A Year in Review

If you’re reading this, most likely, the Mayans were wrong. Or, more probably, a bunch of scientific illiterates talking to the scientifically uninformed were wrong. Either way, it’s a time to rejoice. We’ve survived another year, and we have at least another half-decade before the next Armageddon is narrowly avoided (Palin ’16, anyone?).

So, what have we done? What will make 2012 stand out above all the other years? Well, probably nothing, but here’s a list of some things that made these last 12 months a bit more memorable than the drunken fog you called “Freshman Year.”

Obama won, guys. I don’t know if you noticed, but he won. Actually, “won” probably isn’t the right word. Perhaps, “destroyed” is better. For the first time in history, an incumbent president was outspent in the election, and yet, he still won. B-rock didn’t just win the presidency; he delivered a crippling blow to the GOP. 2012 might go down in history as both the rise of the Neo-Conservative Tea Party movement, and the year the traditional Republican Party went kaput. This new era may prove to be a defining time in America, especially with gender and sexuality equality gaining more momentum (not to mention the growing presence of minority voices in elections).

Speaking of rich people losing everything they love, hopefully you didn’t make the mistake of investing in Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO). What was touted as one of the most exciting IPO’s since Google, Facebook’s stock plummeted. “How much,” you ask? It lost about 50 percent of its worth in a week. How do I know? Because I’m too trusting of college dropouts, and I bought more shares than I want to share. So, yeah, that happened this year.

Along with some technological upsets, the whole world learned some important things this year. Mainly, don’t make any electronic devices that look round. Or have swipe-locking screens. Or look like anything Apple has done, is doing, or will ever do. They will sue you. Happily. In fact, don’t even make electronics, because they invented it first. Never mind the fact that almost every “original” design they’ve had was done before them by a lesser-known company.

There is good news though. While some bank accounts may be suffering, our hearts exploded out of happiness in early August. ‘Murica is on Mars again! The Curiosity Rover marks the fourth time America has stuck the tip of its flag into the sweet, supple soil of another planet. While countries like China have tried twice, their rovers failed … twice. Their first rover exploded on impact, and their second one turned off after 20 seconds. The only other country ever to send a rover up is Britain. With threats of defunding the NASA program spreading throughout the last four years, this rover was critically important to helping save the department (along with making new scientific advancements and sparking a scientific interest in the public and all that jazz).

Along with being so awesome that we need to expand our territory to another planet, America showed the world that we also have some of the best athletes in the world (or the solar system, depending on what the Curiosity finds).

For the fourth time in history, the Summer Olympics were held in London. America didn’t play though. No. We won. We dominated. It wasn’t much of a game. With 104 total medals (a full 16 more than the second placing country, China) we basically showed the rest of the world who’s the raddest. Unfortunately, as much as everyone everywhere loves to see America toot its own horn, there were still some problems in the world.

In what is perhaps the most surprising news of 2012, Israel and Palestine still dislike each other.

 

Justin Huft is a fourth- year psychology and social behavior and social ecology double major. He can be reached at jhuft@uci.edu.