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The 21st Century

Overview:

  • Western society:
    • the generation Z:
      • Western people born 1991-2006
    • increasing acceptance of homosexuality
    • metrosexuality ( a term coined in 1994 by English writer Mark Simpson) becomes the vogue - guys aiming to look good without inferring something about their sexual orientation - thus straight guys become under pressure to improve their clothing style, grooming and start attending salons, have body hair waxing as well as body piercings
    • anti-US terrorism and Asian viral epidemic fears dominate psyche, particularly of travellers after Sept 11, 2001 which results in the rise of a culture of living for the present including the rise of a new raunch culture and sexual promiscuity which had been restrained in the 1990's by the fear of HIV/AIDS.
    • the rise of narcissism
      • self-care, self-love, selfie photos dominate Instagram and other social media
  • literature:
    • Harry Potter books;
    • following on from the coming out of gay women in the 1990's, the early 21st century further evolves feminism with the rise of sexual feminism - women writing of their sexual experiences as mores change and women can more readily be accepted as wanting to have sex for sex sake
      • The Sexual Life of Catherine M by Frenchwoman Catherine Millet (2001)
      • The Bride Stripped Bare anon (aka Australian, Nikki Gemmell) (2003)
      • A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance by 66yr old Jane Juska (2003)
      • renewed interest in the 1950's novel the Story of O by Pauline Reage (aka Dominique Aury)
      • One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P a 16yr old Sicilian girl (2004)
      • Snakes and Earrings by Japanese woman Hitomi Kanehari (2003)
      • The Diary of a Nymphomaniac by Spanish prostitute Valerie Tasso 
      • The Almond by Algerian author Nedjma who takes a lover to escape a sexually violent Muslim marriage
      • Babyji by Indian women writing of a high-caste girl's sexual experiences. 
      • Peepshow by Melbourne lap dancer writing of how lap dancing allows women with strong sexualities who like to perform and express their exhibitionistic needs.
      • 50 shades of grey rapidly becomes the most talked about book in 2011
  • art:
    •  
  • music:
    • “classical music” - 
    • musicals - Mamma Mia; 
    • rock & roll / pop: 
      • Eminem; Delta Goodrem; Pink, Avril Lavigne, Jet
    • dance - techno, rave
  • film:
    • digital special effects become even more realistic
    • Australian/NZ:
      • Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001/2002/2003); The Hobbit (2012);
    • International:
      • Harry Potter (2001);
      • Spiderman trilogy (2007)
    • actors:
      • Sean Penn, 
    • actresses:
      • Nicole Kidman; Jennifer Garner;

the year 2020

  • unprecedented Australian bushfires which started in mid 2019 continue to devastate much of Australia, especially the eastern coastline and then compounded by flooding in January
  • high numbers of very bright low orbit satellites contaminate the night sky
  • Prince Harry officially leaves the Royal Family and moves to US
  • Covid-19 pandemic commences January starting in China and stops the annual tourism for Chinese New Year before spreading around the world creating panic buying, decimating economies and stock markets, overwhelming health care systems, infecting millions and creating new social distancing restrictions which changed the way we all live, work and be educated
  • George Floyd killed by US police while being arrested resulting in global outrage, protests and support for the new campaign Black Lives Matter with resultant riots in the US and conflict between white supremacists who wish to maintain the status quo and those who want the culture re-balanced on equal rights and respect for everyone regardless of race
  • major monsoonal flooding in China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Assam state in India in July
  • massive change in the photography world following a decade of dramatically falling camera sales and profits:
    • Olympus sells off its Imaging Division
    • Canon finally decides to go all in with their new mirrorless system and essentially abandoning further development of their Canon EF mount dSLR system
    • Nikon expected to follow suit an announce the end of development of their Nikon F system
    • essentially the end of the dSLR era
  • airlines retire their Boeing 747 jumbo jets
  • bright naked eye Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

World economy:

