Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

Another year is over, and this year really had a lot going on. So many advances or discoveries in science were reported, the Girl Scouts tried to prevent transgender people from joining, Obama was reelected for another term, marijuana was legalized in two states, human rights made a huge win when three states legalized gay marriage, and we all survived the Mayan apocalypse.

So I thought for my last blog of the year I would review all the shit that’s happened, good and bad, so that we may reflect and remember how great (or not) the past 365 days have been.

This year has seen some great discoveries and achievements in science. The first photographs of DNA were taken, showing the double helix that resides in our bodies. It was an interesting process that required scientists to make some type of crazy looking microscopic landscape which looked like it was made up of tiny little mesas that were water resistant. When scientists had this landscape made they took DNA strands in water and dropped them into the “landscape” they made. The DNA strands stuck to the tiny mesas creating a “tightrope” if you will, of DNA that stretched from one mesa to another. They were able to take a picture of that strand. Simple, right? Uh, maybe not. Let’s leave science to the professionals.

The first man to ever sky dive from the edge of space happened this year, and it was all made possible by the energy drink company that brings us Red Bull. I still find it funny that in this day and age an energy drink company can help a man break a world record yet religion is still setting us back with nonsense. The jump reminded me of the 2009 Star Trek movie, where Kirk, Sulu, and a poor guy in a red shirt made a freefall jump from space to disable Nero’s mining device.

Water was found all over our solar system it would seem, as scientists discovered that water was in fact on Mars and even Mercury, which surprised the shit out of us all because Mercury is much closer to the sun than Mars. And while we’re on the subject or Mars, in August of this year the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. Also, another bit of interesting news is that Curiosity made it’s first Foursquare check in back in October. Wow, even unmanned planetary rovers get to check into the Foursquare. I bet Curosity will be Mayor of Mars soon.

Genome sequencing for fetuses was discovered as well. And unlike earlier techniques used to complete the sequencing this technique was completely noninvasive. The scans can pick up possibly fatal conditions earlier on in your child’s life as well as possible predispositions to diseases.

The SpaceX space shit named Dragon is pretty well known for those who keep themselves savvy on the latest space technology. One of my good friends actually worked on this project some years ago and is always excited when he hears news about it. Well in May of this year Dragon was delivered to the International Space Station. Score one for the private space exploration sector.

Remember walking around during 2012 and seeing all of those signs for Kony 2012? It was a documentary that was meant to show the brutality of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The movie, albeit went viral very quickly, backfired as critics said it had a very narrow view, lack of info, and was deemed to have a “white savior” mentality.

Let us not forget the horrible tragedy that occurred in Connecticut. On December 14th Adam Lanza, armed with guns he stole from his mother not only killed his mother but twenty-six people at the Sandy Hook Elementary school. This shooting has reinvigorated the gun control debate with politicians, making us wonder what type of crazy world we will be entering in 2013 with the introduction of new, and useless gun control laws.

The Westboro Baptist Church was at it again, and this time they made a new friend in the hacker group Anonymous. WBC said they would travel to Connecticut to protest the funerals of the victims of Adam Lanza. Their reasoning is that God doesn’t like gay people and is punishing America for allowing tolerance of gays. They said they would be holding up signs which read “God Sent the Shooter” and “God Hates Fags”. The group Anonymous was tired of this shit so they decided to wage an all out war against the WBC by attempting to keep them off the internet. To this day the website is still experiencing issues which the site being reduced to just one page that is entitled “God Still Hates Fags”.

The people of America have spoken! Four more years of Obama have been decided, and let’s just say that the American people actually picked the right guy this time. The election was a scary time of course as we could have voted into office an extremely hateful man named Mitt Romney. A man who is against all types of civil rights, especially gay and women’s rights, who also believes we should be at war with Iran and things that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were going great. He is also a Mormon who believes that his undergarments are magical and protect him against car accidents and fires.

At the same time the people of Washington and Colorado voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Washington was also one of three states that legalized gay marriage, extending human rights to men and women whose love was deemed evil or unnatural by the religious right-wingers. It was a huge victory for human and civil rights and it just goes to show how overwhelmingly good the American people are.

China launched its first jet off of its first and only aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier was an old soviet ship that was gutted and sold to the Chinese after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Chinese were able to install what they needed in it and made it operational at the end of 2011. Their first successful launch and landing of a jet fighter on the deck of the carrier took place on November 25th.

So many other things happened this year, there’s just too many to talk about so I just listen the ones off the top of my head. I think 2012 was a great year, albeit I lost my job, and I think 2013 will turn up being a great year as well. We just need to start thinking more rationally about the issues at hand that we face as a species, instead of jumping on the wagon of nationalist fervor and religion.

I hope you had a great year, and I hope you have a good New Year celebration. Don’t get too drunk….or do I don’t care. Just bare careful folks!

This is Reno, signing out for the year 2012. See you all on the other side!  

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