I’m glad this year we would all like to forget is coming to an end.
I know we still have a few days to go in 2020. I figured summing it up early would help us get a head start on the coming New Year.
As is my custom, I recorded some of the newsy pieces that didn’t make the headlines. Consequently, there is no mention of the U.S. presidential election.
1 – Soot from raging wildfires in Australia turned glaciers black in New Zealand
5 – The BBC reported that 4 million hectares or 9.9 million acres had burned in Australia’s New South Wales since July 1.
14 – NOAA reported that 2019 was the fifth consecutive year that the U.S. sustained 10 or more $1 billion weather and climate disasters, including fires, flooding, and hurricanes.
15 – NOAA and NASA jointly released a report that showed 2019 to be the second warmest globally since records have been kept in 1880.
16 – The San Francisco Giants became the first Major League Baseball team to hire a female as a full-time coach.
22 – It was so cold in southern Florida that the National Weather Service warned citizens to be alert for stunned iguanas falling from trees.
28 – A team of international scientists discovered four new species of sharks that use their fins to walk off the coast of northern Australia and New Guinea.
6 – The temperature in Antarctica reached a record high 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmest the continent has ever been.
10 – A scientist from Ohio State University reported finding byproducts of the Industrial Revolution in the Himalaya Mountains deposited long before anyone ever climbed that high.
17 – A pair of armed men robbed a delivery man in Hong Kong of hundreds of rolls of toilet paper due to the coronavirus.
21 – A published study identified a bird found in permafrost in Siberia as a horned lark that lived 46,000 years ago.
24 – After taking an 88-year-old Rochester, Washington man to the hospital with a broken hip, three Emergency Medical Technicians returned to the home and finished mowing the yard where the victim had fallen.
29 – Junior Heaven Fitch became the first female in North Carolina to become a high school state wrestling champion when she defeated seven boys to win the 106-pound division.
10 – A driver in Slidell, Louisiana pulled over for license plates that expired in 1997 told police that he was too busy to get them renewed.
12 – Snopes.com reported that the average American uses about 100 rolls of toilet paper a year, with most of it manufactured in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
13 – The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. announced that all 16 fragments of scripture that they had on display were discovered to be modern forgeries based on independent research.
29 – Smash-and-grab robbers stole a priceless Van Gogh painting from a Dutch art museum.
2 – It was announced that a record 6.6 million people in the U.S. applied for unemployment benefits the previous week due to the coronavirus pandemic.
14 – The organizer of a challenge to sew 1 million face masks for workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis reported that globally volunteers had sewn 20 million masks.
17 – NASA satellite images showed a 30 percent drop in air pollution during the three-weeks of stay-at-home orders on the U.S. east coast.
21 – A team of scientists sailing off the coast of Western Australia discovered the longest animal ever recorded, a 150-foot gelatinous siphonophore.
1 – The U.S. Census Bureau reported that one-third of Americans already felt some depression and anxiety from the pandemic.
8 – The U.S. Labor Department reported April’s unemployment rate at 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression.
15 – A new study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning found that planting and caring for a garden boosts people’s mood as much as walking and cycling.
18 – Lawrence Brooks, the oldest living U.S. veteran of World War II at 110-years-old, was featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine.
19 – A study published in Nature Climate Change showed a sudden 17 percent drop globally in greenhouse gases during the lockdowns due to the coronavirus.
2 – Irene Triplett, the last person still receiving benefits for being a dependent of a Civil War soldier, died.
3 – Scientists discovered the cleanest water in the world in the Southern Ocean, the body of water that surrounds Antarctica.
5 – A large asteroid swept by the earth closer than the moon is to our planet, and it wasn’t detected until two days later.
9 – Kathryn Sullivan, the first woman to walk in space as a NASA astronaut, became the first woman to reach the deepest part of the Mariana Trench.
11 – It was revealed that a Siberian power plant leaked 20,000 tons of diesel fuel into area rivers on May 29, turning the waters red.
21 – The temperature in Verkhoyansk, Siberia reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a record high reading.