  • 2001:
    • global recession as stock markets become bearish
    • low inflation & interest rates along with pessimism & cynicism in stock markets contribute to real estate boom
    • terrorism dominates world psyche
    • the Enron (a US oil company) collapse and subsequent criticism for inadequate reporting and resultant new public company reporting requirements sparks a boom in private equity takeovers of public companies over the next decade.
  • 2002:
    • stock markets again fall as world recession still in force
    • real estate boom finally shows signs of slowing
  • 2003:
    • Jan: gold prices hit 6 yr high $US350/oz) & oil prices hit $35/barrel with threat of of war in Iraq & Venezuelan oil industry strikes
    • Jan: North Korea creates concern with its blatant stance for developing nuclear weapons.
    • El Nino weather pattern terminates;
    • March-April: US, UK & Australian forces invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein & his Ba'ath party
    • Dec: gold prices hit $US420/oz;
  • 2004:
    • real estate prices peak and start to plateau
    • US interest rates start to rise from their historic lows signaling the end of low interest rate phase.
    • oil prices rise to almost $US50 stemming world economic recovery and stock market rises.
  • 2005:
    • oil prices reach $US62 and keep climbing, helped by hurricanes in the Caribbean. 
  • 2006:
    • oil and metal prices seemed to have peaked.
    • North Korea tests nuclear bomb for 1st time - against UN policy. 
    • El Nino weather pattern prolongs the drought in southern Australia.
  • 2007:
    • after its long period of growth, on 27th Feb, China's stockmarket falls 9% in one day triggering global market falls of about 3-5%.
    • Stock markets end their bull runs in August 2007 after global credit crunch fears following US sub-prime mortgage crisis
    • gold prices peak as hedge against inflationary fears
  • 2008:
    • oil price continues to soar as $US continues to fall, oil hitting $US130/barrel up from $US27/barrel in 2001
    • July: global stockmarkets (particularly property trusts and banking sector) continue to fall after 12 months of bear market due to US sub-prime mortgage induced credit squeeze, rising oil prices, inflation and interest rates and recession fears, with major Australian banks announcing $1b plus write offs due to exposure to US sub-prime markets which follow banking crisis in US including Merrill Lynch's further write-downs.
    • Aug: 3 million US families lose their homes with another 1 million predicted to do so as falling real estate prices and the foolish bank loans encourage home-owners to walk away from their negative equity in their home loans - how could a first world country allow such banking greed to run amok and destroy the world's financial systems and economies?
    • Oct: global financial systems under extreme pressure requiring government bail-outs (eg. US $700b, UK £500b) to prevent a global recession or even a depression. Global stock markets hit 2-3 year lows with massive one day falls - 9% in Japan, 17% Russia, 5% Australia, 8% Europe forcing global central banks to announce further massive bail outs and cut interest rates. Australian dollar dives from $US0.98 in July to $US0.65 as Australian interest rates fall and commodity prices plummet from their peaks in $US on fears of a global recession:
      • Nickel down 72% from May 2007
      • Zinc down 66% from Nov 2006
      • Lead down 58% from Oct 2007
      • Silver down 46% from March 2008
      • Oil down ~40% from June 2008 (now down to $US88/barrel)
      • Copper & Tin down 36% from May 2008
      • Aluminium down 32% from July 2008
      • Gold down 14% from March 2008 
    • Dec: oil falls to low of ~$US35/barrel
  • 2009:
    • Mar: Dow Jones hits 12 yr low; Australian shares hit 5 yr low;
  • 2010:
  • 2011:
    • world economy dominated by concerns of debt crisis in some European countries, particularly, Greece and Spain
  • 2012:
  • 2013:
    • US Congress finally addresses it's “financial cliff”
  • 2020:
    • Covid-19 pandemic causes global GDP to dramatically fall along with stock markets as global recession looms

Britain:

