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history:h_c21

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.
  • 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;

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”

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:

  • 2000: 
    • Melbourne's Colonial Stadium opens to host its 1st AFL game
    • Legionnaires' disease outbreak from newly opened Melbourne Aquarium in May.
    • GST introduced
    • Aust. takes on role of US deputy sheriff to the Asian region by sending troops to East Timor and opposing the Indonesians.
    • deliberately lit backpacker hostel fire in Childers, Qld kills 23 backpackers
    • Tas. govt wins right to ban introduction of genetically engineered crops
    • S11 anti-globalisation protesters clash with police at World Economic Forum in Melbourne Sept 11-13;
    • Sydney hosts 2000 Olympic Games in Sept/Oct. with Aust. winning a record 16 gold, 25 silver & 17 bronze.
    • Burnley Tunnel opens, completing the Melbourne CityLink Tollway.
    • 3/4 leg pants become fashionable;
    • the total rainfall averaged throughout Australia during 2000 was the second highest since 1900, largely due to a La Nina in the early parts of the year. Heavy rainfall resulted in the partial filling of Lake Eyre in Autumn and numerous flooding events, such as the New South Wales floods during November. However, most Australians are unlikely to remember 2000 as being particularly wet. The wettest areas were generally those with the lowest populations and most capital cities recorded average or below average rainfall.
  • 2001: 
    • PM Howard is re-elected after his waning electoral support is boosted by the Tampa boat refugee saga followed by the Sept 11 terrorism attacks whilst he was in Washington.
    • gothic-look and facial/tongue piercing becomes fashionable;
    • Sydney's 1st legal heroin injecting room opens in Kings Cross for an 18mth trial.
    • British tourist Peter Falconio went missing, feared kidnapped & murdered in NT outback while his girlfriend escapes
    • Qld introduces mandatory DNA testing for prisoners in custody awaiting trial for indictable offences
    • Victorian weather: 
      • exceptionally hot start to the year (for 2000-2001 summer, Melbourne's minimum temperatures averaged 16.9 degrees, an all-time record (normal 14.7), while maximum temperatures averaged 28.1 (normal 25.3). Melbourne experienced 18 summer nights when the temperature remained 20 degrees or higher, a record. The previous record was 17 nights in 1980-81.)
      • a very mild winter (which seriously disrupted the ski season)
      • the relatively warm and dry 2001 concluded with a cool December - never before has there been a summer when the first 30 degrees has been so late (Dec 29th). Melbourne's mean maximum temperature for December (21.5 degrees) was the equal-fifth lowest on record.
  • 2002: 
    • urban real estate boom across Australia finally shows signs of slowing by end of year although lifestyle investment choices such as coastal real estate continue to boom.
    • Australia & Britain are alone in support of US stance on pre-emptive strike against Iraq, although Australians increasingly oppose war without UN approval.
    • Australia increasingly seen as a safe haven for foreign investments as it has one of the few growing economies despite worldwide economic crises
    • Day Spa and massage become very popular
    • Victoria experienced an exceptionally dry year. Most districts registered annual totals among the driest 10% in history; Melbourne has its 3rd driest year on record with only 397 mm of rain (normal 639 mm). Only 1967, when 332 mm of rain fell, and 1997, when 360 mm of rain fell, have been drier.
  • 2003:
    • casual fashion dominated by bare bellies, low cut jeans, exposed G-strings, body piercings, Brazilian pubic hair wax, and sun-tan is back after being unfashionable since the late 1980's. Trend towards 70's look including the unkempt long hair for adolescents males as well as hippy-style dresses and even elements of 1920-40's dresses and jewellery styles and perfumes; 
    • Kylie Minogue's popularity as a pop. singer peaks;
    • Delta Goodrem dominates local pop. music scene but then develops Hodgkin's lymphoma;
    • Jan 18 - Canberra bushfires destroy over 500 suburban houses; NE Vic alpine bushfires threaten rural towns & alpine resorts;
    • Hutchinson telecom introduce 3G mobile phone services including live video talk;
    • March: Australians divided on involvement of invasion of Iraq, but eventually mainly support it.
    • Adelaide-Darwin train line opens;
    • Dec: hottest Melbourne December for 130yrs as drought conditions continue and water restrictions hit suburban lawns hard.
    • the conclusion of the El Nino event allowed rainfall to return to normal over much of the State, although Gippsland and the East Central district of Victoria registered 2003 totals that were among the driest 10% of annual totals on record. For the 3-year period 2001-2003, the East Central District, with 1940.5 mm, experienced its driest such period on record (normal: 2637.8 mm; previous record: 2171.4 mm during the 3-year period 1943-1945).
  • 2004:
    • Apple's iPod MP3 player begins its domination of the adolescent MP3 player market despite its dubious quality issues and inability to get a refund. Time to buy shares in Cochlear - the maker of the bionic ear - as these kids will soon need them! Steve Waugh retires from test cricket;
    • real estate prices set to plateau after doubling in past 5-6yrs, now forecast to rise by only 5% pa for next 3yrs.
