It’s been a funny old year (both funny ha ha and funny strange) as it is every year. Celebrity births, marriages and deaths, internet sensations and politicians – the less mentioned on those, the better! In a world where every day we can be treated to a plethora of happenings from across the globe, the fact that people are inundated with gossip news and happenings from around the corner to the other side of the planet is now commonplace… global village and what not. As the world bids sayonara to 2015 and heralds another spin of this top called earth in 2016, what better way than to see out the calendar than with some reflections on a clutch of moments that had us all commenting, watching, listening and trolling in 2015?
10. Madonna Sucking the Life Out of Drake
The first of the crazy Madonna moments on this countdown… well, no year would be complete without the Queen of Pop for whom aging gracefully is for everyone else. The quest for attaining immortality is a burning yen for every superstar, yet as her copycat Lady Gaga plays a vampire in American Horror Story: Hotel, Madonna always proves that the original is best by taking vampirism literally. At Coachella back in April, the Material Girl got tangible with rapper Drake. As he sat in a chair, she accosted the youthful talent by planting a kiss on his lips and almost choking him with her tongue! Not only did the incident spark chatter online like a lighter dropped onto gas, Drake seemed to react as though her breath were fetid! The Madonna gags about the Queen of Pop acting like Mr. Burns abound, as is evident with the young celebrities she hangs around with and collaborates with… I vant to suck your blood… and talent!
9. Rule 34
Perhaps you may be familiar with Reddit’s “Rules of the Internet?” Perhaps Rule 34 more so, perhaps luckily you are not? Rule 34 states – rather ominously – that if something exists, then there will inevitably be an adult parody of it. This disturbing reality, now seemingly as certain as the relentless tides, has taken some bizarrely odd and spine tingling turns recently. An adult version of Pokemon – dubbed “Strokemon” – has been unearthed that is a wonderful retelling of the children’s cartoon. A flick that brings an entirely new meaning to the cartoon’s tagline: “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” If that wasn’t shudder inducing enough, Rule 34 proved there is no depth to which it wouldn’t sink. For sanity’s sake, DO NOT probe deeper into this!
8. Princess Charlotte
As the previous post touched – to a degree – on where babies come from, it is definitely fitting that next comes perhaps the most famous baby born in 2015. The bundle of joy in question is, of course, Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) addition to the Royal Family, setting a unique precedent in terms of succession to the British throne. Little more than two years after the birth of her brother, Prince George, little sister Princess Charlotte will become the first daughter in the British royal line of succession to be second-in-line to the throne (until the time that Prince George has a child at least). She is nevertheless the first girl born in an era where the heir will be the eldest child, regardless of gender, instead of an eldest son.
7. Bobbi Kristina Brown
Very life and death as another child with famous parents passed away, in events that tragically echoed the death of her parent only several years earlier. Bobbi Kristina Brown was the daughter of Bobby Brown and singer Whitney Houston. Her mother was arguably the best voice of her generation, yet dogged with troubles and inner demons, namely her battle with drugs, an addiction that played out glaringly in the public eye. Those troubles claimed her life in February 2012, in LA, leading up to the Grammys. Fast forward to three years later and Bobbi Kristina is found in a similar state after having banged her head on the bathtub. Several weeks in a coma, in order to desperately save her, proved futile and she succumbed to her injuries.
6. Zayn Malik
Manufactured boybands are clearly used to the adulation of legions of fans. Ever since the days of The Beatles, there have been swathes of girls mobbing young popstars, often reduced to a quivering and sobbing mass! Apply this hysteria and “turn it up to 11” (to quote Spinal Tap) and it aptly describes the departure of a much loved member of the group. Fans suffered a horrendous shock when One Direction’s Zayn Malik opted out of the band. Many tears and tantrums never swayed the member and former UK X Factor alum. The band will continue no doubt – it’s easier to get out of selling one’s soul to Satan than getting out of a Simon Cowell contract – yet many young fans of the manufactured pop group, with their dubious taste in music, will never forget that heart wrenching moment when 5 became 4… the agony!
