2012


 
       

October 29 was the day when Hurricane Sandy ripped through the East coast on the United States leaving a path of destruction not seen in 80 years. Above is a pic of Long Beach Island, NJ where the family has vacationed for a decade.

In June I took a trip to Los Angeles. I was minding my own business walking down Hollywood Blvd. when I ran into a Stormtrooper.

I had the pleasure of meeting some extraordinary people this year. (Top left going clockwise) Eliza Dushku, Eric Bazillian, Lee DeWyze, Hether Friedman and Lincoln Cleary.

Spent a lot of time at my nephews athletic events this year. Dylan's baseball and football games. Aaron & Griffin's football and basketball games. Always a fun time being with the boys.

Meet up with some old Salisbury buddies on two different occasions in Baltimore this past year. I even road a mechanical bull. (With Lee Stanley, Mike Bahr and Tuna Mitchell)   Its never Christmas until Santa comes through the neighborhood on the back of a fire truck.

 

Sports History
..Philadelphia Phillies (MBL) . 81-81

3rd Place NL East
Missed Playoffs

..Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) ..47-26-0-9 3rd Place, Atlantic Division
Lost in Conference Semi Finals to New Jersey 4-1..
..Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) ..4-12 Missed Playoffs
..Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) ..35-31 3st Place, Atlantic Division
Lost in Conference Semi Finals to Boston 4-3
..Philadelphia Wings (MLL) ..7-9

3st Place
Lost Division Semi Finals

..Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football) .115-32 Lost Arena Bowl to Arizona
..Penn State (College Football) 98-4 Not Bowl Eligible
..Salisbury University (my college) .. National Champions -
Men's Lacrosse

..Conference Champions -
Baseball
Football
Men's Lacrosse

Men's Track & Field
Women's Track & Field
Women's Lacrosse
Volleyball
Softball


What Happened This Year?

JANUARY

09 - Alabama avenged their November loss to LSU in a major way at the BCS Championship game, stomping all over the Tigers 21-0 to take home their second title in three years. The game wasn't even as close as the score indicated: The Crimson Tide defense held LSU to just 92 total yards and allowed them past midfield only once.

10 - New Hampshire presidential candidate voting is today, with Mitt Romney described as the favorite and the conservative Republican Ron Paul expected to do well.

22 - Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, continues the religious and ethnic fragmentation and lack of tolerance that challenges it as a nation and a democracy. Muslims and Christians are at war.

22 - Joe Paterno, the longtime Penn State coach who won the most games in Division I college football history before being fired in November 2011 amid a child sex abuse scandal, died of lung cancer on Jan. 22. He was 85.

25 - hina reports that violence has erupted again among Tibetans in Sichuan province – another attack on a police station, yesterday. China's news agency, Xinhua, writes that "Police were forced to use force after efforts involving persuasion and non-lethal weapon defence failed to disperse the mob."

29 - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won his third straight major in dramatic fashion, beating Rafael Nadal in a five-hour, 53 minute five-setter that broke the Open era record for longest Grand Slam singles final. It was the third consecutive major final in which Djokovic beat Nadal.

31 - Speaking at a Communist Party conference, Cuba's President, Raul Castro, defended his country's one-party political system (similar to the one-party system in China). Anyone interested in engaging in public service of a poltical nature (with all that entails) is limited to doing so within Cuba's Communist Party.


FEBRUARY

01 - Researchers in the US gather electrical signals -- brain waves -- from patients and reconstruct those signals into the words the patients had in mind.

01 - A court in Cape Town sentences four South African men to 18 years in jail for stabbing and stoning to death a lesbian, Zoliswa Nkonyana, just outside her home, in 2006. A crowd outside cheered and danced. South Africa's constitution protects people despite their sexual orientation.

04 - While UN delegates talk, the Assad regime continues its policy of crushing those Syrians opposed to its power. This morning, BBC News reports that "activists" claim that last night Syrian forces, with tanks and mortars, killed more than 200 in the city of Homs, "in the worst violence since anti-government protests began."