  • 2002:
    • British stock market slumps in line with most global markets
  • 2004: floods in Cornwall.
  • 2005:
    • July:
      • Live8 concert to focus the G8 conference on poverty in Africa
      • London wins Olympic 2012
      • London hit by 4 terrorist bombs on underground trains and a bus at peak hour similar to that in Madrid 2004, killing >35 & injuring > 700.
  • 2008:
    • global credit squeeze sparked by US sub-prime mortgage crisis contributes to a major downturn in UK real estate prices.
    • Oct: British Govt announce £500b bail out for its banks to stabilise its financial system.
  • 2012:
    • enquiry into the News of the World phone tapping saga released
    • London hosts the Olympic Games
    • England is rocked by abuse allegations against disgraced BBC presenter, Jimmy Savile with many of the victims sueing his estate for their suffering

Europe:

  • 2000: 
    • Russian submarine, the Kursk, sinks without survivors.
    • Russian troops capture Grozny in Chechnya. Acting Pres. Putin imposes direct rule from Moscow.
  • 2002:
    • floods ravage Europe
    • rising right wing support in German polls, culminate in change of govt.
    • Mt Etna erupts, earthquakes crush Sicilian kindergarten
    • Oct: Chechen rebels take 800 hostages in Moscow theatre. Russian forces use knockout gas but kill 100 hostages and most of the rebels with the gas.
  • 2003:
    • Saddam Hussein finally captured;
    • Bam earthquake in Iran kills over 40,000
    •  
  • 2004:
    • March: Spain rocked by terrorist bombs on crowded suburban trains which killed almost 200
    • May: Moscow-backed Chechnyan President Akmad Kadyrov assassinated.
    • Aug: 
      • raging rivers and floods in Cornwall, UK
      • Two Russian passenger jets blown up, killing 89.
      • Female suicide bomber kills 10 people & herself outside subway in Moscow.
    • Sept: Chechen militants take over 300 children hostage in school, most die when bomb accidentally goes off, hundreds injured in subsequent gunfire with Russian troops.
  • 2006:
    • Israel invades Lebanon in retaliation for their harbouring of Hezbollah.
  • 2008:
    • Aug: Russia and Georgia at war after concerns of Georgian aggression towards the pro-Russian separatist rebels in the two pro-Russian Georgian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which are wanting independence from US-backed Georgia (Georgia has an important oil pipeline) since the early 1990s after the dissolution of the USSR, in a similar way that Kosovo recently attained independence with US support. The US can't have it both ways and only encourage independence if the independent state will benefit the US.

America:

  • 2001:
    • Sept 11 terrorist attacks by Taliban-assisted Al Quaeda terrorists led by Osama Bin Laden
    • US invade Afghanistan and remove Taliban regime from power (see also history of Middle East)
  • 2002:
    • US stock market bubble of the late 1990's well and truly bursts hitting 5 yr lows
    • Pres. Bush now sets his sights on Saddam Hussein with increasing concerns of his aiding the terrorists & his capabilities for deploying weapons of mass destruction. However, apart from Australia & Britain, support for a pre-emptive strike is lacking despite his demands that if the UN won't act, the US will. (see also legitimacy of tyrannicide)
  • 2003:
    • space shuttle disintegrates on re-entry;
    • March-April: US, UK & Australian forces invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein & his Ba'ath party 
    • Michael Jackson indicted for child sexual abuse;
  • 2004: Aug: Hurricanes hits Florida coastline causing massive damages.
  • 2005: Aug/Sept: Hurricane Katrina inundates New Orleans and soon followed by hurricane Rita hitting Texas.
  • 2006: Democrats win back Senate and House of Representatives following backlash against Bush's Iraq policies.
  • 2007: US sub-prime mortgage crisis sparks global credit squeeze and rocks global stock and property markets as $US continues its decline against major global currencies.
  • 2008: 
    • US prisoner numbers hit 2.3m, more than any other country with an incarceration rate of 7620/million compared with 1520/million in Britain, 1080/million in Canada & 910/million in France. Nearly 11% of black men aged 30-34yrs are in prison. According to Human Rights Watch, Blacks were 12x more likely to be jailed for drug related crimes than whites, though drug use was about the same in the two races. 
    • June: Barack Obama beats Hillary Clinton to become the 1st black US presidential nominee.
    • July: earthquake rocks California sparking fears of a bigger quake.
  • 2009:
    • Jan: Barack Obama becomes the 1st black US president.
    • Feb: Obama announces biggest budget deficit as % GDP since 1930's as he attempts to stimulate the economy.
    • Mar: Dow Jones hits 12 yr low.
  • 2010:
  • 2011:
  • 2012:
    • President Obama re-elected
  • 2013:
    • Boston Marathon bombing
  • 2017:
    • Donald Trump becomes President of USA

