The inevitable end-of-year headlines have begun rolling around the internet, bouncing off each other’s questions: was 2016 the worst year in recent history? Can 2017 be any worse? Where the hell do we go from here?
However, a few quiet little voices have been attempting to break through this morbid fog of dense bad news. We decided it was time to join in. After all, statistically more great people were born this year than died, we just don’t know who they are yet or what weird, awesome stuff they will create.
So without further ado, here is a brief list of good shit that happened in 2016:
Scientists have linked the part of the brain that deals with intent to move to robotic limbs, so amputees don’t have to think about the process of moving a limb, it will just happen.
The UK Foreign Office got a new cat. Called Palmerston. Because of course they did.
Tim Peake returned from his six-month mission in space.
New breakthroughs in chemotherapy have increased the 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27%
NASA successfully landed the space craft Juno on the surface of Jupiter, as part of a mission to explore how the solar system began. After the mission was declared successful, the official twitter account (@NASAJuno) tweeted: “I’m ready to unlock all your secrets, #Jupiter. Deal with it.”
The gene responsible for ALS has been found, as a direct result of the donations given during the ice bucket challenge. An effective treatment is closer than ever before, all because millions of people were willing to get wet, and a little nippy.
Child mortality is down everywhere, and has more than halved since 1990 according to the World Health Organisation.
Finding Dory was released, turning an entire generation of 20-somethings into 6 year olds again.
The Queen turned 90 and everyone had a massive party.
The TV show Westworld was a very confusing, totally immersive thing that happened. If you haven’t watched it, watch it. Anthony Hopkins features in a spectacular return to form.
Andy Murray won the annual international Pimms & tennis fest Wimbledon.
Baby bottle manufacturer Tommee Tippee spent days finding a discontinued mold in a Chinese factory, all so 14 year old Ben Carter, who has autism, could drink out of his favourite cup for the rest of his life. They made 500 more of the cups, more than he will ever need, in an awesome show of compassion.
Pokemon Go got people walking their nerdy little butts off. Even outside, sometimes.
Food waster, and eliminating it, has been a hot topic of conversation. Apps like Olio and Too Good to Go have lead the way in tech advancements aiming to reduce unnecessary food waste.
The wild tiger population has increased for the first time in 100 years.
The ozone layer has shown signs that it might be repairing itself
A solar powered plane flew once around the world without using a drop of fuel.
Leicester City won the Premier League title against 5000/1 odds, in what some experts called the most improbable win in the history of football.
Portugal ran entirely on renewable energy for four days straight.
India planted 50 million trees in one day, on July 11th. The previous world record was held by Pakistan for 847,000 in 2013.
Over 800 Boko Harem hostages were rescued by the Nigerian Army
Virtual Reality finally became a tangible, purchasable experience thanks largely to the innovations of Occulus Rift.
Leonardo Dicaprio won his first ever Oscar.
Words by Octavia Bromell