A lot of websites have their “ten best” or “best moments” of 2012 articles out there right now. But they’re often specific to a theme–best movies, best tech stories. Here on New Plateaus, we’ll look at the best stories, moments, achievements in any field in 2012. Enjoy…
Let’s start with a few highlights :
Jan 13th - The cruise ship Costa Concordia hits a rock off Isola del Giglio in the Mediterranean Sea just off Italy’s west coast. Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours and not all passengers were evacuated. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 30 bodies have been located, and two more passengers are missing and presumed dead.
July 4th – The particle, the Higgs boson was claimed to be discovered at CERN in Switzerland by two sets of experiements. (I have no idea what this means, but I read that it’s quite the significant find.)
Jul 25th – The 2012 Summer Olympics begin : ) (Did your favorite athlete win?)
Aug 6th – After 8.5 months of travel, the latest Mars rover named Curiosity landed on the Red Planet and took this self-portrait:
(Images of Mars are pretty ho-hum these days, but I try to appreciate how awesome it truly it that we have a robot there taking pictures, touring the surface, and now sampling the dirt. It’s one step closer to human steps.)
Sep 10th – Teachers in Chicago strike effecting 350,000 students
Oct 29th – Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey resulting in 110 deaths and $50 billion in damage and forces the New York stock exchange to close
Nov 6th – Voters go to the polls for the US Presidential election; Barack Obama wins.
Nov 24th – Gangnam Style becomes the most viewed Youtube video surpassing 808 million views (Today it has something like 1.1 billion.)
Of course there was much more news than just these stories.
We organized a bunch more stuff from 2012 into the themes that dominated the year…
Mar 1st – Euro zone unemployment reaches historical high of 10.7% (Would rise to 11.7% as reported in Nov.)
Apr 30th – Spain’s economy double dips after a 0.3% contraction and 25% unemployment rate. (Holy Cow! What are 25% of Spaniards doing with their time, I wonder.)
Aug 25th – 330 people are killed as a result of conflict in the Syrian civil war:
Oct 17th – Tens of thousands protest austerity measures in Greece:
Signs of the times:
Mar 13th – Encyclopedia Britannica announces that it will no longer public printed versions of its encyclopedia
Oct 29th – Publishing companies Penguin and Random House merge to form the world’s largest publisher
Feb 18th – Kateri Tekakwitha canonized as the first native American saint : )
Mar 19th – Wendy’s overtakes Burger King to become the second best selling hamburger chain
May 2nd – Edvard Munch’s famous painting ‘The Scream’ sells at auction for a record $119,922,500
Sep 4th – Carpet that can help prevent falls in elderly by warning them after detecting unusual footsteps is developed : O
Nov 16th – The video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, grosses $500 million in 24 hours to become the biggest entertainment launch of all time
Nov 29th – The UN votes to approve Palestine’s status change from an observer to an observer state
Weird animal discoveries:
The world’s smallest frog:
The world’s biggest croc:
And a turtle (a soft-shell turtle– also kinda odd) that can pee out of its mouth:
These were the three highest-profile cases in a year that really put an exclamation point on the issue not of guns or of government, but of the seemingly worsening mental/emotional condition of some of America’s young men:
Jul 20th – 12 people are killed and 59 injured after a gunman opens fire at a Dark Knight movie premier in Aurora, Colorado
Aug 5th – Gunman opens fire on Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin killing six people and committing suicide
Dec 14th – 28 people, including 20 children, are shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
From individual terror to individual inspiration, sometimes reaching new plateaus takes nothing more than good old-fashioned courage. These people broke records and expanded what we thought was possible:
Though it’s been in the works for 30 years, the story broke last April that Jadav “Molai” Payeng single-handedly planted and cultivated a 1,360 acre forest that is home to a complex, thriving ecosystem in Jorhat, India. It started as a sandbar atop which he grew bamboo, then trees, then he introduced red ants to improve the ecosystem (he got bit a bunch of times by the ants), and today it has elephants, rhinos, and all sorts of birds on what 30 years ago was just sand.
Mar 26th – Canadian Film maker, James Cameron, explored the Mariana trench, the deepest point on Earth. He was the first to do so by himself and the first to do so in 50 years.
(There’s so much to be discovered right here on Earth. Just this year, they found a thriving, colorless ecosystem of crabs and other bottom dwellers living near thermal vents in the black depths of Antarctic waters.)
But my favorite individual accomplishment went the other direction…
October 14th – Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere
(That is, from 24 miles in the air. Free fall. He reached speeds of 834 mph and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power.)
Every revolution the Earth circles the sun seems like as good a time as any to designate as a reflection point, placing these past moments in a new perspective, recalling what we were doing during these times, and realizing the volume of good and bad times there were–all that life lived in such a short amount of time.
Thank you for reading New Plateaus and for reviewing an eventful and important year for all of us. What are your thoughts on the above events? Would you like to add an event to the list?
May your 2013 be filled with more discovery, growth, healing, and good times: )
to new plateaus,
**Special thanks to History Orb and Wikipedia!!!