ACTUAL Good Things That Happened In 2016...It Wasn't All Bad!

It has been a roller coaster of a year, well a broken roller coaster shall we say as we seemed to spend the majority of it stuck at the very bottom, not really going anywhere. Our hearts have been broken multiple times thanks to shocking deaths, illness, defeats, dramas and just general crappy things happening.
However, 2016 wasn’t all doom and gloom…no really! …you don’t believe me, do you? Well, I don’t blame you but its important to remember that some pretty awesome things happened this year, despite all the rubbish we’ve had to deal with. The positive events of 2016 seem to have been forgotten as they’ve been buried underneath a mountain of sad headlines and announcements so, I'm here to remind you of ACTUAL good things that ACTUALLY happened in 2016 and yes, these things really did happen this year!
It is imperative that we remember the lives we lost this year and that we do not treat the bad things that have happened just as jokes which we can leave behind in the new year, but it is also important that we go into 2017 with positive mental attitudes and hopeful hearts. We cannot change what has happened this year but what we can do is work next year to make our world a better place.

So, take a look at some of this year’s highlights. I hope these manage to put a smile on your face, no matter what sort of year you have had.

Andy Murray won Wimbledon
It was an amazing Summer for sport and one thing which made it amazing was the fact that everyone’s favourite tennis player won the Wimbledon title for the second time after beating Milos Raonic. Mr Murray shall end 2016 as the World Number One after beating five-time champion Novak Djokovic for his first ATP World Tour Finals title. WOO!

Pokemon Go

Love it or hate it, the new Pokemon Go game united people and it got people moving, yes, we, as a society, did some actual exercise…sort of. It literally got the laziest of the lazy off the sofa and out into the big wide world.

The Olympics

I feel as though the world seems to have forgotten about the 2016 Olympics as it was the filling in a rather sad sandwich. But, nevertheless, it was a glorious time and gave us many firsts, such as for the first time in Olympic history, a team of refugees was allowed to compete, nine countries got their first taste of Olympic gold: Singapore, Bahrain, Fiji, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Tajikistan and Vietnam, Giulia Steingruber won a bronze medal in the vault final, making her the first Swiss woman to win a gymnastics medal and Usain Bolt of Jamaica became the first man to win three gold medals in three events.

The tiger population increased

For the first time in a century, wild tiger populations are increasing! The number of wild tigers has risen to almost 3,900, thanks to enhanced protections and conservation commitments.

Scientists found the most common gene linked to ALS

Remember when the ice bucket challenged took over the world and everyone and their dog seemed to be throwing buckets of freezing water over their heads in the name of charity? Well, our mission to raise awareness of ALS worked! Thanks to funding from the ALS ice bucket challenge, researchers identified a new ALS this year, named NEK1, which now ranks among the most common genes that contribute to the disease, providing scientists with another potential target for therapy development.

Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees within 24 hours

More than 80,000 volunteers smashed a world record this year as they pitched in to fight climate change. The world record was previously 847,275 trees but this group of volunteers planted 80 different species of trees along roads, railways and on public land in a bid to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in the air.

Spacecraft Juno reached Jupiter

After what was almost a five year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn on Monday 4th July.

A plane flew around the world without using fuel

Solar Impulse 2 flew around the world without a drop of fuel, marking a huge achievement for clean energy. Two pilots took turns flying the aircraft almost 27,000 miles, picking up eight world records along the way. The solar-powered plane took to the skies for the first time over a year ago but has now completed its epic journey.

Tim Peake returned to Earth after a rather epic holiday

Time Peake was launched to the International Space Station on 15th December 2015, which seems like a lifetime ago now. He returned from space on 18th June this year after spending six months in the sky, which we all enjoyed keeping up with via TV, livestreams and his Tweets.

New rapid cancer tests could save 10,000 lives a year

GPsPs were told this year to give patients rapid access to cancer testing in a bid to save 10,000 lives a year. Doctors could speed up diagnosises by booking important tests for their patients themselves rather than referring patients to a specialist, who will them give them access to the procedures.

Carpool Karaoke

2015 saw the birth of Carpool Karaoke and its success snowballed right through 2016. It has to be said that the whole thing is a world class concept created by James Corden, a man who has also had a pretty outstanding year. Every few weeks the world has been treated to a video of the Late Late Show host driving celebs around in his car whilst singing along to their biggest hits. Personally, I don't think we would have survived 2016 if it wasn't for Carpool Karaoke.

