2013, in 712 words or less

You know what? No preamble this time. No more screwing around, let’s get right to what you all came here to read.

Here is the Old Cold and the New Hottness for 2014.

Does it seem a little early to wrap up a year that still has two weeks left? Sure, but since I’ve seen three year-end wrap-ups, two TV specials for year in reviews and one YouTube video featuring everyone you vaguely remember from a year’s worth of forgettable videos, I think this actually counts as showing up late to the party.

Childhood heroes:

Old Cold: Athletes. Guys and gals, we’re over it. From Lance Armstrong confessing to doping to Tiger Woods still being creepy to the continued failure to get a sequel to “Space Jam” the world of professional athletes has lost its former luster. And as the athletes get worse and worse the sports themselves get inexplicably safer and safer; Major League Baseball plans to ban collisions at home plate, doing irreparable damage to the “cheesy baseball movie” industry.

New Hotness: Digital Athletes. Now this is something I can get behind. Recently millionaire super nerd Kim “Violet” Dong Hwan, of South Korea, was granted a visa to stay in the United States to be a professional athlete. Hwan’s sport of choice? “Starcraft.”

Finally, professional video game players are getting the recognition their thumb-aerobics deserves. Oh to be a child in gym class in an era where you can just play “Zelda” instead of that repurposed Inquisition device now known as the “sit-and-reach.”

Expensive breakfast food:

Old Cold: The cronut. This hybrid foodstuff consisting of the greater elements of both croissants and donuts has a well-documented history of both absurdity and deliciousness. They were so good that, immediately following their creation by a rogue baker in New York City, they were quickly selling for $100 a dozen. But now others have cracked the cronut code, and we all know that once someone else is eating something it tastes that much worse to me.

New Hottness: Christmas cereal. The latest creation from cronut madman Dominique Ansel is … well, cereal, for $15 a box. But it’s really REALLY good cereal, at least according to people who are paid to eat food all day and then tell the rest of us that its a real job. Featuring Valrhona Caramelia chocolate puffed rice, caramelized hazelnuts, and tiny bits of meringue Christmas Cereal will be an instant holiday classic with children who in no way, shape or form, would have wanted you to spend the $15 on a present, or made a warm breakfast, or wished for parents with realistic priorities.

Science-sounding discoveries for people who love “The Matrix”:

Old Cold: Is the universe really a hologram? Yeah, some people actually said that. I’m not going to pretend I’m a physicist but it seems like a couple guys published a paper wherein they stated that “string theory,” the idea that the universe is comprised of tiny, vibrating bits of “string,” can be modeled mathematically using string theories predictions about the relationship between black holes and two-dimensional space that does not contain gravity.

Here’s what I heard in there; string theory can be used to prove string theory … hologram! The reason I’m not buying this is the same reason your elementary school teacher wouldn’t let you write a definition for a word that contains said word.

New Hottness: Nothing. Just throw on “The Matrix” again until the next physicist desperate for funding releases a “discovery” with some hilariously attention grabbing title like “Scientists prove the sun is actually a bran muffin.”

Must read books:

Old Cold: People didn’t read a lot in 2013. For those who did it was probably some garbage about vampires.

New Hottness: Uhhh … “Hunger Games” prequel? Why not?

So there you have it folks! Everything you needed to know about 2013, plus that thing about the expensive cereal.

Well, it was quite a ride, wasn’t it? Another year in the record books and a new round of apocalyptic predictions are just around the corner. One of them better stick this time around or I’m just going to start believing that the world isn’t going to end every other week … and that would be a terrible way to start 2014.

Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or wburns@timesrepublican.com.