Top News Stories
of 2010

Quotes of the Year

"If you touch my junk,
I'll have you arrested."

John Tyner

In reference to the security pat downs taking place at US Airports

 

"tdc's Froggy"
             tdc's Animated Frog   Be patient, I'm coming!

Notable Passings
January Author J.D. Salinger
February General Alexander Haig
April Juan Antonio Samaranch
May Lena Horne
July George Steinbrenner
December Richard C. Holbrooke

Our thanks to Fred Webster for this great animation


 

Froggy's  Comments 
Right  From The Pond

"
I May Be all Wet but I know what I'm taken' about..."

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USA Politics

Job, jobs, jobs ... that is the big problem .... the high unemployment rate of about 9.5 % and to a lesser extent the high deficit  that it is putting the US on a path to a very difficult next two years

Late November and WikiLeaks strikes again releasing 250,000 secret messages mainly from diplomatic communications between various countries.  Hilliary Clinton is pissed as she is exposed of spying on UN and high government officials around the world. Diplomats cables are exposed and their secret communications are published in the world press.  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his band of merry men are pleased that this type of transparency will hopefully have a positive effect upon changing how governments work.  It sure is an interesting time and taking the emphasis off global economic issues around the world.

Early November, the Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives, still just maintain a majority in the Senate as voters move to the right.

October and the midterm elections are in full swing with the pollsters saying that the Republicans will take over both houses with the possibility of leaving a lame duck government for at least the next two years.  The Democrats have come out swinging with Obama's wife leading the charge followed closely by the Clintons. Will it work... we will have to see in early November.

September - It is reported that 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty as the primary elections are held. The Tea Party make surprising gains with unlikely wins in some states.  Barack Obama is in trouble but promises that he will focus on getting the economy back in shape as they head toward the mid term elections in November.

Mid March, the US government finally after debating the issue of a new Health Care Bill for over a year passes it with an executive order that states that it will not fund abortions. -  Can you then buy insurance to fund abortions from private insurance companies ?

Mid January and Obama is not off to a good start in 2010 when an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in a U.S. Senate election that left President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marred the end of his first year in office.

At the start of 2010, Obama runs right into a security issue as a there is a failed attempt to blow up in the air over Detroit a passenger airplane.  As the story unfolds, the public finds out that US security groups were aware that such a plot was taking place but did nothing.   Obama says that they screwed up.  Nearly overnight, the US has tightened screening on all flights entering the US and are targeting foreigners from 14 different countries who will be extensively searched. 

 

 Science
A Canadian scientist leads the revamp of the periodic table of elements.

Mid November and physicists say that they are able to capture Antimatter atoms.

October - It might not be high science but when 33 miners in Chile are safely rescued from being 600 meters underground mine after 70 days by an Chilean lead international team - it is not only a miracle but it shows what can be done when everyone cooperates.

Sophisticated methods of making sharp stone tools have been around a lot longer than archaeologists thought. Researchers have found evidence of a technique called pressure flaking as much as 75,000 years ago at Blombos Cave in South Africa. That is about 50,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The amount of water discovered on the moon last year when scientists purposely slammed a rocket into the lunar south pole may be enough to help set up a space fueling station, according to latest data from the mission.

Astronomers have spotted a solar system 127 light-years from Earth with at least five planets orbiting a star called HD 10180 which is much like our own Sun, the biggest system found since exoplanetary research began. 

Scientists wielding a powerful supercomputer have cracked the mystery of which came first, the chicken or the egg. - The short answer: the chicken. - It's nice to know where are tax dollars are going in support of science :))

Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA

Canadian researchers have unraveled a genetic "code within a code" that helps explain how the instructions for building complex organisms, like humans, can be found in a small number of genes.

The first animals that do not depend on oxygen to breathe and reproduce have been discovered by scientists on the bed of the Mediterranean Sea

Geologists working in the Canadian North have found evidence that the Earth's oceans were covered in ice all the way to the tropics more than 700 million years ago.

 

Economics

It sounds like a Christmas gift but China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund.

It was reported in late November that not only did the banks bail out American Banks but also European banks as well. - It will be a long time before all debts are paid.

China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced on November 23.

Ireland longtime thought to be one of the hot economies in Europe, is found to be bankrupt and is bailed out by the European Union. 

Mid November, Ireland's financial troubles loomed large as investors - betting that the country soon could join Greece in seeking an EU bailout are dumping bonds this drove the interest rate on the country's 10-year borrowing to a new high. The yield on 10-year bonds rose above 8 percent for the first time.  Also many cities in Britain have cut down on their usage of street lights to try to cut their expenses.

