Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

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Pictures: Joe Riddle (Getty Images)

Einstein famously established the relativity of time. But even his elegant theories and refinements followed have probably failed to capture the real resilience of time. There is no true test of what we temporarily call the Unified Theory of Relativity compared to 2021, a year in which it is impossible to determine whether the moments have stretched and collapsed on top of each other and whether minutes or months have passed.

Consider that this year has seen the rise of both Mipilo Guy and Joe Manchin, still relative randoms in the political ecosystem. Or that JPEGs and GIFs have suddenly received the silent respect reserved for the Mona Lisa. Or the boat. Remember the boat.

As we chatted with our co-editors here around 2021, there was no shortage of double checks to make sure our memories weren’t actually failing. That this year has, in fact, been extremely fucked up and contains more twists and turns than seems possible in 525,600 minutes continuously. (Okay, technically we still have a few more days to reach that mark, but we’ve already established at this point, time is plastic compared to the previous theory.)

We leave it up to scientists to re-evaluate their understanding of time as they crunch numbers from 2021. Although they go through their peer-review strategy, though, there is raw data here.

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