Good-bye to one of the weirdest and most “interesting” years I can recall in my life. 2017 was not an earthshaking year like 1963, 1989, or 2001. Contrary to the expectations of many, the world didn’t come to an end with the inauguration of Donald Trump. It was, however a year of surprises, scandals, and tragedies, including the Las Vegas shooting, the Charlottesville fracas, destructive hurricanes, and record-setting wildfires. I had to wrack my brain to think of good things to write about, but I did come up with a few.
* The economy stayed relatively strong through 2017, despite predictions of disaster due to 2016’s political upsets. It’s still not where it should be, but at least the unemployment rate went down a bit.
* There have been breakthroughs in the use of gene therapy to cure hereditary diseases. Chinese researchers were able to use genetic base edition to fix mutations in human embryos. Soon this may provide a reliable, non-invasive cure for cancer.
* ISIS met its end in Syria. The last bastions of these lunatic extremists in Syria fell to the Syrian Arab Army and its allies. The civil war there is not over, but hopefully, this nation’s six-year nightmare of bloodshed will soon to an end.
* NASA’s Cassini space probe ended a successful twenty-year mission with a spectacular data-gathering plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn.
* Hollywood proved it could still produce a classy picture, with the musical La La Land garnering numerous Oscar nominations, including a win for our very talented Arizona native Emma Stone.
* Female writers clinched most of the sci-fi community’s 2017 Hugo Awards, putting to rest the notion that women can’t get a fair shake in the genre. Gone are the days when authors such as Andre Norton and D. C. Fontana would adopt male or ambiguous names to achieve acceptance from male fans.
* The Nobel Peace Prize went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Past recipients have sometimes been more rightfully called warmongers than peacemakers, but this time it went to a worthy cause.
* The African nation of Zimbabwe finally shook off the tyrant Robert Mugabe after his 30-year reign of corruption, incompetence, and anti-white racism. Let’s hope that “Crocodile” guy who replaced him will do a better job.
* Though political correctness continued to run amok, some pushed back and even benefited from the attacks. Among them was Dr. Jordan Peterson, the controversial University of Toronto psychology professor, who continued to speak out on behalf of intellectual freedom and common sense. I highly recommend his lectures, which are available on You-tube.
* On a personal note, my long-time girlfriend Arlys and I finally tied the knot, a thing we both swore we would never do again. In many cases, marriage changes a relationship, but ours is just as awesome as it’s always been.
We wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year 2018!