In Mid October, Britain slashes its budget in order to try to reduce their debt.  This includes  490,000 public sector jobs which likely to be lost.

France is also attempting to put their financial house in order and is suggesting raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 years. This issue has caused the French citizens to go on a general strike.  The French government finally passes the change in retirement age and the general strike fades.

Announced at the end of September in the US - Household incomes plunged for the second year in a row in 2009, as fewer families earned over $100,000 a year while the ranks of the poor rose, according to census statistics.

End of August and the economic situation in the US looks pretty grim with housing prices dropping to new lows and unemployment figures not getting better.  Obama now says that job creation will be his #1 priority.

Mid July and Obama finally passes his financial reform bill which will provide limits on raises to chief bank officers and also provide provisions that will not allow the US government to bail out banks that are in trouble.

Early May and Greece is in big financial problems as they have requested a $170 billion and the people especially the civil servants are pissed because they will lose a lot of their benefits.  With interest rates of 15% on the bailout money from Germany and other EU countries this will cause a decrease in their quality of life for a very long time. Under terms of the bailout deal, Greece's government has announced a €30 billion package that will slash public-sector wages, cut pensions, freeze public- and private-sector pay, liberalize Greece's labor laws and raise some taxes. The story doesn't end here with some EU countries lending Greece money but it triggers a question on whether or not US currency and stock traders were selling short to drive down the Euro which at mid month was only worth $1.23 US.

Late April and Greek prime minister George Papandreou requested the activation of a €40-billion-plus bailout package as the country's financial health spirals downward..  Also noted was that the U.S. economy grows 3.2 percent in the first quarter - Car sales seem to be driving this growth as GM says they have paid back their loans from the US and Canadian government 5 years ahead of time.

Chinese annual growth soared by 11.9 per cent in the first quarter - the fastest rate since 2007

Almost one third of Canadians aged 35-54 expect to be working in their retirement years. as the concept of traditional retirement disappears in Canada - a country which is one of the leaders in global financial stability

China is expected to deliver 8% GDP growth in 2010, with the US, Japan, and the UK coming in at less than 2%.

Early March the US announces that job loses has become stable at 36,000 in February with a jobless rate holding steady at 9.6 % - it looks like they have bottomed out the curve.

Bad news for the new home purchasing in United States as sales of new homes plunged to a record low in January, underscoring the formidable challenges facing the housing industry as it tries to recover from the worst slump in decades.  The American dream doesn't seem to be happening anymore!

Good news sort of for Obama as in late January it was reported that this year's federal budget deficit will improve slightly thanks to lower spending on the Treasury Department's bank bailout and stronger than expected economic growth, falling to $1.35 trillion from the nearly $1.4 trillion previously projected,

It is early in January and the unemployment rates are announced in the US and Europe with the jobless rate at 10 % .  This is disappointing both to the US and to Europe who have put enormous amounts of cash into their systems to try to slow or stop the economic recession.  It is clear now that the manufacturing sector now belongs to Asia and India

.

Energy In November Google has just sealed a deal that will help bring clean, renewable energy to almost 2 million households.

In 2010, wind and solar farms are popping up all over North America but the problem still exists that wind farms are too noisy and solar farms are too expensive despite the fact that they are both environmentally sustainable sources of energy.

The company which is investing in the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC),  is a plan to erect a 350-mile stretch of wind turbines 10 to 15 miles off the United States’ Atlantic coastline, where waters are relatively shallow. The AWC “backbone” will take advantage of strong, steady winds at sea and deliver energy via underwater cables. The big problem is where is the money going to come from in a weak US economy.

Still searching for a reliable high efficiency energy self sustaining solution...  but solar farms and wind turbines are popping up all over the place.

China is now the world's biggest energy consumer, knocking the U.S. off a perch it held for more than a century.

RE: Solar --- Solar Energy (photovoltaic) prices have declined on average 4% per annum over the past 15 years. Progressive increase in conversion efficiencies and manufacturing economies of scale are the underlying drivers.

Re Wind Turbines --- from all outward appearances, wind turbines are sleek and elegant works of engineering. But inside, they're hell on gears and bearings. In most turbines, the rotors turn a mechanical transmission that drives a small, high-speed generator. In terms of capital investment, this is the most economical and preferred design — but large and unpredictable loads often push gearboxes beyond their limits. Downtime and unreliability are two of the main reasons electricity from wind is expensive.
 

Space New evidence that space rocks may have seeded life on earth as life ingredients found in superhot meteorites—a first

A study suggests the universe could have triple the number of stars scientists previously calculated. For those of you counting at home, the new estimate is 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That's 300 sextillion and they are only counting the stars.

Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the "Goldilocks" zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Just  right.

A capsule thought to contain the first samples grabbed from the surface of an asteroid has
returned to Earth.

A new type of speed cameras which can use satellites to measure a motorist's average speed over long distances are being tested in Britain.

Scientists have found using infra red detection devices that the universe is a lot more crowded  than was believed before when it was only explored using visible light.

USA in early February decide to cancel their efforts to land on the Moon in the near future. In April they announce that their distant target is Mars with a closer target of landing astronauts an Asteroid within the next 15 years.

 

Health Scientists at the Harvard Medical School have developed a therapy which rejuvenates the worn out organs of the elderly and effectively reverses the aging process by regenerating the body. This age-defying treatment is, however, only available to mice -- for now.

Canadian scientists have discovered how to make human blood from adult skin. Researchers hope the bizarre finding will have wide-ranging implications for cancer treatments, surgery and blood conditions like anemia.

Scientists discover the secret of ageing, the research, published by the journal Molecular Systems Biology, shows that when an ageing cell detects serious damage to its DNA – caused by the wear and tear of life – it sends out specific internal signals.

These distress signals trigger the cell’s mitochondria, its tiny energy-producing power packs, to make oxidizing “free radical” molecules, which in turn tell the cell either to destroy itself or to stop dividing. The aim is to avoid the damaged DNA that causes cancer. The Newcastle discovery plays down the role of telomeres, the protective tips on the ends of human chromosomes, which gradually become shorter as we grow older.

Here is a surprise that most lawyers would like - In 'vegetative state' patients, brain scanners discover that show some have alert minds.

In early January it was announced that according to the World Health organization, swine flu or H1N1 has killed at least 12,799 people worldwide since it first emerged in Mexico in March 2009

A meta-analysis of 21 studies on 347,747 healthy adults suggests that dietary saturated fat is not linked to cardiovascular disease or stroke - the beef and pork industry will be pleased.

 

Environment Britain has the coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C bringing travel chaos across Britain,  Snow and freezing rain shut down the major airports in Britain and Europe for over 5 days.  During the big Christmas holiday season, snow and cold shut down major cities on the east coast of United States and rain pounded the west coast of southern California.  Snow clogged roads in New York and unions took advantage of to protest by slowly cleaning up the snowy mess.  Was it global warming ?

For the first six months of 2010, the combined global land and ocean temperature was the warmest on record, according to the NOAA and NASA weather analysis found 2010 tied 2005 for the title of warmest year on record

Microscopic marine algae called phytoplankton that produce half the world's oxygen and support most ocean life have been declining dramatically over the past century, Canadian researchers say

End of April - A big BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico explodes and kills 11 workers and massive amounts crude oil gushes from the bottom uncontrollably and contaminates the Mississippi delta spilling upwards of 50,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude a day. . what a mess as crews try to contain and stop the flow with little success as the oil slick grows and heads for the western coast of Florida. Regardless of the blame.... we will all pay for the cleanup one way or the other!  At the end of August they finally have the well plugged.

Mid April, volcanic eruptions in Iceland have spewed huge clouds of ash that have caused flights to Britain and Europe to be cancelled for nearly 6 days . Carbon dioxide emissions totaled 150,000 tonnes a day in the early days of the eruption, according to Durham University. That compares with 510,000 tonnes per day emitted when planes are flying as normal over the continent.

Methane is leaking into the atmosphere from unstable permafrost in the Arctic Ocean faster than scientists had thought and could worsen global warming

Haiti becomes the topic of January as an earthquake shakes Haiti and leaves as many as an estimated 230,000 dead and 1 million homeless.  Humanitarian aid pours into Haiti and the world tries to find ways to feed and rebuild this poor country. Subsequently a large earthquake has also struck Chile and China damaging houses and killing many people.
 

Peace In December after starting to leak about 200 of 200,000+ diplomatic cables,  Wikileaks Assange is arrested in Britain for sexual allegations in Sweden.  Wikileak sympathizers retailiate by bombarding and closing down the MasterCard web site and promise that more leaks will be sent out.  Time Magazine is considering naming Assange as Man of the Yearl.

Has a new type of war just begun with the free speechers vs the right wing Conservatives.

The end of November brought back North and South Korea shooting at each other with artillery.
And the US retaliates by sending its big Aircraft Carrier to carry out training with the South Koreans. China is encouraged by the US to try to stop the growth of a conflict between the North and the South.  China wants to negotiate an agreement with the two parties and the US wants China to boycott the North Koreans to end the conflict.

Announced in mid October that the Taliban  are open to peace talks led by an Afghan group and monitored by the U.S.

