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Ovi's Person/Event of the Year: Vote now
by Asa Butcher
2008-12-07 08:27:37
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As we near the end of 2008 it is time for you to help us, here at Ovi magazine, choose our next Person or Event of the Year. Last year we awarded the highly-prestigious title to Alan Johnston, the kidnapped BBC reporter, and we have high expectations as to whom or what you will help us choose for 2008.

In case you have a hard time recollecting some of the major events and people over the past twelve months, allow us to refresh your memory.

January saw the price of petroleum hit $100 per barrel for the first time, while the stock markets around the world plunged amid growing fears of a U.S. recession that would be realised only a few months later. Other events included Egypt winning the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and Ovi celebrating its 500th cover.

February saw Kosovo formally declare independence from Serbia causing a great deal of international unrest and Fidel Castro finally announced his long-awaited resignation as President of Cuba. The month also marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster and No Country for Old Men won the Best Picture award for the Coen brothers at the 80th Academy Awards.

March was a quieter month with Heathrow's Terminal 5 finally opening and Mervyn King celebrating his 60th birthday, with his Finnish wife.

April had the revelation that Josef Fritzl had imprisoned his daughter Elisabeth Fritzl in a secret cellar since 1984 and had sexually abused, raped, and physically assaulted her without anybody discovering the truth in all that time. On a more positive note, surgeons at a London hospital successfully performed the first operations using bionic eyes, implanting them into two blind patients - science is incredible.

May saw "bumbling" Boris Johnson win the London mayoral race, an earthquake kill over 69,000 in China's Chengdu province, Manchester United beat Chelsea in the first all-English club Champions League Final and Russia won the Eurovision Song Contest. Laurent Cantet's Entre les murs walked away with the coveted Palme d'Or award at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival and Ovi magazine published its 3,000th article. Ovi also went to war with Nokia over the name 'Ovi', which rightfully belongs to… well, us!

June threw the EU into panic after Ireland voted to reject the Treaty of Lisbon, in the only referendum to be held by a European Union member state on the treaty, and after three decades as the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates stepped down from daily duties to concentrate on philanthropy. Robert Mugabe took a break from raping Zimbabwe to attend the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization summit in Rome - thankfully the United Kingdom refused to send a representative to the summit in protest.

July was a month of celebration, with Nelson Mandela eating a slice of his 90th birthday cake and Brad Pitt lighting up cigars after partner Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt.

August finally ruled out South Ossetia as a summer tourist destination after Georgia and Russia launched a major offensive inside the region and this was the followed by the incredible news that Pervez Musharraf had resigned from the post of President of Pakistan under impeachment pressure from the coalition government proving that the man really does listen to the people… After years of outrage and protest the 2008 Summer Olympics began in Beijing, China, which were notable for many achievements, including Michael Phelps surpassing Mark Spitz in Olympic Gold Medals won at a single Olympics. However, August will be remembered as the month that introduced the world to a "hockey mum from Alaska" and a frightening glimpse into a possible future of American politics Sarah Palin style.

September welcomed Haumea as the fifth dwarf planet in the Solar System and Finland was shocked by another school shooting in Kauhajoki, a city in Western Finland, when 22 year-old culinary arts student Matti Juhani Saari shot dead ten people with a semi-automatic pistol, before shooting himself in the head.

October left the world's jaw dropped open in collective shock as we tried to comprehend 700 billion dollars, which was the amount in the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that President Bush signed into law. The month also saw Iceland unfortunately declared a terrorist state by the UK and we all expected the worst (thanks to the movies) when the Large Hadron Collider was officially inaugurated.

November… what happened in November? Was there an election of some-kind? If memory serves, somebody named Obama is set to become the 44th President of the United States, but don't quote me on that. The month ended with a horrifying number of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India that claimed the lives of 195 and injured almost 250.

December has barely begun but we do know that Martti Ahtisaari will finally receive the Nobel Peace Prize, while Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien receive the Chemistry prize, Paul Krugman wins the Economics prize, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio wins the Literature prize, Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa and Yoichiro Nambu win the Physics prize, and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Harald zur Hausen and Luc Montagnier win the Physiology or Medicine prize.

2008 has also bid a sad farewell, some prematurely, to many of Ovi's heroes and inspirations among which were: Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Crichton, Bo Diddley, Bobby Fischer, Isaac Hayes, Charlton Heston, Heath Ledger, Bernie Mac, Paul Newman, Jacques Piccard, Sydney Pollack, Roy Scheider and Stan Winston.

So, it is now up to you to influence the Ovi team's final decision over whom or what should become our Person/Event of the Year. Will you choose Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Silvio Berlusconi, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Sarah Palin, Hugo Chavez, Dmitri Medvedev, Britney Spears, George W. Bush, Martti Ahtisaari or Cristiano Ronaldo, or perhaps gay marriage, Somalia pirates, the financial crisis, Georgia, Kosovo, HIV AIDS or the US election will grab your vote.

You can write your choice in the comment section or email us at asa@theovi.com

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Sand2008-12-07 09:08:44
Probably the event or person of the year will not be evident for a decade but I have read an interesting article about the Somalia pirates at http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney12032008.html

that indicates they might not all be the vicious brigands portrayed in the media. Since Somalia is about as lawless as a country can get without dissolving totally many immoral commercial operations have taken to dumping poisonous garbage in their local seas causing frightful medical problems and some of the "pirates" a are merely responding by attacking these pollution distributors to protect the population since there is no legal policing of the seas.

Alan2008-12-07 11:13:56
Barack Obama

Asa2008-12-07 12:50:22
I am tempted to nominate Kevin Keegan... but my vote would have to go to the 700 billion dollar bailout package - a sum of money that makes my overdraft look comical!

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-07 14:30:27
Paul Newman as a tribute to his astonishing and superb acting career. We will not see his likes again for a long while.

N.L.2008-12-07 22:47:39
Newman was a great actor, but I don't think his death is the event of the year.
I'll take the US election for $500, Alex.

Eva2008-12-07 23:17:22
Britney Spears.
Only joking, hehe...
Barack Obama, definitely.

AP2008-12-08 03:21:12
Cristiano Ronaldo, of course.
Naaa... joking too.
I think Ingrid Betancourt, for the six and a half years she spent on the jungle, deserved to be on the list.

I would say the new puppy in the White House :P
So it's not person nor event... but animal of the year! (an the suspense factor should be considered - just put his dark profile on the cover)

Jennifer2008-12-08 07:07:16
Gay Marriage

Asa2008-12-08 09:21:03
Thanks for all of your suggestions, but keep them coming!

jess2008-12-08 09:54:27
god what a horrible year. Where to start? For as big as the story was about Obama winning the American election I'd have to say that the radical transfer of wealth in such a remarkably undemocratic and illegal fashion to reciepients that the Feds refused to name has to be the bigger story. I mean, it's truly hard to imagine the magnitude of this crime.

Saberi2008-12-08 13:02:24
Very interesting question....but the disappearance of 3 large investment banks from Wall Street in one year is unthinkable and unexpected event of the year. The US elections are not an unexpected event but Obama would be the person of the year I guess.

Akli Hadid2008-12-10 16:08:04
Obama hasn't accomplished anything yet besides being elected president. I think it would be too early to judge whether he could be person of the year. My pick would be Mike Zukerberg, for developing a website that has millions of addicts worldwide and that might one day, bring the entire earth together. His concept is interesting and he has given the entire planet the opportunity to be at the center of attention, and to express their opinions freely, in sum, to make their own news.

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