The storm before the calm?
After the dizzying turbulence of 2020, many of us craved a more tranquil start to the new year. This wish was swiftly denied to Americans, Myanmarese and the employees of the Suez Canal Authority, however, who had to deal with a violent siege (see p016), a violent coup (p052) and a 220,000-tonne container ship getting accidentally wedged across a key artery of world trade (p112).
Elsewhere, though, there were reasons to feel more upbeat about the prospects for 2021. In the UK, thousands joined forces to make a success of the vaccination programme (p102) and a team of astrogeology sleuths tracked down 4.6 billion-year-old space rocks that could help explain the origins of life on Earth (p088). Underdogs fought back, against oppression in Russia (p028), discrimination in Colombia (p032) and avaricious short-sellers on Wall Street (p068).
For the team at Delayed Gratification the year began in a flurry of spreadsheets as we worked our way through a seemingly endless raft of research for our new book, An Answer for Everything, which will be published by Bloomsbury in the autumn. Keen-eyed readers of the magazine will have noticed that we’re fond of infographics, and this is a whole beautiful book of them, giving data-driven responses to questions including ‘How do we save the planet?’ ‘War – what is it good for?’ and ‘Where do babies come from?’
If you’re craving an infographic fix before then, why not turn to p049 to check out the species that came back from the dead, p100 to peruse a rogues’ gallery of long-serving leaders or p065 to discover the arboreal cost of printing Laurence Llewelyn -Bowen’s opinions of Princess Anne’s living room. Nice trinkets!
We hope you enjoy the issue,
Rob and Marcus, editors
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