Kaz Cooke's 2012 alternative world events quiz
Look back on a bumper year of vaguely disturbing facts and test your knowledge.
1. Comedian Russell Brand filed for divorce from pop star Katy Perry (both pictured right) in January. Asked by a reporter, "How do you feel?" Brand replied:
a) "I'm told I feel like hairy chamois."
b) "Are you asking because of recent events? You are making the mistake of seeing time as linear. Kurt Vonnegut will tell you that if you imagine reality as experienced simultaneously, events become redundant."
c) "You are an eggman. Goo goo g'joob."
2. An Italian cruise ship ran aground on a reef and 34 passengers died. In court, how did the captain explain his actions?
a) "I accidentally fell upon a quantity of vodkas and a lady from deck E."
b) "There was a mistake near some rocks, which reared up and hit the ship."
c) "I tripped and I found myself inside the lifeboat with a number of passengers."
3. The Croatian tourism minister was sacked for saying Australian and New Zealand tourists were unwelcome, branding them:
a) Smelly, cunning and cheap.
b) Drunken, crazy and naked in the street.
c) Drug fiends in slutty footwear.
d) Toadies with little sense of poetry.
4. In February, American fast-food company Jack in the Box introduced a bacon-flavoured milkshake with more than 4500 kilojoules. The ingredients included:
a) Sugars, flavours, salt, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, corn syrup, sodium caseinate, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, disodium phosphate, carrageenan, guar gum, sodium citrate, polysorbate 65, dextrose and partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil.
c) Poop and polystyrene.
5. At the 2012 Oscars ceremony, all actresses were helped up or down stage stairs because they were temporarily disabled by wearing high heels. Organisers pledged that next year, participating actresses will:
a) Take stripper-shoe lessons from pole dancers.
b) Be winched on stage by Cirque du Soleil.
c) Steady themselves with ski poles.
d) None of the above.
6. Former president Vladimir Putin became Prime Minister of Russia in March. During the campaign, he had been photographed:
a) Riding a unicorn, nude, holding a crossbow.
b) Finding planted "treasure" at a shipwreck site.
c) In a loincloth, wrestling an oligarch dressed as a python.
7. Forbes magazine's special Billionaires issue featured Spanx company founder Sara Blakely. The male version of her compression underpants are called :
a) Manspanx and Morsets.
b) Manx and Mirdles.
c) Wonderpants and Who-knew-trews.
8. New Zealand police reported that:
a) A Hamilton suburban rugby game was stopped twice due to mysterious fainting by players caused by "schoolgirl hysteria".
b) A Christchurch police "sting operation" had arrested two men in possession of 16 litres of milk.
c) An Auckland man claimed his pet axolotl had been stolen by a gang of rabbits.
9. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott tried to run out of the House of Representatives in May. The reason is:
a) He'd left the kettle on.
b) His pants were on fire.
c) He didn't want to be on the same side of a vote as scandal-magnet ALP member Craig Thomson.
10. Lady Gaga (left) cancelled a mid-year trip to Indonesia after religious zealots threatened to:
a) Disrupt her concerts.
b) Give her a meat burqa.
c) Perform in the Eurovision Song Contest as Indonesia's entry, using Luxembourg as a "Trojan horse".
11. A study published in a Royal Society periodical by a researcher at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, found that women's faces got hotter if they:
a) Were told the back of their skirt was tucked into their knickers.
b) Were touched by a stranger.
c) Were told they'd been participants in yet another useless, bollocky-scientific "study" given unquestioning media coverage.
12. The June release of monthly inflation figures showed a rise of inflation in South Sudan during the previous year of:
a) 28 per cent.
b) 7000 per cent.
c) Almost 80 per cent.
13. In the same month, China's inflation rate fell sharply to:
a) 0 per cent.
b) 2.2 per cent.
c) 28 per cent.
14. Fifty Shades of Grey continued to top bestseller lists. Goodreads.com reviewer Katrina Lumsden says it's full of "misogynistic abuse, awful dialogue ... boring sex scenes ... terrible writing". She counts the number of times the word "crap" appears in the book and gets to:
15. In July, the mayor of Triberg, Germany, ordered the most difficult local parking spaces marked "men only". After an outcry, the mayor commented:
a) "I have received mostly positive feedback."
b) "I am enjoying the amusement."
c) "I am quite the giant tool."
16. In August, the Tasmanian city of Burnie lowered its parking meter charges from:
a) $1.50 to 50 cents an hour.
b) $52 a day to 20 cents a day.
c) $2 a day to any one-coin donation.
17. In September, a woman called Kim Kardashian (below) arrived in Australia to promote:
a) Kim Kardashian.
b) A range of simply hilarious products, including a gel that "strongly stimulates fat breakdown by 1064 per cent".
c) Qantas, which she misspelled.
d) All of the above.
18. It was reported that at the same time, Somali pirates were holding hostage:
a) Eleven vessels and 167 crew members.
b) 167 vessels and 11 crew members.
c) Kim Kardashian.
19. A "European Pirate Summit" was held. Invitees included:
a) Fans of Adam Ant.
b) Start-up entrepreneurs.
c) Hipster boys who like downloading free stuff and could produce picture-ID showing a beard.
20. In October, Prime Minister Julia Gillard rounded on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Parliament, accusing him of misogyny and hypocrisy. The Canberra press gallery:
a) Fully and immediately grasped the incident's instant, unifying and global significance as a flashpoint of general fed-uppitness with sexism.
b) Didn't notice and then crossly told everybody else they shouldn't be interested, either.
c) Played hoppo bumpo on the lawns until dusk.
21. A woman living in Yorkshire, England, claimed she is:
a) A housewife who was brought up by Columbian monkeys.
b) A housewife with a Brazilian.
c) The leader of a bizarre Uruguayan monkey-shaving cult.
22. Internet access was blocked in Syria during November because the government wanted to suppress:
a) Sleepy kitten videos.
c) TMI about Justin Bieber.
23. It was reported in South Korea that during the year North Koreans:
a) Had been forced to spend $100 million on statues and tributes to Kim Jong-il.
b) Were required by law to write a love song about Kim Jong-il.
c) Had tried to eat Kim Jong-il.
24. Mayan archaeologists gathering in Guatemala "confirmed" that the world would end:
a) Some time after it runs out of Mayan archaeologists.
b) When icebergs catch fire and Andrew Bolt acknowledges that global warming is an ineluctable truth.
c) On December 21, 2012.
25. As Christmas approached, Japanese designers collaborated on an exhibition of "canine architecture", including:
a) The Chihuahua Cloud, a puffy orange origami organza suit with a built-in leash shaped like a human glove.
b) The Poodle Parlour, a battery-operated cat-skin hammock.
c) The Terrier Turret, made of spam-scented liquorice allsorts.
d) All of the above.
1 b. 2 c. 3 a. 4 a. 5 d. 6 b. 7 b. 8 b. 9 c. 10 a. 11 b. 12 c. 13 b. 14 c. 15 a. 16 a. 17 d. 18 a. 19 b. 20 b. 21 a. 22 b. 23 a. 24 c. 25 a.