For those inclined toward nostalgia, forgetfulness or with a fondness for accounting, it's the season of The Lists: The excellent and execrable, winners and losers, scoundrels and heroes, the hot and the not.
We've searched through such lists so that, as they say, you don't have to. Here are 21, in no particular order, that touch on some of the outliers and prognostications of our times.
— "100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year," from the BBC. No. 54: "It takes more energy to sit through a 15-minute meeting than it takes Usain Bolt to run three Olympic 100m races." (Via The Economist)
— "2012: The Best And Worst 'Trend' Stories," from The Atlantic Wire. "People are wearing pantyhose! Teens have messy bedrooms! Slippers are street wear! The Internet is terrible! People are doing things at night! And on and on."
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.) Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
— "2012's Top 5 Craziest World News Stories," from CBS News. And, of course, The Onion fooling China's Communist Party newspaper into thinking that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is the world's sexiest man is on that list.
— "The 13 Greatest End Of The World Prophecy FAILs," according to Ranker. The Mayans are not on the list, but preacher Harold Camping is.
— "Top 10 Medieval News Stories Of 2012," in Medievalist.net's opinion. No mystery about No. 1: Has Richard III been found?
— "10 Of The Biggest Lies In History," according to HowStuffWorks. "Nazi propaganda" gets the dishonor of being No. 1.
— "The Top 10 Political Gaffes This Election," in the opinion of U.S. News. Remember "legitimate rape" and pregnancies that "God intended"? They share the top spot.
David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had.
David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had. ISAF/Reuters /Landov
— 2012's "Top Six International Scandals," from The New Yorker. Former CIA Director David Petraeus is edged out for the top spot by Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
— "The Best (And Worst) Media Errors And Corrections Of 2012," according to Poynter. We're not on the list!
— "The Worst Product Flops of 2012," in the view of 24/7 Wall St. Apple Maps somehow found its way to No. 1.
— Craigslist's "Best Of." "Possibly in need of Exorcist" is among the listings.
— "11 Foods You Can't Buy Anywhere Anymore," according to The Fiscal Times. They're not just Twinkies.
— "The Top 10 Brain Science And Psychology Stories Of 2012," from Forbes. Who knew that apes can have midlife crises?
— "How Memory Works: 10 Things Most People Get Wrong." PsyBlog remembered to tell us about all that before the year ended.
— "Happiest Countries In The World 2012," from NowPublic. Costa Rica stands out.
— Wired's "8 Craziest Job Openings In The Military-Industrial Complex." Think "top secret janitor" sounds cool?
— "The 10 Most Popular Google Doodles Of 2012," according to Mashable. "Soccer Doodle" scored the No. 1 spot.
— The List Of "Best of 2012" Books Lists, from Largehearted Boy. It's a long read.
— "In Pictures: Art Of List Making," via the BBC.
— Time's "100 Most Influential People In The World." We weren't important enough to make it on this list, but point guard Jeremy Lin was.
— "10 Things That Will Disappear in the Next 110 Years," according to Popular Mechanic. No more keys jingling in our pockets!
What did we miss? Feel free to point to your favorite (or least-favorite) lists in the comments.