Turn on the TV or radio, or log onto the Internet, and you can’t avoid the numerous remembrances of 2011, including tributes to those who bid adieu to this world in the year about to end. The deaths of Steve Jobs and Elizabeth Taylor received the most attention, but I’ll miss Peter Falk the most (Hail, Columbo! And The In-Laws!). Others who passed on this year include Jerry Lieber, who with Mike Stoller wrote “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” and many other rock ‘n’ roll classics, actor Cliff Robertson, and Sidney Lumet, who directed more than his share of great movies, but who I will always remember for Network, the most prescient film of the 1970s. Christopher Hitchens discovered, as everyone does in that final moment before death, that there is a God, but the revelation came too late for him to write about. Too bad. Imagine the book that could have resulted. What title would he have given it? Maybe something on the order of Uh-Oh, God Is Great, After All or Guess Who I Met in Hell?.
“If we look at the 12 strongest earthquakes registered in the world since measurements of them began some 300 years ago, four - or a third of the list - have occurred within the last six years.”
I don’t know which of those 12 earthquakes dropped off the list following this year’s disaster, but it’s now safe to say that five of the worst earthquakes in history occurred within seven years.
What does the world have in store for 2012?
© 2011 Brian W. Fairbanks
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