05 - Eli Manning and the Giants upset the Tom Brady-led Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years, getting a late touchdown from running back Ahmad Bradshaw to beat New England 21-17. A dramatic late reception again keyed the Giants victory, with Mario Manningham following up David Tyree's 2008 helmet catch with an acrobatic final drive snag of his own.11: The Year in Sports News

11 - RIP, Whitney Houston. Singer found dead in Beverly Hills hotel bathroom.

12 - Adele sweeps the 2012 Grammys, taking home six awards.

13 - The Arab League announces that it is ending all diplomatic co-operation with Syria, and it promises to give "political and material support" to the opposition.

22 - In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a different kind of incompetence is made apparent. A commuter train's brakes fail and the train hits the end of a platform at about 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) per hour -- a speed that with the combined weight of the train creates an impact great enough to kill an estimated 49 people and injure 600 others.

25 - Reuters reports that opposition activists in Syria deplore the results of the 70-nation international "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunis and complain that the world has abandoned them "to be killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad." The Obama administration and others are not supporting arming the Syrian opposition. They are leaving the Syrian revolution to wait for sanctions to work, for more desertions from Assad's military and, like the Chinese revolution in 1949, using whatever weaponry they can get their hands on, captured and otherwise.

26 - The Artist becomes first silent-film to win Best Picture at the Oscars since 1927's Wings.

29 - Davy Jones of The Monkees dies of a heart attack at 66.


MARCH

01 - When Senator Ted Kennedy died, Andrew Breitbart called him a "pile of excrement" and tweeted "Rest in Chappaquiddick." Early today Breitbart died, at the age of 43. He was a journalist who said he enjoyed making enemies. Following his death he is being criticized for knowingly using lies and trickery and for demeaning the profession of journalism. On the other hand, Newt Gingrich tweets that "Andrew Breitbart was the most innovative pioneer in conservative activist social media in America. He had great courage and creativity." And Mitt Romney tweets: "Ann and I are deeply saddened by the passing of @AndrewBreitbart: brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father."

02 - The NFL released a report on March 2 that announced that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (right) -- now with the Rams -- ran an illegal "bounty" pool over the last three seasons in New Orleans. Williams admitted to and apologized for running the pools, which rewarded players with cash payments for knocking targeted opposing players out of games and got up to $50,000. On March 21, the NFL suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton (left) for the 2012 season and banned Williams from the league indefinitely. Also, Goodell suspended Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games of 2012, and assistant coach Joe Vitt has to sit out the first six games. In addition, the Saints are being fined $500,000 and forfeit second-round draft picks this year and in 2013.

03 - In the US at least 28 people are killed as storms and tornadoes sweep across vast parts of the Midwest. Some describe it as more "freaky weather,"

06 - A former economic advisor to two Republican presidents criticizes conservative Republicans regarding taxes. Bruce Bartlett thinks that replacing income taxes with the Value-Add Tax (VAT) (paying taxes as we buy things) would simplify taxation and "could clean up so many of our problems in our tax code."

07 - The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis came to a rather inglorious end on March 7, when team owner Jim Irsay announced at a press conference that the team would release the iconic -- and still injured -- quarterback rather than pay him a $28 million roster bonus due on March 8. A teary-eyed Manning choked up while reflecting on his 14 years in Indianapolis and confirmed that he'll try to play next year, saying that he's not yet ready to retire. One thing that will be retired: Manning's No. 18 jersey. Irsay said that no Colts player will ever wear the four-time MVP's number again. Less than two weeks after he was let go by the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning revealed on March 19 that his new team would be the Denver Broncos. Among other ripple effects, the decision meant the AFC West team would try to trade incumbent starting quarterback Tim Tebow.

14 - Yesterday an Obama-approved drone aircraft raid killed 15 "suspected militants" in Pakistan. Some among those who like seeing Obama being forceful concerning other matters question the effectiveness of such killings. Last year Pakistan's Imran Khan passionately complained that the drone attacks in Pakistan were benefitting al Qaeda.

