Written by Jessica Brewer
Some may say that this year hasn’t been the best. Overall, it really hasn’t been, with most of the media and social network focused on the negative things that have been happening. In reality, there have been good and amazing things that have been happening, we just couldn’t see it as much due to the negative look on the world. So with the help of a wonderful Tumblr user, helthehatter, who created a list of some of these great things, and other news sources, I bring to you a list of research, big events, uplifting statistics, and heartwarming actions done by everyday people, to make you see that 2016 really wasn’t that bad in the whole of things. AKA 2016’s list of events that were really beneficial in our lives, however, we looked them over a lot throughout the year.
For starters, do you remember the ice bucket challenge everybody was doing a while ago? All of the proceeds and donations allowed for researchers and doctors to find the gene that was responsible for developing ALS. The gene, NEK1, is responsible for repairing the cytoskeleton of the body and regulating the membrane of the mitochondrion. Any disturbance to these functions has been linked to developing ALS. By finding this gene, we are a huge step closer to obtaining effective treatment for ALS. In return, we got to see a bunch of hot celebrities get wet.
Speaking of medical research, with the help of new chemotherapy breakthroughs, we have been able to increase 5 years survival for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27%. This percentage is still increasing. Researchers at the American Cancer Society have been looking at the changes between genes in pancreas cells, whether they were inherited or acquired. They have also been using this information to create tests for detecting acquired gene changes, in pre-cancerous states. Overall, the progress is amazing and it has led to a better process in finding better treatment and/or a cure for certain cancers.
With another look at the world’s condition, we have found that the population of Tigers (Panthera tigris) has increased by a surprising amount. Organizations and whole countries alike have been working hard to fight poachers and illegal hunting of tigers, in order to hopefully bring their population up.The tiger population in Asia, mostly India and Russia, has increased from 3,200, from a study done in 2010, to 3,890. Senior vice president of wildlife conservation for the WWF, Ginette Hemley, has acknowledged this improvement as a “positive trend” and that they are “cautiously hopeful” for more improvements in the near future.
Out of pure kindness and respect, 200 strangers came to the funeral of a homeless WWII veteran. Serina Vine had died this year at the age of 91, and army major Jaspen Boothe found out that only 4 people were to attend his funeral. Upon hearing this, Boothe had responded with attending and inviting other people to the funeral. “In the military, we don’t serve alone, therefore we should not die alone,” Boothe said. She expected for a turnout of 20 to 30 more people than normal, but when the final speeches were being spoken, over 200 people had come to listen and pay their respects to Vine, even if they didn’t know him personally. It was truly heartwarming.
In order to find new ways to provide energy in the cleanest possible way, California has gone the extra mile by powering 6 million homes with solar power units. Speckled all over the state, California has been producing 8,030 megawatts of power in order to support everyday life; solar power had been producing about 50 percent of the energy demand. This has destroyed the national record for solar power production and has brought more attention to the increasing demand for energy. As a result, solar energy has been helpful in the process of obtaining more and more energy, safely, for the increasing population of Americans.
Meanwhile, after the devastating shooting at Orlando Pulse, the people of the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre had created “angel wings” in order to protect and block funeral-goers from anti-gay protesters. “Volunteers will be wearing these large, white angel wings to show their support, proclaim love, and block the view of mourners from potential protesters,” says the artistic director Jim Helsinger. This entire action helped to bring people out of the hatred in Orlando in the area and allow for love and support to heal wounds and hearts all over the world. The original founder of the Angel Action project, Romaine Patterson, said “…We choose to lift ourselves out of the hatred. We feel as so many others do, that love and compassion for our community and our humanity are the answers that so many people are desperately searching for.” Americans and people around the world saw this movement as a necessary action to keep peace and love flowing through our communities, even though we may be in the middle of tough times.
To top it off, we can never forget Leonardo Dicaprio winning his first oscar. As a whole, I feel we’ve all been waiting for this moment, and that it was important to finally recognize a really notable actor overall. Not just Dicaprio, directors, creators, and artists have been making movies that have been sculpted by all views in our society. For example.
These events and occurrences, and much more seem to give the year 2016 a better look. Originally, the problem was that we were focusing mainly on the negatives about the year to even bother with what good was happening this year. It is important to acknowledge, support, and share the good things in life, so we as a society shouldn’t be left in only despair. We should be looking at the brighter side of things, and, with time, try to do some good things in life that will support our society. By doing so, maybe we could have media begin to focus more on the good, and less on the things that will surely get us down.
Categories: School News