In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is usually the shortest day of the year and is sometimes regarded as the first day of winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21 is usually the longest day of the year and occurs during the southern summer.
|December 21 in recent years|
The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or otherwise transformative events would occur on or around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and as such, festivities to commemorate the date took place on 21 December 2012 in the countries that were part of the Maya civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala.Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed as pertaining to this date. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth's collision with a mythical planet called Nibiru.
Scholars from various disciplines quickly dismissed predictions of concomitant cataclysmic events as they arose. Professional Mayanist scholars stated that no extant classic Maya accounts forecast impending doom, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar ends in 2012 misrepresented Maya history and culture, while astronomers rejected the various proposed doomsday scenarios as pseudoscience, easily refuted by elementary astronomical observations.A Beautiful Mind (film)
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar. The film stars Russell Crowe, along with Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, and Christopher Plummer in supporting roles. The story begins in Nash's days as a graduate student at Princeton University. Early in the film, Nash begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes while watching the burden his condition brings on wife Alicia and friends.
The film opened in the United States cinemas on December 21, 2001. It went on to gross over $313 million worldwide and won four Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It was also nominated for Best Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Best Original Score.It was well received by critics, but has been criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of some aspects of Nash's life, especially his other family and a son born out of wedlock. However, the filmmakers have stated that the film was not meant to be a literal representation of Nash's life.Adult Top 40
The Adult Top 40 (also known as Adult Pop Songs) chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and ranks "the most popular adult top 40 as based on radio airplay detections measured by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems."It is a format in which the genre is geared more towards an adult audience who are not into hard rock, hip hop, or adult contemporary fare. The main genres within this format are alternative rock and mainstream pop that is more adult-oriented. It is not to be confused with adult contemporary where rather lesser-known and more ballad-driven songs are played.Avatar (2009 film)
Avatar (marketed as James Cameron's Avatar) is a 2009 American epic science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. The film is set in the mid-22nd century, when humans are colonizing Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, in order to mine the mineral unobtanium, a room-temperature superconductor. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered Na'vi body operated from the brain of a remotely located human that is used to interact with the natives of Pandora.Development of Avatar began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page treatment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, for a planned release in 1999, but, according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. Work on the language of the film's extraterrestrial beings began in 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006. Avatar was officially budgeted at $237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production and at $150 million for promotion. The film made extensive use of new motion capture filming techniques, and was released for traditional viewing, 3D viewing (using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats), and for "4D" experiences in select South Korean theaters. The stereoscopic filmmaking was touted as a breakthrough in cinematic technology.Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was internationally released on December 16 and in the United States and Canada on December 18, to positive critical reviews, with critics highly praising its groundbreaking visual effects. During its theatrical run, the film broke several box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as in the United States and Canada, surpassing Cameron's Titanic, which had held those records for twelve years. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion and the best-selling film of 2010 in the United States. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.
Following the film's success, Cameron signed with 20th Century Fox to produce four sequels: Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are currently filming, and will be released on December 18, 2020, and December 17, 2021, respectively; subsequent sequels will start shooting as soon as they wrap filming, and will be released in 2024 and 2025. Several cast members are expected to return, including Worthington, Saldana, Lang, and Weaver.Baby Driver
Baby Driver is a 2017 action film written and directed by Edgar Wright. It stars Ansel Elgort as a young, musically driven getaway driver seeking freedom from a life of heisting with his lover Debora (Lily James). Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal (among others) appear in supporting roles. Eric Fellner and his Working Title Films partner Tim Bevan produced Baby Driver alongside Big Talk Productions' Nira Park. Sony and TriStar Pictures handled commercial distribution of the film. Baby Driver was financed through a partnership between TriStar and Media Rights Capital.
Baby Driver is a longtime passion project Wright had developed for over two decades. He devised the film's blueprint well into his youth, but the experience helming his early projects shaped his ambitions for Baby Driver. Originally centered in Los Angeles, Wright later revised the film's setting to Atlanta in the script. Preserving the city's ethos then became an important aspect of the storytelling. Principal photography took place in Atlanta over four months, from February to May 2016. Production involved the planning of meticulously coordinated stunts, choreography, and in-camera shooting. Critics have examined Baby Driver's subject matter in thematic studies of the film.
