Tuesday, 29 December 2009


As we hurtle inexorably toward the second decade of the 21st century a quick glance into the rear view mirror shows us that 2009 was very much a bitter sweet affair.

In January the world bore witness to the inauguration of the first US Black president and there was a real sense of optimism that Barack Obama would be a breath of fresh air after what many opined was a low point in US history under Bush.

There was much to do for the new president, with the world still in turmoil from the credit crunch. Collapsing stock values, huge unemployment and countries across the world suffering from seismic financial problems. Millions was replaced with Billions as debt and loss figures reached telephone number proportions. The phrases "too big to fail" and "quantitive easing" and "Madoffs Millions" became as prominent as fat cat bonuses. It seemed there was little humility shown by those that were to be bailed out as taxpayers bore the brunt of averting Global economic collapse. Some bonuses to be paid in the financial sectors of many countries at the end of THIS year could be some of the biggest ever paid. All this against a backdrop of a plummeting public opinion of financial institutions and rising unemployment.
In Science, stem cell research continued apace, with Chinese scientists suggesting that the female menopause can be delayed and British scientists suggesting that synthetic blood supplies can be "manufactured" all achieved through use of these cells.

The US crashed some serious hardware into the lunar surface, which garnished data that confirmed that there were "buckets" of water on the moon.

But dominant of all in the science arena was Climate Change. Heavy weight studies suggested that global warming was indeed happening faster than previously thought.
This raised the stakes for the climate summit in Copenhagen. Copenhagen was to be the point where at last global agreement as to how best to tackle climate Change and cast iron assurances as to implementation of carbon reduction were made. Well, they did manage to hash out some sort of deal at the eleventh hour and some of the biggest polluters were on board, but as of now none of the agreements are legally binding and until they are they remain impotent. But it is a start.
Twitter and Facebook provided the communication buzz of 2009 and Google continued its mission of global domination in pretty much everything with Chrome, Google Library, street view.
Bing was launched and Netbooks and the IPhone were the "must have" products of the year. Digital Books hit the mainstream with Kindle as Amazon continued its dominance in online retailing.

James Cameron's AVATAR was the most eagerly awaited Film title of the year with Slumdog Millionaire being arguably the film of the year. Other titles of note were Surrogate, The Wrestler. The Lemon of the year goes to the absurd disaster movie, 2012.

The homemade short "Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!) 2009" which has to date received nearly 5 million hits on YouTube was perhaps the suprise hit of the year with it's creator Fede Alvarez earning a $30 million Hollywood contract to produce a new Science Fiction movie. Not a bad return for a five minute $300 YouTube video.

Michael Jackson's death at a mere 50, probably drew more column inches than any other individual but it was a year in which we lost many that will be sorely missed.

Just a few of the public figures we said farewell to:

Patrick McGoohan, 80

Actor from 1960s show The Prisoner

Natasha Richardson, 45

Film and stage actress

Michael Jackson, 50

Self-styled "King of Pop"

Farrah Fawcett, 62

Charlie's Angels actress and 1970s sex symbol

Karl Malden, 97

Oscar-winning actor for A Streetcar Named Desire

Walter Kronkite, 92

News Anchor

Harry Patch, 111

Last British soldier to fight in First World War trenches

Sir Bobby Robson, 76

Footballer and England manager

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 78

Founder of the Special Olympics

Les Paul, 94

Songwriter, inventor and rock music pioneer

Edward Goldsmith, 80

Environmentalist and campaigner

Edward Kennedy, 77

Seven-term United States senator

Patrick Swayze, 57

Star of Dirty Dancing, Ghost and many other films

Stephen Gately, 33

Singer-songwriter in Irish boy band Boyzone

Jennifer Jones, 90

Oscar-winning actress and five-time Oscar nominee

Brittany Murphy, 32

American film actress and singer

David Carradine, 72

American film actor

Ricardo Montalban, 88

Hispanic actor

Kim Dae-jung, 85

South Korean President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Helen Suzman, 91

South African anti-apartheid activist

Mercedes Sosa, 74

Argentine folk singer, the "voice of Latin America"

2009 was the year of Swine Flu, the continued conflict in Afghanistan. It was also the year of Tiger Wood's fall from grace and Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.

For most it was a year which was overshadowed by the Economic situation that the world had found itself in.

So as we leave the first decade of the 21st Century let us look hopefully toward a safer , more stable and equitable world in 2010 and beyond.


  1. Wishing all of you the most WONDERFUL New Year!!!!

  2. Not to be picky or a smartass, but naming David Carradine a 32 years american actress and singer was kinda funny ;)

    Happy New Year all Tribe members, lets make 2010 the best year ever!

  3. Well spotted Magnus and thanks. That was kinda embarrassing. Obviously no disrespect meant.
    He was a very cool actor...loved him in Kill Bill!!

  4. What a year 2009 was! May 2010 bring all of you peace, love and MUCH happiness!!! BIG hugs and kisses!!! Alexxa

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