CERN's Large Hadron Collider Fires Up, Black Hole Theorists Panic
In March 2010, the LHC started smashing atoms together at mind boggling speeds. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that, right? Some scientists (both fringe and legitimate) were concerned that CERN might accidentally create a black hole and, you know, destroy the planet. The atom smashing is still going on, and scientists now believe they may have found the legendary Higgs Boson.
Dakota Fanning Turns 18, Immediately Does Nude Scene
Jailbait fans around the world rejoiced from their basements on February 23rd, 2012 in a single howl of elation between sips of Mountain Dew when Dakota Fanning turned 18. Understanding that her fan base was made up primarily of unwashed men in their 40s who watch the Disney Channel, the barely-legal starlet immediately agreed to appear nude in the upcoming movie Very Good Girls.
The Human Genome Project Is Completed
A close entry on our list, the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003. The project began in 1990, and critics said the process would take decades to complete—since six and a half years in, only 1% of the genome was sequenced. These critics didn't take the rapid advancement of computer technology into account, because the other 99% was completed in the next six and a half years.
The Rise of Tablet Computers
Speaking of rapidly advancing technology, consider this: the first version of the iPad was released in 2010. Tablets had existed before, but Apple made the technology affordable and accessible for consumers—some sources have called the iPad the best selling gadget in history. Just a few years later, tablets seem commonplace, with dozens of competitors on the market. We hope that the list we make in 2023 includes Apple brand robot sex servants.
Martha Stewart Uncovered as White Collar Gangster; Goes to Prison
All right, so maybe this isn't “influential,” but it sure was hilarious. Everyone's mom was shocked when housewife favorite Martha Stewart got busted for insider trading in 2004, and then everyone else had a good laugh. She wormed her way out of it quickly enough and went back to making coasters with sequins on them.
Avatar Becomes the Highest Grossing Film of the Decade
Whether or not you could get behind the not-so-subtle message of 2009's mega-hit Avatar, you have to admit the CGI was pretty. Want to be freaked out by just how fast technology moves? Go back and watch it now, not even four years later—it's definitely aged. (If you really want to freak out, go watch the original Toy Story).
Hugo Chavez Dies
Just a few months ago the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, died—international reports seem to have thought he was dead for at least a few days before the knowledge was made public. Whether you think he was a pinko commie socialist or a champion of the people, this was and continues to be a massive event for the people of Venezuela.
The 9.0 Magnitude Earthquake in Japan
It seems like this natural disaster occurred just yesterday, but the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that caused tsunamis (some over 30 feet high) to hit Japan happened in March 2011.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan is Assassinated
If you remember the last days of December, 2007, you know that the news covered basically nothing but the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister of Pakistan—the weapon used was a bomb, and the assassins took out around 80 additional people to get to Bhutto.
The Mars Rover Lands Safely
In 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover finally hit the surface of Mars—scientists had thought that Mars might have once been covered in water, and this first rover confirmed those theories.
Water on Mars Discovered
Seven years after the first Mars rover landed, NASA's reconnaissance orbiter (basically a satellite they got in Mars' orbit) spots liquid water on Mars currently. Why is this super important? Water equals life. Hello, aliens!
Two New Popes
The last ten years saw not one but two new Popes—the current Pope, Francis, seems a whole lot less creepy than his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
The Rise of Anonymous
The past decade has seen the remarkably fast rise of the “activist” (or “hacktivist” if you want to sound like a sperglord) group Anonymous. The mainstream media first took notice of them in 2008 when members protested against the nutcases at the Church of Scientology—and has been misrepresenting (often hilariously) the group ever since.
2 Billion People Get on the Internet
In 2011, a study revealed that over 2 billion people have used the internet. 1,999,950,000 of those people still think the internet primarily consists of Facebook, Twitter, and pornography.
Broadway Continues to Remain Irrelevant
Even with “juggernauts” like Matt Stone and Trey Parker's The Book of Mormon, this past decade saw America deciding to ignore Broadway. Perhaps it's because of...
Disturbingly High Definition Video Enters Every Home
Consider that in 2003—ten years ago—widescreen was still fancy and new, and 1080p wasn't a household term. Now we have Blu-Ray pornography where you can see everything. Everything. It's a blessing and a curse.
