Well it’s finally New Year’s Eve and once again we all stand on the cusp of the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It’s a tradition for everyone to reflect on the year that has been, the highs and the lows, and to look at what the future has in store. I will say this, social historians will thank us in the future for using social media to catalogue our lives. I mean imagine if you were a social studies student 100 years from now looking at this page through the wayback machine for a dissertation on 21st century attitudes to the New Year. It would be like “Googling” your homework 😛
I suppose one of the highlights of the year was the Olympic games. Despite all the apathy from some members of the public I was touched to see that even in these difficult times an event like this could still unite a nation. While there may be some debate about the opening ceremony and how our cousins abroad interpreted it and the claim that Danny Boyle stole the idea from someone else it was a spectacle nonetheless. Team GB did a fantastic job of pulling in a record number of medals which considering that the USA & China were in 1st & 2nd place was no mean feat.
Now I’m not all that into sports. I do like to see downhill mountain biking and martial arts events (not UF/MMA) though. However, the event that really caught my attention was archery. The sheer skill required was something to behold and while we crashed out early on I was marvelling at the Russian Federation & Japanese women’s teams. The Koreans are renowned for their Archery skills which is why they dominate the sport but it was the determination of the Russian Federation and the fact the the Japanese team just seemed to be having a good time that really stood out for me.
Another high point for me, albeit short a short lived one, was helping a friend get a job. Sadly I was also to witness his departure shortly thereafter. Still I wish him all the best and hope he finds something in the New Year.
At work I had an opportunity to spend a “day in the life” of several departments which proved to be an invaluable experience. It has allowed me to focus on what I want to do and give me a clearer direction of where I want to go. At present I am currently studying for my Cisco certification again as I am in an environment where it will be a useful skill to have. Ultimately I can see myself moving back to an IS support role as I’ve got many year’s experience in that area.
We also witnessed a gravity defying feat when Felix Baumgartner set a new world record for the longest recorded freefall from 128,000 feet after several delays caused by adverse weather conditions.
2012 also marked our return to the planet Mars with the Curiosity Rover. NASA had really pushed the boat out on this one and came up with one of the most creative deployment methods to ensure the rover got to the surface in one piece.
This year we also lost a number of great figures from the world of science & music e.g. Sir Bernard Lovell (Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope), Neil Armstrong, Sir Patrick Moore, Jack Klugman, Gerry Anderson, Ravi Shankar and Eduard Kiel (Mr Trololo).
One phenomenon I had been observing over the past few months was the conquest of the music industry by a little known (at the time) K-Pop artist called PSY who successfully proved that if you can “make it” on YouTube you can make it anywhere and thus “Gangnam Style” and all its assorted parodies/covers became a viral hit. For me though the cover that had me was that of Korea’s dance team Waveya with their routine. Phwoar!
2012 was also the year that Rush were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was something that fans have been clamouring for decades. It’s a pity that its only in the twilight years of the band that this accolade has finally been bestowed upon them. It’s a bit like an actor getting a “lifetime” achievement award i.e. here’s an award for all the times you weren’t nominated in your career. The fact that they finally got inducted was a testament to the fans long time support. However, the band themselves have never been concerned any awards as they have always gone “against the stream” of mainstream music.
So that was 2012 for me. And in fitting tribute to the late Eduard Khil here is the Trololo Song [“I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home” (Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой)]…