Asia:

  • China:
    • 2002:
      • for 1st time in 100yrs, China becomes the number one country for foreign investments, displacing US.
      • China is driving global resource prices due to its increased demand
    • 2007:
      • after its long period of growth, on 27th Feb, China's stockmarket falls 9% in one day triggering global market falls of about 3-5%.
      • China try to buy into the big resource giants in an attempt to gain control over prices they pay for resource commodities.
    • 2008:
      • Tibet crisis threatens to impact on Beijing Olympic Games
      • massive earthquake, China's biggest in 20-30yrs
      • Aug: Beijing Olympic Games
  • India:
    • 2002: conflict with Pakistan intensifies threatening possibility of nuclear war.
  • Pakistan:
    • Oct 2005: more than 30,000 die in Kashmir earthquake Richter 7.6 - Pakistan's worst natural disaster. 
  • Japan:
    • 2002:
      • still in recession after the financial banking crises of 1997
  • Indonesia:
    • 2002: Bali nightclub bombing
    • 2004: car bomb outside Australian embassy kills 11; 
    • 2004 Dec: Aceh region destroyed by the tsunami.
    • 2005 Oct: another Bali restaurant bombing kills over 30, mainly Indonesians
  • Other Asian:
    • 2002: North Korea openly embarks on nuclear research and ceases nuclear agreements creating crisis with US
    • Dec 2004: tsunamis from Richter 8.9 underwater earthquake near Sumatra kill > 150,000, esp. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives & Phuket.
    • 2005: North Korea signs agreement not to continue with its nuclear plans in return for substantial economic support and technical assistance in substitute energy technologies.
    • 2008: 
      • Burma decimated by cyclone/flood damage with Burmese government preventing international aid.
      • Nepal's 240yr old monarchy is replaced by an elected republic.

Australia:

New Zealand:

  • 2004: floods hit Wellington region.
  • 2006: Antarctic icebergs approach NZ for 1st time since 1930's
  • 2010: NZ coal mine disaster
  • 2011: Feb: earthquake devastates Christchurch
  • 2013: earthquake hits Wellington
  • 2016: earthquake hits north of Christchurch

 

Africa:

  • 2001:
    • Congo's Laurent Kabila is murdered by his bodyguard & replaced by his son Joseph as President who has lifted Mobutu's bans on political parties as he strives to create a democracy amongst the civil turmoil that has resulted in 2.5 million excess deaths between 1998-2001 in the pop. of 20 million of eastern Congo, of which some 350,000 are directly from violence.
  • 2002:
    • Aust. PM Howard fails to convince African leaders to expel Zimbabwe from British Commonwealth.
    •  
  • 2007:
    • Zimbabwe PM Mugabe loses democratic elections but refuses to stand down.
  • 2008:
    • Zimbabwe's super-inflation still out of control as dollar is re-valued having devalued some trillion-fold since the 1980's such that you need something like $1billion dollars to buy a loaf of bread - even I'm a multi-millionaire having been given a $500 million dollar note (worth about $US0.50?).