The First Black President
Despite the assertions of many comedians, Bill Clinton wasn't the first black president—that honor went to Barack Obama in 2008. Sorry Ron Paul, maybe next time.
The King of Pop Dies
Pederast? Most likely. Weird? Extremely. The King of Pop? Absolutely. Love him or hate him, Michael Jackson influenced most of the pop music we've heard in the past few decades. He passed away in June of 2009, never to moonwalk again.
Samsung Becomes the Largest Manufacturer of Mobile Phones
Despite the popularity of Apple's iPhone, Samsung actually took the crown of largest mobile phone manufacturer in 2012—much to the dismay of folks who didn't buy a crapload of their stock ten years ago.
The Great Recession
The so-called Great Recession began in 2007—“experts” have claimed that 2009 was the official ending of that period, but unemployment in America has yet to recover, leading over half of all Americans to believe that the recession is still ongoing (gee, ya think?).
Reality Television Booms
Before 2003 there wasn't much in the way of “reality television.” Sure, you had staples like Survivor, American Idol and Joe Rogan's infamous gross-out show Fear Factor, but the last 10 years have seen a marked increase in shallow, cheap programming like Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers.
The Entire Lifespan of MySpace
MySpace was launched in August 2003—nearly 10 years ago. Since then, we got to see the rise and fall of the “first” social networking giant. Do kids even know what MySpace is anymore? How sad, they'll never be friends with Tom. Also, raise your hand if MySpace got you laid. Farewell, old friend.
Twitter is Born
Speaking of social networking, who could have predicted the insanely huge success that is Twitter? Considering that the average post—sorry, “tweet”—consists of something like, “Hey dudes, took a dump 5 minutes ago, was pretty sweet” it's a real wonder, but for better or worse, this social networking tool has taken the internet by storm.
Celebrity Sex Tapes Become Totally Normal
It started with Paris Hilton. Then there was Kim Kardashian (dat ass), Colin Farrell, and even the midget from Austin Powers, Verne Troyer. It's not like western society is crumbling or anything!
The Boston Marathon Bombings
Perhaps the most recent entry on this list, the Boston Marathon bombings were a massive event from the last ten years—and probably the next ten, too.
Janet Jackson's Nipple, Kinda
Scientific fact: the most frequently uttered phrase in 2004 after the Superbowl was “wardrobe malfunction.”
Terrestrial Radio Begins (and Continues) to Get Its Ass Kicked By the Internet
Ten years ago, people still listened to the radio. Podcasts and internet radio stations existed, but they weren't the major competitors they are today. Over the past ten years we've seen terrestrial radio get bitchslaped over and over again by newer (and better) technologies. What do the next 10 years hold for terrestrial radio?
Really Stupid Shoes Become Popular
The past 10 years have had some pretty horrible fashion trends, and shoes probably take the cake. What self respecting man wears Crocs? And do girls really think those Ugg boots were attractive? At all? Thank god we seem to have moved on from both.
The Arab Spring
In 2010 the “Arab Spring” kicked off—if you're not in that part of the world it probably just seems like something boring on the news—but these major protests in the Arab world have been massive, forcing rulers out of power in a staggering number of countries, like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The internet has been heavily involved in many cases, with social media (like Twitter) being used frequently by protesters.
The 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Chile
Second only to the earthquake that caused the tsunamis in Japan, 2010 marked the year that a massive earthquake hit the coast off of Chile. Earthquakes this big are so huge, the planet's axis can be shifted (which can actually make days slightly shorter). Seriously.
Soap Operas Finally Die
The past 10 years haven't been kind to soap operas, the daytime drama format your grandmother used to call her “stories”. Once-mega-popular shows like All My Children and One Life to Live were both canceled in lieu of more “popular” daytime programming, like The Ellen Degeneres Show. Come on, American TV. Get it together.
Hugh Hefner is Still Alive
This list has mentioned a lot of massively influential people that have died, but what about the one that's still kicking? Hugh Hefner made it unscathed through the past 10 years, and even at age 87 is still porking supermodels. Truly an inspiration to us all.
In 2013 All DoubleViking Readers Win the Lottery for $200 Million and Get Their Own Clone of Megan Fox
It could happen, really!