16 - Actor George Clooney is arrested at a protest in front of Sudan's embassy in Washington DC. Clooney has been criticizing Sudan's military assaults against the Nuba people in the south of what is internationally recognized as territory of Sudan.

25 - Ending a drought that stretched back to the 2009 BMW Championships outside Chicago, Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitation on March 25, restoring some order to the golf world. In the wake of tabloid-ready infidelities that led to his divorce, Woods went 728 days without a victory and some wondered if he would ever win again. His 72nd PGA title put him one behind Jack Nicklaus, who's No. 2 on the alltime list.

25 - Hunger Games opens huge: $155M That’s the third-biggest opening weekend ever, behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). It’s also the best debut ever for a non-sequel, crushing 2010?s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million), and it represents the top opening weekend for any picture outside the summer movie season. And, yes, it must be mentioned — The Hunger Games opened stronger than all four Twilight films.

27 - Pending a bankruptcy court's approval, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be sold for a record $2 billion to a group that includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. No North American franchise has ever been sold for that amount. In 2004, Frank McCourt paid $430 million for the team.

30 - The US Fair Labor Association, asked by Apple to investigate working conditions at plants in China that produce Apple products, reports people working more than 60 hours per week and sometimes all seven days, with unpaid overtime and health and safety risks.

APRIL

02 - Researchers at UCLA find persons who carry two gene variants that affect the production of serotonin are more susceptible to post-traumitic stress disorder than are others.

02 - Entering the season with a roster beset by youth, Kentucky finished it as a champion. The Wildcats defeated Kansas, 67-59, to claim the program's eighth NCAA title and first since 1998. It was a total team effort. Doron Lamb, a sophomore guard, scored a game-high 22 points. Freshman Michael-Kidd Gilchrist added 11 points and six rebounds, and sophomore Terrence Jones contributed nine points and seven boards. Freshman sensation Anthony Davis also did his part: The projected No. 1 pick in the NBA draft collected six points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and three steals en route to earning Most Outstanding Player honors. The triumph marks the first career championship for third-year Kentucky coach John Calipari.

10 - Matt Groening finally reveals the location of The Simpsons' Springfield. “Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon,” Groening tells the upcoming issue of Smithsonian magazine in an in-depth Q&A. “The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown. When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.”

13 - Connecticut joins much of Europe and sixteen other US states by repealing its death penalty -- but death remains for the eleven already on the state's death row. (Maine abolished the death penalty in 1887, Norway in 1902, Denmark in 1930.)

05 - Around 250 students demonstrating at Kabul University in Afghanistan shout "Death to America," regarding the burning of a Koran. They are angry about disrespect for Islam while feeding that disrespect and the argument that Islam is a religion that encourages violence

18 - Less than a year after her diagnosis of early onset dementia-Alzheimer's type, Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, announced on April 18 that she was stepping down. Her Hall of Fame career ends with eight national titles and a 1,098-208 record. During her time, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5 and reached 18 Final Fours. She also led the 1984 Olympic team to a gold medal.

18 - Dick Clark dies at the age of 82.

26 - Days ago the FBI shut down webservers used by malware criminals, and it acquired the IP addresses of compromised computers for victim notification. Today the BBC reports that a global police operation has taken down dozens of websites that have been selling credit card details and other private information.ead more: 2011: The

29 - The New York Times reports that Apple Corporation avoids paying billions in tax dollars by creating a subsidiary in Nevada where corporate taxes are zero. Corporate taxes levied in California, writes the New York Times, is 8.84 percent. Apple's home state, California, is having a revenue problem, much like Greece had along with a tax evasion problem going into its crisis.

MAY

05 - Japan shuts down its last working nuclear reactor. Reactors are to be restarted if they pass new tests. Hundreds of people march through Tokyo, waving banners to celebrate what they hope will be the end of nuclear power in Japan. Businesses warn that severe consequences will result for manufacturing if no nuclear plants are allowed to re-start.

