Notable Symbols - 2012

Other Notable Symbols of 2012, chosen by Symbolic Systems Program affiliates:

the Piedra del Sol, as a stand-in for the Mayan calendar

image of the Piedra del Sol. Licensed under Creative
Commons. For terms, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aztec_calendar_stone_in_National_Museum_of_Anthropology,_Mexico_City.jpg 

In 2012, images based on this famous Aztec or Mexica (not Mayan) artifact were widely but apocryphally used to represent the Mayan calendar, in a web of celebration, confusion, and anxiety surrounding the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar’s cyclic turning on December 21st. - Nominated by Peter Westen ('00) and Brandon Weiss ('03)

CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research

CERN's logo 

CERN is a symbol of European unity and scientific achievement, a status that has been enhanced by recent discoveries at CERN’s new Large Hadron Collider. In July 2012, LHC experiments showed evidence for the Higgs boson (symbol: H0), possibly confirming a key component in the Standard Model of particle physics. - Nominated by Max Bodoia ('14)

the gun

photo of AR-15

Gun massacres in Colorado and Connecticut, and many other shootings throughout the year, focused public attention in the U.S. on guns as never before. The gun, especially the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, symbolized a violent society, the Second Amendment, and the often emotional policy debates surrounding gun control. - Nominated by Alexander Muller ('10), James Kung ('04), and Aaron Cohen ('92)

the euro sign

Lighted Euro sign
sculpture in Frankfurt

The euro sign sculpture outside ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, frequently used by media as a symbol of one of 2012's biggest ongoing stories, faced an uncertain future, much like the euro itself. The latter's prospects, amidst debt crises in Greece and other Euro-zone countries, dominated financial news throughout the year. - Nominated by Todd Davies (Associate Director and Lecturer)

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