I thought the passing of Carrie Fisher was really the topper of the year, but no — her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed the very next day.

Well before Carrie Fisher’s death, people were already saying what a horrible year 2016 had been for unexpected deaths of celebrities, unexpected political outcomes, depressed sales, and much more.  My own year, however, seems to have been remarkably good.  It was my first full year of writing full time.  I’m still writing full time, so that’s one check mark on the plus side.

I thought, rather than usher out 2016 as quickly and quietly as possible, I would mark its passing with a summary of some of the good, happy and positive events that happened this year.

 

January

  • January 8 – Joaquín Guzmán, widely regarded as the world’s most powerful drug trafficker, is recaptured following his escape from a maximum security prison.
  • January 16 – The International Atomic Energy Agency announces that Iran has adequately dismantled its nuclear weapons program, allowing the United Nations to lift sanctions immediately.

February

  • February 12 – Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill sign an Ecumenical Declaration in the first such meeting between leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches since their split in 1054.

March

  • March 14 – The ESA and Roscosmos launch the joint ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on a mission to Mars.

June

  • June 1 – The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel, is opened following two decades of construction work.

July

  • July 4 – NASA’s Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet.
  • July 15 — An attempted coup in Turkey failed.
  • July 26 – Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth.

August

  • August 5–21 – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

September

  • September 3 – The US and China, together responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, both ratify the Paris global climate agreement.
  • September 8 – NASA launches OSIRIS-REx, its first asteroid sample return mission. The probe will visit Bennu and is expected to return with samples in 2023.
  • September 30 – Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Seascape at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, stolen on December 7, 2002 from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam are recovered, with a combined value of $100 million.

October

  • October 15 – 150 nations meeting at the UNEP summit in Rwanda agree to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

November

  • November 24 — Colombian President Juan Santos first won election back in 2010 while promising to continue Colombia’s 50-year-old fight against the Marxist guerilla group, the FARC. Santos, who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the agreement, hammered out a new deal. Unveiled on November 24, it toughened some of the provisions on FARC members. Colombians now hope the deal works; the conflict with the FARC has killed nearly a quarter million people.

December

  • December 22 – A study finds the VSV-EBOV vaccine against the Ebola virus between 70-100% effective, and thus making it the first proven vaccine against the disease.

___

In 2016 the Nobel Prize was awarded to:

  • Chemistry – Ben Feringa, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart
  • Economics – Oliver Hart, Bengt R. Holmström
  • Literature – Bob Dylan
  • Peace – Juan Manuel Santos (see above)
  • Physics – John M. Kosterlitz, Duncan Haldane, David J. Thouless
  • Physiology or Medicine – Yoshinori Ohsumi

The highest grossing films of 2016:

1 Captain America: Civil War $1,153,304,495
2 Finding Dory $1,027,771,569
3 Zootopia $1,023,784,195
4 The Jungle Book $966,550,600
5 The Secret Life of Pets $875,436,077
6 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  $873,260,194
7 Deadpool  $783,112,979
8 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  $747,475,251
9 Suicide Squad $745,600,054
10 Doctor Strange $656,741,387

TV series that launched in 2016

(This is why you can never keep up!)

The Rap Game
Shock Trauma: Edge of Life
Bordertown
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life
Glada Entertains
Diesel Brothers

