As we move forward into the New Year, it's worth seeing where we've been
Moving forward from 2014, one can easily see that the world may never be quite the same again, although this argument can certainly be made for any year. Across the globe humanity continues to participate in the game we call life, as a necessary consequence of this participation there is good and bad. They must be taken together as a holistic whole. In doing so the analyst is able to see the deeper impact of some events and the relative transience of others.
Stand out events from this past year include many that will be difficult to forget. Among them is the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, following the turmoil of the previous fall, and the international political fallout with the EU and NATO.
Also significant is the commencement of allied airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The disappearance of Malaysia airlines flight 370, which struck a particularly raw cord with the international community, will also be an event which will forever mark 2014 in the history books. 2014 also saw the deaths of many pop culture and political figures. To list a few of the most recognizable: Robin Williams, Maya Angelou, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fred Phelps, and Ariel Sharon.
In addition to political and social upheaval, the scientific world made great strides in the past year. From the advancement of stem cell research to the creation of incredibly advanced prostheses, it seems as if technological innovation will only continue to make life for people around the planet easier and more enjoyable.
There is certainly much more that has transpired over the past year which is not contained in the following timeline. This represents a small distillation of some of the more essential facts. Looking forward optimistically to 2015 it is incredibly important to see where we have been.
January 9: Death of Dale T. Mortensen.
January 11: Death of Ariel Sharon.
January 14: Scientists discover a trench deeper than the Grand Canyon under Antarctic ice.
January 17: 21 Individuals are killed in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Kabul Afghanistan.
January 28: Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigns.
January 30: 24 individuals are killed in Baghdad after 6 suicide bombers briefly take control of the Ministry of Transportation.
February: Ebola epidemic begins.
February 2: Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
February 5: A Dutch man is successfully fitted with a prosthetic hand which is capable of transmitting signals which mimic the sensation of touch.
February 7: The Sochi Winter Olympics begin in Russia.
February 10: Death of Shirley Temple.
February 13: Belgium’s parliament votes 86-44 to legalize the euthanasia of terminally-ill children.
February 20: The Ukrainian capital, Kiev, sees its worst violence in over 70 years as some 88 people are killed in less than two days. Video footage also surfaces of government snipers shooting protesters from city rooftops.
February 21: Ukrainian protesters take control of the capital, vowing to form a new government. Victor Yanukovich flees Kiev.
February 25: 50 students are killed in an attack by Boko Haram in Buni, Nigeria.
February 26: Russian “annexation” of Crimea.
February 27: Arseniy Yatsenyuk is appointed as Prime Minister of Ukraine.
March 8: Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappears.
March 16: A referendum is held in Crimea which, despite widespread reports of fraud, declares Crimean intent to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
March 18: The United States expels all Syrian diplomats.
March 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin formally signs a bill making the annexation of Crimea official.
March 24: Russia is suspended from the G-8.
March 28: Ebola virus is reported in Liberia.
April 4: Scientists successfully manipulate stem cells into a fish embryo.
April 6: Death of Mickey Rooney.
April 12: ABT-450, a new drug designed to treat Hepatitis C with over a 90% success rate is announced.
April 17: Death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
April 22: Washington orders the deployment of some 600 US troops to Poland and former Soviet satellite states in response to Russian posturing over Ukraine.
May 3: Death of Gary Becker.
May 10: The African National Congress emerges victorious in the South African general election.
May 13: The Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’s flagship, is discovered near the coast of Haiti.
May 15: Israeli Soldiers shoot and kill two unarmed Palestinian teenagers in what came to be known as the Beitunia killings.
May 17: Paleontologists in Argentina discover what is believed to be the largest dinosaur yet, which possibly weighed over 77 tons.
May 22: Military coup in Thailand in response to growing political turmoil.
May 23: 22 year-old Elliot Rodger murders six people in a killing spree in Isla Vista, California.
May 25: Petro Poroshenko wins the Ukrainian presidential election.
May 26: Ebola virus is reported in Sierra Leone.
May 28: Death of Maya Angelou.
May 30: Egyptian presidential candidate al-Sisi wins the election in a landslide.
June 4: 10 Nigerian generals are court marshaled for allegedly providing weapons and assistance to Boko Haram.
June 5: The Islamic State begins its offensive in northern Iraq and western Syria .
June 11: Death of Ruby Dee.
