From the parade of celebrity deaths to the nigh unending election, to the natural disasters, it seemed like 2016 was out to get us. But good stuff happened! A lot of good stuff. Here are a few highlights:

A lot of medical breakthroughs and landmarks came through in 2016. There's a working vaccine for Ebola, maternal mortality is down globally, malaria is down globally almost to the point of eradication, and one of the biggest things of 2014 came back to help us in 2016: The gene linked to ALS was identified thanks to the boom in donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

In the natural world, more than 20 countries, including the US, pledged over $5billion to support a total of 3.4million square kilometers of marine sanctuaries, an area slightly smaller than US. Several animals saw their populations increase to the point they're no longer on the endangered species list, including manatees, humpback whales, giant pandas and green sea turtles.

2016 is on track to be America's most charitable year, in terms of charitable contributions from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations.

OH! Don't forget that three separate companies announced plans to get us to Mars within a generation. And the working EmDrive, even if no one knows quite HOW it works.

This is just a small sampling of things that make 2016 great!

On a personal note, it was a great year for music. Not just country, but there was great music from rock, hip-hop, pop, orchestras. Television had an amazing year from Luke Cage & Westworld to Atlanta & Superstore. Quite a few great films came out, too. I personally loved Arrival, Everybody Wants Some!! and The Witch.

And if all else fails, 2016 gave us David S. Pumpkins:

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