Climate change

  • 1956:
    • a report of a 32,000 sq. km iceberg off Antarctica
  • 1986:
    • a 9000sq.km iceberg forms off Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf
  • 2000:
    • largest iceberg ever observed by satellites formed “B-15” and measured 11,000 sq.km
  • 2017:
    • one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded (200m thick x 6000 sq km) forms after breaking away from Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf - the rift had accelerated since 2014
  • 2019:
    • in the last few decades, Antarctica has lost trillions of tonnes of ice and is losing 252 billion tonnes of ice each year
    • Larsen C is now at its smallest extent since the end of the last ice age some 11,700 years ago, and about 10 other shelves further to the north along the Peninsula have either collapsed (Larsen A and Larsen B disintegrated c 2000) or greatly retreated in recent decades
    • a gigantic cavity representing a loss of 14 billion tonnes of ice is detected growing under Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica which covers two-thirds the footprint of Manhattan and stands almost 300m - this is likely to hasten the current retreat of Thwaites (800m per year which is causing 4% of current global sea level rise) - if Thwaites Glacier is lost over the next few decades, it will cause a 65cm rise in sea levels and then hasten the loss of surrounding ice which it had been protecting, and this would result in catastrophic levels of sea level rise.
    • Australia has its hottest month on record (Jan 2019)

Science & Technology:

