Events in the last decade

I was recently thinking that the past ten years have been so odd, so full of unprecedented disasters (and a few good things), that if I told a total shut-in about them all, I would not be believed. And yet no matter how many I think of, there are always more.

Can we list them all? Include good things as well as bad. For the sake of argument, let’s list everything from June 9th, 2000. That we we can include both the 2000 US general election fiasco AND the BP oil spill.

Cell phones for everyone, not just producers and their spoiled kids.

The rise of unscripted, for lack of a better term, TV. Most notably Survivor and American Idol.


I wasn’t so much thinking general trends in society. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

I was thinking more of one-off events, such as

The anthrax scare
War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
Hurricane Katrina
The 2004 tsunami

You know, BIG stuff.

In no particular order:

Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
Moscow theater hostage crisis
Polish Air Force Crash
Haiti Earthquake

Wow, I’d forgotten about half of those things!

Bernie Madoff
Election of the first black POTUS
Valerie Plame
That weird scare that made people put plastic on their windows
Record high gas prices

Beslan school attack.


Real estate bubble and crash

The details are fuzzy to me, and I never took it very seriously. But sometime after 9/11 (but I think before the Iraq invasion), there was some scare of a chemical attack, and people wouldn’t be safe in their own homes. People were urged (by government officials, I believe) to buy heavy duty clear plastic sheets and seal up their windows so the toxins wouldn’t get in.

Crazy times, man.

IIRC, people were (and possibly still are) told to have plastic sheets available to seal up their windows, but were never told to actually seal the windows.

I have a (possibly false) memory of seeing some sealed windows. I do remember seeing someone on a bus wearing a gas mask.

What big disease outbreaks did we have? I remember…

Swine flu
Bird flu

2008 Mumbai attacks
2004 Madrid train bombings
Old Man of the Mountain collapse*
Taliban destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan (before 9/11/01)
Aardman Animations warehouse fire*
Somali pirates

*OK, not exactly of global significance, but still.

West Nile virus

If you don’t mind replying, I’ll ask…how old are you?

Just curious. I once went through this exercise about the 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s. The ages of the people who proposed each ‘OP’ were exactly the same age.

Bad Thing: Joran van der Sloot alledgedly killing Natalee Holloway and apparently getting away with it.

Good Thing: Joran van der Sloot alledgedly killing Stephany Flores Ramirez and being brought to justice.

Bad Thing: Haiti’s 2004 rainstorm kills more than 2,600, on top of its continuing grinding poverty and politican upheaval.

Badder Thing: Haiti’s tropical storm Jeanne kills more than 1,900 and leaves 200,000 homeless, on top of its continuing grinding poverty and politican upheaval.

Baddest Thing: Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake kills 230,000 leaving 1,000,000 homelss, on top of its continuing grinding poverty and politican upheaval.

Thanks. That never got mentioned in Canada, at least on any news story I ever heard or read.

The stock market tanked in 2001 and then again in 2009. Lots and lots of manufacturing jobs vanished in a puff of smoke in both instances.

From a UK angle…

The 7/7 Tube bombings. Suicide bombers on the Underground! And blowing up a red London bus!

Then two weeks later, failed Tube bombings… closely followed by an innocent man being shot umpteen times in a Tube train by an armed response team.

That was a crazy period. Weeks of edgy glances at anyone with a suspicious-looking rucksack on the train. (Solution!)
Also - less dramatic but perhaps changing the character of the city more:

The smoking ban in pubs and just about anywhere really

The alcohol ban on the Tube
And while we’re talking diseases… whatever happened to SARS?

And in the UK - foot and mouth disease

“As soon to be requested by Metropolitan Police” :smiley:

I’m 48 – probably not the answer you were looking for, huh?

I’m not sure what got me to thinking about this. Certainly in every decade we get a ton of major news stories. It just seems like in this past decade we’ve gotten more than our fair share.

Then there was the AZF fertiliser factory in France which exploded:

Three hundred tonnes of ammonium nitrates were stored (the maximum capacity was 2,000 tonnes) in the hangar #221. The whole factory was destroyed making a crater of depth 20 to 30 m (65 to 100 ft), with a diameter of 200 m (650 ft); steel girders were found 3 km away from the explosion. The explosion was heard 80 km away (50 miles).

This happened 10 days after another notable event in Manhattan, so slipped under the radar somewhat, Mother Teresa style. At any other time, I think it would have been quite big news.

Also on an explosive note, the Buncefield oil depot explosion in the UK.