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The first few weeks of the year, when the fun and relaxation of Christmas is over but there's still a big chunk of winter ahead, are a period in which many people fall prey to the misery of that pesky cold virus. But in early 2011, many parts of the western world witnessed such a sudden and dramatic surge of flu cases that health professionals began talking of a flunami . This was not just some predictable seasonal peak in the number of people with runny noses, but a problem of epidemic proportions, putting unanticipated pressure on health services. A knock-on effect was an unprecedented demand for the flu vaccine, causing sceptical reference to the worried well – people who take medication or seek health advice unnecessarily because they are concerned about becoming ill.
Fashion week in Paris – spring might only just be on the horizon but in March the designers were already looking ahead to next winter. Anyone who was not as slim as those models on the catwalk, and so might have trouble squeezing into the latest fashions, could consider losing weight by doing the increasingly popular Zumba, a form of fitness class where you burn off calories by spending an hour dancing insanely to the tunes of hip-hop, salsa and Bollywood music. If all that exercise had left you hungry, you must however beware of becoming a victim of leanwashing – your local fast food restaurant's 'healthy option' may not be quite as meager on the calories as it's made out to be. Alternatively, for those of us who could see past their belly and down to their feet, a wacky new beauty treatment called fish pedicure was becoming more widely available – sit back, relax, and let those little fishies nibble away furiously at your bumpy old heels.
. court orders which not only prevent the press from reporting a story. when a user apparently 'outed' celebrities who had legally prevented news outlets from reporting specific stories. It turned out. that Kate and Wills hadn't packed too large a suitcase on their wedding night. Social networking service Twitter found itself at the centre of a debate about the regulation of social media. Whether or not they chose to enjoy the spectacle of the eagerly awaited ceremony. choosing instead to pop off by helicopter on a two-day minimoon to an undisclosed location in the UK. a brief precursor to the real honeymoon several weeks later. but also ensure the order's existence is kept secret too. unlike US President Obama. with offerings such as twagiarism (TWITTER + PLAGIARISM = passing off someone else's words as your own on Twitter) and twisticuffs (TWITTER + FISTICUFFS = a bit of a 'bust-up' on Twitter) joining the ever-increasing Twitter lexicon. as the previously clandestine misdemeanours of those in the public eye piqued the curiosity of Internet users. however.FOR BETTER. Superinjunction became one of the UK's most frequently searched terms at this time. William wasn't forced to refute the claims of birthers by producing his birth certificate. UK citizens relished an extra day of leisure on the 29th April. FOR WORSE The eyes of the world focussed on the British royals in the month of the fairytale wedding between Prince William and the gorgeous 'commoner' Kate Middleton. Twitter continued to be a power house of word play. A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES In May 2011 it came to light that a number of celebrities and high-profile sports personalities had taken out superinjunctions . As well as being guilty of not 'keeping mum'. Luckily however there were no hitches in the legal aspects of the marriage and.
more economical approaches to holidaying continued to be explored. but in these tough financial times. it seems that agricultural activity may not be confined to the countryside. there was always the possibility of the fakeation. PUTTING YOUR FEET UP Halfway through the year and many of us were thinking about taking a break. crops pop up in the fields whilst livestock graze the hills and valleys. heating and other maintenance operations is in fact outweighed by the benefit of rearing the meat and veg right next to consumers. For anyone who by contrast has time to kill. . and as spring turns into summer. Urban landscapes could begin to feature tall. In a new concept described as vertical farming . skyscraper-like vertical farms. a 48-hour burst of 'getting away from it all' with one overnight stay. It remains to be seen. But in the 21st century. containing multiple storeys of plants and animals in a carefully controlled environment. 2011 was the year of planking and owling. however. staying 'connected' and answering phone calls and emails to such an extent that you may as well have been in the office. What remains to be seen is whether the additional cost of artificial lighting. And for the workaholics among us. Following the royals' example of the MINI-MOON. where people adopt plank. one option was a nanobreak . scientists claim that there are strong economic and ecological arguments for mass-cultivating plants and animals in unconventional locations. where you disappear to some lovely location and simply pretend that you're on holiday.GROWING UP June.or owl-like poses in the most unusual locations they can manage. Those of us wanting a few more nights away from home could alternatively exploit the good will of a mate who lived somewhere appealing and opt for a paliday. whether these two new leisure pursuits will be as enduring as sunbathing or a round of golf.
