Queensland was hit by floods which were described as “devastating” (The Courier-Mail), “disastrous” (ABC), and “trannie stripper fed dwarf lover to sharks” (Brisbane Times).

Democrat congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot during a public meeting, sustaining serious brain damage that doctors said would oblige her to change her life, or at least her party.

Free library and coffee house chain Borders closed, hit by increasing losses in its little-known bookselling sideline.

Ageing starlet Zsa Zsa Gabor showed that aged ladies could still keep trim when she had a leg amputated.

The 10th anniversary of Wikipedia was commemorated by a Wikipedia article about its first 12 years.

Victoria suffered major floods, similar to the Queesland ones, but with a film festival.

Drone attacks reduced in number slightly, as Malcolm Colless ceased writing a regular column in The Australian.

Lara Giddings became the first female premier of Tasmania after she was assigned the task for year 10 homework.

An earthquake in Christchurch devastated the city, causing countless billions in improvement.

The day before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland began, an explosion occurred in a hotel near the site. It was later blamed on a boiler, though Mrs Merkel denied all involvement.

US President Barack Obama’s senior advisor Rahm Emmanuel resigned to become, to give the office its full title, “Mayor of F-cking Chicago”.

Egypt erupted into revolution as thousands of people occupied Tahrir Square, demanding that the army sack its figurehead, and rule directly, presumably since that’s what happened and it was described as a success.

Troubled star Charlie Sheen lost custody of his two children, to Joseph Fritzl.

Knut, the little polar bear cub who, after the death of its mother, was raised by its keepers and became an unlikely celebrity, died from too much coke and polar bear cub hookers.

In the week that Judy Moran was jailed for the murder of her brother-in-law Des Moran, Screentime announced a new true-crime series, Underbelly 5, focusing on the commissioning, producing and writing of Underbelly 4: Razor

A Pacific tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima solar and wind-power facility, causing no damage whatsoever.

The last US World War I soldier Frank Buckles died and was honoured with a military funeral, his body lowered into a pit by senior officers for the second time in his life.

The world’s first full-face transplant was successfully performed by doctors working with the federal Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Artist Ai Weiwei was arrested and disappeared from view in what artists across the world called an assault on freedom and the Chinese Communist Party described as “a conceptual piece exploring the nature of authorship”.

Mountaineer Erhard Loretan died in the Swiss Alps, a death his family said occurred while he was doing something that he loved, as he was also a keen parachutist.

US right-wing commentators reported on the gang-related killing of an old man by a black youth, following the killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces.

International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested after allegedly doing to an African hotel maid what the IMF has been doing to her continent for the last 40 years.

In a move originally intended to rule a line under centuries of colonialism, Queen Elizabeth visited debt-struck Ireland and, for a laugh, bought it.

Serbian general Ratko Mladic was arrested and extradited to The Hague on war crimes charges, leaving now at liberty only Colonel Ivo Weaselic, Commander Slugko Pus, Vice-Minister Smegma, and Tony Blair.

Evangelist Harold Camping announced the end of the world, and lived to see nothing happen, a strategy adopted by Australia’s right-wing commentariat, when the proposal for a carbon tax was announced.

Singer Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27, a demise that many thought tragically early by as much as six months.

News Corporation’s flagship tabloid News of the World ceased publication after a long series of boobs.

Discussions regarding the writing down of bank debts in the eurozone ensured that for once the term “Greek haircut” did not refer to a $9 mullet and a five-day growth.

As a last desperate measure to keep him functioning, Steve Jobs was placed in an enormous bowl of uncooked rice.

Otto von Habsburg, the last heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, died in Vienna. He leaves a widow who is to marry Bill Shorten.

England found itself at the mercy of thousands of thugs organised into tight-knit gangs, as the Cameron government held onto power.

In a crackdown on popular culture, China banned 100 songs from download, 99 of them described as anti-social, and Nickelback because, well.

The Victorian government announced that after a 100-year search it had found the remains of bushranger Ned Kelly, in a health department in-tray marked “urgent”.

The disappointing reception of Google+, the company’s new social media site, has prompted the company to look at new features, such as making it compulsory.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce did his bit to break down stereotypes by showing that left-liberal gay men can, as much as the next person, be total c-nts.

Controversial columnist Andrew Bolt was embarrassed, when after a long and thorough investigation, publicised extensively in newspapers and magazines, it was unquestionably established that he had once been a decent and open-minded guy.

Kevin Rudd went into hospital to have his heart repaired, or, according to personal staffers, installed.

Across the Western world, young people began long-term protests in major civic spaces, the only time (spoiler alert: right-wing joke coming) many of them will be associated with the word “occupation”.

At its national conference, the ALP re-affirmed the right of its members to support a form of union others found “disgusting” and “against nature”, thus allowing them to continue in government with the Greens.

In December North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il … had been dead for four months.

One hundred and fifty thousand Iraqis got Christopher Hitchens for Christmas.

The discovery was announced of the Higgs boson, a particle necessary to the unified field theory of physics, and US defence secretary Leon Panetta, speaking as the final US troops left Baghdad, announced that it was possible to find positive outcomes of the Iraq war. Thus the year ended with the discovery not only of a barely existent phenomenon, infinitesmal but essential to the theory driving a global enterprise, but the discovery also of the Higgs boson.

And on we go.

Peter Fray

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