In many ways, 2010 is a year you may want to relegate to the filing cabinet quickly. It began with a massive earthquake in Haiti and wound down with North Korea once again being an enfant terrible – bizarrely trying to conduct diplomacy through brinkmanship. In between came Toyota recalls and egg scares, pat downs at airports and unyielding unemployment numbers, too little money in the Irish treasury and too many bedbugs in American sheets. Oil gushed from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico for three months, mocking the best intentions of man and technology to stop it, while ash from a volcano in Iceland darkened Europe temporarily as much as its balance sheets. Yet not all was gloomy. The winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa dazzled with their displays of athletic prowess and national pride, becoming hearths around which the world gathered. In Switzerland, the world's largest atom smasher hurled two protons into each other at unfathomable speeds. Then came the year's most poignant moment – the heroic and improbable rescue of 33 miners from the clutches of the Chilean earth. There were many transitions, too – the return of the Republicans in Washington and the Tories in Britain, the scaling back of one war (Iraq) and the escalation of another (Afghanistan), the fall of some powers (Greece) and rise of others (China, Germany, Lady Gaga). To get the new year off to the right start, we decided to ask various thinkers for one idea each to make the world a better place in 2011. We plumbed poets and political figures, physicists and financiers, theologians and novelists. Some of the ideas are provocative, others quixotic. Some you will agree with, others you won't. But in the modest quest to stir a discussion – from academic salons to living rooms to government corridors – we offer these 25 ideas.
George H.W. Bush, along with Maya Angelou, Stan Musial and a dozen others, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom early next year. George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States.
Sailing around the world on his iconic ship Calypso, Cousteau captivated audiences.
Renowned CBS News anchor and reporter Walter Cronkite (r.) is seen in a March 1981 file photo with President Ronald Reagan. Dubbed 'the most trusted man in America,' Cronkite broke stories such as President John F. Kennedy's and Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassinations and the landing on the moon. Cronkite died in his home in July 2009.
The conservative writer won a Pulitzer Prize and a wide following for his New York Times columns on politics and language.
The education of doctors puts new focus on patients' cultural diversity and serving communities in need.
For decades, most major pieces of social legislation – from healthcare to immigration to education – bore the imprint of Sen. Edward 'Ted' Kennedy, who died late Tuesday.
Ryan Crocker was a major force in helping to turn around Iraq, Presidents Bush and Obama say.
All the adventures of Curious George in one spot, Robbert Bobbert's lastest infectious beat, a Carly and Lucy Simon classic reissued, and more.