Obama’s mic drop

There have been many mic drops since mic drops became a thing but this year saw what had to be the greatest mic drop of all time. The US president ended his speech at the White House correspondents’ dinner in epic style by dropping the mic to the floor after uttering the words "Obama out." Iconic.

An American who was paralysed from the chest down has regained control of his right hand

This is the first example of limb reanimation in a person with quadriplegia. A chip was implanted in his brain and it allows him to bypass his spinal injury by using his thoughts to directly control the muscles in his right hand and fingers. He must be connected to computers in a lab for it to work but its certainly a starting point!

Starbucks announced it would be opening a store in Italy
Pretty much everywhere in the world seems to have and love Starbucks but, in 2016, the Green Mermaid and her coffee made her way to Italy. The first store is set to open in Milan in 2017 and the chairman and CEO said it was a place which inspired the creation of Starbucks.

A hedgehog cafe opened in Japan where people can go to pet hedgehogs

There was already a centre in Tokyo where people could go to cuddle rabbits but, in 2016, Japan's first hedgehog cafe opened and it was named 'Harry,' a plan on the Japanese word for hedgehog. People can pay 1,000 Yen for a 30 minute petting session and the centre was opened for emotional or psychological recharging in crowded urban dwellings where pet ownership may not be feasible for some people.

Giant pandas are no longer endangered
The giant panda has been downgraded from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’ on the global list of species at risk of extinction! Knowing such a beautiful bunch of creatures are one step further away from extinction is extremely exciting.

Worlds first three parent baby was born
A baby boy was born using the DNA from three people, which was referred to as not "just a big deal" but "revolutionary" and rightly so. The controversial technique has only been legally approved in the UK but embryologists say the birth of this first child should speed up progress worldwide.

A man woke up from a coma after ultrasound waves were beamed into his brain
A 25 year old man regained full consciousness after this treatment. He showed minimal signs of being conscious and understanding prior to researchers 'exciting' his brain tissue with ultrasound pulses but then came around and regained language comprehension.

Netflix added offline downloads
Its something Netflix lovers have been waiting for and, this year, the streaming site finally allowed its users to download films and TV shows so that they can watch them offline. This is great for when you're in places with no connection or flying/travelling. So, what's next? Can we make Netflix completely free? thinks not. #WishfulThinking.

Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps going down
The amount of children under the age of five is decreasing, which surely has to be a good thing. Less infant deaths? Erm, yes please!

500 elephants were relocated to a better, safer and bigger home
This was the largest elephant relocation ever attempted in Africa as five hundred elephants were moved from a cramped park in Malawi. Their new home allows them more space to roam around and also will protect them from human encroachment.

Death by heart disease has decreased by 70% in the United States
Any news of the amount of deaths due to disease is always a good thing and the fact that the number of people dying from heart disease in the US has decreased by such a massive percentage is incredible, especially as heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since 1921.

Two brothers saw colour for the first time thanks to specially-designed glasses
Two colour-blind brothers saw colour for the first time in 2016 thanks to technology enhanced glasses which claim to "alleviate red-green colour blindness and enhance colours without the compromise of colour accuracy."

An Afghan teacher has been delivering books via bicycle to villages that lack schools
So, can we use the phrase 'teacher goals' here? A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library by delivering books through the countryside in order to give children a chance to read. Saber Hosseini loads his bike with hundreds of books every weekend and pedals to villages who don’t have schools.

Bank firm pays for college tuition for the children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks
Employees at Sandler O'Neill & Partners died in the World Trade Center attack which we still remember today, leaving 76 children between them behind, many of which were too young to now even remember their mums and dads. The youngest child was born just six weeks after 11th September 2001. After the attack, the firm set up a trust named the Sandler O'Neill Foundation, which would pay for the college education of all the murdered employees. Fourteen years on, 54 young people have had their college tuitions paid so far, with 22 more still eligible.

Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar
Although it meant the death of many memes, Mr. DiCaprio FINALLY won the Oscar that he so very deserves, and it was sure as hell an emotional moment. It wasn't just any Oscar that he won either, he was awarded the Best Actor trophy after his role in 'The Revenant.' Leonardo also used his acceptance speech to address global warming and the impact it is having on our planet. It took a while but it was definitely worth the wait.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' the play, premiered on 30th July this year and the book was came out in November and became the eighth Harry Potter story. The story begins nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter as a Ministry of Magic employee, and his son Albus Severus Potter through a dark chain of events.