    • Federal Labour opposition leader Mark Latham dominates opinion polls with his new enthusiasm for change and perhaps general boredom with PM Howard's conservatism.
    • PM Howard is re-elected on fears that Latham's policies would not be fiscally responsible.
    • Nov: locust plague in NSW
    • Dec: Richter 8.1 underwater earthquake south-east of Tasmania precedes the 8.9 Indonesia quake.
    • Aust. share market hits record highs as News Corp becomes a US-based company.
  • 2005:
    • Aust. govt promises an unprecedented $1.5b in aid to Indonesia after the Indian Ocean tsunami
    • Aust. singer Kylie Minogue diagnosed with breast cancer.
    • Australia loses the Ashes cricket series to England for the first time since the 1980s, but rebounds to convincingly beat the West Indies at home.
    • Aust. share market continues its bull run despite rising oil prices and risk of interest rate rises from the resulting increase in CPI.
    • ugly racial tension flares on Sydney's beaches between the Anglo-saxon and the Lebanese communities, threatening to impact on Australia's reputation of a tolerant multicultural society.
    • Australia has its warmest year on record as the last 2 years of hot summers with mild winters and increased soil moisture have resulted in a mini-plague of domestic house flies in Victoria in December 2005, while a plague of locusts head south from NSW. 
    • hmmm….had you bought the Cochlear (bionic ear) shares in April 2004 for $A19, you would now be sitting on shares worth $A45 - a nice return of 173% in 21 months and there should be yet more to come as iPod followers have not yet started their epidemic of permanent deafness.
  • 2006:
    • Jan: bushfires devastate Victoria's Grampians region
    • Melbourne hosts the Commonwealth Games
    • Cyclone Larry, the strongest cyclone on record to cross Australian mainland devastates the Innisfail region, south of Cairns causing a shortage of bananas for the remainder of the year.
    • Australia reach the World Cup Soccer finals.
    • Steve Irwin is killed by a stingray.
    • Victoria has another dry winter and spring - its 10th year of drought followed by its 2nd driest October on record and driest spring since 1939.
    • Sydney and Brisbane have their coldest November nights in 100 yrs.
    • Australia pulls off a highly improbable cricket test victory against England at Adelaide after England had declared its 1st innings for over 500 runs.
    • Dec: massive bushfires hit Victoria's eastern alps; Incredibly it snows for Christmas Day in the alps while the bushfires continue to burn.
    • Australia regains the cricket Ashes by defeating England as Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath announce their retirement.
    • Melbourne finishes the year with its 8th driest on record
  • 2007:
    • Australia wins the ICC World Cup in cricket
    • Melbourne has its driest 365 days on record
    • Stock market ends its bull run in August 2007 after global credit crunch fears following US sub-prime mortgage crisis
    • Geelong FC win their 1st AFL premiership since 1963.
    • Aust. PM John Howard loses election to Labour's Kevin Rudd.
  • 2008:
    • stock market begins to rally in April/May as it appears the worst is over for the stock market despite ongoing concerns of credit squeeze, inflation, rising oil prices and potential for recession in the US.
    • famous Australian photographer Bill Henson has his exhibition closed and photographs seized on concerns it is child porn raising much debate on whether such imagery can be deemed acceptable as an artistic.
    • stock market again falls in July after major banks announce $1b plus write downs due to exposure to US sub-prime markets, so the bear market continues.
    • July - $A peaks against $US at $0.9851 then falls to $0.88 in mid-Aug with falling commodity prices including oil, recessionary fears and probable peaking of Australian interest rate cycle in an economic setting of probable rising domestic inflation, unemployment, impact of forthcoming climate change expenses and mortgage stress.
    • Melbourne's dams still only at ~30% capacity as the long drought continues.
    • Oct: $A falls to US 65c and 50c euro;
  • 2009:
    • Jan: 
      • floods in northern Australia while record breaking heat waves and dry spell hit south-east Australia.
      • Australia loses cricket test series to Sth Africa.
      • Govt announces massive stimulus package to minimise the downturn in global economy affecting Australia.
    • Feb: 
      • Black Saturday bushfires in record ambient temperatures of 47.6degC in Victoria results in rapidly moving firestorms which kill over 200 people.
      • barely 2mm rain falls in the 1st 2 months of 2009 in Melbourne - a record dry start to a year.
    • Mar: Aust. shares hit 5 yr low despite Reserve Bank having reduced interest rates by 4% points in 8 months to 3.5%. 
  • 2010:
    • after replacing Prime Minister Rudd as Labour leader, Julia Gillard just manages to form a minority government and become Australia's first “elected” female Prime Minister.
    • real estate market continues to boom but slowing by year's end after a series of interest rate hikes.
    • Melbourne's dams hit 50% full after good Winter rains, and the wettest Melbourne Spring since 1992.
    • La Nina brings wettest Spring on record to Australia and hopefully breaks the long 12 year drought in SE Australia
    • $A hits parity with the plunging $US while reaching 74c euro
  • 2011:
    • Geelong beats Collingwood to win the AFL premiership
  • 2012:
    • Australia wins cricket series against India
    • vocal performance competition shows dominate the winter TV networks such as The Voice with Delta Goodrem and Seal
