In my timezone I’ve got just a bit over one more day to go in 2011. Personally I always welcome the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It feels like a fresh start to me. It’s been a great year in many ways, but now that I have worked with people from over 50 different countries I tend to feel personally impacted by most of the disasters that occur around the world (Japan, Thailand, etc.), and I’m eager to put a few of this year’s catastrophe’s behind me. And I prefer looking to the future to thinking about the past. Before we bid farewell to 2011, however, let’s reflect on the significant events of the past year.
Below is a terrific list of resources (and my comments) for this end of the year reflection, which I got from Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence News, a free newsletter that I’ve found extremely worthwhile and fascinating to read this past year. If you love science and technology as much as I do you might enjoy receiving this intelligent compilation. Here’s what the newsletter promises: “The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence newsletter concisely covers relevant major science and technology breakthroughs (daily or weekly) via e-mail. It also lists new blog posts, features, events, videos, and books.” You can sign up for it here.
My favorite of the lot, an impressive example of how to display a wide range of information “at a glance” in a compact form: 365 days: 2011 in review, Nature News
If you don’t have enough to worry about in your personal life, here’s a great list of how the planet’s going to hell in a handbasket: 2011 review: The year in environment, New Scientist
For those of us working on seemingly impossible projects, these 12 pictures contain several examples of “impossibilities” humans have achieved: 2011 review: The year in space, New Scientist
Intelligent computers, 3D printing, and crowdsourcing to do what one person can’t are the most intriguing for me in this list: 2011 review: The year in technology, New Scientist
If you’re a big Facebook fan, you’ll love this list. Well over half of B2B businesses have a Facebook page now. Me, I can’t wait until Google+ replaces it: 2011: The year Facebook came of age, The Next Web
An unimaginative list repeating of much of what you’ve already seen if you visited all of the links above: 2011: A Year In Science, Science2.0 Curious Cub
Some bright spots, but less progress than hoped for in energy-related fields last year. I sure wish I’d delayed getting solar power on my house until these 50% cost reductions occurred: The Year in Energy, Technology Review
Quantum dots and conducting polymers are exciting, but my favorite here is for a material to prevent fingerprint smudges on my iPhone and iPad: The Year in Materials, Technology Review
My first encounter with the word “zettabyte” in standard usage. If 10^21 seems like a lot, consider that the yottabyte (10^24) is ready and waiting for it’s turn: The Year in Numbers, Technology Review
Science and Technology Highlights:
- If you’re a physicist, like I am (by education, not employment), you’ll love reading about teleportation and time travel. If not, you can skip this one: Best of 2011: New Type Of Entanglement Allows ‘Teleportation in Time’, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog
- Ditto on this one for invisibility cloaks for time, not only the impressive invisibility cloaks for objects: Best of 2011: First Demonstration of Time Cloaking, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog
- If you want to be reminded of how one giant comet could cause mass extinction on Earth you’ll love this one: Best of 2011: Billion-Ton Comet May Have Missed Earth by a Few Hundred Kilometers in 1883, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog
- Finally Star Trek tractor beams are proven possible: Best of 2011: How To Turn A Laser Into A Tractor Beam, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog
If you have a subscription to TIME you can read this whole article: The 50 Best Inventions, TIME If not, just check out the top 5 here. Among them, of course, is Apple’s Siri. Haven’t heard of it? You must be joking!
Mostly tech gadgets, but a car and a bicycle are included. It’s also enjoyable to see items featured here that some of my friends contributed to designing and bringing to market. That’s one reason I love living in Silicon Valley, California, USA! Gear of the Year, Wired
Now that we’re through reflecting on the past, let’s get busy creating a better future for this community called Planet Earth. I’m doing my small part by working with global businesses. WHAT IS A GLOBAL BUSINESS? It is my sincere belief that global businesses, and the human beings who work together in those businesses, have an important role to play in the future of our world. I truly believe that the purpose of global businesses is to solve global problems profitably – and thus sustainably. And it’s my crazy dream that global businesses will bring people all around the world together in ways that are stronger than our differences, and stronger than the borders, boundaries and barriers that separate us.
Looking forward to connecting with you all in 2012!