It's traditional to write a new year blog post. I'm not very traditional.
The big news at the moment is the Israeli assault on Gaza in apparent retaliation for the rockets that Hamas has been firing into Israel. No opinion on that here, but I think that I'm more knowledgeable on the subject than the average Brit. Even at school, I did a whole semester researching the background of the conflicts. The course was called "West Asian Studies". Clearly that's a better name than "Middle Eastern Studies".
Also from much earlier school history classes, I recall early ignorance about why Upper Egypt was shown below Lower Egypt on maps in history class. Of course it's obvious now. But because we are so used to arbitrarily seeing North at the top of maps, it confused this poor schoolboy. I know there are some novelty maps (typically Australian) that reverse the world, but actually I don't think these maps should be "novelty" at all, there should be more varieties and perspectives, then it's harder for little kids to grow up with flat earth or other biblical misconceptions.