As we cast our reflective mind’s eye at the sun setting over this year we can be struck in awe at just what has taken place. All our years pack in so much, and this year MMX has seen no less drama and tragedy than we’re used to seeing. Perhaps in terms of magnitude the following ten events can be considered (in reverse ‘countdown’ order of importance) the biggest, most memorable (so far):
NUMBER TEN – “End of H1N1 Flu”
The World Health Organization (WHO) calls an end to the H1N1 influenza pandemic on August 10. Illness due to flu is now stated to be back to “typical seasonal patterns”.
NUMBER NINE – “Synthesised Genome & ‘Alien’ Lifeforms”
A “functional” synthetic genome is officially created by scientists on May 20, synthesising bacterium, however the Venter group stop short of calling it a breakthrough. Also, an arsenic-based (bacterium) life form is discovered on December 2 by NASA.
NUMBER EIGHT – “World Sport Top Two”
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is played in South Africa between June 11 and July 11 and is won by Spain. Also, the 2010 (Twenty-first) Winter Olympics is held at Vancouver and Whistler during February 12-28. Home team, Canada, won the most gold.
NUMBER SEVEN – “World Financial Crisis Repercussions”
The depth of the Global Financial Crisis continues to strike some countries hard with both Greece (May 2) and Ireland (November 29) being bailed out by monetary funds to the tune of 110 and 85 Billion Euro respectively.
NUMBER SIX – “Mine Disasters”
The trapped Chilean miners, all thirty-three of them, are brought back to the surface on October 13 after 69-days captivity deep in the earth. Not so fortunate are the twenty-nine New Zealand miners at Pike River Coal Mine, Atarau, who were trapped on November 19 by an initial explosion, only to be almost certainly killed by a second explosion on November 24.
NUMBER FIVE – “Antimatter Created”
Antimatter is trapped for one-sixth-of-a-second, where thirty-eight antihydrogen atoms are temporarily held, at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) on November 17. This is the first time in history that humans have achieved this.
NUMBER FOUR – “Wikileaks”
The ‘Wikileaks’ scandal leaks nearly 100,000 classified and secret reports on July 25 and scandal surrounds the issues from embarrassed governments to persons scrambling for reputational damage. The scandal evolves over the remainder of 2010.
NUMBER THREE – “Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Ash Interrupts Air Traffic”
The Icelandic volcano erupted initially on March 20, but on April 14 it entered an explosive phase, and the resultant ash was thrown 30,000 feet into the air, threatening the European airspace. It disrupted the travel and return-home plans of millions of people intermittently during the April 15 – May 17 period and it featured some periods of entire shutdown of the European airspace. It further proves the theory that God always has the final say over our plans.
NUMBER TWO – “Deepwater Horizon Disaster”
The Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico is crippled by an explosion on April 20 and eleven workers are killed. It ends up being one of the biggest ever environmental catastrophes. The safety and ethics of offshore drilling is questioned internationally.
NUMBER ONE – “Haiti Earthquake”
The 7.0 Magnitude quake that rocked and shocked Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12 devastates a nation most ill-equipped to handle such destruction. The world responds in sympathy and aid, and the “Helping Haiti” appeal, song and concerts sought to pour hope into a helpless situation. Over 230,000 people died as a result.
Copyright (c) 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: source information from various pages on Wikipedia.