The Twilight Prophesy means that the world will end today - 10 Things
Those Mayans might have been terribly, terribly wrong - as the continued existence of everything bar Tony Grieg appears to demonstrate - but we at TheVine are hunkering down for the apocalypse today since our official Twilight: Breaking Dawn calendar ends, terrifyingly, on Monday 31 December - which is today! What does Robert Pattinson know that we don't? Quick, buy up all the salt and candles you can, beg clemency from God/Yahweh/Shiva/Zeus/Quetzalcoatl/Xenu/Vader, and enjoy the final ever 10 Things ever in the whole world ever (this year).
The horrifying death of a still-anonymous woman from injuries sustained from her brutal gang rape in India could mark the turning point in the way sexual assault is dealt with in the country. Six men are in custody and facing the possibility of a death sentence and huge demonstrations are happening all over the country.
Ah, banks - they look after your money for you, and in return they profit handsomely - like when they don't pass on rate cuts to creditcards despite interest rates dropping. So at least you know that your Xmas splurge was not in vain - thank you, you brave, brave financial institutions! Australia salutes you.
If you're in China, and you're not visiting your parents often, you could be running the risk of getting your arse sued by mum and dad. The country has passed a law requiring children to visit their elderly folks and opened the way for disgruntled parents to sue their children for insufficient visitation. Before you get too sentimental about those adorable Chinese and their love of family, keep in mind that it's less about honouring one's elders and more because it's a shitload cheaper than providing adequate services for the country's aging population.
There's been a mysterious drop in YouTube counts for Universal and Sony artists, with billions of views being wiped off. They're calling shenanigans, YouTube's owners Google are shrugging and saying it's a byproduct of their periodical cleaning up of the algorithms, and we know what it really is: a cruel attempt to rob Ashlee Simpson of the chance to overtake Psy. It's not going to work, YouTube: the Simpson revival is right around the corner.
The US may still erupt into flames tomorrow since Republicans have shown no signs of brokering a compromise over the "fiscal cliff", with fears of a recession, mass unemployment and roaming packs of sentient bears wreaking a terrible, terrible revenge. President Obama went on Meet the Press last night and told host David Gregory "They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme." BURN!
In frails getting themselves messed up by bozos news, US private investigator Paul Huebl is claiming that Whitney Houston was killed over "a huge drug debt". The tough-talking gumshoe told reporters from the National Enquirer that "Whitney's body shows classic defence wounds that would have occurred while she was battling for her life," presumably while standing half in silhouette beside venetian blinds letting in the dying rays of the sun as a ceiling fan whirled endlessly above him. "She was a sweet kid," he presumably added, pushing his fedora back while gazing into the distance with eyes that have seen too much, for too long. "Why'd she haffta get mixed up with that kinda crowd?" Whether the information was passed on by a savvy paperboy was not revealed.
You how lonely you get on those long drives between Sydney and Melbourne? Well, good news: under plans the O'Farrell government are looking to OK at the moment, you'll have new pals: enormous trucks! Yes, 35-metre long B-triple trucks are looking to be trialled along the proud Hume, giving motorists the opportunity to be trapped behind un-take-overable giants with limited rear vision for hour after terrifying hour.
Here's a hiking tip, readers: if you're going out on a long trek through the Blue Mountains, pack more than potatoes and naan bread. Not only is that a very starch-heavy repast that in no way represents a balanced diet, it'll also get you fined $500 when you get lost and police helicopters are dispatched to find you. The man "placed himself and the search teams at risk through his lack of planning and preparation, and through carrying inadequate provisions," according to NSW Police Force Rescue commander Brenton Charlton said, presumably before adding "Seriously? A kilo of fucking potatoes? Was he expecting to trade with a race of mole-people or something?"
Things are going great in Syria, by the way, with the UN warning that deaths in the current civil war could top 100,000 (currently passed 40,000 by most estimates), with pro-democracy rebels demanding the removal of Bashar al-Assad who, unsurprisingly, isn't convinced that he should give up power at all, thanks. Lakhdar Brahimi, UN-Arab League envoy for the Syrian crisis, is predicting a Yugoslavia-level civil war, with the added bonus of local opportunistic warlords adding a little colour to the mix. So yes, everything's going swell.
And finally, if you have any jobs for Britney Spears, she could be in the market: word is that she's about to get sacked from the X-Factor in the US with sources (possibly savvy paperboys) saying that she's simply not earning her US$15 million salary by sitting there are saying that people sing heaps nice. So if you have any odd jobs that need doing - say, that involve her telling people they can or can't sing - drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.