• Jim Parks

What a decade!

January 6, 2020

While some have called the 2010s a ‘lost decade’ because there was little economic growth, we disagree with the assessment. The decade was filled with remarkable events in politics, sports, science, pop culture, and other areas of interest. Here are a few memorable events from the past decade:

• NASA’s Voyager 1 probe left the solar system. Launched in 1977 to explore planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the probe left our solar system in 2013. It will continue to send data until 2025.

• The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The controversial law, which Encyclopedia Britannica reported, “required most individuals to secure health insurance or pay fines, made coverage easier and less costly to obtain, cracked down on abusive insurance practices, and attempted to rein in the rising costs of health care,” remains under challenge in American courts.

• eSports became an industry. To the delight of people who would prefer to spend their time gaming, online games became a recognized form of sports competition, complete with news coverage and multimillion-dollar prize money.

• Civil and social movements changed thinking. There were pro-democracy protests in the Middle East (Arab Spring), and social movements in the United States (Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and MeToo, among others). MIT explained, “...a successful movement can change how we think and talk about key social issues.”

• The Higgs Boson particle was found. Any fan of the television show, The Big Bang Theory, will know exactly how much this meant to Sheldon Cooper. The television show’s popularity was also a phenomenon of the last decade.

• Carli Lloyd scored the fastest hat trick in World Cup soccer. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick - three goals - in 13 minutes for the U.S. women’s national team during the World Cup final against Japan in 2015. She also played on the team that won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

• Hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms wrought destruction. Countries around the world were pummeled by storms during the decade. Hurricanes and tropical storms like Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Michael, Dorian, and Maria did significant damage in the United States and its territories. One of the most memorable was the Great Japanese earthquake and tsunami that preceded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

• The Chicago Cubs broke the curse. Advised by their manager to go out there and, “Try not to suck,” the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.

• Entertainment took a turn toward streaming. Deadline Hollywood reported, “It is impossible to find a corner of the industry that has not been reshaped by streaming, from the pay TV ecosystem and movie exhibition to labor negotiations and talent deals.”

The 2010s provided disruptions and delights. Let’s hope the events of the coming decade will make the world a better place.