2016: The year of the unbelievable
Some truly awful things happened this year... we all know this.
I'm going to skip them in this round up to save us all getting really depressed. Instead I'm going to focus on some of the positive things that happened this year.
They're tiny flickers of light amidst a sea of darkness I admit, but it's nice to know that 2016 was good for some things.
Science & Nature:
There have been huge strides made in science, medicine and conservation this year. Most Notably:
Good news for some animals.
Positive strides in tiger conservation were made as their numbers increase for the first time in years (1), and giant pandas are taken off the endangered list. (2)
A number of medical breakthroughs happened
Including getting a step closer to curing HIV (3), and an ALS gene found, thanks, in part to the donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge (4).
Plus major steps forward in the development of therapies to treat cancers (5)
Solar plane flew around the world
The Solar Impulse 2 made history by flying around the world using nothing but solar energy. The project showcased the potential of renewable energy, and would be able to fly almost perpetually. (6)
India planted 50 million trees in 24 hrs
More than 800,000 volunteers worked for 24 hours to plant 80 different species of tree along roads, railways and public lands. This was part of India's commitment to climate change made at the Paris Climate conference last December. (7)
Juno reached Jupiter
After travelling for almost five years, NASA's Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter to enable important scientific research of the planet. (8)
Leicester city winning the premier league let people dare to believe. Wales an Iceland were not only in the Euros, but they did amazingly well, again giving people hope for the underdog.
And finally - family and friends of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster found some kind of closure at long last.
Alistair Brownlee did this...
There was many good news stories that came from the olympics this year, but the overall performance by Team GB let us feel some pride in our country again so soon after Brexit. The 48% of us who were struggling to find pride anyway.
Ok, I know these are all a bit 'bread and circuses', but you've got to smile when you can sometimes.
Bob Ross is on Netflix.
Ramsey Bolton got what he deserved.
Stranger Things was amazing.
Star Wars is back with 'Rogue One' bringing credibility to the franchise.
Harry Potter is back with Fantastic Beasts, repairing some of the damage done by the Cursed Child.
Planet Earth is back and continues to be amazing.
Black Mirror continues to get better and scarier.
From a personal Point of view
Warrington Wolves won the league leaders shield and I got to the challenge cup and grand final.
Work has been great this year, working with a new team and getting to do some really fulfilling stuff like helping out at with the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace.
And last, but by no means least - my niece Cora was born... and who isn't cheered up by this cheeky little face!
So there you have it. Some actual good things to come from this year.
The year that defied the odds. 2016.
Sources for the sciency stuff: