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A Look Back at 2017

By Dillon Wallace

If 2017 were a book, what section of the library would it belong? Unfortunately, that answer is probably somewhere in the drama/horror section, but despite the numerous tragedies that befell the year, there are several chapters that captured our imagination like a science fiction novel, tapped into our inner child like a comic book or made us laugh like a comedy.


So with a new and blank 365-page book ready to write in 2018, let’s cover the cliff notes on 2017.



The Year of the Superhero

Yeah, yeah, it’s been the year of the superhero for what seems like 10 years now, but 2017 marks a special achievement as Wonder Woman finally gave a female lead her due justice (there’s a pun there somewhere). The release couldn’t have come at a more societally perfect time, and it went on to become the highest grossing domestic superhero origin film ever raking in more than $400 million at the box office. Girl power at its finest.



Stellar Space Stuff

As technology continues to advance, so too do the discoveries in our final frontier. In March, SpaceX successfully conducted the world’s first re-flight of an orbital class rocket, and in August, astronomers witnessed the collision of two neutron stars. Gravitational and electromagnetic waves from the event were detected and the data provided from the even provided evidence for the r-process theory. That’s a lot of science speak for they found traces of heavy elements like gold. Oohh, pretty.


And the Winner Is …

During the Oscars, La La Land won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Only, it didn’t. There was a snafu with the envelope – and an incredibly awkward, albeit hilarious, exchange – as Moonlight was announced the true winner in the middle of the La La Land producers’ acceptance speech. Well, the movies in Hollywood may be getting stale, but the award shows are still surprising.



Nintendo Switch – Play. At Home. On the Go.

After the amazing success of Nintendo Wii in the mid-late 2000s, Nintendo looked like it was finally back on track as the video game juggernaut it once was in the late 80s/early 90s. But, as successful as the Wii was, the Wii U was equally a failure. Enter the Nintendo Switch in March of 2017. Nintendo’s huge gamble of blending its successful handheld market with that of a home console has been nothing shy of a hit, featuring titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.



Fyre Festival Fiasco

What happened when founder Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, with the help of “social media influencers” (whatever that actually means) tried to organize a luxury music festival? A $100 million lawsuit filed against the festival happened. Why? Because the not-so luxurious festival fell incredibly short of expectations due to multiple music headliners dropping out last minute, the supposed luxury villas resembling mere half-built contamination tents and gourmet meals passing for nothing more than cheese sandwiches. Not even fancy grilled cheese – what a sham.



Fidget Spinner Craze

Every year has that toy or gadget that people can’t get enough of. The fidget spinner is 2017’s. Marketed as a device meant to relieve nervous energy or psychological stress, children – and adults – everywhere couldn’t get enough of the soothing spinners. Most schools, however, didn’t quite see it the same way – leading to fidget spinner bans across the nation.



Confederate Monuments Crumble

New Orleans, a city ripe with diversity and inclusion finally got the green light to take down several of its Confederate monuments, including the statue of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. This created a landslide approach across the south as even more confederate monuments were taken down to signify a new era, free of oppression.



Sights Set High – Yosemite Climbing Record

Call it stupid. Call it reckless. Call it whatever you want, but there’s no denying the impressive feat of 31-year-old, Alex Honnold, conquering the first “free solo” climb of Yosemite’s massive granite wall without ropes, a harness –  or any safety gear.



“Houston … We’ve Got Totality”

Millions of Americans oohed and awed as first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years shaded the country. Unfortunately, some areas missed the rare spectacle because of cloud coverage, but those that witnessed totality have a memory to last a lifetime. Which is good, because it’ll probably be the only one in our lifetime.



USA Fails to Qualify for World Cup

For the first time since 1986, the United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after an embarrassing loss to Trinidad and Tobago (the last place team that had won only one other game in the qualifying group). The only thing more embarrassing: Italy failing to qualify for the first time since 1958. Ouch.




The Macarena. Gangam Style. Every once in a while, certain foreign songs come along and just totally own U.S. radio waves. And while Despacito doesn’t have a ridiculous dance to go along with it, the song’s impact in 2017 didn’t suffer because of it. What started out as the song of the summer quickly became the song of the year. Puerto Rican artist, Luis Fonsi (along with Daddy Yankee) released the original version in January to some success, and then Justin Bieber jumped on board for a remix in April, and the song skyrocketed to No. 1 (for 16 straight weeks). Love him or hate him, the Biebs knows his way to the top of the charts.



iPhone X release

Apple said hello to the future with the release of the iPhone X. The all-screen, no-button device became the next step in the smartphone evolution. Cool features included face recognition for unlocking the device, wireless charging, water and dust resistance, stunning new camera features and a whole lot more. Just one thing. Was it weird to anyone else that iPhone 9 just got skipped?

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