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Iternal's Top Stories And Highlights Of 2021

And just like that, another year is done! Well not quite, but as it’s the last week of 2021, now seems like a good time to showcase some of our highlights of the year. We’ve got news, TV, Films, real-life narratives and fictional ones that had a significant impact on pop culture this year (unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to include our blog space in the rundown, but you should check it out anyways). Without further ado…

The First 3-D Printed School Sets Huge Precedent

It still baffles me that 3-D printers are even a thing. That with the right programming, you can effectively print any physical object and more often than not, it can function like the real thing. I can think of many things I would print, but it was the geniuses at 14Trees (a joint venture between Holcim and the UK’s CDC Group) who thought to build a school.

The one they’ve in Malawi, southeastern Africa has become the first in the world to be made from the ground up by a 3-D Printer. Made from layers of concrete disseminated from a nozzle on the 3-D printer, the impressive structure can contain up to 50 children and looks like it could be the answer to Malawi’s shortfall of schools.

Not only is this great for the children, who no longer have to travel long and harsh journeys to get to school, but is looking to have a significant impact on carbon footprint reduction too!  

Read more here.  

The First Woman Vice President

A serious highlight out of our relatively light-hearted run down, but an important narrative for people all over the world. Kamala Harris made history in January this year when she was sworn in as Vice President of the United States Of America; making her the first woman and, due to her mixed heritage, is considered the first African American and Asian American person to hold the position.   

As we perpetually move towards an equal, fair and accepting global society, it’s important for all people, particularly young women and those considered minorities to see that change is happening and opportunities for greatness are possible for all.

Jackie Weaver And The Zoom Call Of All Zoom Calls

Maybe not so much for our American audience, but a definitive moment of this year’s lockdown in the UK was the publicised Zoom call between several members of Handforth local parish council.

Clearly not well-versed in the use or standards of a Zoom call, miscommunication and disgruntled attitudes were rife amongst the councillors. This is when stand-in clerk Jackie Weaver, who was overseeing the meeting, decided to take matters into her own hands. What ensued was nothing short of peak-lockdown comedy gold. 

Check out the clip below. 

‘Dune’ And The Re-birth Of Cinema

A fictional story that birthed a real-life narrative; I’m talking about the sci-fi blockbuster of the decade (so far), Dune. Yes, the film was incredible, it had: a rich storyline; an in-depth universe around it; a great cast and was visually one of the most impressive films ever. But, more important than all of that, it breathed life back into the cinema; which, like so many other industries, had been decimated by the consequences of the pandemic.

Production companies were making record losses, more and more films were being moved to pay-per-view streaming services and some cinema chains were filing for bankruptcy.

Dune could have been released in October 2020, but they waited. It could have been released on streaming services, but they waited. Though still not the perfect climate for a release of this scale, Dune has pulled in almost $400 million and made people excited to go to the cinema again; proving somethings are MADE for the big screen. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s Simulation-Breaking Introduction to the Metaverse

Depending on where you get your news from or how much you care about technology, you may or may not have heard much about the ‘Metaverse’ – you may not even care. But the effects it could have on everyday life in the coming years, and the possibilities of such a concept are absolutely mind-blowing.

That’s half the reason it’s made our list; it may not be here yet, but pretty soon it could shape much of what we know. The other half is due to the incredibly bizarre video Mark Zuckerberg created and starred in to announce it. 

If you’re ‘down with the kids’ you might know there are some half-hearted conspiracies that the Facebook co-founder is in fact some sort of alien; well, this video doesn’t help to squash those allegations…

It’s lengthy, but if you get a spare hour over your Christmas break, it’s definitely worth a watch.

A Big Year For Same-Sex Marriage

Another great example of the world moving towards a more equal, fair and accepting global society, is the growing number of countries legalising same-sex marriage.

Countries like Chile, a historically Christian country, joined the ranks of around 30 other nations that have legalised same-sex unions. The legislation was “overwhelmingly approved” by Chile’s parliament and will enable gay couples to adopt children. 

Switzerland, “one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalise gay marriage”,  also voted in favour by a near two-thirds majority after the Swiss public backed a ‘Marriage for All’ initiative. Same-sex couples will be able to wed in Switzerland from 1 July 2022.

The local government of Tokyo, a city with a population of around 14m, has also announced plans to allow same-sex marriage in the city from April next year. What a time to be alive.

The Pop-Culture Dominating ‘Squid Game’

Our second entry from a fictional story, but if we’re talking about highlights of 2021 then it’s an entry of significance. While it may be fictional, Squid Game was a great TV show with an incredible story that was watched 111 million times within a month of its premier, making it the most watched show in Netflix; an outstanding achievement for a foreign-language production.   

Not only was the story interesting, original and engaging, it served as a visceral social commentary about the world we live in and the extent that everyday people would go to for money. With this, on top of bridging the culture gap and familiarising western audiences on mass with Korean TV/Film production, Squid Game really was one of the standout stories of the year.

CIA Release Thousands Of UFOs Documents

This ones for the believers.

Of course, in true CIA fashion many of the documents are redacted where key evidence or implications might say very plainly what the US government believe they are dealing with; however, surely this begs the question ‘what are they hiding’? 

Whether you believe or not, you have to admit, almost 3,000 pages of UFO documents seems to indicate somethings are not quite as they seem. How many more pages and documents are there that we’ll never see?  

Shakira Mugged By Wild Boar

Yes, you read that right. Columbian Pop Superstar Shakira was attacked by a pair of wild boar in Barcelona while walking her 8-year-old Son Milan through a park. When they couldn’t take her down they settled for her handbag, which had her mobile phone in it. She later reclaimed in tatters, claiming ‘they destroyed everything’. I think the tweet below sums up our thoughts on the matter.   

What Were Your Highlights?

And that concludes this rundown of our favourite stories of 2021. We didn’t get everything in there; if we had, we would’ve been here all day! But we’d love to know if your highlight made our list, and if not, what was your highlight?

Did we show you something new today? Let us know via any of social media channels, and don’t forget to get your favourite parts of 2021 down on to your Iternal timeline so future generations can remember this year as more than pandemics and lockdowns.