Baby Driver premiered at the South by Southwest festival on March 11, 2017, and was released in theaters in North America and the United Kingdom on June 28. It was well received by the media, though the characterization and screenplay drew occasional criticism. The National Board of Review chose the film as one of the top films of 2017. It earned $226 million globally, bolstered by positive word-of-mouth support and fatiguing interest in blockbuster franchises. Baby Driver was a candidate for numerous awards, including three Academy Awards (for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing), two BAFTAs, two Critics' Choice Awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Elgort), and won several other honors chiefly for technical achievement. The success of Baby Driver has increased studio interest in producing a sequel.Bad Romance
"Bad Romance" is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her third extended play, The Fame Monster (2009). It was written and produced by Nadir "RedOne" Khayat and Lady Gaga. Lyrically, "Bad Romance" explores Gaga's attraction to individuals with whom romance never works, her preference for lonely relationships and the paranoia she experienced while on tour. Following an illegal demo leak, Gaga showcased the final product at Alexander McQueen's show at the Paris Fashion Week in October 2009, followed by the release of the single's cover art. Musically, "Bad Romance" features a spoken bridge, a full-throated chorus and sung lyrics about being in love with one's best friend. The song, which is imbued with elements of German-esque house and techno, as well as music from the 1980s and 1990s, was touted by Gaga as an experimental pop record. The song contains a few lines in French.
Most commentators praised "Bad Romance", calling it one of the highlights of the album. It was included in the 'best-of' lists in several media outlets such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media, and won two Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. In the US, "Bad Romance" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and it has been certified 11-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold 5.9 million digital downloads as of February 2019. It topped the charts in more than 20 countries and sold 12 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The accompanying music video of "Bad Romance" features Gaga inside a surreal white bathhouse. There, she gets kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and sell her to the Russian mafia for sexual slavery. The video ends with Gaga live incinerating the man who had bought her. It garnered acclaim from critics, who complimented the risqué and symbolic nature of the plot, as well as its artistic direction and vivid imagery. It was voted the best video of the 2000s (decade) by readers of Billboard. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, it was nominated for ten awards, where Gaga won seven, including Video of the Year. Gaga has performed "Bad Romance" on various television programs, such as Saturday Night Live and The Jay Leno Show, the 2009 American Music Awards, her concert tours and residency shows, and at the Super Bowl LI halftime show.Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown—resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson—and Eric Garner in New York City. Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter activists became involved in the 2016 United States presidential election. The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy.There have been many reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement. The U.S. population's perception of Black Lives Matter varies considerably by race. The phrase "All Lives Matter" sprang up as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, but has been criticized for dismissing or misunderstanding the message of "Black Lives Matter". Following the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, the hashtag Blue Lives Matter was created by supporters of the police. Some black civil rights leaders have disagreed with tactics used by Black Lives Matter activists.Brittany Murphy
Brittany Murphy-Monjack (born Brittany Anne Bertolotti; November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009), was an American actress and singer. A native of Atlanta, Murphy moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and pursued a career in acting. Her breakthrough role was as Tai Frasier in Clueless (1995), followed by supporting roles in independent films such as Freeway (1996) and Bongwater (1998). She made her stage debut in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge in 1997, before appearing as Daisy Randone in Girl, Interrupted (1999) and as Lisa Swenson in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
In the 2000s Murphy appeared in Don't Say a Word (2001) alongside Michael Douglas, and alongside Eminem in 8 Mile (2002), for which she gained critical recognition. Her later roles included Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), Spun (2002), Uptown Girls (2003), Sin City (2005), and Happy Feet (2006). Murphy also voiced Luanne Platter on the animated television series King of the Hill (1997–2009). Her final film, Something Wicked, was released in April 2014.
