' and who would like some compensation for his hard work in diminishing the quality of cultural discourse, please. "Walgreens….you gotta chill or cut the cheque" he sneered on Instagram after posting a photo of a wall of YOLO baseball caps, among other complaints that his intellectual property was being ruthlessly exploited by corporate interests. So next time someone decks you, remember to cough up a few dollars just to be on the safe side. 

The US is continuing to demonstrate that guns and crazy people are a fun and dynamic combination with the news that a man in upstate New York set fire to his house, which spread to at least three others, in order to lure firefighters upon which he then opened fire. Four firefighters were shot, with two dying of their wounds. The man - convicted murderer William Spengler, who had done 17 years for killing his grandmother - shot himself and left a long, rambling suicide note explaining that he only wanted to burn down his town and kill some people. 

Fortunately, the petition to deport Piers Morgan - the Brit-born journalist and TV presenter who railed against Gun Owners of America's Larry Pratt's batshit justifications for why there's no link between guns and people being shot with guns, as we've discussed in this very column before - has now reached the threshold where the White House is obliged to give a response. The argument goes that Morgan has somehow breached the second amendment (the right to bear arms) by suggesting the US needs gun control, which is actually protected under the first (the right to freedom of speech), which suggests that his detractors aren't quite the Constitutional scholars which they present themselves as being.

So, you formed a doomsday cult, you declared that the world was going to end in 2012, and then it made you look like an idiot. We understand - and we have some good news! Don't burn those robes just yet, because 2013 will see a "super comet" appear which is likely to be spectacular - especially around November, when it may be as bright as the full moon - and as it's a completely new comet that's spent the last 4.5 billion years or so sitting in the outskirts of the solar system as a big, silent lump of ice, gas and rock, scientists are powerfully excited to get this chance to observe the pristine comet sublimate as it approaches the Sun since it will give us a chance to see what the early solar system was made of. And, it's worth pointing out, it's not going to hit the Earth, or even come anywhere close. But: rubes don't know that, and you've got all those End of the World scenarios worked out, so just do a search and replace for "2012" and boom, back in business!

Remember print media? Yeah, that's yesterday's stupid crappy media for jerks, as Spin has just decided. Shocking the four people who didn't realise the venerable music magazine still actually existed, Spin has ceased print publication and will now exist as an online offering. It's followed the same trajectory of so many music magazines from Magnet to No Depression: declining circulation leads to reduced publishing (announced as a "concentration on in-depth, quality music journalism"), followed by complete abandonment by remaining advertisers, followed by an announcement that a move to an online-only model allows them to respond quickly to what's going in music, followed by the realisation that they can't possibly compete with Pitchfork et al, followed by a quiet slip into bankruptcy proceedings. The oddest thing about Spin's news, however, is that it hasn't been announced: apparently the way new publishers BuzzMedia decided to let folks know was by including a letter to Spin subscribers with their copy of Car and Driver, which they will now be getting instead of Spin because obviously that's more or less the same thing. Yes, honestly.

Israel have a belated Xmas present for Palestine: approval of another 1200 settlement units around Jerusalem. That brings the total to 5,500, adding them to the ones we talked about earlier. It's in line with suggestions in Israeli media that Binyamin Netanyahu is probably going to drop the "two state" solution from his platform as he faces re-election, going for a more vote-attracting "fuck you, Palestine" solution, which - if history is any guide - should certainly not end in bloodshed and violence. 

And while we're in the Middle East, let's see where things are at in Egypt - hey, it appears that Mohammad Morsi's new constitution has passed with over 60% of the vote, according to the not-entirely-reliable Egyptian electoral commission. Sure, the Christian minority reckon that it OKs a wave of Islamist doctrine into law, but Morsi assures them that it's necessary to get some stability in the volatile country, and also that he'd like Egyptian nationals to stay put and thus if anyone tries to travel outside of the country with more than US$10,000 in foreign currency, they're in for a rude shock. So, everything seems pretty rad, then.

We know that TheVine is the news source of choice for the nation's rock stars, and as we approach the end of the year we know you're already thinking about that solo album - and our advice is that you put down the acoustic, step away from the four track and give the guys a call: not just because your music is soppy, self-indulgent drivel but also because science has proved that people in bands live longer than solo artists. Yes, the same researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and Britain's Health Department that concluded earlier this year that musicians do actually die younger (and that the "27 club" is a myth) have crunched data from five decades - 1956 to 2006 - and found that solo performers have twice the rate of death as those in bands. Calls for the members of Nickelback to start work on their individual projects have yet to be answered.

Readers holding their breath in anticipation of meeting the titular mother whose meeting forms the premise of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother should exhale: the show's been renewed for a ninth season, meaning that mother-meeting has been kicked another year down the road despite suggestions that she'd lob in for the last episode of the current series. The series will almost certainly be the last, partially because NINE FREAKIN' YEARS is a long, long time to stretch out the premise, but mainly because Jason Segal had to be lured back with a subplot that involved the actor being paid a metric shittonne of money. Still, you know what? For a network sitcom, it's really not at all bad. Seriously.

And finally, why are you reading this when you're meant to be out spending money instead? After all, Australian retail now apparently lives or dies by its Boxing Day sales, so put the phone/tablet/computer/hastily scrimshawed whale tooth down, get out there and run up some debt. Come on! Australia's relying on you!

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