24 – After being furloughed from her job because of the pandemic, Michelle Brenner, used her $1,200 stimulus check to buy ingredients to make 1,200 pans of homemade lasagna, which she gave to first-responders, hospital workers, strangers, and single parents.
30 – A report stated that Americans annually shoot off a pound of fireworks for every adult.
1 – People in Prague, Czech Republic, one of the first countries to require mask-wearing, celebrated the end of coronavirus restrictions by dining at a 1,600-foot -long table that wound its way through streets and across the Charles Bridge.
9 – Tropical Storm Fay became the earliest “F-named” storm ever recorded when it formed along the eastern Atlantic Coast.
15 – A research study published in Lancet revealed that the global fertility rate had dropped to 2.7 children per family in 2017.
17 – Queen Elizabeth II knighted 100-year-old World War II veteran Tom Moore for raising more than $40 million for National Health Service charities by doing laps in his backyard garden.
26 – Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving star of the classic film “Gone with the Wind,” died at age 104 in Paris, France.
3 – Mildred “Gerri” Schappals, 102 of Nashua, New Hampshire, survived COVID-19 after having also survived a severe flu during the 1918 pandemic, in addition to two bouts of cancer
14 – A report said that globally people use 200 billion plastic bottles annually, and most are not recycled.
16 – The National Weather Service in Reno, Nevada issued the first-ever Firenado Warning for a tornado caused by a firestorm near Lake Tahoe, California.
20 – A scientific report showed that Greenland lost 586 billion tons of ice from an extremely warm 2019.
22 – Researchers found pesticides and industrial compounds, likely from the U.S., in the snow atop four high-elevation pristine sites on the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard.
28 – Guinness World Records declared Julio Mora Tapia, 110, and Waldramina Quinteros, 105, of Quito, Ecuador, as the world’s oldest married couple.
1 – Three different airline pilots reported seeing a man in a jetpack flying near their planes as they landed at Los Angeles International Airport.
3 – The production of a new Batman movie was shut down when the actor playing batman tested positive for COVID-19.
7 – A 33-year-old Arkansas man found a 9.07-carat brown diamond at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park.
8 – The Pew Institute released a study that showed that for the first time since the Great Depression the majority of young adults ages 18-29 lived at home with their parents.
16 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that summer 2020 was the warmest ever.
2 – The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the sandwiches made by Subway contain too much sugar to be legally considered bread.
5 – British Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre had to separate five gray parrots because they kept swearing at visitors.
14 – NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported that globally September was the warmest on record.
23 – For the second time, a Dutch researcher correctly guessed the password for President Trump’s Twitter account as “maga2020.”
24 – Anika Cherbrolu, a 14-year-old freshman at Independence High School in Frisco, Texas, discovered a compound that can bind the coronavirus, inhibiting its ability to infect people to win the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and $25,000.
26 – NASA scientists announced that they had discovered water in the form of ice on the moon.
2 – The driver of a train was saved from injury near Rotterdam, Netherlands, when the front carriage crashed through an end section of the elevated rails and landed on the tail of a giant whale sculpture.
10 – The National Hurricane Center reported that 2020 was the most active year ever for named tropical storms and hurricanes with 29 named storms.
16 – A 71-year-old Florida man was arrested for grand theft when he strapped a downed steel power pole to the top of his car and drove away, hoping to sell the pole for scrap metal.
18 – A Saw-whet owl, that apparently traveled from upstate New York in a large Christmas tree to midtown Manhattan, was rescued from the pine tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City and taken to a wildlife rescue center.
30 – A report showed that online spending on Black Friday jumped 22 percent from last year.
7 – The International Olympic Committee announced that beginning at the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris it would include breakdancing as a medal competition.
8 – Swedish retailer Ikea announced that after 70 years it would no longer print its annual catalog, which was the world’s largest.
9 – A humpback whale made quite a splash in the Hudson River, breaching in front of the Statue of Liberty and other New York City icons.
Here’s hoping that the New Year will be better than the old one in every way. How can 2021 not be?
© Bruce Stambaugh 2020