Nobel Prize awarded
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will join other European Union leaders to collect the Nobel Peace Prize from Norwegian King Harald V on Dec. 10. The choice to award the European Union the prestigious prize was criticized by some who note the prize usually goes to successful diplomats or human-rights activists.
With violence flaring between Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis, Hamas’ 25th anniversary on Dec. 14 may add fuel to the fire. Prior to the November hostilities, experts expected thousands of Hamas supporters to pour into the streets of Gaza City to support the terrorist organization. With tempers now escalated, supporters of Hamas, founded on Dec. 14, 1987, could become violent.
The Hobbit opens
On Dec. 14, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, The Hobbit, will likely be lining up for the theatrical debut of a new movie series by the same name. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey hits U.S. theaters as director Peter Jackson’s first of a three-part film treatment of Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy classic, as well as a prequel to the acclaimed and reveredLord of the Rings trilogy.
Electoral College votes
On Dec. 17 a majority of voters in the nation’s Electoral College will select Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Democrats and Republicans choose their own electors from a pool of party faithful. And though more than 150 times in the nation’s history electors have voted for someone other than their party’s nominees, rogue votes have never changed the outcome of a presidential election.
End of the world?
Doomsday watchers and Discovery Channel devotees alike will approach Dec. 21 with trepidation—the day that, according to some interpretations of an ancient Mayan calendar, the world will end. And while the day may not signal the end of the world, it probably will signal the end of the cash cow surrounding the Mayan calendar. To date, over 100 books are listed on Amazon.com for Mayan 2012 conspiracies.