In December 2009, Murphy died of pneumonia at the age of 32.Bumblebee (film)
Bumblebee is a 2018 American science fiction action film centered on the Transformers character of the same name. It is the sixth installment of the live-action Transformers film series. It was developed as a spin-off and prequel, and later declared a reboot of the franchise. Directed by Travis Knight and written by Christina Hodson, the film stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, and stars Dylan O'Brien, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, and Peter Cullen in voice roles. It was Knight's first live-action film. Principal photography on the film began on July 31, 2017, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.
Bumblebee premiered in Berlin on December 3, 2018, was theatrically released in the United States on December 21, 2018, and grossed over $467 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the action and Steinfeld's performance, as well as the 1980s setting and sense of nostalgia, with many calling it the best installment of the Transformers franchise.International Business Times
The International Business Times is an American online news publication that publishes seven national editions in four languages. The publication, sometimes called IBTimes or IBT, offers news, opinion and editorial commentary on business and commerce. IBT is one of the world's largest online news sources, receiving forty million unique visitors each month. Its 2013 revenues were around $21 million.IBTimes was launched in 2005; it is owned by IBT Media, which separated from Newsweek in 2018, and was founded by Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis. Its headquarters are in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City.Kat Dennings
Katherine Victoria Litwack (born June 13, 1986), known professionally as Kat Dennings, is an American actress. After making her acting debut in an episode of the HBO dramedy series Sex and the City, Dennings has since appeared in films including The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Big Momma's House 2 (2006), Charlie Bartlett (2007), The House Bunny (2008), Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008), Defendor (2009), Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). From 2011 to 2017, she starred alongside Beth Behrs in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls.Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Anthony Leonard (, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Leonard played two seasons of college basketball for the San Diego State Aztecs, and was a consensus second-team All-American as a sophomore. He was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but was traded to the San Antonio Spurs the same day. After seven seasons with the Spurs, Leonard was traded to the Raptors in 2018.
Leonard was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2012, and won an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2014, when he was named the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). He is a three-time All-Star, has two All-NBA first team selections, and three All-Defensive first team selections. He won consecutive NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016.Kim Jong-hyun (singer)
Kim Jong-hyun (April 8, 1990 – December 18, 2017), better known mononymously as Jonghyun, was a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer, radio host, and author under the label SM Entertainment. He was the main vocalist of the South Korean boy band Shinee for nine years; releasing twelve albums with the group, in Korean and Japanese. He also participated in SM Entertainment's project group SM the Ballad for the release of two EP albums.
Jonghyun was also a solo artist, beginning in January, 2015, with the release of his first EP album, Base. It peaked at number one on both the Billboard World Album Chart and the Gaon Album Chart. On September 17 the same year, Jonghyun released a compilation album, Story Op.1. His debut studio album She Is was released on May 24, 2016, followed by his second compilation album, Story Op.2 on April 24, 2017. Jonghyun began his first solo concert tour, titled "The Story by Jonghyun" on October 2, 2015. This was followed by three further concert tours in later years. He was regarded as one of the best vocalists in South Korea. He has also received praise for his artistic control and involvement in the creation of his music, which are rare in K-pop.Jonghyun remained musically active as main vocalist of Shinee and as a solo artist until his death on December 18, 2017, when he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. His final album, Poet | Artist, was released posthumously on January 23, 2018. It was announced, prior to the release, that all profits from the album would be given to Jonghyun's mother and be used to start a charity foundation. In September 2018, the Shinin Foundation was established by Jonghyun's family to help struggling young artists.List of Governors of Texas
The Governor of Texas is the chief executive of the U.S. State of Texas, the presiding officer over the executive branch of the Government of Texas, and the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, the state's militia. The governor has the power to consider bills passed by the Texas Legislature, by signing them into law, or vetoing them, and in bills relating to appropriations, the power of a line-item veto. He may convene the legislature, and grant pardons and reprieves, except in cases of impeachment, and upon the permission of the legislature, in cases of treason. The State provides an official residence, the Governor's Mansion in Austin. The incumbent, Greg Abbott, is the forty-eighth governor to serve in the office since Texas' statehood in 1845.
