We haven’t colonized the moon. Neither have we discovered alien life or manufactured flying cars.
But in the last decade, there are events, situations, and developments that can shock anyone from 2007. Some people are still alive, yet we thought they would not live long enough to see 2017. A good example is Stephen Hawking. How has he lived past 70 with ALS? But he’s not our only surprise, both Queen Elizabeth II and Betty White are still around yet they are past 90 years.
No one from 2007 would believe the next two American presidents after Bush, or that Osama Bin Laden was captured, but that did not end anti-Americanism.
Facebook managed to outdo MySpace. In fact, some Americans want its inventor, Mark Zuckerberg, to run for the presidency in 2020.
Shows like SpongeBob, The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy are still airing; and so are major box office hits like Fast and Furious, Transformers and Star Wars. But George Lucas retired and sold Lucas Films to Disney; so Disney is now responsible for the Star Wars story. Is it more saddening to mention that Han Solo and Princess Leia are no more? Carrie Fisher passed on for real, not just as a character.
Paul Walker, Bernie Mac, Gene Wilder, James Avery, Heath Ledger, Prince, Michael Clark Duncan, and Michael Jackson are also past tense. Whitney Houston succumbed to a drug overdose, then later, her daughter committed suicide. These unbelievable events took place in the last decade, but there are others that we’ll try and look into in detail:
15. ROBIN WILLIAMS COMMITTED SUICIDE
On August 11, 2014, the world was shocked by the news that Robin Williams had hanged himself.
Robin had been a darling to many because he was an outstanding comedian and he had one of the brightest smiles. He had won the hearts of many with his creativity, and people spent countless hours re-watching Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji and Good Morning Vietnam, among his other remarkable films.
Initially, his fans and family had speculated about his suicide; most of them suspecting depression, but it later emerged that Robin had ended his life because he was suffering from a condition that made him feel like his sanity was slowly slipping away.
Robin had a debilitating brain disease called Lewy body dementia that made him experience irrational fears, memory problems, paranoia, and delusions.
The Lewy bodies had spread throughout his brain and had caused so much damage that it was easier to say the 63-year-old had chemical warfare in his brain.
14. THERE IS A CRAZIER TERRORIST GROUP THAT IS WORSE THAN THE TALIBAN AND AL-QAEDA
The invasion of Iraq was never the solution to America’s problem. If anything, it has further fanned the flames of hatred against the Westerners, especially the U.S, and it failed to restore calm in the Middle East.
It seems as though the countless children who were orphaned by U.S bombs are now grown up and are on a vengeance mission. They are executing their terror through a new group named ISIS, otherwise referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
Initially, ISIS was a branch of Al Qaeda, but due to its cruel acts and brutality, there were disagreements, and it distanced itself from Al Qaeda.
It may be proper to say that while Al Qaeda was the teacher, ISIS was the student. But the ‘student’ surpassed the teacher in brutality. ISIS is today considered the biggest threat to Western society. In 2015 alone, the group carried out attacks in 252 different cities and was responsible for over 6,000 deaths.
This terror group has mastery of the internet and has been using this ability to recruit thousands of jihadists. Its goal is to establish a caliphate that will rule the world.
13. THERE WAS A CLOWN EPIDEMIC IN 2016
Sometime around August 2016, communities around America and other parts of the world were perturbed by sightings of clowns. Social media was blowing up with creepy homemade clown videos and schools sent out warning letters while some closed. The matter was so serious that it got mentioned at a White House media briefing.
No one could explain the sudden influx of clowns.
The first reported cases were in the US before the madness spread to Australia, the UK, and Brazil. In the U.S, there were reported sightings in both South Carolina and North Carolina, and by October, the sightings had spread to the West Coast.
Several arrests were made, and the police had to increase patrols outside schools. Fancy dress shops were even asked to get rid of clown masks and McDonald’s famous clown mascot, Ronald McDonald, was forced to limit his public appearances.
It later turned out that some of the reported cases were just scares though a few involved actual clowns.