06 - Avengers sets record: $200.3M weekend The prior record was held by last summer’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which debuted to $169.2 million. But The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, was the perfect storm: a highly anticipated 3-D action movie that combined the superheroes of several prior Marvel blockbusters while managing to stand alone as a well-reviewed, crowd-pleasing film in its own right. Oh, and it had a Hulk.

07 - Yesterday Francois Hollande beat Nicolas Sarkozy in a run-off election, winning 52% of the vote. He will be France's first Socialist head of state in 17 years. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti tells Hollande of the Italian government working with France, and Europe, to create "an ever more efficient and growth-driven union."

11 - Yesterday's bomb attack in Syria killed 55 and wounded 372. No one is taking credit for the bombing, but bomb attacks are now a regular occurrence in the Syria's civil war. Al Arabiya headlined an April 30 article "Outgunned Syrian opposition forces make shift to homemade bombs." The target of the bombing was Assad's intelligence agency, which helps hunt down Assad opponents. The UN and others condemn yesterday's bombing, while each of the two sides in the war are passionately fighting for survival, leaving Kofi Annan's peace plan described as "in tatters" and media anti-escalation punditry as irrelevant. The bombing appears to be a counter step to Assad's tanks and artillery.

24 - With stem cells which have the ability to become different cell types scientists manage to create heart muscle from skin. They hope that using a heart patient's own skin will eliminate the problem of tissue rejection.

JUNE

02 - Gallup reports that 46 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form – a percentage "essentially unchanged from 30 years ago" when Gallup first asked the question. Gallup didn't address the question of biological evolution in general flies, bacteria and the like – which a few of the 46 percent might accept

06 - Legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury dies.

10 - Spanish banks crashed after making bad loans to developers and home buyers in the pre-2008 overheated go-go period, using money they had borrowed from international financial institutions. And now the European Union has engineered a bank bailout a loan of 100 billion euros that some believe might not work. Spain's right-of-center Prime Minister Rajoy was opposed to a bailout but now is going along. Rajoy believes in his austerity reforms, while many in Spain don't want to be the ones to sacrifice and view the big moneylenders and Prime Minister Rajoy with hostility. A sign held by one of Spain's protesters reads: "Hands up! This is a rescue."

11 - Ending 45 years of futility, the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the franchise's first Stanley Cup, defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 6 to win the series, four games to two. In their second Finals appearance, the Kings made history as the first to win the championship as a No. 8 seed.

12 - Iceland repays $483.7 million in loans to the International Monetary Fund, an early repayment. This follows a $900 million repayment in March as Iceland works it way out of its financial meltdown in 2008.

21 - LeBron James finally got that elusive NBA title, registering a triple double in Game 5 as the Miami Heat disposed of the Oklahoma City Thunder. LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had come up short in the previous season's championship series.

26 - After years of appeals from the fans over the largely unpopular BCS system currently in place, the board of 12 university presidents met and approved a four-team NCAA football playoff. Beginning with the 2014 season, a selection committee will choose the top four teams and the semifinals will be played at the current bowl sites, with the national championship game staged at the site of the highest bidder. An undisputed college football champion can finally be crowned.

28 - Greece is still sinking. "Because everyone is angry with the government, Greece's already egregious problem of tax evasion is getting worse." So writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post. People with money are sending it abroad. Individual interest still trumps collective interest.

JULY

01 - Spain overpowered Italy with a 4-0 victory in the Euro 2012 finals in Kiev, giving it three major international titles in a row: Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. Striker Fernando Torres scored one of the four goals, making him the first player to score in two Euros finals.

08 - In the United States the campaign for president is underway. Mitt Romney is saying he will be better at advancing the economy and job creation than President Obama. He describes Obama as having failed. It's a claim that defies Christine Lagarde of the IMF who says that the best we can hope for is continued "tepid" growth from 2 to 2.3%. Romney promises to incentivize the "job creators." Skeptics counter that those with the money to hire people will do so when they need to increase production because of increased buying.