Bachelor Live
Pitch Slapped
10 Things
The Shannara Chronicles
Killing Fields
Zoe Ever After
Skin Tight
Criminals at Work
Angel from Hell
My Diet Is Better Than Yours
Shades of Blue
Ex Isle
Live to Tell
Lego Nexo Knights
Shadowhunters
Second Chance
Teachers
Colony
Idiotsitter
Greatest Party Story Ever
Angie Tribeca
Billions
Mercy Street
The Real Housewives of Potomac
Mako Mermaids
The HALO Effect
Planet Primetime
Fit to Fat to Fit
Kocktails with Khloé
Baskets
Dark Net
Legends of Tomorrow
Recipe for Deception
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC
Lucifer
Recovery Road
Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood
Outsiders
You, Me and the Apocalypse
Jo Frost: Nanny On Tour
Cleverman
Paradise Run
American Crime Story
Rattled
Animals.
Bunnicula
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Not Safe with Nikki Glaser
Those Who Can’t
Vinyl
Ready Jet Go!
11.22.63
Fat Chance
Love
Fuller House
truInside
Tour Group
Hap and Leonard
Lab Rats: Elite Force
The Real O’Neals
The Family
Late Night Snack
Slasher
Little People
Damien
Of Kings and Prophets
Little Big Shots
Separation Anxiety
Underground
The Internet Ruined My Life
Flaked
Netflix Presents: The Characters
Party Over Here
School of Rock
Life or Debt
Crowded
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
Heartbeat
The Catch
Backstage
Like a Boss
Lopez
The Path
Quit Your Day Job
Rush Hour
The Ranch
Wynonna Earp
The Powerpuff Girls 2016
America’s Greatest Makers
Chasing Destiny
Walk the Prank
Dice
The Girlfriend Experience
The Detour
Hunters
Game of Silence
Strong
American Grit
The Dude Perfect Show
Dramaworld
Containment
There Goes The Motherhood
Get Blake!
Comedy Knockout
Houdini & Doyle
The Loud House
Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen
Peanuts
Chelsea
Coupled
Lady Dynamite
Preacher
Mygrations
Counterfeit Cat
Atomic Puppet
Maya & Marty
Cleverman
Outcast
All In with Cam Newton
Feed the Beast
Still the King
BrainDead
Guilt
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge
Animal Kingdom
Uncle Buck
Wrecked
American Gothic
Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons
Queen of the South
Bizaardvark
Roadies
Dead of Summer
Crashletes
Greatest Ever
Fangbone!
Legendary Dudas
Stranger Things
Vice Principals
Elena of Avalor
Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour
Future-Worm!
The Get Down
Regal Academy
Chesapeake Shores
Better Late Than Never
Cleveland Hustles
The 11th Hour
Atlanta
Better Things
One Mississippi
Quarry
Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life
Rob & Chyna
Son of Zorn
Harry
T.D. Jakes
The Robert Irvine Show
Polly and the Zhu Zhu Pets
Legends of Chamberlain Heights
Fleabag
High Maintenance
The Good Place
Kevin Can Wait
Right Now Kapow
Bull
This Is Us
Designated Survivor
Falling Water
Lethal Weapon
Speechless
Notorious
Pitch
The Exorcist
MacGyver
Van Helsing
Channel Zero
Mighty Magiswords
Crisis in Six Scenes
Luke Cage
Westworld
Conviction
Timeless
Milo Murphy’s Law
Kuu Kuu Harajuku
No Tomorrow
Frequency
Total Bellas
Divorce
Insecure
Vice News Tonight
American Housewife
Goliath
Berlin Station
Eyewitness
Graves
Chance
Man with a Plan
Jon Glaser Loves Gear
The Great Indoors
Pure Genius
Good Girls Revolt
Tracey Ullman’s Show
The Crown
Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party
King Duckling
Mech-X4
Good Behavior
Shooter
The Grand Tour
Search Party
Splash and Bubbles
Incorporated
Mariah’s World
Shut Eye
Captive
White Rabbit Project
Star
Justice League Action
The OA
The Wall
Beyblade Burst

and finally:

The New York Times Fiction Bestsellers for 2016

Book, Author
15th Affair, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny
Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb
Bay of Sighs, Nora Roberts
Blue, Danielle Steel
Brotherhood In Death, J. D. Robb
Bullseye, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Cometh the hour, Jeffrey Archer
Cross the Line, James Patterson
End of Watch, Stephen King
Escape Clause, John Sandford
Extreme Prey, John Sandford
Fire Touched, Patricia Briggs
Fool me once, Harlan Coben
Insidious, Catherine Coulter
Island of Glass, Nora Roberts
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
Morning Star, Pierce Brown
Night School, Lee Child
NYPD Red 4, James Patterson and Marshall Karp
One with you, Sylvia Day
Private Paris, James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
Rogue Lawyer, John Grisham
Scandalous Behavior, Stuart Woods
The Black Widow, Daniel Silva
The Games, James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
The Gangster, Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
The Last Mile, David Baldacci
The Obsession, Nora Roberts
The Whistler, John Grisham
The Wrong Side of Goodbye, Michael Connelly
Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty
Turbo Twenty-three, Janet Evanovich


Now…2016 wasn’t such a bad year, was it?

Cheers,

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