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2009 In Review

*Author’s Note: Just the same as last year, everybody. I’m assuming people follow events well enough to know when I’m just pulling your leg and when I’m being serious. No offense intended. Thanks!*

Welcome one and all to the last few days of 2009. It’s seems almost impossible that a full year has come and gone since my joining SSBBW Magazine and yet, here we are. It’s been an exciting and trying year for us all, what with actually getting Year in Review articles in to our editors on time for a change rather than the February edition after the fact, or trying surveys no one wants to be a part of. Regardless, we press on, eagerly awaiting the new things ahead and more than happy to leave the Year of Natural Fibers and Year of Astronomy behind us for good.

Just like last year, this article will only focus on the positives of the year. This isn’t so much because I’m irreverent to the more serious or generally darker aspects of the news and media; it’s more because the market is so saturated with those things that it’s often hard to find something to compare them to in the light of a terrible economy, major armed conflicts the world over and so on. So, let’s reflect on the year gone by and the coming to a close of a decade of exciting natural fibers! Oh, excuse me, I meant: a decade of exciting adventures!

In January…

To begin on nothing less than pure oddity, and I promise you I am not making this story up, Asuncion, capital of Paraguay – a place usually defined as “not within the United States”, mind you – becomes the American Capital of Culture. At the same time, Vilnius and Linz become the European Capitals of Culture, but this at least makes sense since they actually are located inside what is geographically defined as Europe. Midway through the month, Ethiopian military forces withdraw from Somalia where they had been keeping peace for over two years, which, while being good news, I can’t really make a joke about as no one ever talked about this before. Speaking of peacekeeping measures, a little later, a ceasefire for the Gaza War is issued from Israel after nearly three weeks of open warfare. It went into effect the very next day in Paraguay. Around the same time, the United States elected its first minority president, Barack Obama. Experts agree he will probably finally stop being on the news in the year 2038. But that’s enough politics.

In February…

Let’s see… what have we got for February? Economic devastation… war… politics… oh, c’mon! It couldn’t have been that bad a year, could it? Let’s check the movie lists, then. Pink Panther 2? Another Friday the 13th movie? The Chun-Li movie?! Okay, so February was Hell on earth. Let’s skip it.

In March…

NASA sent up a photometer to search for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way system as part of the Keplar Mission. Extrasolar means when they put too much sauce on the pizza and the cheese slides off. No, wait, I apologize – it means that it’s an object that revolves around a star other than the sun. Which, if you stop and consider that everything in the Milky Way revolves around the sun, is a tiny bit silly. Late in the month, the president of Madagascar is overthrown in a coup d’état following many rallies in Antananarivo. I’m not entirely sure if this is actually “good” news or not, I just really like the word “Antananarivo”. Antananarivo.

In April…

Early in the month, the G-20 Summit meets in London to discuss the global financial crisis. However, they remembered they are, in fact, politicians and thus not being effected by the crisis and all went home. A few days later, North Korea launches the Kwangmyongsong-2 rocket which also has a really cool name, largely in response to the western nations joking about Kim Jong-Il’s height. A few days later, Russia and America decided that not only did the rocket not enter orbit, it and its payload landed in the Pacific and sank and that Kim Jong-Il still looks pretty funny.

In May…

Early in the month, nothing happened. I wish I could say I was joking, but I’m really not. No major news happened within the first 15 days of the month. So, instead, I’ll discuss my own personal experiences with turning 22… it’s a lot like being 21. Anyways, a few days later, the Sri Lankan Civil War comes to an end after nearly 25 years. Americans sigh in relief as they didn’t even know there was a Sri Lankan Civil War. North Korea, still a shade of red from the previous month’s failed rocket launch, announced how they performed a successful nuclear test, but refused to let anyone see it or examine any evidence for it. The United Nations Security Council passed a non-binding resolution to waggle their index fingers very sternly in North Korea’s general direction.

In June…

NASA sends up the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter probe (commonly abbreviated as H1N1) to the moon. This is probably because they either had to justify their government grants or because they still hope that there might be dragons there, since we sure didn’t find any during our deep sea expeditions. Greenland, in its continuing effort for independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, assumes control over several key functions of government, including the passing of non-binding resolutions. Content that we have run that joke into the ground, let’s move on to…


The 35th G8 Summit is held in L’Aquila, Italy, a place usually referred to as “Not Rome”, more than likely to discuss just why on Earth 2009 was such a depressingly bad year. Anyways, later on in the month, the longest solar eclipse, lasting nearly as long as a certain, high-budget environmentalist schlock-fest that shall remain nameless, is recorded in Asia. Finding this month to be way too depressing, however, we moved on to…


Unfortunately, August was no better than February. Seriously, this year must’ve been rough.

In September…

In a move that is described as “definitely not a power grab” the G-20 are set to replace the G-8 position in regards to global finance. This is, sadly, the closest thing to good news that happened in September. Next, in…


We are seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel here, so try to hang with me until this is all over or I will certainly hang alone. The International Olympics Committee announces that the 2016 Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, I still await Christmas day for my copy of Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic games. Not that I’m excited or anything. Around the same time, Ireland holds a second referendum concerning the Lisbon Treaty, whose name is no where near as cool as Antananarivo, to more or less positive response.

In November…

NASA, courtesy of the previously-mentioned lunar recon mission, discovers that there is a “significant” amount of water on the moon, in a specific crater. However, they fail to specify if there are any dragons in it. In semi-related news, the Large Hadron Collider mentioned last year apparently was given a set of jumper cables and sparked back to activation to a truly underwhelming media response. And finally…

In December…

Astronomers discover GJ1214b, the first-known exoplanet that might have dragons on it. And, unfortunately, that’s all the good news I could scrounge up on 2009!

For the future…

By the time you fine folks at SSBBW Magazine get the chance to read this, it will already be 2010 – the year of biodiversity! I’m not going to lie to you, though, researching the events of 2009 was a painfully depressing chore. It was just not a very good year, so here’s to hoping that 2010 will be better for everyone!

Here’s to happy holidays and a much happier new year for us all here at SSBBW Magazine and to all of you at home. And remember: it’s never too soon nor too late to contribute your stories, experiences, thoughts, feelings or random bits you find in the news with us here. I hope to hear from you all soon and look forward to another year of serving as your humble literature section editor. See you next time!

Written by: Jeff M.

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
~Mark Twain
"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

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