Welcome to the Next Generation
The Millennials, or Generation Y, knows what you’re doing. We know where you are and what really frustrates you about all the buttons and gadgets in today’s cars. So it’s amazing to think that there’s anything that could possibly be considered new in this era. But with only a few moments left in 2012 (at least here in Colorado), I wanted to take a look back at some of the awe-inspiring moment, gizmos, gadgets and other things from the past year.
- YouTube Records Were Broken all around the world. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video was the first video in two years to be able to surpass pop sensation Justin Bieber’s music video for his first hit single “Baby”, which was released in early 2010. Gangnam Style also marked the first ever YouTube video to reach one billion views. The best part about Psy’s hit, though, is that the entire song is in Korean with the exception of the line “Hey Sexy Lady”.
- Four Physical Records Were Broken by acclaimed skydiver and BASE jumper, Felix Baumgartner. The Austrian broke the records for highest manned balloon flight, highest free fall, longest free fall and was the first man to break the speed of sound in free fall. Baumgartner was part of Red Bull Stratos, a mission that began in 2005 in an attempt to perform scientific research on what the human limits were at such heights. Stratos also broke the record for most viewers of a live YouTube stream. Over 8 million people around the world tuned in just before the record-breaking jump.
- President Barack Obama became the first president to endorse same-sex marriage while in office.
- Social media giant Facebook purchased upcoming photo app Instagram for $1 billion.
- Legendary football coach Joe Paterno died just months after being fired by Penn State University. The media focused on his alleged involvement in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal during his last few months. Paterno’s legacy was muddled and confused ranging from praise for his coaching to detest for his involvement in the scandal.
- Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas became the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s gymnastics individual all-around competition.
- Director of the CIA David Petraeus resigned from his position after admitting to having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. This was not the only scandal from government workers. Several Secret Service agents and military workers brought prostitutes to their hotel in Colombia.
- The NFL officials refused to return to work after their contracts expired and they could not reach an agreement with the league. During the absence, replacement referees were brought in. Most of the replacement refs had only seen experience in the lower levels of college football or even high school and “lingerie league”. The most controversial moment for the replacement refs came during a match-up in late September between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks were awarded a hail-mary touchdown that won them the game (14-12) when replay clearly showed that the Packers’ M.D. Jennings had intercepted the ball.
- Les Misérables, an award-winning musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel by the same name, was released as a full-scale feature film. The adaptation was the first film musical to feature live audio recording while filming. This allowed actors to sing their parts “in the moment”, freeing them of an pre-recorded restrictions.
- Dozens of famous faces saw their ends in 2012. The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, passed away, along with Dick Clark, Whitney Houston, Robin Gibb, Eugene Polley (the inventor of the wireless TV remote) and dozens of others.
- Tablets became smaller and more powerful as 7 inch versions like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini hit the shelves. PC Advisor estimated that tablet shipments for 2012 reached about 122 million, making it the hottest item of the year.
- Apps strike everyday uses with the release of apps like Google Currents, a library-style layout that collects “currents” from websites, magazines and individuals and compiles them in one place, and Pocket, an app that allows users to mark articles and web pages to go back and read later. Apps like Jamie’s 20-Minute Meals and Top Chef University also rose into popularity, allowing users access to recipes, how-to videos and more on their smartphone or tablet.
If 2012 wasn’t a millennial’s paradise, 2013 definitely will be. Technology is only going to advance and the digital era’s only going to see an ongoing climb. What’s next? Who knows. Maybe teleportation will finally come to life. Or maybe humans will finally get the ability to fly. Whatever does happen, 2013 is looking to be one of the greatest year for the upcoming generation. It also looks like it will be one of the most frustrating.