JUST one more month and 2012 will be a footnote in history. The year seems to have passed by at the speed Mat Rempit take to the highways. Perhaps it has to do with age -- it's faster when you are going downhill.
Not everything that has happened this year has been a hazy blur, however. Much happened, some so catastrophic and others so bizarre that they have been enough to raise eyebrows and this question -- is the end of the world nigh?
According to Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar, the End of Days will be on Dec 21 this year -- just 22 days away. It has been interpreted that on that day, the Great Cycle ends, and time ends, so the Earth must end as well.
If disasters are any indication, there was "Frankenstorm" Sandy in the United States late last month. It was relentless, bringing major cities from New York to Washington to a standstill. Bus and train services were suspended up and down the coast. Subway services, buses and commuter trains were also shut down. For many, all they had were blown or washed away, or smashed to smithereens. At least 50 people lost their lives.
So ferocious was Sandy that the scenes of destruction were reminiscent of those in 2004 American disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. (It, however, didn't stop a Brazilian model, Nana Gouvea, from posting now viral pictures of herself posing amid the destruction caused by Sandy on Twitter).
Some experts have argued that the superstorm was climate-change driven. Scientists and activists have in its wake urged for swift action as they believe extreme weather and climate events will continue to increase. Indeed, overdevelopment and climate change have wrought havoc on many nations across the world, and Malaysia has been no exception. Pay no heed and apocalyptic repercussions may not be entirely far fetched.
Some say the various inexplicable phenomena this year may perhaps be harbingers of the Armageddon, too.
In the entertainment scene, there was the curious case of South Korean rapper Psy, or Park Jae-Sang, who became world famous almost overnight just by doing it Gangnam Style.
People around the world are now aping the dance moves in Psy's ludicrously popular music video, which just became the most-viewed ever on YouTube, beating that other monstrosity -- Justin Bieber's Baby.
In Malacca recently, people were intrigued to see "jellyfish" clouds -- a patch of white clouds with stripes of lightning blue, pink, green, red and yellow against a blue sky. The clouds, could be seen from almost all parts of Malacca, before they disappeared after about an hour.
The superstitious hearkened it as an ominous sign but weather experts have pooh-poohed it, saying it was something which occurred when the sun is at a low angle and there is moisture, dust and pollutants in the atmosphere.
I can't predict whether or not this might be the last month of our existence, but 2012 has indeed, in more ways than one, marked the end of an era.
Those who achieved historical milestones passed on, among them the one who took that giant leap for mankind in 1969. If not for Neil Armstrong, we would not have had that moonwalk that changed the world as we knew it then.
The entertainment world was also beset by the deaths of many of its luminaries. Just one was the passing of TV's supreme villain, Larry Hagman last week. Nobody will likely be able to fill up the vacuum left by scheming, blackhearted J.R. Ewing in the reboot of Dallas, which is still currently being filmed. The deaths of Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Andy Griffith, Ernest Borgnine, and Michael Clarke Duncan were also mourned.
Legendary British hair stylist and entrepreneur Vidal Sassoon, too, is no more. The "founder of hairdressing" who created the renowned "bob" haircut died in May at the age of 84.
Eighty-year-old magazine Newsweek will cease print publication at the end of this year and move to an all-digital format. This provoked much hand-wringing over the death of print as a medium.
So, will 2012 just pass as all years before it did? It would be a shame if the Mayans were right and it didn't.
We'd miss a host of interesting events next year -- foremost being the 13th general election.
A worker collecting hazardous goods from burnt houses in Queens, New York, a month after ‘Frankenstorm’ Sandy brought major cities in the United States to a standstill, leaving thousands homeless. Reuters pic