19 - 12 people killed in Colorado when a gunman opens fire at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises

20 - On this, the sixth day of occupy Damascus, according to the Arab News, anti-Assad forces have been driven out of the Midan district while other anti-Assad combatants continue to pour into the city from elsewhere in Syria. Anti-regime attacks within the city continue. Another Syrian general has fled to Turkey, bringing the number of generals sheltered there to 22. As many as 30,000 Syrian refugees "may have crossed into Lebanon in the past 48 hours.

23 - After Louis Freeh's independent report concluded that Joe Paterno was complicit in protecting convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, Penn State received some of the harshest penalties in NCAA history on July 23. Just one day after the university took down Paterno's statue outside of Beaver Stadium, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a reduction of annual scholarships from 25 to 15 (all current players are eligible to transfer anywhere without penalty), and five years' probation. The NCAA also vacated all wins from 1998-2011.

31 - Team U.S.A.'s Fab Five take gold in gymnastics U.S.A.’s Fab Five — Gabrielle Douglas, Alexandra Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, and McKayla Maroney.

31 - With a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history with 19 medals. The 4x200 was Phelps' first gold medal of the 2012 games after he won eight in Beijing four years ago. He moved past Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who got her 18 in 1956, 1960 and 1964.

AUGUST

05 - About NBC Olympic coverage, Sam Luce tweets: "Sitting down watching commercials with a few Olympic breaks mixed in." Someone else tweets: "You have no idea what you are missing in the BBC." A trick for accessing BBC coverage is suggested. A Brit responds: "Yes, the BBC coverage is excellent, but what you're suggesting is nefarious at best. The BBC is region locked because we, the British TV licence payer, pay for the privilege of having an excellent, commercial free service."

08 - The Bank of France says that France is falling back into recession. The Bank of England cuts it's forcast for the growth of the British economy to zero. Yesterday, Reuters reported that "Italy shrank further into recession in the second quarter [April to June] for a 2.5 percent yearly decline... threatening attempts by Mario Monti's technocrat government to control a debt crisis that is undermining the whole euro zone."

10 - For the second time in franchise history, the Orlando Magic lost an All-Star center, this time with Dwight Howard being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal involving 12 players and five draft picks. (Shaquille O'Neal left Orlando in 1996 to sign with L.A.) Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 regular-season games for Orlando last season. In eight seasons with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points and 13.0 rebounds.

13 - The summer Olympic games in London have ended. The number of medals awarded to athletes according to country puts the US first at 104 and China second at 88, but dividing the number of medals by population puts Trinidad & Tobago at the top at 3.3 per million. New Zealand scores 3.0 per million. China, because of its large population, scores 0.06 – a common score – about the same as Ethiopia, Turkey and Mexico. The United States scores much higher, at 0.33. Singapore, with two medals, scores 0.37. Canada scores at 0.52 up there with Germany at 0.54 and Russia at 0.59. Sweden scores 1.98 and Denmark at 1.6. A Ugandan won the men's marathon which provided the country its one medal, a score of 0.27 per million and a great personal achievement for the runner. The same can be said for Ethiopia's score of .07 and the great achievement of the winner of the woman's marathon. These countries were not expected to participate in activities more common to affluent countries.

23 - Prime Minister David Cameron joins President Obama in warning the Assad regime about use of chemical weapons. Presumably, contrary to China's recent claim, Obama and Cameron are trying to discourage the Assad regime from using chemical weapons rather than looking for an excuse to intervene.

20 - For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members. The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. Both women accepted.

30 - Human Rights Watch reports that "Syrian government forces have dropped bombs and fired artillery at or near at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo province over the past three weeks, killing and maiming scores of civilians who were waiting for bread."

SEPTEMBER

07 - Yesterday, the European Central Bank announced details of its bond buying plan. The plan is intended to ease the debt crisis by lowering government borrowing costs. Yields on Spanish and Italian ten-year bonds have fallen, the Euro has climbed to a two-month high against the dollar, and yesterday stock market prices in Europe and the US rallied.

09 - A week of protests by thousands in Hong Kong force the island's locally elected head of government, Leung Chun-ying, to give up plans initiated by Beijing that would have required students to take patriotism classes. The protesters are opposed to government "brainwashing."