5. Over the ‘Edge’
U2 is deemed by many fans and critics to be the biggest band in the world, hence them forcing their latest album on every person on earth with an iTunes account, like the musical overlords that they are. The Irish rockstars have been entertaining the world for more than 30 years. But even the best can stumble. While on stage during a musical tour, lead guitarist The Edge was doing what he did best, delighting the audience when he took a tumble off ‘The Edge’ of a stage! Guess this was a guitar solo the musician hardly expected, he really should have been paying extra Achtung Baby!
4. Facehugger from Mars
The popular Alien movie franchise contains monsters straight from many of our nightmares, particularly the egg laying parasites known as ‘Facehuggers.’ For many decades there has been speculation of life on Mars. It has been the stuff of works of fiction, capturing the collective imagination. The discovery of water on the planet has further fueled this guesswork, to the point where grainy pictures of indistinct shapes, courtesy of the numerous Rovers chugging along the surface, spark wild theories. One of them is what appears to be a multi tentacled creature – or so it appears – that has come scuttling out of a cave onto the bleak and iron-dusted plains of Mars. Many people are eager for the discovery of alien life, but the thought of there being complex organisms on a world that is inhospitable seems a bit of a stretch for the more rational among the human race. There is no chance of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds coming true as of yet.
3. Madonna (Nearly) Sucks the Life Out of Herself
The Queen of Pop nearly wasn’t around to kiss Drake this year, after the disastrous events at last year’s Brit Awards in London. She entered her performance with all the pomp owing to a pop legend. Adorned in a humungous cloak carried as a train by a litany of dancers as her new single began to play, performing as she ascended a rather innocuous looking flight of small stairs. Her routine was all set to commence, heralded by a suitably dramatic and grandiose gesture of dancers snatching Madonna’s cape away. Instead there was a dramatic and rather humiliating wardrobe malfunction that sent the Queen of Pop plummeting to earth! Continuing her performance as though nothing happened never diminished the world chattering in amazement at the disaster!
2. Queen of Queens
From the youngest Royal to the oldest (not Prince Phillip). The year Princess Charlotte became the newest addition to the dynasty was a monumental year in British Royal History. For more than a century, Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria held the record for the longest ruler in British history (for a total of 63 years). On September 10th this year, Elizabeth II broke this record and is still going strong, reaching 90 next year, exceeding Victoria in age by a total of nine years. There are still plenty of years to go before she exceeds the longest reigning monarch ever (a king of Swaziland reached 82 years, verifiably, while an Egyptian Pharaoh is alleged to have lasted 94 years). If the current Queen Elizabeth II stands a shred of a chance of beating that Pharaoh, she’d have to live to be at least 121. A great age indeed, even for a woman whose mother died a few months shy of her 102nd birthday.
1. New Horizons
In 1930, Clyde Tombaugh discovered a tiny frozen planet skirting the edge of the Solar System. It was named Pluto, after the Roman God of the Underworld, and it was a frigid sphere of ice that took 246 years to circle our sun (remember that whenever a working week gets tedious). There has been debate in recent years regarding this little chilly rock, over whether it’s a planet or a dwarf planet. Yet prior to this year, much of the knowledge on Pluto was largely speculation gained from distant observations (chiefly a blurry shot courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope).
In 2015, the intrepid New Horizons probe sought to change that. Launched in 2006, the probe has been relentlessly trekking to the outer limits of our Solar System. Last July, after nine years, New Horizons made it to the lonely little outcrop billions of miles in the black yonder. The probe captured a stunning array of images, including what looked like a heart in the rock formation, as though the remote world was overwhelmed with its new visitor. The mission has continued to capture shots of the planet and its various moons and will carry on through the distant dwarf planets that comprise the cluttered region known as the Kuiper Belt. Our Solar System remains a mysterious and wonderful place and humans have spotted each world in it. May we boldly go where no one had gone before!
References: NASA, BBC, Variety