During 2013, two new words entered the popular vocabulary. First, it was "twerk", the result of Miley Cyrus's performance at the Video Music Awards. Later, it was "selfie", which is short for "self portrait", resulting from the proliferation such pictures on online social media. One episode of selfie-taking occurred at the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela, with President Obama being aided and abetted by Prime Ministers Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark and David Cameron of Great Britain, and then being made to switch seats with (and by) the First Lady. I must admit, I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Michele Obama, but in this case, she was right to restrain her husband's behavior.
Unlike 2012, 2013 didn't bring any memorable end-of-the-world predictions, but one member of our solar system did indeed come to an end. Comet Ison, predicted to possibly become a spectacular sight during the past month, did not survive its encounter with the sun, leaving behind only a cloud of dust. Meanwhile back on earth, a group of scientists on their way to Antarctica to study the alleged loss of ice around that continent got stuck in the evidence to the contrary.
The last few months of 2013 brought some sadness as my father and three of my friends passed away. One friend was a man with whom I worked. Another I had played with in a band back during the 1980's. The most recent was Internet radio host and Constitutional scholar Tim Kerlin, known as "Loki".
In a few hours, 2014 will be upon us. With the midterm elections coming up in November and fallout still coming from Obamacare, to name two examples, there will plenty of things for us in the vast rightwing conspiracy to deal with. Happy New Year, everyone.