09 - After two months of talks between team owners and the NHLPA, the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement expired at midnight and the NHL entered its fourth work stoppage since 1992. With the owners entrenched in their key position that they wouldn't open for business without a new CBA that requires players to accept salary cuts and limits on free agency, and the union insisting that a better revenue sharing plan is the best way to help the league's struggling franchises, the first 60 preseason games were cancelled within days of the witching hour. As players packed their gear for Europe or Russia instead of training camps, fear grew that some or all of the season could be lost, as happened in 1994-95 and 2004-05 respectively.

16 - Excited mobs in China rampage for the fifth and wildest day. They attack Japan's embassy, Japanese businesses including Panasonic factories. They attack people in Japanese cars and snatch Japanese cameras. There are chants "Declare war on Japan" and "Long Live China." Police are out in full force trying to contain them. The demonstrators are angry over Japan's government buying three small islands from Japanese citizens, putting the islands under Japanese state control. China claims that the group of islands of which the three are a part – the Diaoyu islands, between Okinawa and Taiwan – are historically Chinese. Japanese call them the Senkaku Islands. Japan annexed the islands in 1895. Premier Wen Jiabao plays to the get-tough spirit, saying his government will "absolutely make no concession" concerning the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

21 - Psy's "Gangnam Style" becomes the most-liked YouTube video ever.

23 - Apple introduces the world to the teeny-tiny iPad Mini

23 - Homeland and Modern Family dominate the 64th annual primetime Emmys

27 - In New York, responding to a question from talk show host David Letterman, British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks of "...a big difference between us. We don't allow political parties to advertise on television." The audience applauds and shouts its approval.

OCTOBER

03 - Miguel Cabrera became the first player to win baseball's Triple Crown since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, and just the 15th player ever , joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. Cabrera topped the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.

09 - With an 81% turnout in voting and 54% of the vote, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's chief of state and head of government since February 1999, has won another 6-year term as president. He is reported as saying that the more than six million people who voted for the oppostion should be taken into account going forward. Chavez promises "to respond with greater efficacy and efficiency to the needs of our people" and adds: "I promise you I'll be a better president."

15 - Singapore and Switzerland are opposed to foreigners moving funds to their banks for the purpose of tax avoidance. Germany is working with Switzerland on the matter. And wary of its citizens hiding money abroad, the German government has signed an agreement with Singapore for an exchange of banking information.

22 - On August 23 the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that it was stripping Lance Armstrong of his record-seven Tour de France titles and barred him for life from the sport after concluding he used banned substances. Armstrong said he would no longer challenge USADA and declined to exercise his last option by entering arbitration. He denied again that he ever took banned substances in his career, calling USADA's investigation a "witch hunt" without any physical evidence. On October 22 the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling's governing body, said that it had officially stripped Armstrong of his seven titles and banned him from cycling for life. "He deserves to be forgotten," UCI President Pat McQuaid said of Armstrong.

28 - The San Francisco Giants may be under the radar, unappreciated and unexpected. But they're unassailable, the winner of two World Series titles in the last three years. Their sweep of the Detroit Tigers, completed Sunday night with a 4-3, 10-inning win, was simply historic. No National League team had swept a World Series since the 1990 Cincinnati Reds. No NL team had won twice in a three-year span since the Big Red Machine in 1975-76. Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, was benched for most of the 2010 Series and then went 8 for 16 this year, including a three-homer performance in Game 1, to win MVP honors.

29 - Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik demands a halt to drone attacks by the US, claiming that the attacks have been rendering his country's efforts to counter terrorism ineffective.

29 - Long Beach Island sustained enormous and widespread damage during Hurricane Sandy, the scope of which was revealed for the first time today as awe-struck officials pondered the seemingly enormous task of rebuilding. The cost OF rebuilding is staggering: It will take at least $700 million to remake this 18-mile strip of land, an estimate that could certainly surpass $1 billion as more is learned, Mancini said as he surveyed the damage on the southern tip of the narrow barrier island. He figures it will cost $200 million just to get the sand off the roads and back on the beach.

