When the clock strikes midnight tonight and you kiss your nearest partygoer in drunken revelry, the world will be entering the United Nations-declared official International Year of Planet Earth. (The IYoPE technically lasts from January 2007 to December 2009, which makes it a three-year-long International Year, but why quibble?) In 2008, the U.N. will also celebrate sanitation, languages, and the humble potato, which the U.N. proclaims “produces more nutritious food more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop.” Other folks have also deemed 2008 the year to laud frogs, reefs, and spaceships; Greece will cheer feta in 2008, while Australia will salute boy scouts and engineering teams. Cheshire, England, will root for gardens, and the European Union will talk up international dialogue. Happy New Year!

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