Finding Dory
The world fell in love with 'Finding Nemo' in 2003, this year, another character who all of us took to our hearts was given her time to shine. 'Finding Dory' burst onto cinema screens in Summer and received a mass of positive reviews after injecting a little bit of light and laughter into a miserable start to 2016.

Black Friday
It happens each year and its a day when all the rules seem to go out of the window in the name of shopping. Despite how chaotic and mad Black Friday can be, there's no denying that people get some pretty great bargains out of it, just in time for Christmas.

Adele photobombed a super fan
Who doesn't love Adele? Is it even legal to dislike her? The 'Hello' singer photobombed one lucky fan at her concert this year in Manchester, surely making their night as she grinned, unbeknown to them, behind them on stage. A small moment but something that made a lot of people smile during such a tough year.

The Hillsborough Inquests absolved 96 fans of any blame
The families of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 finally got justice this year as a court verdict stated that Liverpool fans played no role in the tragedy, blaming police failures for the fact that 96 fans were "unlawfully killed" that day.

Queen's 90th birthday
Her Majesty the Queen, and the rest of the country, celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year. Her milestone was marked after she became Britain's longest serving monarch and it made a lot of Britons very proud to be British.

Damn Daniel
As annoying as it was, you've got to admit that 'Damn Daniel' brought some laughter into 2016. Whoever knew that some guy's friend filming his outfit every day whilst saying "Damn Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans" would explode so much on the internet.

Chewbacca lady
Personally, this lady made my year. She bought a Chewbacca mask from a store and posted a video of herself in her car wearing it, probably totally unaware of how well-known she was going to become. What I loved most about her was just how happy she was. You know when someone has a laugh that instantly makes you laugh? If you're in need of cheering up in 2017, just type this lady into YouTube.

Hilary Clinton ran for President
The US Presidential Election was pretty much the only thing anyone, anywhere spoke about this year. It was a massive deal and we shall all have to live with the consequences of the result, both good and bad, for the foreseeable future. Hilary Clinton may have just lost out to Trump by the skin of her teeth, however, regardless of your feelings towards her, you have to admit that the fact that she ran for President was pretty damn cool. Not even 100 years ago, women couldn't even vote and, in 2016, one ran for President of the United States of America. She set a brilliant example for females worldwide through her courage, determination, kindness and by always carrying herself with grace.

New chemotherapy methods came out
Thanks to new methods of chemotherapy, the five year survival for pancreatic cancer has increased from 16% to 27%  and with every passing day, it is going up!

The Ozone layer started to repair itself
UN scientists have revealed that the ozone layer which shields our planet from the sun is showing the first signs of recovery. The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica caused a major environmental scare in the 1980s but in 2016, scientists found that it has stopped growing.

I know it has been a really crap year and I don't want this year to be forgotten. I'm not trying to cover up all the tragedies that happened, nor am I suggesting that we leave all the lives we lost this year behind and never think about them again in 2017. People have bad times, bad years, its inevitable, but these bad years will only help to shape us all into better versions of ourself. They will provide us with strength and show us what we need to work on in the future in order to make our planet a happier place to be. However, as important as it is to recognise the rubbish stuff and deal with it, it's also vital that we look at the positives. If we always look at the negatives, the negativity consumes us and it wins. Don't let negativity win because, honestly, the world is a wonderful place. This year, babies were born, people had birthdays, we celebrated Christmas, people passed exams, people got jobs, people won the lottery, puppies were born, chocolate was made, world records were broken, new fashion trends were created, we all had a birthday, amazing music was released, movies were made, people overcame depression, innocent people were not charged in court, people cried with laughter, babies said their first words, we took beautiful photographs, made memories, witnessed gorgeous sunsets, sunrises and spent precious time with those who mean more to us than anything. So, it may have been a bad year, but it wasn't all bad. Actually, some rather incredible things happened. So, let us head into 2017 with hearts filled with hope that the next twelve months will bring us peace, joy and health. Let us take the good memories from the past year with us, as well as the memory of those who we sadly lost. May we unite this coming year to figure out solutions to our problems and may we work together to understand and accept one another. All of you reading this deserve nothing less than a life filled with happiness and I sincerely hope that 2017 is your year. HAPPY NEW YEAR, my loves.

Emily. :) xx

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