The year 2012 is drawing to a close (where did it go?) and the world did not end. Lots happened and as always here’s my little collection of top 10s… please note they’re in no particular order and just my own subjective opinon:
1 – Books
- Charlies Bronson – Bronson – Compelling reading. Frightening but a page turner. More an overview of the failings of the prison system than a memoir of a total loon.
- Bear Grylls – Facing Up
- Jon Krakauer - Into Thin Air – A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster in 1996
- Oscar Pistorius – Blade Runner – Never a more moving and inspiring story written!
- Wade Davis – Into the Silence – Haven’t finished reading it yet, but it’s shaping up to be my favorite book of the year.
- Simon Yates – Against the Wall – Not a page turner and pretty repetitive, but it’s still a good read if you’re into climbing books
- Michael Crichton – Jurassic Park / The Lost World – I’ve read them before but wanted to revisit. Well worth it too. Still two amazing books. Jurassic Part far superior.
- Mark Johnson - Wasted - This is the big one for me. A truly remarkable book. Absolutely engrossing and moving.
- Keith Richards – Life – Just an ‘alright’ rock biography full of the anecdotes you’d expect but nothing that really made me go “oh wow”
- Walter Isaacson – The Authorized Biography of Steve Jobs – Took me a while to get through this. It’s not an easy or enjoyable read. But worth it. RIP Jobs – I think few men or women get to say they actually ‘changed the world’… Steve Jobs was one of them.
2 – Most visited websites in order (officially – I kept stats!)
3 – Music (albums)
These are the albums that weren’t necessarily all released just in 2012, but the ones I discovered and played the most;
- Chicane – Thousand Mile Stare - An unbelievable return to form
- Deus Ex Human Revolution Soundtrack – What an amazing thing… a computer game soundtrack made it into my top 10. Seriously good album. Almost Bladerunner-esque
- John Murphy – Sunshine Soundtrack – Again. A bit of a weird edition and no real explanation other than that I listened to it loads.
- Sucker Punch Soundtrack – ANOTHER soundtrack. The horror. A bit different this time though… some very very cool covers of some very very cool songs by the cast of the movie. A great selection.
- Robbie Williams – Take the Crown – ALRIGHT… I admit it… this is my guilty, uncool addition. 3 songs I skip on an album of 10 tracks is pretty good going.
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Got a lot of air-play in the Trainor house. I’m glad he left Oasis & went solo. He’s better on his own.
- Keane – Strangeland – It’s not a guilty pleasure when it’s an album of this quality. Some big tunes.
- Toploader – Only Human – Technically released in 2011 but it only hit my ipod in 2012 and I listened to it religiously for MONTHS.
- Muse – The 2nd Law – Sometimes ridiculous but always rewarding. I fear Muse are starting to morph into a slight parody of themselves, but for now they’re still turning out big rock.
- Beastie Boys – The in sound from way out – When co-founder Adam Yauch Dead this year I went back over all my old BB albums and I found this little gem. Just a straight up Funk Jazz album. It’s massive.
4 – Music (individual songs)
- Keane – Sovereign Light Cafe
- Robbie Williams – Into the Silence
- Chicane & Vigri – Sòlarupprás
- The Envy Corps – Rhinemaidens
- Ki:Theory – My Thoughts
- Muse – The 2nd Law / Unsustainable
- Coldplay – Don’t let it break your heart
- Grouplove – Colours
- Chicane – Thousand Mile Stare
- Public Enemy – Harder than you think
5 – Films
- The Dark Knight Rise – Disappointing conclusion but it was a slow year for films so still made it in.
- The Avengers – Dumb & I loved it.
- Skyfall – The jury is still out on this one.
- Prometheus – I actually really enjoyed it despite the scathing reviews
- First Ascent – A climbing film… about first ascents…
- Sucker Punch – So it wasn’t amazing. But it did entertain me on a plane.
- Warrior – A film about mixed martial arts????? Ughhhh… How? Amazing.
- Super 8 – Just a really interesting film. Not brain taxing, but is represents what cinema should be – silly escapism.
- The Amazing Spiderman – OK… a reboot wasn’t really necessary so soon. However… it’s a much better film than any that Rami (the horror) was able to create & it’s got all the component parts for a great superhero flick.
- The Devils Double – We rented this off the Box Office and found ourselves pleasantly surprised. A really great movie.
6 – TV Moments
The first 3 are all episodes of the same TV series. Justifiably so… First Ascent is in my mind one of the greatest pieces of TV that I’ve ever seen. The missing episodes were equally amazing but it’s these that really blew my mind.
- First Ascent - Episode 3: Alone On The Wall - Alex Honnold usually a bumbling, slightly geeky kid, becomes poised and graceful when free solo climbing. He sets his sights on scaling Yosemite’s iconic 600-metre Half Dome wall.
