I’m having trouble reconciling all that has happened in 2016, and I know I’m not alone. 2016 seemed like any other year--until it wasn’t. Instead of reveling in the negative, I’d rather look on the bright side. I mean, the best thing about year 2016 is about to happen – it’s ending! Jokes aside, this past year’s headlines may have been disheartening for the most part, but they should not shadow all the good that has happened.
16 Reasons the Year 2016 Wasn't So Bad After All
1. HIV cure on the horizon
2. U.S. gymnastics team won gold
What could have possibly been more inspiring than the group of young ladies that stole the 2016 Olympics in Rio with their gold medal win? The “Final Five” comprising of Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and Simone Biles were emblems of female strength and grace.
3. Wild tiger population increased
For the first time in a century, the wild tiger population increased in 2016. The number of wild tigers now stands at 3,890, up from the 2010 estimate of some 3,200.
4. Solar-powered plane flew around the world
In July, the Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi, completing its 40,000-kilometer trek around the world. The solar-powdered plane has a wingspan wider than that of a Boeing-447 and carried more than 17,000 solar cells on its wings. It flew at around 30 mph but went faster when the sun was bright.
5. Three-person IVF worked
A quarter of one mother’s mitochondria were mutated and two of her children had died at a young age as a result of the mitochondrial disease. The Jordanian mother and her husband underwent a mitochondrial transfer procedure in Mexico and gave birth to a healthy baby boy in New York that contained the DNA of both the mother and father but the mitochondria of a third person.
6. Netflix added offline downloads to its Android and iOS apps
Netflix added a “download” feature to its apps so you can view content without being connected to the internet. Can I get an "Amen!"?
7. Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction was suspended
The #NoDAPL movement earned itself a success when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement for construction of the pipeline under the Missouri River.
8. Twelve-week paid maternity leave is introduced in the army
The Defense Department increased paid military maternity leave to 12 weeks, double the length it was just one year ago.
9. Giant pandas are no longer endangered
These cute cuddly fellas were downgraded from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable” on the global list of species at risk of extinction.
10. Gene linked to ALS is identified
Thanks to ice bucket challenge donations, the ALS Association was able to identify a new ALS gene, NEK1, which now ranks among the most common genes that contribute to the disease.
11. $5.3 billion pledged for ocean conservation
More than 90 countries took part in a two-day ocean conservation conference in the U.S., and the event ended with $5.3 billion in pledges to protect marine eco-systems, prevent pollution, and address climate change.
12. Six women made history on election night
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is the second Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate (and the first to do so in 20 years); Ilhan Omar is the country’s first Somali-American Muslim legislator in the House of Representatives; Tammy Duckworth, a biracial double-amputee and veteran, became a U.S. Senator from Illinois; Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina senator in U.S. history; Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian-American elected to congress; Oregon’s Kate Brown is the first openly LGBTQ+ governor in the country.
13. Black-Girls Book Drive
Eleven-year-old Marly Dias became frustrated when she could only find children’s books about “white boys and their dogs.” So, she started a book drive to collect #1000blackgirlbooks that were more relatable to her and her peers and better represented the diversity of her classroom.
14. Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter
After a five-year voyage through 1.8 billion miles of space, Nasa’s Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit.
15. Indian volunteers planted 50 million trees
More than 800,000 volunteers in India spent July 11thplanting 80 different species of trees along roads, railways, and on public land. Volunteers erected an estimated 50 million trees, generously surpassing Pakistan’s 2013 record of 847,275 trees.
16. Man wakes up from coma
A 25-year-old man that had been in coma woke up after ultrasound waves were beamed into his brain. Three days after the treatment, he was fully conscious.