'12 things to do as aplocalypse looms
Another year has come and gone, and we are once again faced with the many challenges that lie ahead in the new year.
Before we look into the future, let's see how far we've come.
The year 2011 saw some of the most influential and game-changing news stories of the past few years. These included the Arab Spring revolutions, Osama bin Laden's death, and the official end of the war in Iraq, to name a few.
On a much more lighthearted note, 2011 also saw the highly anticipated royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Other top news stories include the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Occupy Wall Street protests, Hurricane Irene, and the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs. These events alone seem like more than enough news for one year.
So what's in store for 2012?
If you haven't been living on a desert island for the past few years, you probably know all about the outlandish prediction that the world is going to end next December, based primarily on the fact that 2012 was the year the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar ended.
Also adding fuel to the hype was the 2009 science fiction disaster film simply titled "2012." The movie portrays catastrophic events associated with such history-based claims that will supposedly happen on the winter solstice of this year.
Aside from the many apocalyptical theories surrounding 2012, (each with varying degrees of hilarity, I might add), we have much more rational things to worry ourselves about.
We are nowhere near solving the debt crisis plaguing the U.S., let alone the worsening situation in Europe.
The world is becoming increasingly more populated, having surpassed the seven billion mark last Halloween.
We continue to see the effects of climate change, habitat depletion, and pollution all over the world.
Oh, and we still haven't found the cure for cancer.
Before you start stock-piling food and heading for the basement, however, there are quite a few good things also happening this year.
For starters, there's the Summer Olympics that are scheduled to be held in London at the end of July. Even if most people aren't lucky enough to see them in person, they're definitely fun to watch on TV and talk about with your friends.
Regardless of your political perspective, (or voting age status), the 2012 presidential election in November will also provide us with more than enough entertainment and distraction from any looming apocalyptic events.
There is certainly a lot of hype and expectation surrounding 2012, and not all of it bad. Perhaps if we start off on the right foot, we won't let a negative outlook ruin a much-needed fresh start.