What a year it’s been! Hoping to get the jump on year-end coverage by 11.5 months, TORO’s Listed column takes a look back at 2012, guiding you down the two-week long lane of memory.
Who could forget these world-changing events:
7. Massive Earthquake Does No Damage
Mother Earth moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes she creates tragedy, sometimes she steps nimbly around it. On January 1, 10 months after the deadly tsunami tragedy, a relatively rare (average 17 per year recorded) 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in offshore Japanese waters. No damage to nuclear facilities was reported and aside from a delay in train service urban life continued as normal.
Japan is one of the most active seismic activity zones in the world, accounting for almost 20 per cent of recorded 6-plus magnitude quakes. Barring freakish waves, they know how to handle the shimmy-shimmy shakes.
6. Kim Jong-un Takes Power, Promotes Great Wall of People
After 28 years spent looking at things, North Korea’s newest Supreme Leader and current youngest head of state in the world Kim Jong-un took power, spearheading a new era of peace, prosperity, and freedom.
Psych! Earlier this month his state-controlled media actually took out a call for human shields and “bulwarks” (large protective walls ... of people, in this case) to protect Kim “unto death.” Let’s assume they didn’t mean that literally. The editorial did not specify what Kim was to be protected from, but we’re guessing mobs of fans who all want to hug him at the same time.
5. Two Men Convicted of Murder After 18 Years
On April 22 1993, London man Stephen Lawrence was attacked and killed by a gang of teenage white supremacists. Police had little doubt who was responsible, but investigative oversights and institutional racism (no sugarcoating – that’s actually what a public inquiry concluded in 1997) hampered conviction efforts.
Lawrence’s family spearheaded efforts to convict three of the five suspected gang members, but all were acquitted. England actually had to change its own laws regarding “double jeopardy” in 2005 to bring them back to court. Finally on January 3 after less than three months on trial Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of murder. The result was bittersweet; as they were juveniles at the time of the attack, Dobson and Norris were sentenced to a minimum 15 years in jail, less than the time they lived as free adults.
4. 45,000 Facebook Profiles Hacked
Aside from posting porn to your feed, it’s hard to tell what fun anyone could get from hacking your Facebook account. But for 45,000 unfortunate users that’s exactly what happened on January 6, when that grand total of username/password combinations were found on the Ramnit worm virus server.
The info theft was apparently based on the assumption that people reuse their own passwords across various sites, and as such their seemingly innocuous Facebook info could be linked to financial institutions. I should probably remove “Sharing my pin number to anyone that asks” from my list of Activities.
3. Peter MacKay Marries Beauty Queen
Canadian politics is known for the occasional odd coupling, and this year saw one of the strangest in recent memory. Squint-happy Conservative Defence Minister Peter MacKay married Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Canada’s 2003 entrant in the prestigious (not really) Miss World competition and a former TORO Woman. Yow ... za.
Despite owning a face that could chop wood, MacKay’s looks are apparently enviable in Parliament; he was voted “Canada’s Sexiest MP” by government affairs newspaper The Hill Times, and was reported to have romanced Condoleezza Rice.
2. Lana Del Rey Ruins the Integrity of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is often more notable for what it does wrong than what goes right. Bloopers, on-air tantrums and F-bombs have yielded some of the immortal sketch show's most memorable moments, which makes the January 14 appearance of Lana Del Rey, the first artist to appear before dropping their debut album in 14 years, all the more debatable.
Sure, she sang like she'd been up for two weeks in a narcotic haze (which might be true) but it arguably made more headlines than a middle-of-the-road rendition would have. After NBC anchor Brian Williams dismissed the set as "one of the worst (moments) in the show's history" it was hard not to imagine a swarm of would-be fans downloading her tracks out of sheer, morbid curiosity.
1. TORO Publishes 2012 Year-in-Review
In a bold move, this past today online men's magazine TORO published a 2012 year-end review column 11 months ahead of schedule. The unprecedented idea divided critics, some calling it “innovative” while others considered it “confusing” or “inexplicable.” One internet commenter called into question whether it had actually occurred, advising our writers to “get their facts straight.”