- First Ascent - Episode 4: Brothers Wild - Professional climber Timmy O’Neill and his brother Sean, who is paralysed from the waist down, rely on their skills and tenacity to climb huge walls like El Capitan and remote Alaskan mountains.
- First Ascent - Episode 5: Point Of No Return - Two top alpine climbers and a cameraman go on a fateful journey to a dangerous mountain in south western China. There’s an unbelievable twist in this story that really almost had me in tears.
- The Paralympic Closing Ceremony – So what if it was essentially a great big Coldplay gig. It was amazing. The best of the games ceremonies this year.
- Game of Thrones Season 2 – Epic. Just epic.
- The Walking Dead Season 3 – Taking the action up a notch. Thrilling & big value TV.
- Grand Designs – More compelling wackiness. Some great projects. Some absolute stinkers. All great to watch.
- The Killing Season 2 – Much pacier and more enjoyable than the first (which I wasn’t a massive fan of).
- True Blood – I raced through all 4 seasons this year. Was never expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Great TV.
- Homeland – It’s not grabbed me as much as the wife, but it’s still good to get into a regular show. It’s made Sunday nights better!
7 – Interactions / Experiences
- Nike Fuel Band – Nuff said.
- Photos To Art App – Smart. Clever. Easy.
- New MySpace – This one had me excited right from that teaser video & it’s delivering. The search on it’s own is one of the coolest things I’ve seen all year. Pure amazingness.
- SF Dok – 360 Langstrasse Zurich – It’s not new but it is amazing. I saw a new way of navigating when I found this, so I learn some new tricks.
- Amazonc.co.uk – It got easier, it morphed, it was tweaked…
- eBay iPad App – It’s marmite. You’ll be in love with it or you’ll hate it. I found all it’s weird little interactions amazing and compelling. Like developers had just been told to ‘go and play’.
- Isotope from MetaFizzy was a defining library of code for me in more ways than one. For starters this blog you’re reading right now is built using it (amongst other project). It’s also been my ‘sort’ function of choice in 2012.
- Responsive Web Design – It’s no silver bullet. It’s mis-used. It’s over-sold. But it was the big thing in 2012 and will continue to be so into 2013 and beyond despite what the naysayers predict.
- Maily – You know when you see something & think “sh*t, I wish I’d come up with that”… this was that moment for me. My son Charlie LOVES it and so do I.
- Roambi become one of my most used references for Data Visualisation (real, not creative) and it inspired a lot of conversations with a lot of clients and colleagues.
8 – News stories
- President Barack Obama earning a second term as President of the USA after defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney
- Facebook’s much-hyped initial public offering was the biggest in Internet history. It gave the company a market cap of more than $104 billion but then went on to flop.
- The crisis in Syria has escalated through 2012 as the government of Bashar al-Assad continues its extreme crackdown on Syrian rebels and protesters. The U.S. and the international community have come under increasing pressure to act.
- Great Britain’s Andy Murray took Olympic gold over Roger Federer at Wimbledon… made so much sweeter by the fact he lost in the Wimbledon final to Federer in June. An astonishing comeback.
- Jessica Ennis really proved why she was our Olympic poster girl after she clinched the Olympic heptathlon title in style.
- The Curiosity Mars Rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011 aboard the MSL spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012. We just loved the fact that the Rover was ‘Tweeting’.
- Apple axed the ‘Maps chap’ and Jony Ive took over software design – Which is going to mean some astonishing things. Mr Ive also visited the palace in 2012 and was Knighted. A remarkable achievement.
- The SOPA Blackout On January 18 – Wikipedia, along with many others, orchestrated a service blackout. The sites shut down for the day and put up banners explaining why they weren’t operating and instructing people to sign petitions against SOPA.
- STILL TO BE DECIDED
- STILL TO BE DECIDED
9 – Most used App (iOS)
- Twitter (most used by a country mile)
- Nike Fuelband
10 – People
- Jony Ive – The man who shapes my tech.
- Tom Hardy – The actor who appeared in 2 of my top 10 films (Warrior & Dark Knight Rises).
- Kim Jong-un – The funniest politician on the planet.
- Barack Obama – The guy did good. Again.
- John McAfee – What an amazing news story.
- Oscar Pistorius – For me, the elite Athlete of the last 10 years.
- Bashar Assad – The man who just keeps on keeping on.
- Sebastian Vettel – Answered the critics (much like Andy Murray) and for me, he is the sportsman of the year.
- Hans Rosling – He made me fall in love with Data this year.
- Mark Zuckerberg – He is still the most influential man for my social circle.
And that concludes my 2012 10×10. Really nothing AMAZING and controversial this year (with the exception of me admitting to like Robbie Williams new album) but still a year of some great events and media consumption. A steady year, not an explosive year.