Best Of 2012: MOVIES

“PLACES EVERYBODY! LIGHTS, CAMERA … MOVIES!” WHAT ELSE CAN WE SAY ABOUT THE CINEMATIC ARTS? Movies are the greatest art form ever invented. When the lights go down in the theatre, we reach into our bags of popcorn and settle in for two hours of powerful transformation — just remember to turn off your cell phones!

Movies, can transport us to worlds, countries, and cities we’ve never seen — and they can be set in the future or the past. (I’d like to see a book do that, or better yet, don’t; I’d hate to see a book get a sprained ankle trying to keep up!)

2012 was a historic year for movies: Not only did we see movies about President Lincoln and Batman 3, we also saw movies about James Bond and Toy Story 3! “Good things come in threes,” so it’s no surprise everybody saw at least three movies this year. It was just that kind of year: A MOVIE YEAR.

Without any more to-do, let’s roll out the red carpet and celebrate the TOP TEN MOVIES OF 2012:

10. Movies with car chases

9. Movies with action/adventure

8. Movies with comedy

7. Movies with togetherness themes

6. Historical movies

5. (TIE) Imagination-based movies / Foreign movies with extended bubblebath scenes

4. Family movies

3. Academy-Award winning movies

2. Movies where you get $5,000,000 every time you watch it — does anyone know if this exists?

1. The most wonderful movies

Best Of 2012: TURTLE PAPERWEIGHTS

2012 WAS EXTRAORDINARY, BUT IN ONE ASPECT IT WAS NO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER YEAR: When we needed to keep our papers from flying around, we reached for our turtle paperweights.

Here are the TOP TEN TURTLE PAPERWEIGHTS OF 2012:

10. Iron turtle paperweights

9. Painted-rock turtle paperweights

8. Brass turtle paperweights

7. “What a nice turtle paperweight”

6. The coolest turtle paperweights

5. Adorable turtle paperweights

4. Enormous turtle paperweights: “Yo, is that a turtle paperweight or a turtle whole-desk-weight?”

3. Antique turtle paperweights

2. The greatest turtle paperweights of 2012

1. The greatest turtle paperweights of all time

Best Of 2012: CAT PHOTOS

NOTHING SAYS “MODERN LIFE” LIKE A PICTURE OF A CAT IN YOUR EMAIL INBOX OR ON YOUR WEB. For all the damage the internet has done, and all the ways it’s made our lives worse, it still can’t be beat when it comes to sharing photos of cats that just plain make you smile (and maybe, also, “things that make you go hmm-mm?” with a cat).

Thanks to social media and buzz sites, 2012 will always be remembered as the year cat photos finally grew up. We saw photos of cats making grumpy faces, cats wearing suits of armor like a medieval knight, and cats driving trucks and even breaking the speed limit. “Cat Photo For President 2012″ was heard at all the major political rallies this year, as was “My Favorite Singer Is Cat Photos Online 2012″ also heard at big concerts from Madison Central Garden to the hottest underground clubs.

So get ready for a warm, fuzzy feeling as we review THE BEST CAT PHOTOS OF 2012:

10. Silly cat photos

9. Funny cat photos

8. Adorable cat photos

7. “Can you believe this cat photo?”

6. “Just another day of amazing cat photos, God bless me for being alive in this time of miracles”

5. Satirical cat photos

4. “Meow meow, vote for Romney”

3. Cautionary cat photos

2. Almost the best cat photos

1. The best cat photos

Best Of 2012: UMBRELLA MISHAPS

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER UMBRELLA MISHAP. You see it all around you: Good umbrellas gone bad. One of the modern world’s delights is to watch a fancy person in nice clothes struggle with his or her umbrella. And is it just my imagination, or was 2012 AN AMAZING YEAR FOR UMBRELLA MISHAPS? Some day historians will tell us if 2012 was one of the top ten years for umbrella mishaps — in the meantime, let’s assume it was, because, really, how amazing were some of those mishaps?

Movie stars, rappers, politicians, and talk show hosts all had something to say about umbrella mishaps this year, and we were happy to listen!

