Sam Barrett ’16

Let’s face it. Break is over. Unfortunately, that means the end of sleeping in and relaxing and returning to early mornings and late nights. And while the students of Tower Hill had two relaxing weeks to get school off of their minds, the rest of the world continued working at full speed. So, in case current events weren’t your primary concern over the break, I’ve compiled a list of the best, most important, and even wackiest news from December 21st to January 7th.

Gangnam Style reaches 1 billion views on YouTube
December 21
K-Pop artist Psy made a breakthrough into American culture with his hit song, “Gangnam Style”, that went viral after its YouTube release in July. On December 21st, the song became the 1st video to hit 1 billion views on YouTube. It was already the most watched video on Youtube, with 180 million more hits than the next most watched video, Justin Bieber’s “Baby”. Is this a hint of the future of K-pop in America? We’ll see…

Facebook releases Poke to rival Snapchat

December 22
After witnessing the widespread success of startup iOS and Android app Snapchat, Facebook released Poke, a seemingly identical photo-sharing app. Users select a photo to send to a friend, and then select how much time the receiver can view it for, keeping any photos from being archived or stored. While it may be too late for Facebook to pull many Snapchat users over, it certainly could take away some of Snapchat’s potential market.


Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with a blood clot

December 30
On Dec. 13th, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffered a concussion after fainting due to dehydration. This concussion eventually led to the formation of a blood clot in the vein, which connects her brain to her right ear. Although not life-threatening, the clot did require medical treatment. While this slowed the Secretary of State’s travels and her appearance before a Congressional panel on the Benghazi attack, she was released from the hospital in good health.

We went over the fiscal cliff …then climbed back up again
January 1

The bill that would combine tax hikes and huge government spending cuts at midnight on New Year’s Eve was resolved, as both the Senate and House passed another bill that would resolve the issue. In response, the stock market soared, with the NASDAQ shooting up 3.1% on New Year’s Day. Yes, it officially passed after the cliff fall (with the resolution effective retroactively), but hey, at least something was accomplished.

 

Ray Lewis announces retirement from the NFL
January 2

After 17 seasons in the NFL, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis decided that he will retire after the Ravens playoff run. The 12-time pro bowler and 2000 Super Bowl winner leaves the league with a total of 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in the regular season.

 

Sandy relief funding bill compromise
January 2 and 4
November’s Superstorm Sandy left many parts of the East Coast demolished and destroyed. Perhaps the most impacted state was New Jersey, whose Governor, Chris Christie, lashed out at John Boehner after a proposed 60 billion dollar relief package was killed in the House on New Year’s Day. However, a diminished package worth 9.7 billion was passed on January 4th.

 

John Boehner re-elected as Speaker of the House
January 3
Ohio Republican John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House, winning the race with 220 votes, as opposed to California Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s 192 votes. In his acceptance speech, Boehner looked ahead at solving the debt crisis, stating, “In our hearts, we know it’s wrong to pass this debt on to our kids and grandkids, now we have to be willing… to make this problem right.”
 

School resumes at Sandy Hook
January 3
Almost 3 weeks after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT left 26 people dead, including 20 children, the remaining kids have returned to their normal school life. However, instead of returning to the building in which the shooting occurred, the children had classes in Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, CT. Police investigations continue within the old building as the citizens of Newtown vote on the future of the building itself.