Dispatches > Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Issue: "Daniel of the Year," Dec. 18, 2010

EU ministers meet

When European Union ministers meet in Brussels on Dec. 13, they will likely still be discussing the bailouts of weak and staggering members of the Eurozone like Ireland and Greece. Both France and Germany have called for a rewrite of the Lisbon Treaty to prohibit member states from bailing out fellow EU nations.

Oil spill report

A panel put together by President Barack Obama must report back by Dec. 15 on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, fire, and ensuing oil spill. The report issued by the National Oil Spill Commission will also make recommendations on how to prevent disasters like the months-long spill that began with a blowout and fire on April 20.

Busy mailing day

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People busy mailing Christmas gifts to friends and relatives will make Dec. 15 the busiest day of the year at the post office, according to the USPS. A busy postal season could be music to the ears of the Postal Service, which in November announced it would likely lose $8 billion in the 2010 fiscal year.

Shortest day of the year

The winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere arrives on Dec. 21 and brings with it a lunar eclipse viewable in most of North America. The eclipse, occurring when the Moon slips into the Earth's shadow, will last 72 minutes. But for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, today will feature the least amount of sunlight of any day in 2010. And if you miss the sunlight, consider the 4,500 residents of Barrow, Alaska, where, because of its far-north position on the Arctic Ocean, the sun set around Thanksgiving and isn't scheduled to rise again until mid-January.

Web turns 20

Two decades ago on Christmas day, MIT professor Tim Berners-Lee and two others successfully linked an HTTP client and a server through an internet connection. The methodology of using internet connections to remotely access hypertext pages became popularly known as the World Wide Web. According to an August 2010 survey by the web analyst company, Netcraft, there are more than 213 million websites in existence today.

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