Sometimes life is hard.
At one point or another, each and every one of us has gone through a period of time highlighted with an internal mantra of “Why me?” Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes a week, and sometimes—here’s lookin’ at you, 2016—it lasts an entire year.
Yes, 2016 has been hard. We have lost beloved icons. We have lost both citizens and law enforcement. We have lost a gorilla. We have lost a child at the happiest place on earth. We lost vines. We have witnessed shootings, hate crimes, and terrorist attacks. We have been effected by the Zika virus. We watched Brexit happen. We were ravaged by Hurricane Matthew. We were divided by an election.
We are lost.
But are we?
At times, human nature can be inherently pessimistic. When faced with adversity it is all too easy to dwell on the negative. 23 hours of your day might be great, but if something awful happens during the 24th, is your day ruined? If you walk out of the store with 12 delicious chocolate chip cookies and drop one, do you mourn for the lost cookie or feel grateful for the 11 that are left? If you send a 64-page magazine to the printer and find a typo, is the publication ruined or did you still do a great job? We have so much opportunity, so much growth, and so much happiness every day, but complications often cloud our vision and distract us from the fact that, overall, we are probably doing much better than we realize.
So for those of us who are feeling a little clouded, here are a few of the amazing things that the year 2016 has brought us.
After 108 years of waiting, the Cubs are finally World Series champions after winning Game 7 of the 2016 World Series on November 2 against the Cleveland Indians. “I know so many people who are thinking of their grandfathers and fathers now in Chicago and that’s what it’s all about. It’s bigger than these 25 guys, it’s bigger than this organization. It’s about this city and the fans who have stuck by this team forever,” said team general manager Jed Hoyer. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, believe that they finally broke the curse or finally got lucky, it doesn’t matter. What matters is it happened, and that it brought smiles to people all across the globe.
Some call 2016 the Year of VR. We saw Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, Gear VR… Heck, I saw VR in my very own board room, courtesy of proud member Lux Virtual. The concepts of our childhood have become reality and are only going to get better from here. So whether you are looking at VR to enhance your gaming experience, help combat the symptoms of PTSD, or just want to ride a virtual roller coaster, you can be sure that you’ll be seeing a lot more of this technology in years to come.
“Thanks to a heat wave, California was able to shatter a state solar record. On July 12 at 1:06 p.m., several large solar plants dotted throughout the state produced 8,030 megawatts of electricity… According to San Francisco Gate, that’s enough energy to power more than 6 million households.” In May of 2016, California produced only 50% this amount, proving that the capacity and capability of solar power has yet to truly be tapped. Can I get three cheers for renewable sources of energy?
Do you remember when the Ice Bucket Challenge was huge? It was all over the internet and in your neighborhoods. People were dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in a seemingly-ridiculous-but-actually-inspired-by-a-great-cause manner in order to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. The challenge ended up raising over $115 million for the ALS Association and even helped in the discovery of NEK1, one of the most common genes that contributes to ALS, which helps put researchers on a better road to finding a cure.
The 2016 Rio Olympics were huge, and, as always, fascinating to watch. But the biggest news in this already amazing story is that out of any demographic participating in this year’s Olympic games, US Women came home with the most models. “The full American squad — both men and women — won the most medals overall, 121, as has often been the case in the Summer Games. The U.S. women took 61, the men had 55, and there were five in mixed events, including equestrian and mixed-doubles tennis.” Apparently, out of the 46 American gold medals earned this year, 27 of them went to our amazing females, and I, for one, think that is pretty great.
At around 9pm on Monday, July 4, NASA received confirmation that after an almost 5-year journey, their Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit. “Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter,” said NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. “And what is more American than a NASA mission going boldly where no spacecraft has gone before? With Juno, we will investigate the unknowns of Jupiter’s massive radiation belts to delve deep into not only the planet’s interior, but into how Jupiter was born and how our entire solar system evolved.” Space truly is the final frontier, but little by little we are learning more and more.
Technology is fascinating. I believe that humankind has yet to uncover all of the different methods in which technology can be used to enhance our daily life, but Swiss scientists recently discovered a pretty big one: the ability to help monkeys suffering from spinal cord injuries walk again via a neuroprosthetic interface, or brain implant. “The team said the interface works by decoding brain activity linked to walking movements and relaying that to the spinal cord below the injury through electrodes that stimulate neural pathways and activate leg muscles. In bypassing the injury and restoring communication between the brain and the relevant part of the spinal cord, the scientists successful treated two rhesus monkeys each with one leg paralyzed by a partial spinal cord lesion.” They ended by stating it may take several years before this technology can be used to help humans, but even the success they have seen so far is heartening.
Annual Report Goes to Printer
Yes, it has finally happened. The LAX Coastal 2016 Annual Report has finally gone to the printer and will be revealed at next week’s State of LAX event. I know, you were all waiting for it with bated breath, and the time has finally come. Congratulations, LAX Coastal community! Wait… What do you mean nobody was waiting? Oh, no one knew we were doing this? Oh crap, wait. Hang on. Okay, scratch that, sorry people. Nothing to see here. Can you keep this a secret? If you want to know what craziness Kirby was talking about, I guess you need to get your ticket to the State of LAX, happening next Wednesday, November 16 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.
Did you know that if you google “Puppies and Kittens,” Google has 37,900,000 results? Or “Happy Kittens” has 15,600,000 results? “Puppies Playing with Babies” has 780,000 results. “Sunsets?” 97,700,000 results. “Vacation?” 563,000,000 results. “Happiness?” 3,790,000 results. When in doubt, google whatever puts a smile on your face.
If that wasn’t enough, click here for the full “List of Beautiful Things That Happened in 2016.” And if even that isn’t enough, Kirby is always around for a hug.