Dec 29, 2021
In a couple of days the year 2021 will be over. It seems incredible to me how fast the time passed and how the seasons and months went by so fast that this period is indeed going to end. The covid-19 pandemic continues to present serious problems, particularly with the new Omicron variant, and perhaps that is one of the reasons why this year and last year have passed so quickly: It has been a tug-of-war of hope and despair associated with the desire we all have for this pandemic to end once and for all!
Anyway, since I don't update this blog much lately, I wanted to take this time to write a longer post and remember what are the events that marked this year through a few illustrations. In my opinion these events were the most important of this year:
James Webb Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) developed by NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was launched on the 25th of December. This telescope will support a broad array of research across the fields of astronomy and cosmology.
Beginning in September 2021, The Wall Street Journal published "The Facebook Files: A Wall Street Journal Investigation", a series of news reports "based on a review of internal Facebook documents, including research reports, online employee discussions and drafts of presentations to senior management." A couple of weeks later the face of this whistleblower materialized in Frances Haugen, a courageous former product manager for the Civic Integrity team, which was in chage to curb misinformation and other threats to election security
It's not news that Social Media has been used for years to spread misinformation. But having an "insider" to document and record the action (or inaction) coming from the senior management of the social giant, was quite a moment.
Tokyo Summer Olympics
A year later than budgeted and with a lot of restrictions associated with it, but finally the summer olympic games took place in tokyo this year. A number of athletes discussed the importance of participating in the games, but also they expressed their frustration for the lack of spectators and the confinement, not able to enjoyone of the most interesting cities in the world!
COVID-19 vaccine rollout
In January started the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, naimly in the industrialized countries, leaving the poorest nations behind). But then the scarcity of this valueable resource became clear, having many nations compiting for the same vaccines.
There was a lot of criticism in particular about the EU, since he pace of the roll-out was quite slow at the start.
Insurrection at the US Capitol
I remember I was working at home in January when those images of people attacking the US congress appeared in my news feeds, so I switched to a live a streamming to check what was going on.
My first thought was "there can't be a coup d'etat in the USA!" ... but they weren't that far off, from everything that has been discovered so far. Democracy can be quite fragile.
PS: All the source pictures used on the illustrations come from wikimedia commons.