The year that was…2009

Flash back

By Amber Saleem & Arsh Azim

Each day we get news to read/watch. We skip the “happenings” thinking that we’ll get to them hear from someone else and then later on, we forget. We spend our time on Facebook and Orkut, but we don’t give even five minutes to watching news headlines. We are lost!

But don’t worry, here are some happenings of last year, and we have tried to be selective by focusing on news that were a little different than the usual and were worth looking back on. So read on and enjoy!

Shepherd for media: President Barack Obama hired a Basque shepherd to manage and guide the White House press corps. Was there some need of it? He could have hired the cat family. No?

A black in White House: Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th and first African-American president of the USA. For the first time the guy in the White House is not white, huh… maybe it’s also time to rename the White House.

Brand new flu: A brand new strain of flu troubled the modern world, swine flu, which stuck people in place of the old bird flu.

Elephant festival: The Annual Elephant Festival was held in Jaipur, India, where elephants were groomed to perfection and glittered in gold. Row upon row of elephants presented a ‘catwalk’ before an enthralled audience. Only India can come up with such like ideas.

Lawyer’s power: The government reinstated Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and other deposed judges.

Well, it was all thanks to the long march in March. March 2009 was the month of march.

The World Digital Library: UNESCO, the US Library of Congress and more than 30 other institutions launched a website containing manuscripts, photographs and even early films. The goal is to make culture more accessible to everyone. The site is available in seven languages and features holdings from partner institutions in 19 countries.

Odd day: People don’t like to miss out a chance to celebrate any day, likewise the celebration of odd day didn’t go unnoticed by some. Do you know about odd day? I guess not, just like me.

An odd day is a day when all the numbers in the date are odd, such as 5-7-09. This kind of an arrangement is very rare.

Voice of Mickey Mouse: Wayne Allwine was the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1977 to 2009. He passed away on May 18, 2009 at the age of 62.

Pakistan victory: The Pakistan Cricket Team won the 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Cup after a tough match against Sri Lanka. Finally! If they would have lost this match, they would have had to stay in Sri Lanka then.

King of pop: Michael Jackson, the “king of pop” died due to a heart failure. He is regarded by most as the world’s greatest entertainer, but it’s a shame that he was buried without his brain. Michaelmania reached unimaginable heights after his death.

Total eclipse: The most widely observed total solar eclipse in human history occurred over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean on July 22, lasting six minutes and 39 seconds.

Shirts for auction: The shirts of Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan were auctioned in England for the benefit of Malakand and Swat Relief. The popularity and fame of these cricketers worked for the poor people of these places.

White powder: A suspicious white powder was found in an envelope at Nasa’s headquarters in Washington. It was our good fortune that no connections were found between that and our country otherwise we would have had some tough explanations to give.

Sugar is injurious: A federal minister advised the nation to cut down the use of sugar as he termed it as ‘injurious to health’. Maybe we are already too sweet so we don’t need sugar at all.

Umpire of the year: Aleem Dar was named Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg.

Film festival: The Second Lahore International Children’s Film Festival was held in Lahore, in Ali auditorium. The purpose of this annual event is to showcase the best of local and international cinema by and for children in Pakistan.
So there were not only movies for children, but also those which were made by children. Good going kids!

Bad times ahead for the moon?: Scientists found signs that indicate the presence of water on the surface of the moon, despite the fact that the moon is drier than any desert on Earth. Well, with water becoming scarce on Earth, scientists might already be planning to transport it here from our nearest neighbour.

Longest movie: The world’s longest movie ever made was Cinematon by Gerard Courant in France. Those who thought Titanic was long would surely pass out watching this 150-hour long movie — a movie lasting six days if you decide to not move and watch it continuously. This movie focuses on people belonging to all walks of life and of all ages.

Beauty contest: A beauty contest of sacrificial animal was held at Karachi and the winner (animal) was presented with the title of “Pakistan beauty” and a crown as well!

Gold mobile: A British designer created a mobile phone, apple iphone 3GS, by using 271 grams of 22-karat gold and nearly 200 diamonds. This will be great news for thieves.

Five unique world records
Rubber band ball: Joel Waul make world’s largest rubber band ball that was six feet seven inches high and had a circumference of 25 feet. The ball weighed more than 9,400 pounds and approximately 720,000 rubbers bands were used to make it.

Wood board game: In Canada, a 32-year-old man individually created a 900-square-feet wooden board game with plywood, paints and stains. It is considered the largest of its kind.

Youngest painter: A seven–year-old artist in the UK sold all his watercolours paintings in just 14 minutes!

Visit around the globe: An Indian man, Kashi Samaddar, visited all 194 countries on earth in the shortest time ever. He took six years, ten months and seven days to achieve this.

Egg making: A fast food restaurant chain made the world’s largest scrambled egg at Cathedral Square, New Zealand. To make this they used 20,000 eggs and a whopping 100 litres of milk!

So, these were some odd and interesting happenings of the year gone by. We hope all that 2010 brings us turns out to be good news. A very happy 2010!

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