  • 2000:
    • search for planets outside our solar system successful;
    • > 500 “planets” now found past Pluto;
  • 2001:
    • Hawking publishes “The Universe in a Nutshell” to convey to the public the rapidly changing notions of our universe and the new “M-theory” as a unifying theory bringing together super-gravity and super-string theories.
  • 2002:
    • DVD becomes popular; SMS text messaging very popular
  • 2003:
    • mobile phone and internet uptake in Western cultures almost saturated;
    • 3-5 megapixel digital cameras start to be more popular than film cameras;
    • mobile phones start to converge with digital cameras, portable MP3 players and personal organisers;
    • DVD-recorders, ADSL & cable broadband internet become popular;
    • 3G mobile telephony services allow live video talk and video messaging;
    • Mars closest to earth for some 67,000yrs; solar activity cycle hits 11 yr peak;
    • human genome mapped;
    • age of the Universe determined as 13.7 billion years;
    • Bose-Einstein condensation of pairs of fermions observed
  • 2004:
    • Saturn closest to earth for 30yrs; NASA successfully lands probe on Mars;
    • discover chimp-sized human “ancestor”, Orrorin tugenensis, that walked upright 6m yrs ago (3m yrs before “Lucy”)
    • 8 megapixel prosumer digital cameras released
    • dual-layer DVD recorders and combined DVD recorders & VHS players released;
    • Plasma & LCD TV screens fall in price and become increasingly popular.
    • probe orbits Saturn
  • 2005:
    • medium format film photography relegated to niche market having been overtaken almost completely by high end digital technology.
    • MSN internet chat and Apple iPod music players become very popular with teenagers.
    • 1918 flu virus recreated and shown to be an avian flu virus
    • 1st vaccine shown to prevent a cancer - Australian-made cervical cancer vaccine against several strains of genital wart viruses which cause ~70% of cervical cancer.
    • LCD screens begin to overtake plasma screens in the 32-37“ sizes
    • 50 nanoKelvin “high temperature” superfluid Fermi gas created - a new form of matter
  • 2006:
    • LCD screens begin to overtake plasma screens in the 37-40” sizes
    • Intel dual core computer chips used in PC's and laptops.
    • Pluto no longer regarded as being a planet.
    • cervical cancer vaccine introduced in Aust. in Aug 2006 but expensive.
    • Blu-ray and HD DVD players/recorders released.
    • Personal video recorders (HDD and DVD based) become popular.
    • internet website youtube.com which enables users to upload videos is bought by Google for ~$2billion
    • online websites such as Myspace and Facebook further evolve social networking on the web.
    • multi-touch-sensitive touch screen invented.
    • most digital SLR manufacturers settle on 8-10 mpixel sensors with sensor dust protection and some include CCD-shift image stabilisation.
  • 2007:
    • Intel Core2 Duo chips;
    • MS Windows Vista OS
    • live preview LCDs become standard in digital SLRs, most with built-in image stabilisation (except Canon/Nikon)
    • Nikon's 1st full frame digital SLR (the Nikon D3) and its new lenses finally offer opposition to Canon's dominance of the high end digital SLR scene.
    • Apple's iPhone ends Nokia's domination of the cellular phone market, while Samsung and Google try to compete with their Android-based phones
  • 2008:
    • MS World Telescope - online astrophotographic imagery software and telescope control interface.
    • Apple's iPhone 3G makes it to Australia
    • July - Nikon's D700 dSLR camera makes full frame dSLRs more affordable but still too expensive for most.
    • July - scientists announce breakthrough in treatment of Alzheimer's with new drug apparently halting or substantially slowing disease process by 80%.
    • Oct - Nikon D3x, Sony A900 and Canon 5DMII dSLR full frame cameras with 21-25mp sensors.
    • Twitter.com becomes the new social networking tool along with Facebook and personal blogs by allowing users to post single line personal updates via the mobile phone SMS texting.
  • 2009:
    • Olympus E-30 and E-620 dSLRs.
    • Micro Four Thirds camera system creates a new genre of cameras enticing Samsung and Sony to follow suit.
    • new flu strain spontaneously becomes resistant to Tamiflu drug.
    • Canon and Nikon start revamping their legacy lens system to cope with demands of new sensors.
    • MS Windows 7 replaces Vista.
  • 2010:
    • Canon 1D Mark IV dSLR; PVRs dominate as Australia readies to turn off analog TV.
    • Apple's iPad and iPhone 4S herald a multitude of new multi-touch slate computer devices.
    • Panasonic GH-2 and GF-2 further improve capabilities of the Micro Four Thirds camera system.
    • Olympus E-5 dSLR; most dSLR sensors 14-18mpixel with HD 1080i video;
    • Intel i5 and i7 computer chips;
    • Physicists show that superfluid light is possible;
  • 2011:
  • 2012:
    • Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and Panasonic GH-3 bring high image quality and world's fastest AF to the Micro Four Thirds system
    • Nikon D800 dSLR - 1st 36mp full frame dSLR
    • the elusive Higgs Boson particle discovered, confirming a theory by Higgs 50 years earlier
    • iPad Mini, iPhone 5 with 4G for Australian networks, Apple's Retina displays
    • Android Nexus 4 smartphone finally gives Android phones a better experience than the iPhone
    • Windows 8 released along with Microsoft's Surface using Windows 8 RT operating system
    • ultrabook laptops and touch screen slate style computers with Intel Ivy Bridge chipsets including USB 3.0
  • 2013:
    • Microsoft's Surface Pro touch slate using full Windows 8 OS
    • after falling to the rise of iPhone and Android phones since 2007, Nokia finally announces a profit, thanks to their new Windows Phone based cellular phone line, the Lumia
    • Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Sony a7 II full frame mirrorless camera bring phase detect AF to mirrorless cameras
  • 2015:
    • MS Windows 10 introduced
    • Apple introduce bluetooth smartwatches to pair with their larger iPhones
    • 4K video in a number of cameras
  • 2016:
    • Samsung recalls Galaxy pads as a number explode
    • Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark II brings pro sports dSLR performance levels to mirrorless cameras and adds ground breaking 6.5EV image stabiliser as well as 4K video and 60fps 20mp burst rates
    • Sigma's MC 11 converter brings fast AF to Sony when using Canon EF lenses
  • 2017:
    • Sony passes Nikon in full frame camera sales to USA, now 2nd to Canon
    • Cactus introduces cross-brand radio remote TTL flash - now you can use Canon flashes on Olympus or Sony cameras in full radio TTL mode!
    • Sony a9 full frame mirrorless camera brings pro sports dSLR performance levels to full frame mirrorless cameras
  • 2018:
    • Sony a7RIII and Sony a7III
history/h_c21.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/23 17:50 by gary1