Dear Two Thousand and Eleven or Twenty Eleven,
It has truly been a memorable year full of excitement, adventures, new experiences, learning experiences, opportunities, meeting people, new discoveries and inspiration and finally, writing my script. I cannot believe a whole year has come and gone and we've reset the year and now it's January 2012. At the end of every year, I like to look back and review the past year in my own life and around the world. I picked up Time: The Year in Review to better remember all the events of 2011.
Bad stuff first:
January 14 – Arab Spring: The Tunisian government falls after a month of increasingly violent protests; President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.
January 24 – 37 people are killed and more than 180 others wounded in a bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia.
February 22 - March 14 – Uncertainty over Libyan oil output causes crude oil prices to rise 20% over a two-week period following the Arab Spring, causing the 2011 energy crisis.
March 11 – A 9.1-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the east of Japan, killing 15,840 and leaving another 3,926 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories. Emergencies are declared at four nuclear power plants affected by the quake.
March 15 – Arab Spring: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain declares a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council are sent to quell the civil unrest.
March 17 – Arab Spring and the Libyan civil war: The United Nations Security Council votes 10-0 to create a no-fly zone over Libya in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.
March 19 – Arab Spring and the Libyan civil war: In light of continuing attacks on Libyan rebels by forces in support of leader Muammar Gaddafi, military intervention authorized under UNSCR 1973 begins as French fighter jets make reconnaissance flights over Libya.
April 11 – Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested in his home in Abidjan by supporters of elected President Alassane Ouattara with support from French forces thereby ending the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis and civil war.
May 22 - A powerful twister hits Joplin, Mo. Deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. since 1947.
June 4 – Chile's Puyehue volcano erupts, causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate.
June 5 – Arab Spring: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an injury sustained during an attack on the presidential palace. Protesters celebrate his transfer of power to his Vice-President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi.
June 12 – Arab Spring: Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey as Syrian troops lay siege to Jisr ash-Shugur.
July 20 - Goran Hadžić is detained in Serbia, becoming the last of 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The United Nations declares a famine in southern Somalia, the first in over thirty years.
July 22 – 76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in Norway after a bombing in the Regjeringskvartalet government center in Oslo and a shooting at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya.
July 31 - In Thailand over 12.8 million people are affected by severe flooding. The World Bank estimates damages at 1,440 billion baht (US$45 billion). Some areas are still six - feet underwater, and many factory areas remained closed, at the end of the year. 790 people are killed, with 58 of the country's 77 provinces affected.
September 10 – Zanzibar ferry sinking: The MV Spice Islander I, carrying at least 800 people, sinks off the coast of Zanzibar, killing 240 people.
September 12 – Approximately 100 Kenyans die after a petrol pipeline explodes in Nairobi.
September 19 – With 434 dead, the United Nations launches a $357 million appeal for victims of the 2011 Sindh floods in Pakistan.
October 4 - 2011 Mogadishu bombing: 100 people are killed in a car bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The death toll from the flooding of Cambodia's Mekong River and attendant flash floods reaches 207.
October 23 – A magnitude 7.2 Mw earthquake jolted eastern Turkey near the city of Van, killing 604 people, and damaging about 2,200 buildings.
December 16 – Tropical Storm Washi causes 1,257 flash flood fatalities in the Philippines with 85 people are officially listed as missing.
Good stuff last:
May 1 – U.S. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant group Al-Qaeda, has been killed during an American military operation in Pakistan.
July 7 – The world's first artificial organ transplant is achieved, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.
July 21 – Space Shuttle Atlantis lands successfully at Kennedy Space Center after completing STS-135, concluding NASA's space shuttle program.
September 5 – India and Bangladesh sign a pact to end their 40-year border demarcation dispute.
December 15 – The United States formally declares an end to the Iraq War.
R.I.P. Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, Betty Ford, Cy Twombly, Amy Winehouse, Sidney Lumet and other amazing people who made a huge contribution to the world.
It's really hard to enjoy life when you hear all the bad things and events that occurred over the year. It's so easy to be self involved, you don't even realize there's a whole world out there and people are suffering and fighting to survive. It's so easy to be complacent, self indulgent and so involved in our own self inflicted stress and depression - it haunts me. I try not to preoccupy myself too much in my own self involvement and indulgence, because I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. Whenever I have a moment to think, I try to be grateful for everything I have and then I think about what's the meaning of life?:
Life starts at birth (well actually it starts at conception and wink wink) and then our parents (hopefully both) nurse and nurture us and we learn and our brains develop. Then we go to kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school/secondary school, then high school, then sometimes college and then we get a fancy or pretty useless degree, then some go off to do a Masters, maybe even a PhD and then we work. We work, or search for work, keep searching, keep working, earn some money, not enough money, earn some more money, do three part time jobs just to pay the rent, earn more money, pay taxes, not getting paid enough, pay more taxes, wait for money to come back, live, earn money, work, live, maybe meet someone, that person breaks your heart, cry for months, move on, meet someone else, break their heart, cry some more, live, live, work, work, eventually get married to the wrong person but you don't know at that moment, cry some more, work, earn money, pay taxes, earn just enough for retirement, get retired, wait for death. Death.
I'm really trying to understand the meaning of life. 42. That was easy. No, in all seriousness, I constantly think about the meaning of life, especially after I read about the disasters and civil unrest and the ongoing conflicts and wars. There is so much evil in the world and it numbs me. I don't know how to enjoy life without feeling that guilt. But when I read a book or watch a movie or watch television, I feel that momentary bliss and then I forget and just let go. I want to live life to the fullest and I really want to give back. Hopefully, I will build a life for myself and be able to give back and help others in some little way, because it will help me sleep better at night.
Word of the Year: Tergiversate
A panel of editors, lexicographers and others at Dictionary.com have chosen the Word of the Year for 2011. The word is... Tergiversate. Pronounced "ter-JIV-er-sate", it means “to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
So we could say that, in 2011, the stock market tergiversated; or that the public tergiversated about Occupy Wall Street.
"We're taking a stand on this choice," Jay Schwartz, Dictionary.com's Head of Content told The Huffington Post. "We think that it's immensely rewarding to find existing words that capture a precise experience, and this year, tumult has been the norm rather than the exception. There are contested public spaces around the world, where people are demonstrating in one direction or another. Opinions and circumstances have been oscillating so much.
"This word encompasses an sense of 'flip flopping' but it also implies a number of other complicating forces. Unlike 'flip flop', 'tergiversate' suggests a lack of intentionality - it's a change in state more out of necessity, as new events happen at great speed, whether in the economy, politics or attitudes."
The word's origins come from the Latin for "to turn one's back". Though not in common usage, it was utilized by The Times of London in August to describe the changing attitudes of stock markets.
However, though they may have tergiversated during their discussions, there will be no more tergiversation on the matter. It's Dictionary.com's Word of The Year 2011.
Person of the Year: "The Protester"
No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.
Style Icons and Actresses of the Year: Elle Fanning (Super 8, Twixt, We Bought a Zoo), Kirsten Dunst (this was her year, winning the Best Actress Award at Cannes for Melancholia), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch and Sleeping Beauty), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn), Carey Mulligan (Drive, Shame, The Great Gatsby), Alexa Chung (as usual) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl).