Watercooler 1/2/2017 Open Thread: 2017

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Hello, 2017. This is my first WC of the new year. I am glad that 2016 is over, so rather than drag some leftover story from last year over into 2017, I will offer this one instead:


Some perspective on our place in the Universe from the high Chilean desert.

Now more than 50 years old, the observatory has played a principal or significant role in a number of major astronomical landmarks, including the discovery of dark energy, finding Proxima b around Proxima Centauri, the observation of stars orbiting the Milky Way Galaxy, and much more.

Many of us feel trepidation as 2016 turns into 2017. The world is full of unrest, the new president of the United States is very different from his predecessors, and a spate of celebrity deaths reminds us of life’s fragility. Perhaps some perspective might help. So behold—there is much, much more to the Universe than the petty squabbles here on planet Earth.

Great stuff. I wish everyone a safe and very prosperous new year. The universe ROCKS!

PS Oh, fer goodness sakes. Wait! I just can’t NOT include something…ANYTHING…to remind us of what 2016 bludgeoned us with. Therefore, in the spirit of ‘auld lang syne’, I will leave you with this wonderful compendium:

16 Most Ridiculously PC Moments on College Campuses in 2016.

A year of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggresions.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Enjoy the open thread,’cuz here comes 2017…


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