Russia’s invasion of Georgia has chilled Russia’s relations with the West, a resurgence of the Cold War may be on the horizon. The Tibetan monk’s protests being crushed in the streets demonstrate that freedom of speech, is not a God given right for all. The continued unrest in Middle East is no longer news, but simply part of daily life in the region.
Close calls with Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans and the water lapping at the edge of overburdened levies caused concern that the lessons of Katrina have still not yet been fully learned. The heartbreaking destruction of Hurricane Ike in Galveston and the Texas coast shows that while the US has made progress, she is still no match for mother nature. Nature’s wrath still wields a heavy hand. As horrific as the despair in Galveston, it paled in comparison to the cyclone that hit Burma/Mynamar, taking the lives of more than 100,000 people in the region. China, widely thought to be a rising world power, was no match for the 8.0 earthquake that collapsed buildings like tinker toys.
Through leadership change, we often see policy change. Unfortunately Fidel Castro’s retirement in 2008 did nothing to free Cuba from the constrains of dictatorship with Raul Castro stepping into the leadership role on the tiny island.
Early on in 2008, the Hollywood writers strike in 2008 showed that American can in fact live without television. Regardless of the break from television, technology certainly played a role in the 2008 elections.
The structure of the US political debates, with YouTube questions taking stage early on, demonstrated how technology shaped the 2008 US presidential election. Obama utilizing technology to text his vice presidential choice to his constituents was just the tip of the iceburg when it came to technology’s role in the 2008 US election. The radical domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright became household names. Joe the Plumber, Joe Six Pack, and the average Joe were all invested in the 2008 US Presidential election.
The historic 2008 US presidential primaries and election resulted in many firsts. Ultimately, Sarah Palin, the first female Republican vice presidential candidate and the GOP’s rising star, went back to Alaska and the US will crown its first African American President on inauguration day in 2009.
At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, China presented it’s best. Michael Phelps made his mark on history, breaking Mark Spitz record of swimming medals and Dara Torez breaking a record of her own.
Tainted baby formula sickened tens of thousands of babies in China in 2008. Even the US was not immune to tainted food. A wide spread Salmonella outbreak caused a number of illnesses in the States.
The senseless deaths of children like Caylee Anthony and Precious Doe at the hands of those that were suppose to love them the most demonstrate how hopeless some things are in this age of technology.
The world in 2009 will sorely miss some legends who passed on in 2008. Heath Ledger’s senseless death and the famed actor Paul Newman who had a lifetime of achievements will be missed. The world also lost the comedic geniuses of George Carlin and Bernie Mac as well.
The world’s largest proton beam large hadron collider high energy collector was effectively deployed, while the world was not swallowed into a black hole. Unfortunately, shortly after the test, the economic markets imploded. The global economy crash devastated retirees who were heavily invested in the markets, forgetting that the stock markets can not only go up but down as well. A sad reality when their savings dwindled and the reality of their investments set in with the market down almost 40% for the year in November.
Based on this year’s reflections, I have made some predictions for 2009.
Top 10 Winners for 2009
1. Personal Responsibility
2. Financial Diversification
3. Mobile Malware
4. Weight Loss
5. Going Green
7. Cloud Computing
8. Virtual Collaboration
Top 10 Losers for 2009
1. Global Economy
2. Republicans and Conservatives
5. Somali Pirates
6. Financial Services Industry
7. Corrupted Politicians
8. Security or Securities