Best of Times? 2016 had its moments

By Mia Dexter

Some have said 2016 could probably defined as the worst year in history. Society pretty much threw itself under the bus. It was a year full of death, sadness, terror and politics.

What people don’t talk about are the good things about 2016. It might be hard to think of some good things, but they’re there. Here is a top 10 list of the best things, big and small, of 2016.

10. Downloading on Netflix

In Netflix’s newest update, you are allowed to download movies and shows onto your devices so you can watch them on the go without using any of your data. It’s pretty much a blessing for anyone who has a limited data plan or goes on a lot of long road trips.

9. Leo DiCaprio wins an Oscar

After eight nominations and about 20 years of waiting, the very talented and deserving actor won his first Oscar. Memes circulated the Internet begging for him to be given the award years before it actually happened. He won it for his role in “The Revenant,” a movie where his character was mauled by a bear, and he is left for dead by a member of his hunting team. His speech was even better than the movie.

8. Memes

2016 was a huge year for memes. From “Arthur’s Fist,” “Harambe,” the various “Spongebob” memes, the “Bee Movie” and “We Are Number One” from the children’s show, “Lazytown,” they were all amazing, pure and most of all, dank.

7. Harriet Tubman on the $20

Andrew Jackson, who is currently on the $20 bill and was the seventh president of the United States, is being kicked off and will be replaced with Harriet Tubman, a black former slave who was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Various women were originally going to replace Hamilton, America’s first treasury secretary, but after popularity of the musical, “Hamilton,” they decided to leave him on the $10 bill. This is a huge step for female and racial communities.

6. Animals

Amazing things happened with animals this year, locally and globally. Peet Junior High freshmen Alyssa Joyce and Natalie Huffman both got new pets this year. Ash, Huffman’s cat, has been a huge part of her everyday life. She said, “I can’t wait to go home and see my kitty!” probably once a day. Joyce’s Chesapeake Bay retriever, Archer, was a new addition to their family very recently. Also, there have been many wild animals that have been taken off the endangerment list, such as China’s giant panda. Wild tiger populations have increased for the first time in 100 years from about 3,200 tigers to around 3,800.

5. 50 million trees planted

In India, volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours, breaking a world record that was previously made in Pakistan. The volunteers planted 80 different kinds of trees that were raised in local nurseries. This event was part of India’s $6 billion plan to reforest 12 percent of its land. Many other nations have decided to follow in their footsteps.

4. Huge steps in science

After the trend of doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, scientists discovered the gene that’s linked to ALS. Scientists are close to finding a cure for HIV, Zika was downgraded from a global threat and a man woke up from his coma after ultrasound waves were beamed into his head.

3. Cubs win the World Series

The Chicago Cubs made history when they defeated the Cleveland Indians after a 108-year drought. Even with a delay of rain, they still pulled through and probably became the happiest team in history too.

2. Pokemon Go

This awesome app promoted exercise and gaming at the same time, which is almost unheard of in this day and age. It allowed people to get up and out of their houses, explore their city, get some fresh air, exercise and meet new people, all while playing their favorite game. It even helped people with their depression, anxiety and mood disorders.

1. You

You are the best of 2016. It was a rough ride, but you still made it. You are the most important thing about this year. You could have been one of people that helped make one of these spectacular things happen. You can help create and participate in new things next year. There is always next year.

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