    • real estate markets in Australia continue to fall slightly as new loans fall substantially despite falling interest rates with concerns of employment stability, high property prices and global economic uncertainty.
    • Sydney Swans wins the AFL football premiership
    • Australia loses cricket series against South Africa
    • Australia wins cricket series against Sri Lanka as captain Michael Clark creates an Australian record for most test runs scored in a calendar year
    • Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retire from Test cricket
    • Australian share market ends year marginally higher
  • 2013:
    • early Jan 2013 records the hottest average temperatures for the day across all of Australia on record in Australia, and 7 of the hottest 20 Australia-wide days on record as bushfires ravage NSW, Tas, and south-west Victoria, in particular. Oodnadatta recorded average daily maximums of 46.6degC for the week of Jan 2nd to 8th. Moomba in the far northeast of South Australia records temperature of 49.6degC, Australia's 8th highest temperature on record, the hottest maximum in Australia since Nyang in the Pilbara reached 49.8degC in 1998, and the hottest in South Australia since Oodnadatta reached 50.3 deg in Jan 1960 (Oodnadatta reached the current Australian record of 50.7degC earlier in Jan 1960). Bourke in NSW reached 48.3degC, it's hottest day since 1939, and the hottest NSW day since Ivanhoe reached 48.5degC in Feb 2004. Birdsville in Queensland reached 48.6degC, Queensland's hottest day in 22 years since Dec 1990 when Birsdville reached 48.8. Sydney has its hottest day on record on 18th Jan with 45.8degC while it hit 46.5degC in Penrith.
    • major Victorian bushfires included those on the west aspects of the Grampians, and the “Aberfeldy fire” which started near Glenmaggie and burned for a month in the Victorian Alps to near Licola and Harrietville.
    • the 2012-13 summer ends with it being Australia's hottest on record with over 2/3rds of regions recording a summer amongst the top 10 hottest in 100 years. Victoria has its equal highest number of hot consecutive February days on record of 10 days, equalling the record set in 1997, and Melbourne has a record unprecedented run of 8 days over 32degC in March!
    • the 11 months from June to the end of April were also Australia's hottest for maximum temperatures
    • the first four months of 2013 have seen average national daily maximum temperatures reach about 1.33 degrees above the average for 1961-1990, shy only of the blisteringly hot start to 2005
    • Sydney records four-day run of 26 degrees or warmer weather from April 26-29 was the second hottest spell so late in the season in 150 years of records, lagging only 1968.
    • Australian stock market hits a peak mid-May with All Ords at 5230 having risen strongly by 29% from a low of 4041 near end of June 2012, then suddenly turns bearish along with the $AU which dropped below its $US96c support base
    • Melbourne and Sydney have their hottest July on record, and Australia has it's hottest 11 month period on record to end of July.
    • Tony Abbott becomes new Prime Minister as Liberals easily win election
    • Melbourne has hottest September on record and real estate market picks up across the country
    • bushfires in the Blue Mountains October 2013
  • 2016:
    • PM Turnbull calls a double dissolution election which almost backfired as he wins with a very slim majority and an even more difficult senate
    • Sept - eastern Australia has wettest Sept on record as 5x normal rainfall over 2m sq.km fell causing widespread flooding (esp. Forbes NSW, Clare Valley SA, western Victoria) as well as Sth Australia losing power grid due to the strong winds
    • Western Bulldogs beats Sydney Swans wins the AFL premiership Grand Final for 1st time in 62 years after coming up as underdogs from 7th position on the ladder
  • 2017:
    • Australia has hottest July on record
    • Richmond wins AFL flag
  • 2018:
    • Australia has hottest late March day on record as temp hits 45degC for the 1st time in late march
    • Sydney, Adelaide and other areas including the State of Victoria, have their hottest April days on record hitting 35degC in Sydney
    • PM Turnbull dumped by his own Liberal Party and replaced with Scott Morrison
  • 2019:
    • Australia has the hottest month on record - the mean temperature for January averaged across the country exceeded 30 degrees Celsius — the first time this had occurred in any month! Although Perth had its coolest January in over a decade.
    • for the 1st time since 1957, Adelaide CBD receives zero rainfall in a month - Jan 2019
    • Jan bushfires in Tasmania
    • Feb - bushfires burn extensive areas of Victoria's west and central alpine areas
    • Sept-Dec - almost apocalyptic extensive bushfires ravage east coast of NSW, east Gippsland and Kosciusko NP
    • hottest and driest year on record across Australia in terms of annual mean temp anomaly, annual maximum temp anomaly and broke the record for its hottest day on record two days in a row with with the nation's average maximum temperature smashing the previous record (40.3C) to reach 40.7C and then 41.9C a day later - this occurred without an El Nino but was driven by an incredibly strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) preceded by an unusual sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event combined with a strong positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), also added to the hot dry conditions in late 2018 (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-02/2019-was-australias-hottest-and-driest-year-on-record/11837312))

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: 2020/01/02 18:33 by gary1