Watercooler 12/29/16; The Winners, The Losers, And The Odd Of 2016


2016 Winners And Losers

On the domestic front without doubt the biggest winner was Donald Trump. In an upset victory that has some people cheering, others scratching their heads, and Democrats throwing tantrums and trying to find other people to blame he won the presidency. No matter how you feel about the man his victory can only be called stunning.


Hillary Clinton is the Yin to Donald Trumps Yang. Where he was supposed to have no chance, she wasn’t even meant to be elected but to receive a coronation. Her campaign was well funded, endorsed by nearly every celebrity of note, had the media acting as her personal super pac, yet she lost. So far the excuses have only managed to hit Russians hacking the election, maybe in 2017 they will get to little green men from space.

On the international front Nigel Farage and Brexit are without doubt the big winners. Another example of the underdogs defying all predictions and taking the victory. How this works out for the United Kingdom is yet to be determined, but the doom predictions have as yet to come to pass. The biggest loser is without doubt Angela Merkel. 2016 saw her going from the leader of Europe and a growing EU to a politician who will be lucky to retain her place in her party and country. Her poor handling of the refugee crisis, demonstrated to the rest of the EU just what some of the downsides of having political union with crazy people are.


After 108 years the Chicago Cubs beat the curse of the Billy Goat. The Cubs and their fans get credit for the biggest win in sports, if for no other reason than how long they worked for it. The biggest losers in sports were the cheaters. If it was Susanne Davis who decided to cut the course for her Ironman run, or Russia’s doping their Olympic team to gain gold, the cheats and their sports were the biggest losers.



Albert Einstein once again the biggest winner. One hundred and one years after his theory of general relativity predicted the existence of gravity waves, mankind finally had the technology to confirm their existence and once again confirm his theory. While the detection actually happened in September 2015 it wasn’t till 2016 that it was confirmed and published.

Losers, in science like sports cheaters never really win. We now live in an era where science needs dedicated monitoring of false results and phony papers, so it should come as no surprise that there is an entire list of major results that needed to be retracted this year. Their number one ?

In October, the Journal of Biological Chemistryretracted 19 papers coauthored by cancer biologist Jin Cheng, formerly at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. That’s something you don’t see every day. To learn more, we contacted Moffitt, who sent us a batch of email correspondence with the journal, which showed us it all began after Cheng asked to correct one paper. When he wouldn’t supply the journal with the raw data behind the figures in question, the journal took a second look at many of his other papers, and apparently didn’t like what it saw.


Nineteen papers from one researcher has to be something of a record.

Special Mention goes to NOAA, who’s adjustments to data now account for all reported warming in the U.S. since 1930, and Realclimatescience.com for pointing it out. If you haven’t seen this graph , take a look it’s not often you ever see that kind of match for what should be random variables. Mr. Heller illustrates goes into detail how the adjustment to temperature data exactly matches CO2 levels , well worth the read.


The big winner in the financial world is without doubt the Dow Jones Industrial Average. November  the DJIA broke 19,000. Not bad and I have to admit I am surprised to see that kind of number in my lifetime.

The losers, there’s competition that I have to call a three way tie here. Yahoo once a company valued over 100 billion dollars was sold for 5 billion to Verizon and now reportedly has Verizon asking for a billion dollar discount due to Yahoo’s security problems. Then there was Twitter that put itself up for sale and had no takers . Finally there was Samsung that took a 10 billion dollar hit from its exploding phone.  Hard to make the call between them.


2016 The Plain Odd

Winner for the just plain odd comes from Redstate, and specifically “It’s a Christmas Miracle – Florida Woman Allowed to Keep Her Motorcycle Riding House Alligator”. Followed by the close second and also from Florida, “Florida Man Assaults Fast Food Restaurant With Aligator”, If he got the gator to ride a motorcycle I would have given him the top spot.


Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread


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