Nerd Talk: 2017 wasn’t all bad

Megan Roth’s bi-weekly column about pop culture and all things nerdy

I, like many people, take the new year as a time to reflect on the year past. Did I meet the goals I made for myself throughout the year? What was great about the past year, and what was just awful? Did my mental state improve at all over the year, or was I constantly stuck in a rather negative view-point.

Looking back I can say with the most confidence that 2017 wasn’t the greatest year for me. It wasn’t bad by any means – and when comparing pop culture references last year wasn’t even as bad as 2016.

No it wasn’t a great year, but it was still pretty good. I moved to Sylvan Lake and started a job that I love. I started writing more for myself, which helped to improve my mental state on the day to day.

Also 2017 was pretty great for the nerdy-inclined. We got to see a pretty awesome Wonder Woman movie, Thor: Ragnarok blew everyone away and we got a continuation of a story in a galaxy far, far away.

One the whole there is a lot of positives that came out of 2017. For example, the world economy continued one of the most sustained economic expansions since the financial crash in 2008.

Women around the world began to speak out against the harassment and assaults they have witnessed or been apart of. This brought a voice to a long silent epidemic and started the #MeToo movement.

Australia ended the year by voting in favour of marriage equality, making it the 25th country in the world to do so.

Did you know women in Saudi Arabia were granted “permission” to drive beginning in June? It may seem small, but it is a step in the right direction for a country that doesn’t allow women outside unless escorted by a man.

The cutest little hippo was born in the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, giving the world countless hours of adorable videos.

Fenty Beauty launched in September and made hundreds of people the world over feel included. The line is one of the first ever to have an outstanding shade range from very pale to very dark.

A new treatment for ALS was discovered in 2017. Israeli scientists at Ben-Gurion University found a way to stop the increased activity of glial cells, which restores the nervous system’s immune defences and increases life expectancy. The discovery was helped along from the funds raised through the ice bucket challenge from a few years ago.

A bill was passed in Canada that prohibits airlines from removing passengers from overbooked flights. According to this bill the airline must offer compensation. This is stopping the stories of people being dragged from the plane, at least in Canada.

The world also found out it is possible for a country to be debt free. For the first time in 183 years, Denmark became debt free in March, 2017.

Zimbabwe also made strides in protecting children when the country put a ban on beating all children in the country.

Rapper Nicki Minaji gave away thousands of dollars to fans who couldn’t afford their college tuition. There was a stipulation, of course, the fans had to show their good grades that could be verified by the school.

The rate of illness in the world is decreasing as scientists are getting closer to eradicating polio completely. Thanks to the polio vaccine the disease has decreased in the world by 99.9 per cent. There were only 19 cases of the polio virus in 2016, and in 2017 that number went down to eight confirmed cases.

One of my favourite stories from 2017 was the classification of a new type of aurora. A new astronomical phenomenon was documented as a ribbon of flickering light in high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Scientists classified this new type of aurora as, and this is no joke, Steve. The Steve proton aurora was named by the Alberta Aurora Chasers who were reportedly inspired by the animated movie Over the Hedge.

So sure, there was plenty to be down about in 2017. Sometimes things just kind of sucked. But let’s not forget there were some truly awesome things that happened over the last 12 months.

It is so important to look for the positive, otherwise you will get bogged down in the negative.

It is human nature to remember the negative more clearly. That is why the new year is a great time to sit and reflect. If I hadn’t done that I would have completely forgotten about the joy Fiona the Baby Hippo or Steve the aurora brought me.



megan.roths@sylvanlakenews.com

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