Olympics, elections and horsing around in odd 2012

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:34am EST
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - Presidential preening, golden Olympic gaffes, a royal windfall for a skydiving British queen on her diamond jubilee and the endless end of days marked the odd stories in 2012 which pranced across the news in Gangnam Style.

The year opened with a tale that flocks of magpies and bears had been spotted in mourning for North Korea's "Dear Leader", Kim Jong-il who died in December 2011 and was succeeded by his 20-something son Kim Jong-un.

Winter weather was so cold in Brussels that the Manneken-Pis, a bronze statue of a young boy urinating had to stop peeing because of sub-zero temperatures.

There was slightly warming news about Mondays in Germany, where crematoriums are struggling to adapt to an increasingly obese population and a boom in extra-large coffins.

"We burn particularly large coffins on Monday mornings when the ovens are cold," one crematorium said.

In March Polish media reported that kite surfer Jan Lisewski fought off repeated shark attacks and overcame thirst and exhaustion in a two-day battle of survival on the Red Sea with just his trusty knife as protection.

"I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills."

In other animal news, dairy cows across the world mourned the loss of "Jocko", the world's third most-potent breeding bull and Yvonne the German cow who evaded helicopter searches and dodged hunters landed a film deal: "Cow on the Run".   Continued...