2. Academics appear to be more interested in the cryptocurrency than ever before. There were 190 white papers published on bitcoin in 2014, up from 55 in 2013. Authors—amateur or otherwise—have also flocked to bitcoin: Amazon lists 437 books about or involving the term “bitcoin” published in 2014, compared to 143 in 2013. (That is based on a subject search, and thus includes less hard-hitting titles like Bitcoin Bimbo 3: Undercover Cop Science Fiction Erotica.) And sports fans this year may not have been able to ignore the inaugural Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, a college football playoff game between North Carolina State and the University of Central Florida. ESPN quickly convertedBitPay’s $500,000 rights fee for the game into U.S. dollars.
5. Despite an abortive attempt in August to devalue the renminbi — a move that rocked global markets and was quickly abandoned by Beijing — China’s trade-weighted exchange rate was 8.5 per cent stronger in September than a year earlier, making Chinese exports less competitive.
6. The first selfie stick was invented long before the first handheld mobile device was made. A selfie stick was definitely invented by the Japanese man Hiroshi Ueda in the 1980s. A photographer and worker at the Minolta camera company, Hiroshi made the selfie stick because he and his wife were unable to take pictures of themselves during a trip to Europe. (When he asked a boy to take pictures of them, the boy ran off with the camera.)
In a separate report in early September, the World Meteorological Organization said the level of carbon dioxide in the air in 2013 was 42 percent above the level that prevailed before the Industrial Revolution. Other important greenhouse gases have gone up as well, with methane increasing 153 percent from the preindustrial level and nitrous oxide by 21 percent.