2011: The Year You Weren’t Expecting

I have an article in this Sunday’s Ideas section of the Boston Globe entitled 2011: The Year You Weren’t Expecting. It is essentially a calendar of the coming year that focuses on obscure but interesting events. A selection:

January 9 The world will gain a new nation if voters in Southern Sudan choose independence in a referendum that begins today. The youngest countries in the world currently are Curacao and the Republic of Kosovo.

June 30 This is the next possible date when a leap second might be inserted in order to maintain the accuracy of atomic clocks. If the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service decides the Earth’s rotation has slowed enough to require one, it would be the first leap second inserted since 2008.

July 12 The planet Neptune completes its first full orbit since its discovery on Sept. 23, 1846. Neptune, which was discovered when astronomers calculated that the anomalies in the other planets’ orbits must be caused by a then-unknown eighth planet, takes more than 164 years to circle the sun.

October 17 The 24th meeting of the General Conference of Weights and Measures begins in Paris, at which an international panel of specialists may consider redefining the kilogram. Currently the official kilogram is the weight of a physical cylinder of platinum and iridium stored in a basement vault outside Paris, whereas the meter is defined in terms of the speed of light. The method of the kilogram’s redefinition is up in the air, and could involve the mass of a sphere of silicon with an exact number of atoms, or precise amounts of electromagnetic energy.

November 11 As the date which most closely resembles corduroy, this marks the Corduroy Appreciation Club’s annual holiday. Today, on 11/11/11, the club is planning an unspecified “coordinated international spectacular” to mark the “date which most closely resembles corduroy, ever.”

8 Responses to “2011: The Year You Weren’t Expecting”

  1. medevacs January 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm Permalink

    Curacao is not a country! It is this type of territory which due to wide autonomy is being called “country” but in the matter of international law is not a sovereign state. Such entities as United States, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan or Kosovo are sovereign states. These states we can call independent and these we can call countries. Curacao is not sovereign, is not independent. It is part of Kingdom of Netherlands. They have their own law, government, etc. but they are still part of this kingdom. Just like Gibraltar, Falkland Islands or Isle of Man are part or belong to United Kingdom. Calling Curacao a country in the same sentence side by side with real country (Kosovo) sounds like calling Alaska “a state” along with “a state” of United States. Do you see the difference now?

  2. ghost ryder January 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm Permalink

    I have to admit I wasn’t expecting 2011, I really thought we were skipping right to 2012. I lost a boatload of money on that bet.

  3. Samuel Arbesman January 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm Permalink

    @ghost ryder Sorry to hear that. Perhaps we should have run the article earlier, to avert such unwise gambles.

  4. danny bloo0m January 6, 2011 at 4:57 am Permalink

    but why the RaPTURE on May 21, and rthe END of world on OCt 21,,,which
    co9mes first?>

  5. danny bloom January 6, 2011 at 4:58 am Permalink

    Harold Camping (pictured to the right side of God) is a false prophet! The following are just a few of his false doctrines that have been taught, and that you would hear live on his heretical “Family Radio”…

    Harold Camping proclaimed the Lord’s return would be in 1994!
    Harold Camping now proclaims the Lord’s return will be in October, 20, 2011!
    Harold Camping (Family Radio) has aired Mormon advertisements!
    Harold Camping taught that NO ONE was saved between 1988 through 1994!
    Harold Camping teaches that the church age ended in 1994!
    Harold Camping teaches that the Holy Spirit is NO LONGER working in the church!

    Harold Camping teaches that EVERY church in the world is apostate!
    Clearly, Harold Camping is NOT a true Christian, and has fabricated his own cult.

    Christianity has spawned this evil. SIGH.

  6. danny bloom January 6, 2011 at 4:59 am Permalink

    WE CAN KNOW website says the date of the so-called bs ”rapture” of true dumb believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that the God that does not exist will destroy the Boston Globe world on October 21, 2011.

  7. danny bloom January 6, 2011 at 5:01 am Permalink

    Samuel, how come the Globe lets you publish your stuff in ideas, but they gatekeep my ideas about “polar cities” for surivvors of
    global warming in future out that newspaper, despite my being a Bostonian? They don’t call me James Lovelock’s Accidental Student for nada.

  8. Champ May 12, 2011 at 7:19 am Permalink

    Walking in the presence of giants here. Cool tinhinkg all around!