June 12: Three Israeli teenagers are kidnapped in the West Bank, Israeli leaders blame the militant group Hamas.
June 14: Alexander Stubb becomes Finland’s Prime Minister.
June 16: Researchers at King’s college London demonstrate an entirely new dental process which may allow teeth to remineralize themselves without the need for invasive procedures.
June 20: In response to the kidnapped teenagers, the IDF arrests hundreds of Palestinians and kill five in the West Bank.
June 23: NASA announces that the Mars Curiosity rover completed its first Martian year (687 days).
June 24: Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine agree to a ceasefire, although fighting continues throughout the country.
June 30: The bodies of the three missing Israeli teenagers are found.
July 7: 80 rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, in response Israeli forces begin “counter-terrorist” operations, launching airstrikes.
July 9: Typhoon Rammasun leads to the deaths of some 151 individuals in the Philippines, southern China, and Vietnam.
July 14: The Church of England votes to allow female bishops.
July 17: Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 individuals on board.
July 18: US President Barack Obama confirms the crash of MH17 and suggests that the cause was a BUK-M1 surface-to-air missile fired from territory controlled by pro-Russian forces.
July 21: Researchers at Temple University successfully, and for the first time, eliminate the HIV virus from cultures of human cells.
July 24: Air Algerie flight 5017 crashes in Mali, leading to the deaths of some 116 individuals.
July 27: Due to Ebola fears, Liberia closes most border crossings.
August 8: The United States begins its bombing campaign in Iraq to combat the presence of the Islamic State. The World Health Organization declares Ebola in West Africa an international health emergency.
August 9: The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
August 11: Death of Robin Williams.
August 12: Ebola death toll reaches 1,000.
August 20: Russian cosmonauts discover sea plankton on the outer side of the windows of the International Space Station.
August 26: Israel and Hamas agree to a one month ceasefire with over 2,000 people killed in Gaza and 69 in Israel.
August 29: Ebola virus reported in Senegal.
September 3: Direct, human brain-to-brain communication is demonstrated over a distance of 5,000 miles by researchers in Europe.
September 4: Eric Holder announces that the Justice Department will investigate the Ferguson police department for discrimination and misconduct.
September 5: The World Health Organization estimates 2,100 individuals dead out of over a total of 4,000 infected with the Ebola virus.
September 15: Death of Nicholas Romanov, Prince of Russia.
September 18: Scotland votes ‘no’ in its referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
September 21: In the largest climate change march in history, more than 300,000 marchers flood the streets of New York.
September 22: The US and its Arab Partners begin an air campaign in Syria against the Islamic State.
September 29: Ashraf Ghani becomes President of Afghanistan.
October 12: The CDC confirms the first known case of Ebola contracted in the United States in Texas.
October 14: The World Health Organization estimates a total of 4,447 deaths from the Ebola virus in west Africa.
October 24: Amnesty International releases a report that declares human rights abuses in Ferguson, MO.
October 26: Dilma Rousseff wins re-election as president of Brazil.
October 31: Doctors in the United Kingdom cure a man’s arachnophobia by removing a part of his brain.
November 5: US Congressional Midterm elections are held.
November 7: Scientists in Sweden announce major breakthroughs in Parkinson’s research, showing the ability of stem cells to regenerate neuronal tissues in rats.
November 24: The Grand Jury in the case of Michael Brown reaches a decision, electing not to indict officer Darren Wilson. Peaceful protests as well as looting and arson immediately ensue in the town of Ferguson and across the nation.
November 29: Officer Darren Wilson resigns from the Ferguson police force without severance.
December 1: Gordon Brown resigns from the UK Parliament.
December 3: Protests once again erupt across the United States in response to a grand jury decision to not charge the police officer who suffocated Eric Garner to death with a chokehold.
December 9: The CIA torture report is released, detailing abuses of power over years of operation.
December 11: John Brennan, director of the CIA, defends the report but concedes that some measures were ‘abhorrent.’
December 14: Shinzo Abe’s controlling Liberal Democratic Party win re-election in Japan.
December 17: US president Barack Obama announces the beginning of efforts to normalize relations with Cuba.
December 19: A new species of fish is discovered in the Mariana Trench which now holds the record for the “world’s deepest fish.”
December 26: Moscow State University announces the creation of a DNA bank which will store samples gathered from every known life form on planet Earth.