20 Things to Look Forward to in 2012: Part 1

WE ARE SO READY TO PUT LAST YEAR BEHIND US (yes, we are talking about you 2011), and embrace the future with full force. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 20 things to look forward to in 2012.

1 Live Streaming Super Bowl

It’s the most watched television program in the world, and now it will be even easier to view. NBC and the NFL will stream this year’s Super Bowl live online and through mobile phones for the first time ever. Last year’s game pulled in 111 million viewers, so the move to include digital distribution promises to reach an even bigger audience.  Sure you can already see the game for free on network TV, but now you’ll be able to carry the action with you during impromptu beer runs and bathroom breaks, ensuring no clutch play or nip slip is missed (assuming that’s something you want to see from Madonna, who will be performing at halftime this year).

2 The Beibs is Legal

It’s “Baby” no more. Canadian pop tart Justin Beiber goes from barely legal to totally legit when he turns 18 on March 1, 2012.  Want to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action? Beliebers looking to following the Beibs jailbait status can download a free clock app on iTunes and join the countdown to his 18th birthday. Expect an app counting down to his inevitable drug problem and downward spiral to follow shortly thereafter.

3 Howard Stern Decides if America’s Got Talent

The King of All Media will replace Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent. Scheduled to take a seat on the judges’ panel this summer, Howard Stern promises to bring his unique brand of criticism to the popular show. Stern will join judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on the show which features hopefuls ranging in age from children to seniors. Producers wanted the aging shock jock so badly they agreed to move the show to NYC, allowing Stern to continue working on his daily radio show. The move is not expected to interfere with Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel’s continued commitment to doing next to nothing that anyone cares about.

4 A Jolly Good Show:  The 2012 Olympics

It’s a three-peat for London. The Games of the XXX Olympiad are scheduled to take place in the United Kingdom this summer, making London the first city to host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948.  While baseball and softball have been officially dropped from the roster, girl fight fans take note; women’s boxing makes its official Olympic debut this year. At deadline, there was no official word on whether or not women’s sports will be somehow interesting enough to justify watching by the time the games roll around, though.

5 Willow Smith’s Debut Album

Hair whipper slash nepotistic lottery winner Willow Smith is set to make a splash in 2012. The 11-year old daughter of Will and Jada drops her debut album: Willow: You Think You Know Me in April of this year. Produced under Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation, the album will feature previously released singles, “Whip My Hair” and “Fireball,” Willow’s tenuous collaboration with Nicki Minaj.  Dad Will Smith’s friend and former collaborator Skillz is rumored to have ghostwritten many of the tunes on what is sure to be one the most overhyped and overplayed albums of the year.  Somewhere Chet Haze is weeping.

6 China Launches Manned Space Mission

With all the advancements the world’s most tolerably oppressive regime has made toward conquering the global economy and, eventually, the world entirely; China really hasn’t done much in the way of conquering space. But that all changes this year when China launches Shenzhou 9 and 10 flight missions later this year.

Big Red promises that at least one of those flights will be manned, which for once would give them an advantage over the traditional space exploring superpowers of Russia and the United States, neither of which is planning to send anyone into space until at least 2017. Here’s hoping they’re not just using this as a means of finding new and exciting ways to make Chinese citizens who speak out against the government disappear.

7 Spartacus: Vengeance

Fans of campy historical dramas and male full frontal nudity will be happy to hear that the Starz original drama Spartacus will be back the air at the end of January.  This third installment is the sequel to the first season, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The story picks up after Spartacus (played by Liam McIntyre, who replaces the late Andy Whitfield) and his fellow gladiators kill their master Batiatus and escape from the gladiator training school. Expect lots of over the top gore, gratuitous ancient Roman type sex and philosophical monologues delivered by gladiators covered in nothing more than a loincloth and mineral oil.

8 The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

February 6, 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the thrones of seven countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Queen Victoria is the only other monarch in Britain’s history to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee.  Activities feting Liz’s phenomenal staying power will take place all year long. Included in the planned festivities, a maritime parade of 1,000 boats along the River Thames, (the largest flotilla to be seen on the river in 350 years) with millions watching riverside and street parties coinciding with an extra UK bank holiday added in June, because Lord knows, those Brits need another day off.

9 Baby Hova

Watch your back Suri Cruise, an up-and-coming Celebubaby is poised to unseat you. Sometime early in 2012, Jay-Z and Beyoncé will grace the world with one of the most anticipated deliveries since Gwyneth Paltrow and that dork from Coldplay had a kid and promptly ruined her life by naming her Apple.

Hip Hop’s royal spawn will enjoy all the trappings of the parents lavish lifestyle (rumor has it that the baby will be chauffeured around in an armored vehicle, because being a parent means never having to avoid neighborhoods where people shoot at you just because the kids are in the car), but lest anyone think the anointed one will be reared solely by the help, Jigga has said he’s set to do diaper duty once the little bundle of joy arrives. He’s a real salt of the Earth type, that guy.

10 The iPhone 5

You’re certainly familiar with the phrase “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Well, that’s kind of what appears to be happening with the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will be the first major product release since the untimely passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs, and the new powers that be are wasting no time in tossing one of Steve’s last orders right the Hell out the window.

While Jobs was in charge, he steadfastly refused to upgrade the ubiquitous iPhone to a larger four-inch screen, even as competitors like Android gained market share with products that appealed to people who don’t text with the hands of an infant. But alas, Steve is gone and rumors run rampant that the upcoming iPhone 5 will indeed have the larger screen that he stood so firmly against.

That’s great, but until the public gets what they really want on the iPhone, which is sweet, sweet pornography, nobody will be completely satisfied.

Diana Cook is a professional aesthete with a sense of humor and an optimist. If you want to be deluged by her cheery thoughts and pithy observations, you can find her on Twitter or circle her on Google+.

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