The end of 2007 is upon us. But rather than look backward, as so many often do (yup, yup, yeah, yessir, yup, oui, yup), I'm looking ahead! Here are the top 10 things I'm looking forward to in 2008:
10. The Smart fortwo. I'm not personally in the market for a car, but I've loved the look of these guys ever since I saw them in Europe, oh, it seems like decades ago. Now that they're finally coming Stateside, I expect them to sell like hotcakes—and make the road a much funkier place in the process!
9. The Phoenix spacecraft lands on Mars. It's not a rover like Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity, but the Phoenix has a gaggle of high-end analyzing probes that will scour the landing site for signs of water and...wait for it...possible Martians!
8. A new season for the Mets. If ever a team needed a fresh start, it's these fellas.
7. The Hawaiian quarter debuts! It will be the last of the state quarters released into general circulation since Bill Clinton approved the quarter program back in 1997. By the end of 2008, five state quarters will have been released in each of the past 10 years, in order of when the states became part of the Union. Interestingly, our non-state jurisdictions weren't too psyched about being left out of this coinage party, and they have successfully petitioned for their own quarters; an additional six quarters—representing the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa—will be released in 2009.
6. New albums from Goldfrapp, Ladytron, M83, Peter Gabriel, and The Postal Service, among others!
5. The Columbus and Kibo modules get installed on the International Space Station. These two science labs have been a long time coming and will be among the final major pieces of the ISS puzzle.
4. The Large Hadron Collider opens for business! This humungoid particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland, will be the biggest, highest-energy accelerator on the planet. One of the main goals of the behemoth is for it to produce Higgs bosons, subatomic particles that, if proven to exist, may help explain some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of matter. Another main goal is to simulate conditions right after the Big Bang!
3. Ikea finally comes to Brooklyn! No more schlepping to Elizabeth, New Jersey for Swedish furniture and meatballs - woo hoo!
2. A bittersweet selection for No. 2: the final game played at Shea Stadium. The Mets are moving into a much-needed new ballpark, Citi Field, in 2009, which means that after the end of the 2008 baseball season, Shea will be pulverized and turned into a parking lot. I will very much miss Shea, but I'm looking forward to the tributes and, yes, moving on to the phat new stadium (which, among other things, may house a Shake Shack)!
...And the No. 1 thing I'm looking forward to in 2008: regime change! The 2008 presidential election will no doubt be a mud-fest no matter who the finalists are, but as long as there will be lame duck season for 43 and all his cronies, it's all good. Happy new year, everyone! ∞