Monday, 20 June 2016

21st century

The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium. It is distinct from the time span known as the 2000s, which began on January 1, 2000 and will end on December 31, 2099.

The first years of the 21st century have thus far been marked by the rise of a global economy and Third World consumerism, mistrust in government, deepening global concern over terrorism and an increase in the power of private enterprise. The long term effects of increased globalization are not known, but there are many who are concerned about its implications. The Arab Spring of the early 2010s led to mixed outcomes in the Arab world. The Digital Revolution which began around the 1980s also continues into the present. The Millennials (born c. 1981-2000) having been born before the turn of the century give way to the rise of Generation Y & Generation Z in Western countries.

In contemporary history, the 21st century essentially began in 1991 (the end of Short Twentieth Century) with the United States as the sole superpower in the absence of the Soviet Union, while China began its rise to becoming a superpower and the BRICS countries aim to create more balance in the global political and economic spectrum.

The completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 marks the continual rise of Life Sciences, which makes mankind's long-held dreams, such as curing cancer, more realistic. By the 2010s gene therapy, first performed somatically in late 1990 and heritably in 1996, showed promise but remains an experimental and emerging technology.

There is a debate among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English. Regarding this, academics suggested that since former years such as 1805 and 1905 were commonly pronounced as "eighteen oh" or "nineteen oh" five, the year 2005 should naturally have been pronounced as "twenty oh-five". A less common variation would have been "twenty nought-five". Generally, the early years of the 21st century were pronounced as "two-thousand (and) five", with a change taking place in 2010, where pronunciations often shift between the early-year standard of "two-thousand and ten" and the common approach used in the late 20th-century of "twenty-ten".

The Vancouver Olympics, which took place in 2010, was being officially referred to by Vancouver 2010 as "the twenty-ten Olympics". The latest timeframes for change are usually placed at 2020.

According to The Stanley Kubrick Archives, in the press release for his film 2001: A Space Odyssey, film director Stanley Kubrick included specific instructions for journalists to refer to the movie as "two thousand and one" instead of the commonplace pronunciation of "twenty-oh-one". Kubrick said he did this in the hope that if the film became popular, it would influence the pronunciation of that year.

As the century began, the generations which had experienced the crises of the mid and late 20th century (the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War) as adults, were retiring from leadership positions and public life. Taking their places were members of the postwar "Boom" generations, whose formative experiences were the social upheavals (and, in the Western world, relative prosperity) of the 1960s and 1970s.
AIDS which emerged in the 1980s continued to spread yet more treatment of AIDS made the disease less of a deadly threat to those with access to treatment. A cure was still not found in the '00s despite expectations.
Same-sex marriage has slowly become more accepted, and has become legal in some countries. In 2001 the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to legalize this type of marriage. The 2000s decade saw significant change surrounding this social issue and the change has continued into the 2010s.

By 2001 most Western countries had removed the remaining racial language in their laws.

As of 2009, SIL Ethnologue catalogued 6,909 living human languages. The exact number of known living languages will vary from 5,000 to 10,000, depending generally on the precision of one's definition of "language", and in particular on how one classifies dialects.

Estimates vary depending on many factors but the general consensus is that there are between 6000 and 7000 languages currently spoken, and that between 50-90% of those will have become extinct by the year 2100.[32] The top 20 languages spoken by more than 50 million speakers each, are spoken by 50% of the world's population, whereas many of the other languages are spoken by small communities, most of them with fewer than 10,000 speakers.

The Oxford Hair Foundation has predicted that people with the red hair gene will be either extremely rare or extinct by the year 2100. The University of Rochester Medical Center's David Pearce claims that people with the red hair gene constitute about 4 percent of 6.4 billion people in the world and therefore disputes the claim.

The Late-2000s financial crisis continues to affect the economy worldwide.
The European sovereign-debt crisis sends Europe's economy into decline, having a major effect on European politics.
Developing countries make up for 97% of the world's growth, and industrialization leads to the rapid rise of BRIC economies, producing less of an American-lead hegemony in the world economy.
Many American auto brands have been phased out such as Plymouth by Chrysler in 2001 and Oldsmobile by General Motors in 2004, Pontiac and Saturn by General Motors in 2010 and Mercury by Ford in 2010.
The Dow Jones recovers and gradually rises in a bull market since 2009 with significant recovery starting in 2013. The Dow Jones has peaked in May 2015 before losing its stability throughout the summer.
At the start of the 21st century sports were very popular. The IOC's Modern Olympic Games was the most viewed sporting event. Association football is the most popular sport worldwide with the FIFA World Cup the most viewed football event. Other sports such as rugby, cricket, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, and golf were popular globally. In cricket the emergence of the Twenty20 format as well as the creation of the Indian Premier League led to changes in the nature of the sport. American swimmer Michael Phelps won an Olympic record setting 8 Gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

2003 – The first edition of Final Cut Pro is released of which series would soon become very popular in the film industry.
2004 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ties the record for most Academy Award wins for a single film (11).
2004 – Downfall, a film depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's life, is released in Germany. The film would then become famous worldwide through countless Internet parodies.
2009 – Release of Avatar, the world's highest grossing film.
2010s – Increasing use of 3D Camera Technology.
2010 – Release of the third installment of the Toy Story franchise becomes the world's highest grossing animated film, making over 1 billion dollars in the box-office.
2011 – Completion of the Harry Potter film series.
2012 – Disney buys Lucasfilm for $3 billion thus gaining control of the Star Wars franchise and related licenses.
2000s-2010s – Increased use of comic book adaptations into the film industry such as X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Catwoman, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Green Lantern, Man of Steel, and The Avengers.
2010s (decade) – The existence of drive-in theaters is threatened by the high cost of Digital Conversion.
2000s-2010s (decade) – Revival of Bible Epics in the Hollywood and television industry such as The Passion of the Christ, Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and The Bible (TV Series).
2013 – Release of Frozen overtakes Toy Story 3 in becoming the world's highest grossing animated film, earning over 1.2 billion dollars in the box-office and obtaining 5th place on the list of highest-grossing films of all time.
2015 -Star Wars: The Force Awakens becomes the third film to gross more than 2 billion worldwide after Avatar and Titanic and obtaining 3rd place on the list of highest grossing films of all time.

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