1. COMMON PASSWORDS. Here’s a chart of the most common passwords retrieved from the hacked Gawker.com database of 188,279 users. Can people really be using 123456 as a password in today’s day and age? Stop doing that. In case you’re wondering what this item is about, here’s a comprehensive summary of the whole kerfuffle. (via Dangerous Minds)

2. I JUST FLEW IN FROM AFGHANISTAN AND MAN, ARE MY ARMS TIRED. Veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke died on Monday from complications during heart surgery. His last words before anesthesia took hold were “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan”, which prompted columnists to wonder just how the Obama adminstration would spin it. Wonder no more: according to the White House, Holbrooke was joking. Yeah, that’s a good one.

3. ITALY DOES NOT LIKE CONFIDENCE. OR CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS CANNIBALIZING THE COUNTRY, MAYBE. Riots broke out in Rome as Silvio Berlusconi slipped the surly bonds of a vote of confidence in Italy’s Parliament. I’d say that they still have Berlusconi to kick around, but it’s more likely that Berlusconi will be the one doing the kicking.

4. LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THE MAN WHO MADE FARMVILLE AND VIRTUAL POKING POSSIBLE. Time Magazine named Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010. See you on the other side of the apocalypse.

5. WHERE THE ZOMBIE EMPIRES GO. American intelligence reports present “a dim view” of the military’s fortunes in Afghanistan (NY Times – reg. req’d). The reports suggest that getting a handle on Pakistan may be the key to success. In another nine years, maybe something else will be the key to success. Why didn’t the White House just come to me? I would have written “See: every imperial power since Alexander the Great” on a paper napkin and slid it across the table to them. Seriously, people, Afghanistan is where empires go when they’re dead but don’t know it yet.

6. GOOD NEWS FOR SASKATCHEWAN HEALTH CARE? The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has lauded Saskatchewan for improving wait times for various surgical procedures – knee surgeries in particular – raising them from ninth place to sixth overall. The FCPP’s indicators appear to be limited to things like wait times and access to family doctors, which is in keeping with their conservative/libertarian leanings. But now would seem to be the best time to hit your knee repeatedly with a hammer, if that’s on your bucket list.