Forget about the fiscal cliff, what about light bulbs and a new royal?
The new year will mark the end of the 75-watt light bulb and the birth of a future king or queen.
The new year means the beginning of the end of 75-watt incandescent bulbs. By federal law, the bulbs have been banned from manufacture and import in the United States. The law banned 100-watt incandescent bulbs last year; the end of 40- and 60-watt bulbs will occur in 2014.
Federal law, passed in 2007, mandates that compact fluorescent bulbs replace older technology bulbs. According to the experts, 90 percent of the energy used by the bulbs we grew up with is wasted.
The British connection in the new year
We can look forward to a media circus this summer with all of England going goo-goo for a royal baby. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, the future king, are expecting a baby in July. The first-born boy or girl will be third in line of succession to the throne behind Prince Charles and Prince William. Prince Harry will drop to fourth in line.
Locally, another British connection will make news in 2013. Lewes residents will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the British bombardment of Lewes during the War of 1812. The Lewes Historical Society plans several events this spring to commemorate the event.
In March 1813, the British Royal Navy blockaded Lewes to deter shipping on the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. When the residents refused to provide supplies to the Brits, the Royal Navy opened fire for 24 hours April 6 and 7 sending as many as 800 projectiles into the town. When the bombardment stopped, the Royal Navy withdrew but maintained its blockade until the end of the war two years later.
The most visible reminder of the bombardment is a single cannon ball embedded in the foundation of the historical society's Cannonball House in downtown Lewes. The house is located across the street from 1812 Park, one of two former forts used to defend the town.
More of the same on the silver screen
If banning light bulbs is not enough, movie goers can look forward to a host of sequels, do-overs and remakes in 2013.
Topping the list of 2013 sequels: Paranormal Activity 5; Fast and Furious 6; Iron Man 3; A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth film in the series; Star Trek Into Darkness, the 12th film in the saga; Grown Ups 2; The Smurfs 2; Despicable Me 2; Scary Movie 5; Bad Santa 2; and Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
The second installments of two popular movies, Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, will all grace the silver screen.
Others to look for include: 42, the story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson; Man of Steel, yet another film about the origins of Super Man; The Lone Ranger; Oz: The Great and Powerful; remakes of the horror classic Carrie and the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing; and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, the backstory to the filming of Disney's classic Mary Poppins.
For television viewers, BBC's widely popular show, Dr. Who, enters its 50th year and HBO's Game of Thrones returns as does PBS' Downton Abbey, both for a third season.
Most Americans are optimistic
There is good news for the year ahead. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans are optimistic about 2013. The most optimistic? Women aged 18-29 with some college who live in the East and make less than $75,000 per year. The most pessimistic? Men aged 65 and above who are college graduates, live in the Midwest and make more than $75,000 a year. By political party, Democrats, and those who consider themselves liberals, are more optimistic than Republicans, moderates and Independents. In the survey, 83 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of liberals and 53 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of conservatives said they were optimistic about 2013.