Here are the TOP TEN UMBRELLA MISHAPS OF 2012:

10. Wind blows umbrella into another umbrella in 2012

9. Rain falls through hole in umbrella in 2012

8. Umbrella won’t open, then later in an elevator it opens without being touched in 2012

7. Umbrella drips water all over fancy restaurant, waiter slips on water: “Who left this umbrella here in 2012?”

6. “Lousy good for nothing umbrella!!!” (2012)

5. Credit card is declined while trying to buy umbrella

4. Open umbrella, dead bird falls out — bald eagle, you are sued by the Government for killing our heritage-bird in an umbrella

3. Wind turns umbrella inside out, man laughs at you from across the street, he’s cute, you walk over, he’s the man of your dreams, you start dating and get married, he provides you with healthy children — all because of that crazy umbrella

2. Umbrella breaks

1. The wildest umbrella mishaps

Best Of 2012: FINE ART

FINE ART SOOTHES THE SOUL AND STIMULATES THE SENSES. Is it any wonder that fine-art calendars continue to outsell calendars with cars and trucks — or even calendars of sports teams? Think about it this way: Once you’ve seen Monet’s water lilies or Van Gogh’s sunflowers, you’ll never want a kitty-cat calendar again: Fine art is just plain better than regular calendars.

Happily, 2012 was a great year for the fine arts: From major museum retrospectives, to black & white movies, to performance art that raised fundamental questions about “is this art,” 2012 saw a new Renaissance that could compete head-to-head against any other Renaissance from art history with real artists and painters going for the gold.

We must continue to support the arts! Here, then, is the BEST OF FINE ART OF 2012:

10. Art that made us think

9. Art that made us weep or cry

8. Record-setting auctions

7. Museum attendance through the roof for classic art

6. Instant classics

5. Sculpture

4. (TIE) Paintings / Art that made us come together

3. Rebellious art we shall grow to love

2. The art of female nudes

1. Wonderful art

Best Of 2012: CELEBRITY WEIGHT GAINS

AS WE POLISH OFF ANOTHER BUCKET CHRISTMAS COOKIES, OUR THOUGHTS NATURALLY TURN TO OUR FAVORITE CELEBRITIES AND HOW HEAVY THEY GOT IN 2012. Nobody knows why 2012 was “The Year of the Celebrity Weight Gain,” but it undoubtedly was — whether it was the hottest young starlet being caught on the beach with baggy legs, or a formerly rugged leading man whose knuckles looked like ten little bellies sticking out of his hands, we will always remember 2012 as “The Year Celebrities Let Themselves Go.”

This is bad news for celebrity lovers, but good news for regular people like us: It means that “Celebrities … they’re just like us” has never been more true — or more overweight, because of celebrities getting a little thick around the middle where they’re most fat in their bellies.

Without any further appetizers, let’s feast upon the TOP TEN CELEBRITY WEIGHT GAINS OF 2012:

10. 15 pounds

9. 22 pounds

8. 9.1 pounds

7. As big as two normal-sized celebrities

6. 35 pounds

5. 29 pounds

4. 29.6 pounds

3. 40 pounds

2. The biggest weight gains

1. The most spectacular weight gain of any celebrity

Best Of 2012: CONTROVERSIES

SADLY, IT WASN’T ALL FUN AND GAMES IN 2012. Like so many other years, 2012 saw its share of controversies. In spite of our desire for “everybody to just get along,” there were arguments, debates, disagreements, and dialogues all across the country — that’s the price we pay for democracy.

Whether it was “boys behaving badly” or “government is the problem,” if you picked a topic in 2012, you can be sure someone thought there was another side to the story: and so a controversy was born.

One thing we know won’t be controversial is this list of the TOP TEN CONTROVERSIES OF 2012:

10. Celebrities on drugs

9. Politicians and the way they lie

8. Sports and how everyone cheats

7. Do we have to watch 3-D movies

6. That lady who wrote that book that was so dumb

5. Food and it’s too salty / spicy

4. (TIE) “Health insurance is too expensive” / “ObamaCare”

3. The election of 2012

2. “You think I’m wrong but I think you’re wrong!”