Whether it was a creepy clown epidemic or just a sick joke, these clowns started getting their butts kicked, and it wasn’t fun anymore.
12. MARIJUANA IS GOING MAINSTREAM
Marijuana has gone mainstream in many ways. In fact, 4/20, the unofficial stoner holiday, is now celebrated worldwide because weed enthusiasts have more places to enjoy their ‘stuff.’
Research has revealed that the majority of Americans support the decriminalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Already, marijuana is legal in 30 states in the US, but most of these states only approve it for medicinal purposes. However, in places like Alaska, California, Oregon, Maine, Nevada, Washington DC, and Massachusetts, it is okay to use marijuana for recreational purposes. On April 19th, 2017, weed lovers from Parachute, Colorado were surprised when a drive through pot shop opened its doors.
In countries like Uruguay and Jamaica, weed is already legal for recreational use. It is also widely available in countries like Spain and the Netherlands. Other countries like Canada, Italy, Belgium, Argentina, Russia, Pakistan, and Portugal are still working on how to make it legal.
Soon, it may be difficult to keep track of where weed is legal or not.
11. WE NOW HAVE PLUG-IN CARS
Electric automobiles are here, finally, and they are reliable in many ways.
The Tesla P90D, for example, can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a staggering 2.6 seconds. This is absurdly quick and rivals cars manufactured by Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari.
Tesla is already making a big name in the electric vehicle industry.
A typical Tesla can accelerate faster than regular cars but is only limited to 155 miles per hour. That seems fair enough and is beyond most combustion-engine automotives.
The greatest feature about electric vehicles is that they use electricity that is stored in batteries instead of fuel. This enables them to achieve remarkable horsepower. When they go mainstream, they are certainly going to displace oil markets.
Despite their zero carbon-emitting feature, which is great for the environment, they will be cheaper to maintain compared to regular vehicles. The problem is that manufacturing them is still costly, but it is expected to decline by 2022.
10. CHESTER BENNINGTON AND CHRIS CORNELL BOTH COMMITTED SUICIDE WITHIN TWO MONTHS OF EACH OTHER
Linkin Park’s front man, Chester Bennington, ended his life on July 20, 2017, barely three months after his good friend, Chris Cornell, had taken the same path.
The 41-year-old had hanged himself from a door at his Palos Verdes home; the same day his friend, Chris Cornell, would have been celebrating a birthday.
Bennington had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and his demise came as a shock to both family and friends. Those close to him revealed that Cornell’s death had affected him immensely.
Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell, had also hanged himself from a door on May 17, 2017. His bodyguard, Martin Kristen, discovered his body after he went to check on him.
What is shocking about the two deaths is how Chester mimicked Cornell’s suicide. They both died in virtually identical ways, but Chester’s death coincided with Cornell’s birthday.
9. THE UK IS LEAVING THE EUROPEAN UNION
It was better referred to as Brexit, which means Britain and exit.
In 2007, this would have been unimaginable, even though there had been low-key supporters back then.
The decision was confirmed after a referendum on the 23rd of June 2016. 51.9% voted to leave while 48.1% voted to remain.
From statistics, England and Wales supported the exit while Northern Ireland and Scotland wanted to stay.
The results meant that David Cameron had to resign, and former secretary, Theresa May, took his role.
Mrs. May triggered the process of leaving the EU on March 29, 2017, and both UK and EU officials started their negotiations on June 19, 2017. They are expected to deliberate on the amount of money the UK will have to pay before leaving, the next step for the Northern Ireland border, and the rights of UK and EU citizens after the exit.
The law gave UK and EU two years, and the official exit date is Friday, 29, March 2019. This date can only be extended if all EU members agree.
8. YOU CAN SUMMON A STRANGER TO YOUR HOME AND HOP INTO THEIR CAR
We now have apps that locate a stranger with a car. These apps have replaced the traditional taxi, and one of the most common one is Uber.
Uber is interesting because it enables you to locate the car you are going to use plus all the relevant info about your driver. The app gives you the power to ‘hail’ a cab from the comfort of your phone.
