Hairdos & bugs & space, oh my! Some far-out predictions for 2016

Op-eds Opinions

Something’s gotta give (and it might finally be that “hair”)

Donald Trump will, or will not, be President. Either way, getting to the result is gonna be a hell of a ride for the American people, while the rest of the world gets to bear witness as the country loses its damn mind for a year. And as for the fella still in office? Hopefully, Obama will keep right on using his presidential authority to actually effect change in those United States: may gun control be the first of many improvements, followed swiftly by enforcement of drone accountability, pay equity, and restricting bank activity (The Big Short was scary, guys). Oh, and Hillary? Yeah, we forgot about her too.

Trudeau or Trudon’t? What will Canada be . . . ?

So, Trudeau 2.0 came bursting out of the gate, hitting the ground running with gender equity, refugee settlements, re-instatement of censuses, a return to environmental concern, taxes on the rich, charming the pants off world leaders, and an openness with the media not seen since the heady days of yore. (Remember when Chretien choked that guy?) Alas, nothing gold can stay, and it’s inevitable that the wheels are going to come off. The only real question is which issue will bring down the budding dynasty: will it be the energy crisis throttling Alberta? The Duffy scandal, somehow, that we’ve all forgotten is still ongoing? Failure to implement infrastructure changes? That guy currently running the province of Saskatchewan? Or will it simply be a slow, quiet, incremental shift to centrist policy no one will notice, being distracted by the flowing locks and those Newman-worthy blue eyes? Only time can tell . . .

Let’s not be what we eat: The insects are coming!

The world is unsustainable in many ways, and food crises are only one of a myriad of ways millions could die in 2016. But hark! There is hope on the horizon: bugs may save us all! Insects swarm the world in the trillions, and a shocking amount of the lil’ buggers are not only edible, but packed with protein, easily acquired, and requiring very little in the way of care. Even animal rights crusaders can rest easy: insects have such brief lifespans that killing mightn’t even be necessary, and there’s no feedlots or cages to impede their possible enjoyment of life. And then they can die, get ground up, fried up, and fed to the hungry masses, saving a few more members of humanity.

Space: We’re gonna need a new final frontier . . . 

Ah, 2015. You had so much space to spare, from real-life space action to ridiculous amounts of film and TV time. Here’s looking at you, Star Wars, you family melodrama of epic, apparently endless, proportions. 2016 can only build on our obsession with the stars (those of the gaseous variety. Oh, wait, that didn’t narrow things down, did it?) and the information we continue to gather about our non-Earth surroundings. Could this be the year we finally find life on Mars (while David Bowie’s still alive to collect the royalties)?

Certainly, it’s the year The X-Files sends us out there for the truth once more, and yes, there’s another Star Wars, and yes, another Star Trek, and yes, another Independence Day, and probably some more Oscar-baity space bits as well. But even more importantly (that’s right, nerds, I went there! Come at me!), it could be the year we find out how Neptune’s rings are made out of ice when one of the elements needed for water is oxygen, or why the Sun isn’t deteriorating as fast as scientists thought it would, or just how many moons Jupiter has via the Juno space probe (arriving this summer), or discover yet another galaxy, or maybe we’ll even send up the first space hotel, if our Russian comrades (can we still call them that?) are to be believed. Oh, and all our rules of space-time laid out in Einstein’s theories may be broken this year if gravitational waves aren’t detected by ALIGO (Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory). Whatever the details, some earth-shaking revelation is sure to take place, and we’ll be right here, waiting to report on it.