As the year draws to a close (but hopefully not the world, unless the Mayans were right all along) we want to know what 2012 has done for you, from Gangnam Style to changing attitudes to disability.
Another 365 days (nearly) gone. Another year older – and wiser, apparently. But what has 2012 taught us?
We’ve asked our correspondents as well as our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ followers in a bid to find out what we’ve all learnt this year – and ideally we will have learned more than simply that the Mayans, who arguably predicted the end of the world in 2012, were not exactly on the money.
We’ve had the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; the omnishambles; the Higgs boson and “plebgate”. The eurozone didn’t get any better (although the European Union did win the Nobel peace prize) US President Barack Obama proved that “Yes, we still are”, and Syria slid into a bloody civil war.
2012 has also showed us that a simple home video can rack up half a billion views on YouTube. Charlie and Harry from “Charlie bit my finger”, alongside their brother Jasper, are now world-famous. We thought they could probably help us navigate what 2012 has taught us – so we got them into the Channel 4 News studio.
You will be able to watch their thoughts next week, but for now here are some of ours – and yours.
— Mark (@HoboCastro) December 14, 2012
Channel 4 News Presenter Jon Snow had his own suggestion.
“2012 taught me about an understanding of disability. At last, thanks to the Paralympics, I really did begin to see that people with disabilities are exactly the same as us except they have got a few things different – and yet their achievements are as great as anyone else’s,” he said.
As Lord McAlpine pursues those who allegedly defamed him online, 2012 may well have been the year that made you quit Twitter.
Or it could have taught you that saying “pleb” can prove more damaging than swearing – as former chief whip Andrew Mitchell found out when he clashed with police.
Chances are 2012 helped cheer you up – or even made you a royalist. It’s been difficult for even the hardest-hearted not to crack a smile faced with the Olympics, the Jubilee and even news of a royal baby. Indeed, perhaps 2012 has been the year which taught the British to abandon their stiff upper lip and laugh and even cry with the best of them – even the famously dour tennis player Andy Murray showed his softer side earlier this year.
James Edward Frobisher told us on Facebook: “ made me even prouder than I already am of this great country of ours – the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, were, quite simply, magnificent.”
— Tony Butcher M.A. (@TonyButcher) December 10, 2012
Or has 2012 showed you how far people can fall – not just from power but the amazing feat pulled off by Felix Baumgartner, who survived a record-breaking 24-mile leap from the stratosphere?
Perhaps 2012 has also demonstrated that it is not always wise to trust the past, as Channel 4 News showed in its #pastontrial special, from Jimmy Savile to the north Wales abuse scandal and the Hillsborough files.
There were other sobering lessons, as Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Rugman described.
“2012 taught us to watch Syrians killing one another by the thousands while western politicians and their voters resisted fairly muted calls for intervention,” he said.
“2012 could herald a new era in British and American foreign policy: no more Iraqs or Afghanistans, no more coalition air patrols or no fly zones as per Libya the year before. Britain’s slimmed down military seems increasingly choosy about which fights to pick overseas, while America is lead by a “drone strike” president, inclined to fight wars by remote control.
“Though 2013 could be the year we reach the limits of limited intervention, and we could go back to our old ways yet.”
— Stevie G (@gritts1) December 10, 2012
We’ve also learned some new words this year – from “omnishambles” to “Libor”. None of them have exactly demonstrated that the woes of the banks and the economy are entirely over.
And what about in the worlds of science, technology and education?
“Discoveries don’t really get bigger than this year’s discovery of the Higgs boson because fundamental particles in science don’t really get more fundamental than the Higgs,” said Science Editor Tom Clarke.
“Without it, nothing in the universe would have any mass…without the Higgs, so the theories say, there would be no universe.”
We also found out that a lot of hype does not a flawless floatation make, as Facebook proved when it went public.
And a brave girl in Pakistan called Malala Yousafzai became a world-famous education activist and proved the value of learning.
Finally Channel 4 News Presenter Cathy Newman has her own suggestion – saying 2012 taught her how to dance Gangnam Style.