Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: THE YEAR MORE PEOPLE LIVED THAN DIED

Entertainment


So, 2016 has come to an end and I am just as guilty as everyone else for bad-mouthing this entire year.  The collective hatred and dread regarding 2016 reminds me of the infamous “Summer of the Shark.”  You remember that, right?  Back during the summer of 2001, there was a media feeding frenzy of ridiculous over-coverage of shark attacks and it blew the whole country up into hysteria over why shark attacks were increasing.  However, statistically, shark attacks on humans, in terms of actual numbers, were slightly less than average that year.  Of course, the coverage of shark attacks stopped completely when the twin towers came down on September 11.  That provided the media with some real meat to consume and they promptly stopped propping up a false story to get people to tune in to the news and to buy their papers.

Well, in 2016, it was even more insane because we now live in the world of social media dominance where “clicks” on stories and ads equal revenue, so the more “click bait” they can chum the waters of social media with the more money pours into their profit margins.  Kicking off 2016 with coverage of the deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and a string of other near-forgotten former greats in entertainment, including the previously presumed immortal Abe Vigoda, all dying just within January appeared to set up a portent of great disaster for 2016.  And this stigma never seemed to shed, and I will share that I went and looked through the January celebrity deaths from the previous 15 years and it really was a remarkable (but arbitrary) grouping of celebrities that January 2016 in comparison to other Januaries.  However, this does not make 2016 a terrible year.  Every year has ups and downs.  I think the families of those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks of 2001 would have a very difficult time agreeing that 2016 was the worst year ever.


I say all of that to say this—while most articles and blogs reflecting on 2016 are going to focus on the negatives, I’m going to break that mold and instead refocus our memories and experiences on a few great and positive things that happened in 2016.  The best way to go forward into 2017 is to stop letting this collective negativity sour all of us over what was an historic year.  And it was historic in bad ways and in good ways.  Every year has deaths. Every year has wars. Every year has political victories and losses.  Every year is full of pain but it is also full of joy.  Let’s take a look back at 2016 in all her greatness!

IN 2016 . . .

Related imageA WOMAN WON THE POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT!
In 2016, the United States saw the first major political party nominate a female to run for president and even though she lost the electoral college count, she won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.  

Three. 

Million.  

That is historic and sets the stage for a very near future where the sex/gender of our presidential candidates are irrelevant in terms of qualifications.  

Image result for new prime numberA NEW PRIME NUMBER WAS DISCOVERED!
Mathematicians discovered the number  2^74,207,281 – 1.  This means it has roughly 24 million digits and is about 5 million digits longer than the previously known prime number.


Image result for chicago cubsTHE CHICAGO CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!
For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs won the World Series.  So, the century-old jokes about the Cubs are officially done.

And that should be a reason to celebrate in and of itself.


Image result for snl debate baldwinSATURDAY NIGHT LIVE GOT FUNNY AGAIN!
Not only did SNL give us Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins—instantly one of the funniest new characters to appear on SNL in years but their skewering of the 2016 presidential race, with Alec  Baldwin introducing his magnificent Trump caricature, was easily on par with the brilliant SNL skits during the 2000 presidential race.



07BRAIN CHIP ALLOWED A QUADRIPLEGIC TO MOVE HIS FINGERS AGAIN!
Not only did the implanted chip allow a quadriplegic man to be able to move his fingers again, he was able to play Guitar Hero!  Also, stem cell injections allowed stroke victims to be able to walk again!  This was a grand year for scientific advancements in this area!



Related image

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE DEMONSTRATED ORIGINAL THOUGHT!

Yes, that’s right, some of Google Brain’s AI personalities have begun sending messages to each other through self-designed encryption codes. 

Image result for netflix and hboTV RAISED ITS OWN BAR FOR EXCELLENCE!
Television stepped up to the plate and hit these three brand-new brilliant series straight out of the ballpark:  Stranger Things, The Crown, and Westworld.



MORE CELEBRITIES LIVED THAN DIED!
For example, here’s a selective list of famous people who might have died in 2016 but they didn’t.
They are still alive!!!


Jimmy Carter! Mary Tyler Moore! Stan Lee! Kirk Douglas! Brian Blessed! Grace Slick! Queen Elizabeth II! Ringo Starr! Alan Arkin! Don Rickles! Steve Ditko! Woody Allen! Dick Van Dyke! Carol Channing! Carol Burnett! Betty White! McCauley Culkin!

All these celebrities, and many more, did NOT die in 2016!!!

So, remember 2016 the way it should be remembered. 
It was the worst of times; it was the best of times—as it is every year. 

But if you’re reading this, then you survived 2016.

And that is good.