- Mission commander, Canadian Chris Hadfield is the first astronaut to record a song in space. Mercifully, it wasn't a Celine Dion song.
- Democratic state Senator Ruben Diaz, proves New York politicians can keep up with Alabama and Florida in the crazy sweepstakes, by publishing a Top Ten list targeting all his political enemies on his Senate website. It's essentially his 2012 New York bipartisan Mean Girl Burn Book and no, it's not parody.
- Fossil study of dental remains show whatever killed off the saber-tooth tiger in North America, it wasn't a starvation extinction, as was previously theorized.
- Some like it red: FBI released new files regarding their tracking known subversive and suspected communist Marilyn Monroe.
- Corporate graft, it's not just for private corporations! New York Daily News reports the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority paid two "chief operating officers a combined $555,750 -- one of which hasn't worked since May!" Hey, they had to do something with the money the new big fare hikes will bring in.
- Sheriff Joe Arpaio: A George Zimmerman at every school--this week! What could go wrong?
- President Putin just banned Americans from adopting Russian children. Fifty-two Russian kids already slated for the USA will now have to make alternative plans, according to children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov.
- Rest in peace: beloved, pioneer AIDS activist Spencer Cox finally lost a lifelong battle with HIV in New York City at 44. Cox's role in the early days of Act-Up and Treatment Action Group can been seen along with contemporaneous interviews, in the current film How To Survive A Plague.
- Because disease and world hunger are passé, Pope makes marriage equality the focus of his Christmas address; thousands of Dutch Catholics research "de-baptizing" themselves from the church in response. Ratzi will always have Uganda.
- Newly appointed Senator from Hawaii, Brian Schatz called climate change “the most urgent challenge of our generation.” At 40, he'll be the youngest Senator until 39-year-old Chris Murphy of Connecticut is sworn in. Washington Post has more.
- New York Journal News obtains public records of about 44,000 people in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties who own guns and publishes their name and addresses.
- Texas judge will decide the fate of Planned Parenthood's continued funding in that state by granting a restraining order—or not—on New Year's Eve day.
- Apple iPhone 5 holiday sales are really boffo, and particularly huge in China, while Apple Maps sits atop CNN's Top Ten list of Tech Fails for 2012. Oops.
- An 11th hour, 30-day extension averts a labor strike that threatened to shut down key east coast shipping ports, talks continue.
- We don't have Newsweek to kick around anymore.
- Genetically modified salmon, which grows twice as fast as the ordinary catch, will soon hit the stores.
And what did you do with your holiday time off? @Cmdr_Hadfield tweets from space.
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