The silly list, Part 1: A look back at the most ridiculous moments that summed up 2013
Sunday 29 December 2013
A toy-train company bidding to run the west coast mainline. The rise of dinosaur erotica. Cameron and Obama taking a selfie at Mandela’s funeral. And Miley. Dear, sweet, bizarrely ridiculous Miley. It really has been the most absurd year – so how better to end 2013 than to look back at its most ludicrous moments…
50. Web: That loving filling
In September, one loving girlfriend in America acceded to her man's request that she make him 300 sandwiches – in return for a possible wedding ring. She blogged about it. The world retched, and a #300feminist sandwiches hashtag was born. "What a crock, monsieur," said one wag.
49. Politics: Poker face
The war in Syria is complex, with different factions holding different cards. Senator John McCain – a long-time advocate of arming the rebels – would approve this metaphor; he was caught playing poker on his phone during a three-hour Congressional debate on whether to bomb the Assad regime.
48. Fashion: Swing your pants!
Fundawear was launched in April: it's vibrating sex underwear (read again carefully, and shake head). Specifically, it's bra and pants for her, pants for him, each with built-in buzzers – add a couple of smartphones with the proprietary app uploaded, and wahey, you've got a revolting night of passion at your fingertips. Thanks for this, Durex.
47. News: Ding Jinhao was here!
Where? In Luxor, at the temple complex. How do we know? Because the 15-year-old only went and signed his name on a 3,500-year-old wall, posted a picture of his tag on the Sina Weibo microblogging site, and was promptly berated by 100,000 commenters. He has been grounded until the Pyramids crumble.
46. Celebrity: Fashion faithful
Perhaps it was a bit daft of Rihanna to stage an impromptu photoshoot at a major mosque in Abu Dhabi, but once all the fuss died down, it became apparent just how amazing she looks with a few clothes on.
45. Politics: Funking for justice
There's the English Defence League. And there's English Disco Lovers – the charming movement established by four friends with the motto "One World, One Race, One Disco" – to reclaim, as they saw it, the acronym EDL. "By subverting [the English Defence League's] hatred with humour, we aim to promote equality, respect and the Eutopian vision of disco!" Result? English Defence League Facebook likes: fewer than 25,000; English Disco League: more than 60,000!
44. Culture: We are not amused!
It must have been quite a shock for the busking samba band when Helen Mirren, in full tiara'n'twinset mode from playing HRH in 'The Audience' at the Gielgud theatre, stormed on to the street and told them in a stream of rude words to shut up. The very loud drummers had positioned themselves outside the theatre, interrupting the performance – until Mirren confronted them mid-show. She later apologised for using 'thespian words' and giving them a 'very stern royal ticking off'.
43. Fashion: Delevingne's dodgy digit
In modelling, your body is your biggest asset. So the decision of Cara Delevingne, fashion's current favourite face, to very visibly ink one of her fingers with a snarling lion feels slightly foolish. I imagine she'll be regretting that in 20 years. Or maybe just wearing lots of cocktail rings.
42. News: Ice capades
How much for four ice-creams at the Antica Roma gelateria near Rome's Spanish Steps? That'll be £54, per favore. Worse, said Roger Bannister, the hapless British tourist left with the bill, "When we paid up they didn't even say thank you." Esorbitante!
41. Web: The bird's the word
When life takes one of your legs, put on a pink neon morphsuit, dress your remaining foot in a flamingo-head sock, and rotate your body over a pair of crutches to create the most magnificent flamingo Halloween costume in modern history. Bravo, former Paralympian Josh Sundquist.
40. Fashion: Hell for leather
Despite the popularity of said style with late-1980s rapperatti, the often-overblown Kanye West asserted this year that the leather jogging trouser was his invention, rejected by the Italian luxury house Fendi six years ago. Unless he also mastered time-travel in between his recording career, his catwalk debut and inventing these questionable trews, West's pants may be on fire.
39. Culture: Hubba hubba Hiddleston!
At an event in Seoul promoting the film Thor: The Dark World, Tom Hiddleston happened to mention he loves dancing… a clever spark put on some music and he had to get his groove on. Happily, it turns out that the very game Hiddleston can throw some serious shapes. He's since cut some rug with Alan Carr on his Chatty Man talk show, and engaged in a red-carpet dance-off with co-star Zachary Levi.
38. Politics: That syncing feeling
He's done it before so we'd got over all that first black president thing. But Obama's second inauguration was still a big deal. Precautions were taken. Beyoncé was given the gig. Mismatches were detected. Synthetic outrage was manufactured. "Next up on Fox News: what did Obama know about Beyoncé lip-syncing, and when did he know it?"
37. Sport: Less of your lip
Sinuous folds: Al Wakrah stadium was likened to female genitalia
Images of the Zaha Hadid-designed Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar, built for the 2022 World Cup, went viral in November after the sinuous folds of its curved roof were likened to female genitalia. The Daily Show in the US described Hadid as "the Georgia O'Keeffe of things you can walk inside". Hadid insisted it was inspired by the sails of a dhow. Judge for yourself.
36. Web: Goodbye and farewell
It was the year of the elaborate resignation. Chris Holmes did it with a cake bearing a beautifully iced and magnanimous letter to his UK Border Agency bosses (which cleverly included an iced link to his new enterprise – a cake-baking business). Marina Shifrin, an employee at a Taiwanese animation studio, did it by way of over-dubbing a Kanye West song with a video shot inside her deserted offices – and was less charitable to her bosses. Her old boss got the last laugh with a spoof, no-hard-feelings riposte by way of his own version of West's song delivered as an invitation to new applicants. So long, Marina.
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