Early in October armed men torched 24+ NATO fuel tankers in southern Pakistan, as supply convoys remained blocked at a vital entry point to Afghanistan for a second consecutive day.

Mid August and US combat troops leave Iraq but leave 50,000 non combat troop behind.

End of July, and the world becomes open to 90,000 leaked US secret  classified documents pertaining to the Gulf and Afghanistan wars via the WikiLeaks website.  What the documents tell is that the Pakistani government is closely related to the Tailiban .  The US House of Representatives agreed to provide $59-billion to continue financing America’s two wars, but the vote showed deepening divisions and anxiety among Democrats over the course of the nearly nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan. Is this the start of end for the support for the war in Afghanistan?

June, the top commander in the largely stalemated Afghanistan war acknowledged  that a crucial campaign to secure the region of the country where the Taliban insurgency was born will take longer than planned because local Afghans do not yet welcome the military-run operation.

Early May, in Times Square New York, police find a SUV filled with explosives that if it had detonated correctly would have killed a lot of people.  Within less than 54 hours after the event the US has a naturalized US suspect who has admitted to the potential terrorist disaster.

In late April, despite the government in power arguing that documents pertaining to the treatment of Afghan detainees in Afghanistan had information that was sensitive to national security,  the Canadian House of Commons speaker ruled that the House of Commons has a right to order the government to produce uncensored documents related to the treatment of Afghan detainees.... this ruling was watched closely by governments around the globe. .. perhaps this will be seen as a tipping point toward transparency pertaining to war.

Late March it was announced that the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban's momentum. A spring offensive has been planned.

Black Widow suicide bombers attack Moscow's subway system killing 39 people

 

Religion
Oh my, Pope Gregory is in trouble as his past is catching up to him on the issue of sexual abuse by clergy who were under his direction.

Belgium moves to become first European country to ban the burka.
 

Internet The amazing interest in social media such as FaceBook and Twitter  has left many people who spend a lot of time on social media sites with nothing to tell other people except that they have posted something on a social media site. Hmmm - the impact ?

Google leaves China and reestablishes itself in Hong Kong.  3 D printers become available at less than $1000.  These printers are capable of making small plastic pieces from information which is sent from the internet. - Look out LEGO.
 

Communications

Canadian company develops thought-control technology which uses brain waves

Google is into the smart phone business as they unveil their phone at the Consumer Electronic Show early in January.  The list of suppliers are getting larger as manufactures and services see the next huge trend for this type of technology which can fit into one's breast pocket.  What next?

 

Living

A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) in December during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai

A US federal judge has ruled California's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional overturning Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriages

In July, lawmakers in Catalonia Spain outlawed bullfighting Wednesday, making it Spain's first major region to ban the deadly, centuries-old ballet between matador and beast after heated debate that pitted animal rights against a pillar of traditional culture. This is something hard to believe, it is just like an region of France banning the drinking of wine.

 

Agriculture

Reported in April that food prices in the US jumped by 2.4 percent in March, the most since January 1984. Vegetable prices soared by more than 49 percent, the most in 15 years putting a damper on bacon and tomato sandwich snacks.

Buy local hit a new high as consumers lose trust in  the big box stores - but "Buy Local" products are still more costly than those at the big box stores.
 

Entertainment

If the US is going to get people to not think about their economic problems by using entertainment as a diversion, then they better have better movies and TV shows with story lines and acting that is a lot better than it presented was in 2010.  A fine example of this is the large number of "new" movies are revising old themes and stories and will soon be turning these themes into 3D movies.  Gracious, is creativity and new story lines dead in Hollywood? 

Early March, Samsung and Panasonic will start selling 3-D TVs in U.S. stores, inaugurating what manufacturers hope is the era of 3-D viewing in the living room. A new revolution for TV - or a better way to watch NHL Hockey and NFL Football in your living room? - Can't Wait!
 

Biggest Disappointments
of the Year

If the American Dream is a synonym for home ownership it sure has missed the mark during 2010 as mortgage payment failure and foreclosures continued at a record high in the USA 

The length of time it took for BP and the US to plug a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico

The political mess in Haiti that is causing thousands to die from starvation and cholera being not solved by the world community of so called advanced nations.

Did you know that Asia now has about 90% of the PhD engineers in the world...the USA about 90% of the world's lawyers - and you wonder why things in the US are the way they are ????
 

It seems that order to survive today we need to have:
clean air, clean water, organically grown food, shelter, clothing, communications,
financial planners, entertainment, education, security, insurance
- what next?

Ask people living in 3rd world countries if they have any of these things
and why they keep smiling 

Your Comments?

Have a Happy 2011 Folks !

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