Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad
Goodbye 2014, hello 2015! As we move into another year, we thought we would take stock of what happened in national and international news and events and give you a quick roundup of the current year, before we move into 2015!
This summer, the carnival that is the Football World Cup returned to our TV screens, with Germany reigning supreme for the first time in 24 years and as a reunited country. Along the way, Germany thrashed the hosts Brazil 7-1, breaking countless records in the process – it matched Brazil’s heaviest ever defeat, Miroslav Klose overtook Ronaldo as the leading goalscorer at the World Cup, Germany overtook Brazil as the all-time highest scoring country and the scoreline had the biggest ever margin of victory in a semi-final or final, just to name a few of those records. Luis Suarez also got a bit bitey at the World Cup and he became the most unpopular player in the world. Again.
2014 has been also been a very fraught year in international relations, with the Islamic State still on the warpath across Syria and Iraq and the Ukrainian civil war still raging on, which has escalated and led to the most serious fall-out between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War. Throw Ebola into the mix and and you’ve got a pretty rubbish situation. Hopefully next year things will be a bit calmer and we can say adios to the media propaganda and really try and help those who are in need.
In other news, we learnt that scientists managed to successfully land a spacecraft on a comet. The Rosetta spacecraft, which landed earlier this year, was first launched into space back in 2004, in the days when we were still using brick-like mobile phones with non-working bluetooth and simple games like “Snake”. So naturally, this sparked scenes of joy among the world’s top scientists, with some being very over the moon!
Meanwhile in Denmark, a woman with a beard called Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision song contest, meaning we will be enjoying next year’s Eurovision in Vienna! She was perhaps the surprise winner of the contest and one of the supposed favourites, the beloved UK, once again failed to impress in Europe, although France came last for the first time ever. Perhaps the UK wasn’t the Wurst after all…hur hur.
2014 was also the year of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Across the world, people were being filmed getting drenched in ice cold water for charity and nominating other people to do the same. Even Jasper did one, but we think this little girl did the funniest one!
And in years gone past, politicians have been getting into a bit of trouble with their expenses scandals and giving less than sincere apologies for using other people’s money to build things like duck houses, but this guy in Japan really did go to some lengths when apologising to the people of Japan.
Speaking of people getting into trouble with money, just down the road from where Jasper lives in Munich, Bernie Eccleston was on trial on bribery charges. Curiously, due to some legal loophole in German law, you can bribe your way out of a bribery trial. So he coughed up a load of money, got released by the authorities and scarpered.
At the beginning of 2014 when we did our roundup of 2013, we predicted that North Korea might go a bit crazy again and, unfortunately, that appears to have rung true. This December, Sony was due to release a film called “The Interview”, which portrays the story of two journalists hired by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong Un, however the release of the movie was halted when Sony’s systems were hacked allegedly by North Korea, with sensitive business information being leaked to the public. How will this pan out? We may have to wait until 2015 to find out!
So there we have it, guys. The past 12 months really have been full of ups and downs. We can’t really say that we are experiencing the best of times at the moment and it isn’t all over yet, but the New Year can give us all that extra boost of hope and positivity that we all need!
How did you find 2014? Were there any stories that caught your attention? Let us know below!