Eye on the Year

RECORDS BROKEN &
VERY LITTLE CHANGE

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The Earth Shook & Burn But
The World Only Moved Sideways
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A year of extremes but no breakthroughs. Records of the wrong kind (U.S.’s longest armed conflict in Afghanistan and worst environmental disaster ever, highest temperature indexes in several regions of the world, increased infection diseases mortality rates in the Caribbean and Africa, and staggering drug trafficking casualties in Latin America) plagued the world, with the additional bonus of a certified freak: a snowstorm in the middle of the Australian summer.
But there was no progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; no curbs on Iranian and North Korean authoritarian antics or scary nuclear ambitions; no meaningful proposals to solve political impasses in the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria or Zimbabwe.
Disturbing tactics did get deployed, though, by the world’s superpowers but with the only intention of curbing whistle blowers and freedom of information acts such as WikiLeaks. It gave civil rights activists of every stripe a chilling pause to see Continue reading

Leonids

Meteor Showers May Again Be
Obscured by the Raining Kind

This morning, early dawn, the Leonids annual meteor shower arrives again. Although historically known to be the most active of the various of its kind throughout the year, this time around astronomers expect the show to be of the modest kind, because the moon will be almost full. But if you live in New York, you wound’t know it either way.
After a few unusually warm nights, fall in the Eastern Seaboard remains as unpredictable as a meteor count, and a cloud-covered Continue reading