Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in retrospect

2010 is gone. Another year over, a new one just begun (who said that again? :-P )Well, tomorrow :)

What happened this past year? Here are just a few things that stood out to me:


The iPad underwhelmed us.....but still went on to sell like hotcakes.

Google Buzz became a fizzle, leaving the way open for Facebook and Twitter. Twitter took off and is soaring. Facebook's Like button is everywhere now. Oauth is everywhere, and you can now sign on to a multitude of services with it, linking them to Facebook and Twitter with just a couple of clicks.


Wikileaks blew the whistle on a helicopter gunship crew taking out what appear to be unarmed civilians in Iraq. Assange is accused of rape. That quietens down until wikileaks unveil a huge amount of diplomatic cables between Washington and its embassies around the world. The rape accusations come screaming back. Not saying there's any connection, but it sure is strange timing. I don't know what to make of it all.....


Ireland's economy implodes, bank debt is transferred to the taxpayer, and Ireland is now owned, more or less, by the EU and the IMF. Unemployment is through the roof. But Brian Cowen doesn't accept that it's his fault.

Korea heats up: First a South Korean naval ship explodes mysteriously last March. Artillery exchanges in December with more and more belligerent language from both sides. Scary times.

Times Square attempted bombing: luckily the would-be bomber didn't know what he was doing.

Eyjafjallajökull gently reminded us that we're just tenants here on earth, and that nature can shake us off like fleas at any time.

Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland and threatened with extradition: the "intellectual" artsy crowd throw a collective hissy fit. Sorry, if you admit to committing this kind of crime, you do the time. It doesn't matter if you cure cancer, bring world peace, end poverty, make great movies, and save the earth from a giant comet all at once: justice is blind, and Roman the movie maker should be treated in exactly the same way as, for example, Mick the bricklayer. And if Mick were on the lam, he wouldn't even have had time to get off the plane before being sent back.

Catholic Church child abuse scandal explodes, Pope is sorry :/ He visits Britain in September, and Godwins himself within minutes of opening his mouth.

Simon Singh off the hook in Chiropractor Libel case and the BCA are on the back foot but English Libel reform has not yet been implemented.

Space exploration:

A new spaceflight strategy was announced by the Obama administration to mixed reviews. Return to the moon is out, asteroid mission & Mars orbit in 20 years, with humans on the ground in about 30. Constellation is cancelled, no US heavy lift capability before 2015, meaning NASA will rely on Russian goodwill to get its astronauts into space in the interim.

The WISE mission released its first images back in February:

There was a lunar eclipse during the Winter Solstice, a rare event that won't happen again until 2094. The last such occurence was almost 400 years ago.

The Martian lander Phoenix was finally declared dead in May. The Odyssey orbiter had been listening for communication from the lander for months to no avail, so the decision was taken to officially end the mission.

SDO First light images released in April.

Messenger images of Mercury released. Messenger timeline:

Cassini continues to enthrall us, in a mission that launched in 1997. Details here: and here:

LHC goes online and Twitter is briefly taken over by Science. Science was cool for a while there...a joy to behold!

STS-131 & 132 missions added further ISS components.

STS-133 Discovery kept us waiting for a week, and then decided that she didn't want to make her last flight just yet....launch on hold, tentatively scheduled for February 3 at the time of writing, but who knows! Having said that, the tweetup was incredible! I wasn't there, but followed it via twitter and justinTV\hatcam....what a blast!


Spain won the FIFA World Cup tournament, beating The Netherlands 1-0 in the final. In the meantime, the French team collapsed into a fiasco of infighting, backstabbing, and general unpleasantness that appears to be unprecedented. It was like watching a bunch of spoiled children throwing a tantrum, and management wasn't any better.

The French rugby team however, fared better. They won the 6 Nations Rugby Tournament, Ireland second. Still showing good form, they'll be a formidable presence in next year's rugby world cup in New Zealand.

The feelgood story of the year: 33 Chilean miners were rescued safe and sound after being trapped underground for 69 days following an explosion. An estimated 1 billion people watched the rescue operation live.

Notable deaths this year:

Alexander Haig, US Secretary of State under Reagan; Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russian prime minister under Boris Yeltsin; US diplomat Richard Holbrooke; Former Hussein regime official Ali "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid; mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot; neutron bomb inventor Samuel Cohen; Legendary Apollo Program launchpad boss Guenter Wendt; author J. D. Salinger; singer and civil rights activist Lena Horne; Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren; Popular British comedian Norman Wisdom; Double Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon; Irvin Kershner movie director (The Empire Strikes Back); director Blake Edwards, (Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's); actors Corey Haim (The Lost Boys), Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot), Dennis Hopper (too many to list), Gary Coleman (Different Strokes), Peter Graves (mission impossible), Simon McCorkindale (Manimal);


And on that note.....

Happy New Year!!!


Posted via email from John's posterous

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