Houston, We Have a Business
1. Scientists Discover Real Life Dinosaur (Tissue)
In March, paleontologists stumbled across something huge, literally. Scientists found dinosaur cells and blood vessels inside of a thigh bone from a female Tyrannosaurus rexthat lived 68 million years ago. Before this discovery, it was generally assumed that tissue couldn’t survive for more than 100,000 years.
2. I’m Not Superstitious, but I Am a Little Stitious.
On March 24, 2005, The Office (U.S.) premiered in the United States. This fun-loving, wacky sitcom about the everyday life of a paper company branch in Scranton, PA has been influencing pop culture years after its end in 2013. It has also given us tons of funny quotes to drop around OUR office. Beats, Bears, or Battlestar Galactica, anyone?
3. Around the World in 67 Hours
“Millionaire adventurer” Steve Fossett became the first man to fly solo (and without stopping for fuel) around the entire world on March 3, 2005. He flew the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer for two and a half days without touching down to refuel. He caught some favorable tailwinds, and, with a lot of encouragement, Fossett completed his flight around the world in just over 67 hours.
4. Thanks, Al Gore
During the year 2005, countries all over the world began to grasp the severity of climate change. In a 2005 census, climate change was discovered to be progressing much faster than estimates previously thought. The United Nations convened a conference — The United Nations Climate Change Conference — and 150 nations pledged to take action against climate change.
5. Speaking of Climate Change…
… Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005. Katrina was a category 5 hurricane that absolutely devastated New Orleans, Louisiana. The flooding and public health crisis caused by the aftermath cost more than 1800 lives.
6. There Is No Planet B
In July, scientists discovered a 10th planet in our solar system, though it was later classified as a dwarf planet along with our good friend Pluto. Weighing in at one-and-a-half times the size of Pluto, Eris is located in the Kuiper belt. Eris was the largest object to be found orbiting the sun since Neptune and its moon Triton in 1846.
7. Not Your Average Fireworks
On July 4, 2005, NASA sent the Deep Impact space probe to blast into the comet Temple I in order to study the composition of the comet. Not only was the mission a feat of incredible engineering and accuracy, but astronomers also discovered the comet’s interior was… fluffy? The nucleus of Temple I was found to contain at least 75% empty space, which made it appear very light and fluffy.
8. YouTube Gains Subscribers
Just like many of the tech-success stories of this century, YouTube also started in a garage. Founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim had an idea to create a Flickr-esque video sharing site, and youtube.com officially went live in February 2005. The first video was posted in April, by Jawed Karim; the video is entitled “Me at the Zoo,” and it goes downhill from there. Today, YouTube has over one billion active users and entertains people all over the world.
9. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… a Previously Undiscovered Mammal?!
In a rare turn of events, the World Wildlife Federation found a previously undiscovered mammal in the forests of Borneo. The WWF caught two pictures of the mammal, which looks strikingly like a lemur but also appears to be carnivorous. Indigenous people had never seen the creature before, and no other records matched the animal’s description, leading scientists to conclude that they had discovered a new animal. Dubbed the “Red Bornean Carnivore” (clever name), the animal still lives elusively in the deep forests of Borneo.
10. One Giant Leap for Intersectional Feminism
On January 26, 2005, Condoleezza Rice was the first African American woman to be appointed as Secretary of State under the Bush administration. While in office, Rice pioneered Transformational Diplomacy, which aimed to set up stable, democratic governments around the world, especially in the Middle East.
11. Cyborg Attack
Science fiction makes mind control seem so scary! 2005 saw an incredible breakthrough for people with disabilities: Matthew Nagle became the first paralyzed person to control an artificial hand using only his thoughts and some electrodes in his brain. By simply thinking about moving his paralyzed hands, Nagle was able to control an external hand that carried out movement. Nagle’s contraption allowed him to control various items around the house, from lights to computers, giving Nagle independence and confidence.
12. Star Wars Comes to a Dramatic Close
Padme wasn’t the only one who died of a broken heart, because the final installment of the Star Wars prequels was a real tearjerker. Clocking in as the top-grossing movie of the year, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released on May 9, 2005. It made over $800 million in the box office, completed Darth Vader’s origin story, and featured an epic lightsaber battle on lava. What more could we ask for?
13. One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
With DNA technology on the rise, scientists were eager to sequence everything they could. By the end of 2005, scientists had successfully sequenced the full genomes of a dog, a chimpanzee, and… a grain of rice. The genome of chimps showed us that we have almost 99% of the same DNA as our hairy relatives, with only a few (40 million) differences. Sequencing the genome of rice opened the door to genetically modified crops, which promised to provide more food for vulnerable populations around the world.