30 - Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announces it's prepping a new Star Wars movie for 2015

NOVEMBER

02 - In the last few days before elections in the US, presidential candidate Romney argues that as a man with business experience he knows how to get the economy moving again. He remains opposed to taxing the most wealthy of people as President Clinton had. Campaigning for President Obama, Bill Clinton continues to describe Romney as pursuing trickle-down economics – as "doubling down" on Bush economic strategy. Some on the Left are talking about Romney as a tax evader, and Romney continues to blame Obama for the condition of the US economy. Pundit George Will describes his philosophical difference with Obama as Obama being "indolent in mind," employing empty rhetoric, belious and as "promising to replicate his first term." Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post that Obama has been trying to reverse the Reagan Revolution, and that if Obama loses the election his presidency will have been "a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal."

06 - The American Presidential Election declares winner: Barack Obama re-elected

11 - Skyfall has biggest Bond opening ever

20 - Britain joins France in recognizing the coalition led by Moaz al-Khatib as the legitimate governing body of the Syrian people.

27 - China begins its plans for $7.87 billion inner-city transportation projects, and its state planning agency approves a feasibility study for an inter-city rail line between Fuzhou and Pingtan (an island off the coast of Fujian) thought to cost another $3.5 billion and to be completed in four years. This is being done in part, according to Reuters, to boost economic growth..

DECEMBER

08 - It was the award that had eluded every freshman in college football history. But the Heisman voters could not deny that Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel was worthy. After finishing the regular season with 4,600 total yards, Manziel received 53 percent of the first-place votes and earned a space in college football history.

11 - Being competitive in attracting business is argued by those wanting right-to-work (anti-union shop) legislation in Michigan. Meanwhile the fire in a Bangladesh Tazreen Fashions garment factory on November 24 that killed 112 is still in the news. Tazreen Fashions had been competitive enough to attract business from Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart management claims it didn't know where their business was going, that work had been subcontracted to Tazreen Fashions without their knowledge.

11 - When it came to the NFL's Bountygate scandal, it turned out that the commissioner did not have the final say: the former commissioner did. Having been appointed to handle the appeals in the controversy, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue reversed Roger Goodell's decision to impose suspensions on four New Orleans Saints players and instead vacated them. Tagliabue said that while some of the players deserved to be fined, the chief of the blame should lie with the Saints' coaches

12 - President Obama joins the US with the move last month by France, Britain, Turkey and Gulf states in recognizing the anti-Assad coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

13 - After spending the past five years with the Texas Rangers, perennial All Star Josh Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million deal with Texas' AL West rival the Los Angeles Angels. It was the second year in a row that the Angels had signed a former MVP slugger, with Hamilton joining Albert Pujols on Los Angeles' lineup.

17 - A story emerges about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter's father was uncomfortable living with his wife Nancy and their "special needs" son, Adam. He divorces her and leaves her with an annual $240,000 payment. She has a survivalist philosophy and a lot of guns. She has been teaching Adam to shoot. Adam is dysfunctional socially and probably sexually frustrated and disgusted with himself and life in general. He plays video games – reported to be the kind with a lot of shooting and killing people. The mother tells a friend that Adam is getting worse, that she is "losing" him, but she hasn't locked up her guns or removed them from her home. Adam kills her, 20 children and six adults and ends his shooting spree by killing himself.

20 - After many months of conflict with the US position that Assad would fall from power and should fall from power, Russia's President Putin now proclaims that Russia's main concern is the fate Syria. "We are not concerned," he says, "about the fate of Assad's regime." Putin is looking to a political settlement without Assad – the US position for more than a year. Putin tries to put a good face on Russia's position regarding Syria, which has included support for the Assad regime, by saying: "We understand what is going on there." Also today Putin defends a proposed ban on US citizens adopting Russian children. This is in retaliation for what he describes as an "unfriendly human rights law" in the United States. That law restricts high-ranking Russians involved in the abuse and death of Sergei Magnitsky from visiting the United States.