When compared to those of other states, the Governorship of Texas has been described as one of relative weakness. In some respects, it is the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, who presides over the Texas Senate, who possesses greater influence to exercise their prerogatives.The governor is inaugurated on the third Tuesday of January every four years along with the Lieutenant Governor, and serves a term of four years. Prior to the present laws, in 1845, the state's first constitution established the office of governor, serving a term of two years, but no more than four years of every six. The 1861 constitution, following secession from the Union, established the first Monday of November following election as the term's start. Following the end of the American Civil War, the 1866 constitution increased term length to four years, limiting overall service to no more than eight years of every twelve, moving the term's start to the first Thursday following organization of the legislature, or "as soon thereafter as practicable." The constitution of 1869, enacted during Reconstruction, removed term limitations, to this day making Texas one of fourteen states with no limit on gubernatorial terms. The present constitution of 1876 returned terms to two years, but a 1972 amendment again returned them to four.Since its establishment, only one man has served in excess of eight years as governor: Rick Perry. Perry, the longest-serving governor in state history, assumed the governorship in 2000 upon the exit of George W. Bush, who resigned to take office as the 43rd President of the United States. Perry was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010 serving for 14 years before choosing to retire in 2014.
Allan Shivers assumed the governorship upon the death of Beauford Jester in July 1949 and was re-elected in 1950, 1952 and 1954, serving for 7 1/2 years, making him the second longest serving Texas governor. Price Daniel was elected to the governorship in 1956 and re-elected in 1958 and 1960 before losing his re-election for an unprecedented fourth term in the 1962 Democratic primary, missing the runoff. John Connally was elected in 1962 and re-elected in 1964 and 1966 before leaving office on January 21, 1969.
In the case of a vacancy in the office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. Prior to a 1999 amendment, the lieutenant governor only acted as governor until the expiration of the term to which he succeeded.Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's North Pole.Owing to the Earth's axial tilt, winter in the Northern Hemisphere lasts from the December solstice (typically December 21 UTC) to the March equinox (typically March 20 UTC), while summer lasts from the June solstice through to the September equinox (typically September 23 UTC). The dates vary each year due to the difference between the calendar year and the astronomical year.
Its surface is 60.7% water, compared with 80.9% water in the case of the Southern Hemisphere, and it contains 67.3% of Earth's land.PlayStation Portable
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console that was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and competed with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video-game consoles. Development of the handheld console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004; in North America on March 24, 2005; and in the PAL region on September 1, 2005.
The PSP was the most powerful portable console when it was introduced. It was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the PlayStation 2 (PS2) and PlayStation 3 (PS3) games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSPs and the Internet. The PSP is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format – Universal Media Disc (UMD) – as its primary storage medium. It was received positively by most video-game critics and sold 76 million units by 2012.
Several models of the console were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, which was released in December 2011 in Japan and worldwide in February 2012. The Vita has backward compatibility with many PSP games that were released on the PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store, which became the main method of purchasing PSP games after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store from PSPs on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide in 2014; the PSP sold 80 million units during its 10-year lifetime. Production of UMDs ended when the last Japanese factory making them closed in late 2016.Sagittarius (astrology)
Sagittarius (♐) (Greek: Τοξότης Toxotes, Latin: Sagittarius) is the ninth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Sagittarius and spans 240–270th degrees of the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between approximately November 23 and December 21. Greek mythology associates Sagittarius with the centaur Chiron, who mentored Achilles, a Greek hero of the Trojan War, in archery.Sagittarius, the half human and half horse, is the centaur of mythology, the learned healer whose higher intelligence forms a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Also known as the Archer, Sagittarius is represented by the symbol of a bow and arrow.Steve Harvey
Broderick Stephen Harvey (born January 17, 1957) is an American comedian, television host, producer, radio personality, actor, and author. He hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show, the Steve talk show, Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, Little Big Shots and its spinoff Little Big Shots: Forever Young, Steve Harvey's Funderdome, Showtime at the Apollo, and since 2015, the Miss Universe pageant.
Harvey is the author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which was published in March 2009, and the book Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find and Keep a Man. He starred in The Steve Harvey Show and was featured in The Original Kings of Comedy. He is a six-time Daytime Emmy Award winner, two-time Marconi Award winner, and a 14-time NAACP Image Award winner in various categories.
Months and days of the year