1. We’ll never come together because of the controversies

Best Of 2012: INSTANT CLASSICS

WHO SAYS MODERN TIMES CAN’T PRODUCE INSTANT CLASSICS? We hear it all the time: “The age of classics is behind us — we’re stuck with a bunch of modern garbage.” But who says instant classics have to be in the past? If it’s an instant classic, that means it’s instantly a classic, which means it can be made right this instant.

And 2012 was no different — there were so many immortal works produced this year, sometimes it felt like we were living in the Hall of Fame!

You just have to open your eyes (and ears) and look around you to realize how lucky we are! Never let it be said that we don’t live in an era defined by 2012’s wealth of instant classics. Here are the TOP TEN INSTANT CLASSICS OF 2012:

10. That moment when the man you love finally called you back on his 2012-phone

9. The song you fell in love with instantly in the summer of 2012

8. All those magazine articles that changed the way you see the world and made 2012 worthwhile

7. When you heard about the sequel they’re making to your favorite “classic” movie in 2012

6. (TIE) Classical music / Classic car designs of 2012 that will stand the test of time

5. That night you’ll always remember in 2012 when you realized, “This is an instant classic night.”

4. When Tom and Pam got married on the Office and you saw it on 2012 reruns.

3. Gangum Style

2. The hottest instant classics you’ll love for all time

1. “It’s an instant classic!!!” (Bangs fist on table)

Best Of 2012: PALINDROMES

WHETHER YOU READ THEM BACKWARDS OR FORWARDS, PALINDROMES ARE ALWAYS A LOT OF “FUNNUF.” A palindrome is a a word that looks the same but whose meaning changes when you read it left-to-right, or right-to-left — and 2012 was a great year for palindromes! (Is it any wonder, since “2012” itself is a palindrome?)

You can think of palindromes are the original “internet memes,” since the power of “Madam I’m Adam” lies in its repeatability and its just plain ol’ funniness. (Imagine being Adam and introducing yourself in this way!) No sooner does a news event break on the TV, than Americans are working hard on palindromes to commemorate, make fun of, or just plain reverse-forwards-and-backwards the news event they just saw on TV like how I just mentioned.

Another thing I want to mention is HERE ARE THE BEST PALINDROMES OF 2012!

And so, without further “a-do-da” (PALINDROME) here are the best palindromes:

THE TOP PALINDROMES OF 2012:

10. “Obama, mama I’m mad-O!”

9. “Boehner’s taxes ax a hen’s orb”

8. “XEROX AN OX AREA”

7. “2012’s sis is 2102″

6. “Olympics legend dealt gel to pics o’ Mylo”

5. “Lady Gaga is googoo for Coco Puffs, a gag ydal”

4. “Mars Rover drove to rams over Ma’s oven”

3. “POOP”

2. “Kim Kardashian annihilates darkish milk”

1. “Joe Biden is just bidin’ his time”

Best Of 2012: BRAIN TEASERS

WHETHER IT WAS MATH PUZZLES, LOGIC PUZZLES, OR WORD SCRAMBLES, 2012 WAS TRULY THE YEAR OF THE “NABIR STASEER.”* Sometimes it felt like you couldn’t open a newspaper, read a magazine, or go out for a drink with friends without encountering a spectacular brain teaser that challenged your intellect and brought a smile to your face — and a spring in your step from being so close to such a great brain teaser.

(*BRAIN TEASER — the letters have been scrambled)

Nobody knows why there were so many brain teasers this year: Is it due to computers? Apps on your phone? Or just the need of a nation to come together and enjoy some quality brain teasers? Whatever the reason, let’s all agree on one thing: 1.) 2012 was a great year for brain teasers.

And now, the moment you assholes have been waiting for — THE TOP TEN BRAIN TEASERS OF 2012:

10. Number puzzles

9. Mazes

8. Word scrambles

7. Quotation codes

6. Crossword puzzles

5. (TIE) Computer chess / Words

4. Gender ambiguity

3. “You stumped me, my friend”

2. Tricky brain teasers

1. Brain teasers unlike anything seen before