• The Apple Tablet

    The Apple Tablet is unveiled in January; it quickly becomes Apple’s first large-scale commercial failure in years.

  • The Recoveries

    May-June: The economy stops sucking; places stop going out of business; swine flu turns out not to be a thing; Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon stop their madness and get back together.

  • Life On Mars

    A NASA probe discovers living bacteria in the Martian soil; the news of extraterrestrial life is both thrilling and strangely anti-climactic.

  • The Google-Facebook-Twitter Merger

    The new service, called Twain, causes seizures in anyone born after 1980 who isn’t Robert Scoble.

  • The War

    The war in Afghanistan escalates.

  • The Withdrawal

    Troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

  • The 2012 Election

    Campaigning begins early in 2011, and by January things are incredibly heated among the Republican contenders. Sarah Palin drops out of the race in March after “accidentally” using a racist epithet in a speech in Florida. Mitt Romney ultimately wins the Republican nomination, but loses to Obama in the general election. Control of Congress, however, goes back to the Republicans.

  • 12-21-2012

    The run-up to the end of the Mayan calendar is full of media hype. Canned goods and bottled water run out in certain parts of the country. Otherwise, nothing happens (see also: 2013).

  • Honestly? Nothing much of note happens this year.

  • Underdog Trifecta

    This year, three teams who’ve never won national championships go all the way in three different sports: The Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl, the Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets win the NBA Finals, and the Milwaukee Brewers win the World Series.

  • Hurricane Marty

    A freak late-season hurricane hits New York. Damage is minimal to most of the city, but the Statue of Liberty is destroyed. Roland Emmerich is secretly pleased.

  • The Personal Internet

    Handheld computers reach ubiquity. Location-aware services dominate the eConomy. Email becomes equivalent to texting, vacation spots start advertising “No wifi, no cellphone services” as an enticement. Everyone looks at porn all the time.

  • The Rise of Nanotechnology

    So nanotechnology finally becomes a thing.

  • Peak Oil

    No one’s really sure what to make of the Peak Oil idea, but a lot of people seem to think 2015 is the year when world oil production will actually reach its zenith. There will be a lot of ink spilled, but no one will much care until production starts falling and prices spike, which will effect every single aspect of our lives.

  • The Metric System

    The U.S. finally adopts the metric system in July.

  • The 2016 Election

    Energy is the central issue of the election this year. Sarah Palin drops out of the race in March after a long, “accidental” speech about how the Jews run everything. Biden loses to Bobby Jindal in an election that has the highest voter turnout in American history.

  • Noah Cyrus

    16-year-old Noah Cyrus releases her first country/pop album, “Better Not Touch.” It goes straight to No. 1, and becomes the biggest-selling album in the U.S. since Garth Brooks’ “Double Live” (1998).

  • The Singularity Occurs

    No one is entirely sure what this means.

  • Home 3D

    Home entertainment systems that feature immersive 3D debut, including networked virtual worlds. They are at first prohibitively expensive, but receive huge media coverage. Everyone looks at porn all the time.

  • Cancer Cure

    Scientists in Sweden come up with a genetic vaccine that cures cancer. Life expectancy in the First World leaps ahead a full 10 years.

  • Space Tourism

    Space tourism becomes popular with the super rich, despite the high cost of fuel. Or rather, exactly because of the high cost of fuel.

  • Dog Flu

    A deadly strain of flu, H8N5, which spreads from dogs to humans, infects a large percentage of the population. Thousands die world-wide from the flu, plus tens of thousands more in the panic the flu and its ensuing coverage create.

  • IE 6 Dies

    Usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 finally comes to an end.

  • The Last Newspaper

    America’s last printed-on-paper newspaper, a rural daily in northern California, ceases publication, years after most national papers have gone digital.

  • Robot Murder

    The first recorded murder of a human by a self-aware robot takes place in Secaucus, New Jersey.

  • Dream DVRs

    New technology allows people to record and then re-watch their dreams. Everybody dreams about porn all the time.

  • Oops

    It turns out that Nilsson and Magnusson’s cancer vaccine (2017) creates a genetic mutation that, except for a small percentage of those with a natural immunity, either kills people or turns them into highly aggressive, largely-hairless, night-dwelling bloodsuckers. The mortality rate in the First World is 90%, with the survivors battling it out with the new creatures, called Villains, while trying to discover a vaccine to return the afflicted to their normal human state.