What Happened in 2016?

It’s been quite a year! So much has happened in the world that it is difficult to know where to start.

At this time of year we reflect on what has happened in our lives. We leave behind what slows us down, moving forward with what helps us grow.

let go

Certainly this year has been particularly eventful. The New Year was rung in with News of a fire in an apartment block in Dubai.  Click here for full story – Fire in Dubai – BBC News

Meanwhile in colder parts of the world people were trapped in their cars for 24 hours due to extreme weather conditions.  Click here for full story – 500 motorists stranded for 24 hours

Oxfam publishes a report stating that the world’s 62 richest people are as wealthy as half the world’s population.

I remember seeing a quote from someone saying that if all the richest people in the world donated money to charity and the third world countries world poverty would be completely eradicated. However, would this really solve all problems in the world? I don’t think so. You see, very often when people are given something to help them out they become less self-sufficient. They expect to continue to receive support. This in turn could be more damaging. Obviously when we are faced with critical situations in the world emergency aid is essential, which is unfortunately not provided enough.

There is something we can do to help, though. We can take some time to help local charities, donate old or unused clothes to people in need or deposit them in clothes recycling containers in various places around your town. Sometimes there are food collection points in supermarkets and charity organisations. I often take the direct approach by helping homeless people in the street. I try to donate warm clothes I no longer use, give extra blankets, or just talk to them. Every little helps.

NASA grows a flower in space on the International Space Station.   

I’m trying very hard to remain neutral here but it’s not easy. I find it difficult to see the real purpose of space exploration and research when the money spent on these projects could easily be directed elsewhere (see above). Nonetheless, there is the argument that some medical and scientific research has provided positive results that they claim to be difficult or impossible on Earth. This still doesn’t justify the amount they are investing into Space and the unknown. As for the remote-controlled car they have on Mars, I really don’t see the point. However, every now and then I take a look to see what is going on. Just maybe one day we will see a group of Martians putting on a show for us.

3 ships in 3 days sink, carrying immigrants across the Mediterranean, drowning over 700 people (May 27.)

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In Italy the coastguards certainly have their work cut out for them. The charity organisations too. However, the influx into European countries is getting more and more difficult for countries to cope with. So, what is the best solution? This is difficult to say, though the issue needs to be addressed to the source of the matter. The country which is forcing people to flee.

Harambe, a gorilla from Cincinnati zoo, is shot after dragging a boy who slipped into the enclosure.

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I am choosing to go into a little more detail on this one. A western lowland gorilla weighing 440 lb (200 kg), born May 27 1999 in Gladys Porter 200, Brownsville, Texas, died 17 years later by gunshot in Cincinnati zoo and Botanical garden, Cincinnati, Ohio USA.

A 3-year old boy was visiting the zoo when he allegedly slipped away from his parents, then fell into the moat at the Gorilla world habitat, as it was reported by various media sources.

There were 4 gorillas in the enclosure, 3 of which returned inside, following the zookeepers commands. However the 4th, Harambe, was more curious and climbed down from the upper enclosure into another section below where the boy was splashing around in the moat. The onlookers screams agitated Harambe, causing him to become more anxious. He dragged the boy through the water for the next ten minutes. Zoo officials decided to kill the gorilla, which in turn sparked some considerable controversy towards the zoo and the parents, who were also blamed by the public for the killing. Many said that the decision to terminate the gorilla could have been avoided and they should have used a tranquilizer dart. However, the zoo defended this, stating that the time it would have taken to come into effect might have been too long, causing more agitation to Harambe.

Above all it was an incredibly complex situation, which threw the whole concept of keeping animals such as gorillas in zoos into a muddled confusion of ethical decisions. Well, for a short while anyway.

In my English lessons this would be a common discussion topic. Click here to book English lessons with me now and we can discuss it.

June 1 – Switzerland’s Gotthard tunnel is completed. 57 kilometres and €11 billion, making it the longest tunnel.

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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes 1st footballer to top highest paid athletes, earning $88 million.

Again, this is a common English conversation topic: sport. In the modern world, we are seeing sportspeoples’ salaries going through the roof. Should there be some sort of regulation? Is it really justified to pay someone so much money? All this and more can be discussed in class. Just click here to start learning English with me right now.

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July 6 – Pokemon Go is released.

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Ok, so they release this game that is so popular from the beginning that people get so addicted to playing it that we see a series of crazy situations related to it. Take a look at this video;



Moving on to more something just as interesting, which is also a common English conversation topic in my classes. Book here to start learning English fast.

Aug 12 – Cannes bans Burkini.

A portmanteau of burqa and bikini, though in reality it bears no similarity to either of them. It is a form of swimsuit for women. The suit covers the body apart from the face, hands and feet, being designed for swimming.

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December 25th George Michael, singer dies aged 53.

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It seems so sad to lose such a wonderful artist. Talent like this will never die, though. He will always be in the hearts of his fans and admirers for many years to come. If anyone was old enough to appreciate him in the era he was becoming famous, I am sure they can relate to the popularity and addictive nature of his songs. He brought out such a strong and vibrant feeling of hope and confidence in his songs. He will be truly missed.

That is all from me on this topic. I’m sure there are many other issues I have left out, but remember to take a look at my other blogs and click here to book English lessons.

I leave you with an interesting link which tells you about some of the events in 2016.

Click the image caption below to see what happened in 2016…

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Click here to book English lessons with me, Teacher Dominic.

Thanks for reading.

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