pushing up oil prices and deterring investment and trade. and major uprisings in countries such as Syria. the OCCUPY movement is a series of international protests directed primarily against capitalism and economic inequality. Beginning in the financial district of Wall Street and subsequently spreading to hundreds of locations across the world. A particular hot spot was around the entrances to St Paul's Cathedral in central London. The Arab Spring protests have attracted widespread support from the international community. key venues in cities across the world. resulting in the final collapse of over 40 years of totalitarianism and the fall (and subsequent death) of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. the demonstrations have involved large numbers of people 'camping out'. the first time this had happened since the Second World War . kicking off a chain of demonstrations which threw the verb occupy into the limelight. This event was a climax in a wave of revolutionary demonstrations which began in Tunisia in December 2010. Yemen.TIME FOR CHANGE In August 2011 Libyan revolutionary forces won the battle for Tripoli. As well as civil war and regime collapse in Libya.000 protestors. Kuwait and Bahrain. official ways in which governments have been trying to cut spending in the face of economic problems. aka occupying. As well as marches involving as many as 10. SPEAK OUT AND CAMP OUT Arguably taking inspiration from the ARAB SPRING . on 17th September 2011 a group of protestors took to the streets of New York. though political uncertainty has predictably had a negative effect on global economies. and have become known as the Arab Spring . At the root of these protests are what in 2011 have regularly been described as austerity measures . 2011 has seen revolution and overthrown governments in Tunisia and Egypt. where over 200 tents formed a ramshackle campsite and caused officials to temporarily close the cathedral due to health and safety concerns.
TECH TO GO In October 2011 one of the world's pioneers in personal computing. And in an attempt to throw a lifeline. The economic crisis in the Eurozone reached a climax in November. Steve Jobs. with Greece being in such financial dire straits that it seemed on the verge of withdrawing from the euro. Continuing the military metaphor. The main players in 2011 have been the smartphone. In an effort to rescue the country from its crippling debts. CUTTING AND SPREADING It seems that in 2011 your local barber's wasn't the only place where there was talk of haircuts. a portable electronic device designed primarily for reading digital books and periodicals. . the European Central Bank was reportedly urged to ride to the rescue in the form of a bazooka. passed away at the age of 56. an injection of cash from a central bank sometimes likened to throwing money from the sky in a kind of financial 'airlift'. or in other words. a large amount of money made available at crisis point. and in an effort to ensure that all these devices can communicate with one another in interdependent harmony. Galvanized by those technophiles who love a good novel but feel that printed matter is far too 'last year'. there was renewed discussion of quantitative easing . the financial lexicon adopted the word contagion . the IT world is now taking inspiration from mother nature to develop its very own ecosystem. recommended that Athens be allowed to write off around half of its debt. a personal computer with touchscreen technology. As the co-founder of Apple Inc. Ireland and Portugal being among the worst casualties. and the tablet (or tab). with Eurozone countries Greece. slim proportions echo those smooth slabs of stone for which the word TABLET was originally designated. Oh yes. Using the spread of infectious disease as a metaphor for growing economic meltdown. German and French advisers called for a 50 per cent haircut. whose sleek. a small computer masquerading as a mobile phone which does everything you'd expect and more. there's also been a surge in popularity of the e-reader (also known as the e-book reader). his legacy is a revolution in hand-held technology which has thrown more than a few new words into our everyday vocabulary.
and many of us will have been hitting the shopping streets for our Christmas goodies. What's more. as technology advances towards the concept of wave and pay – a simple flick of your mobile in front of an appropriately-enabled device and your bank account is debited before your phone's back in your pocket.CASHLESS OR PENNILESS? December already. then you'll be looking for ways to economize. giving to charity and recycling unwanted goods. The humble cheque is most definitely yesterday's news. in a move towards cashless payment systems. the way we make our purchases is changing. your current financial situation lends a different interpretation to the word cashless. there's no need to carry coins in your pocket those small purchases can be made with a wave of plastic too. gradually being rejected by many retailers. if you do use a card then you won't need to remember your PIN for too much longer – a glimpse of your plastic and a contactless payment system can identify it for you by the magic of radio frequency. And even if it's just a bar of chocolate or the Sunday paper. If however. And if you need to take the weight off those aching shopper's feet. You could always green your Christmas shopping by visiting the charity shops – a triple-whammy of saving cash. But in 2011. in doing so giving the retail industry a much needed boost. And even those little pieces of plastic shouldn't take their future role for granted. why not sit on a bench with a takeaway sandwich and a vending machine cheapuccino? .
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