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Hopefully, not the Last of the Firsts

December 21, 2012

End of the World

 Image Courtesy of TheForristall4 at Flickr

Although there are still 10 days left in the year, I think it is necessary to acknowledge some fabulous “firsts” of 2012 now, considering we might not live to see tomorrow. The cyber world has been flooded with rumors attributed to the Mayan calendar. The Apocalypse, Doomsday, the End of the World – call it what you may, but Australia seems to be doing just dandy in the Southern Hemisphere and it is already tomorrow there. So, that being said, I am not overly concerned about the world ending today. Let’s commemorate some headliners of 2012, anyway.

The 2012 Summer Olympic podium results were not as headline-worthy as the inspiring story on South African sprint runner, Oscar Pistorius. On August 10, 2012, the controversial individual became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics. He was initially banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from competitions due to the claim that his prosthetic legs stored energy, which gave him an unfair advantage. That decision was later revoked by researchers at Rice University in Houston, TX who believe that he is “physiologically similar,” but “mechanically different.” Another exciting spectacle at the Olympics was when US gymnast, Gabby Douglas, won the gold in the Individual All-Around, making her the first woman of color to win this event.

September 9, 2012 marks the date of the first woman to officiate a regular season game in the NFL. Shannon Eastin was a line judge for the matchup between the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. Not only was this a historical event, Eastin even broke up a fight during the game, which was later confirmed as just old teammates goofing around. The NFL Commissioner only had encouraging words to say about Eastin. It is a great opportunity for her, a new breakthrough in the industry and a sign that times are indeed changing.

Baumgartner

Image Courtesty of kansir at Flickr

He did it. Malfunctioning equipment and skeptics tried to prevent the jump from ever occurring, but on October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner finally accomplished his most daring dive. The Austrian dove out of a balloon, which was located 24 miles (128,100 ft) above New Mexico. He is the first person to break the speed of sound barrier while skydiving. Those that have set out to beat the previous freefall record of 102,800 ft, set by retired US Air Force Col Joe Kittinger, have all lost their lives in the process.

On October 22, 2012, Taylor Swift released her album, Red. She veered away from her typical country pop style but upheld her theme of dramatic Hollywood heartbreak. By the 29th of the month, she became the first female artist to ever have two albums sell a million copies in the first week of their release. The only other musical talent to do this was the boy band N*Sync. At the young age of 23, Taylor Swift is on her fourth album and has raked in $57 million this past year. Just a couple more accolades she can add to her lengthy list of achievements, awards, and recognitions.

I cannot wait to see what firsts 2013 will bring us! Well, that is if we survive the world’s end. 😉

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Amos, Jonathan. “Skydiver Felix Baumgartner breaks sound barrier.” BBC News, October 14, 2012. Accessed December 18, 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19943590

Eveleth, Rose. “Should Oscar Pistorius’s Prosthetic Legs Disqualify Him from the Olympics?” Scientific American. July 24, 2012. Accessed December 18, 2012. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-debate-oscar-pistorius-prosthetic-legs-disqualify-him-olympics

Forbes. “Taylor Swift Profile.” Accessed December 19, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/profile/taylor-swift/

Fox News. “Line judge Shannon Eastin makes history in NFL.” September 9, 2012. Accessed December 18, 2012. http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/09/09/line-judge-shannon-eastin-makes-history-in-nfl/

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. “Medals.” Accessed December 18, 2012. http://www.london2012.com/medals/

Moody, Nekesa Mumbi. “‘Red’ Album Sales Hit 1.2 Million for Taylor Swift.” Huffington Post, October 31, 2012. Accessed December 18, 2012.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/red-album-sales_n_2048723.html

Whiteside, Kelly. “USA’s Gabby Douglas takes women’s gold in all-around.” USA Today, August 3, 2012. Accessed December 21,2012. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/london/gymnastics/story/2012-08-02/gabby-douglas-aly-raisman-olympic-gymnastics-all-around/56704226/1

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