Uber calls itself a technology platform that connects drivers and riders. In cities where it operates, a rider is only required to install the uber app before requesting for a ride. A driver is then expected to accept the request and head to the location shown on the map.
The fare is calculated automatically, and a rider is notified via the app.
Uber launched in 2012 and has emerged as a better alternative to traditional taxis. It exists in 377 major cities worldwide and has more than 150,000 drivers. Critics still insist that it is not a taxi because it cannot pick up street hails.
7. THE GUY WHO STARTED AMAZON BRIEFLY BECAME RICHER THAN BILL GATES
With a fortune of over $90 billion, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, briefly overtook Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates, on the 27th of July 2017, to become the richest person in the world for the first time.
Bezos’ net worth rose to $90.6 billion, which put him ahead of Gates by $500 million. Amazon’s stock had added some $1.4 billion to Bezos’ net worth.
However, by afternoon, Amazon’s stock had declined, and Bezos slipped back behind Gates; finishing the day with $88.8 billion while Gates closed with $89.8 million. The last time Gates had been dethroned was around September 2016 when he was ‘overtaken’ by Spaniard Amancio Ortega, but only for two days.
Bezos became the seventh person to hold the title of the world’s richest person and the third American besides Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
Bezos has somehow managed to turn his bookselling platform into a disruptive force that is now rivaling traditional retail. He has purchased Whole Foods, The Washington Post, and has even launched his rocket company.
Evidently, Bezos is on an ascending mission.
6. WE CAN NOW PRINT ITEMS INSTEAD OF BUYING THEM FROM SHOPS
3D printing, combined with the web, is expected to rewrite history.
This technology may put an end to retail shopping or manufacturing of products by companies. Why? Because it can download and ‘print’ at home. The tech only requires us to have printing materials and a 3D printer.
In 2014, large 3D printers were used to produce ten houses in China, and it only took a single day while the cost was below $5,000. The results demonstrated how 3D printing is time and cost efficient.
These printers have the ability to print multiple items in detail and will let you create virtually anything from the comfort of your home.
They are the equivalent of Star Trek’s replicators, and they can print guns, shoes, toys and even body parts.
However, 3D printers are yet to go mainstream owing to a number of reasons. When they do, several store bought items will become obsolete.
5. THE FAST AND FURIOUS FRANCHISE IS STILL MAKING MOVIES
Fast and Furious somehow continues to get bigger. As a matter of fact, each movie has literally brought in more money than the last, a clear indication that the franchise has disregarded the law of diminishing returns.
Over the last sixteen years, the series has continued to rack up profits. And every year, the profits are bigger than the previous year. This type of growth has only been witnessed in other big franchises like Star Wars and Transformers.
The series underwent a major blow when one of its actors, Paul Walker, perished in a high-speed crash. However, that did not deter Vin Diesel and co. from giving us only the best.
Fast and Furious Seven brought in more than $1 billion and one of its main stars, Dwayne Johnson, is 2017’s highest-paid actor in Hollywood.
While it’s easy to mock the series, it owes its success to many things.
4. BILL COSBY WAS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT BY MORE THAN 50 WOMEN
Since 2014, dozens of women have come out to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct that goes back decades. More than 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexual assault. However, only the allegations of one woman threatened to send the 79-year-old man behind bars.
The woman is Andrea Constand and her allegations dated back to 2004.
Constand only spoke about the assault after a year after she had a flashback of the incident. Cosby allegedly drugged her and then proceeded to molest her while she was immobile; a claim that Cosby denied even though he admitted that the pair had contact.
Thirteen years after the incident, Bill Cosby faced his accuser at a courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on June 5th, 2017.
The trial ended in a mistrial after the jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. Cosby was let free on a $1.3 million bail, but he remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
3. BARACK OBAMA WON THE PRESIDENCY TWICE
Barack Obama became the first African American U.S President after a successful election in 2008. His election was a sign that American politics had changed while it also signaled a cultural shift. He successfully beat Republican presidential nominee John McCain, 52.9% to 45.7% on November 4, 2008, to become America’s 44th president.
When he took office, he inherited two ongoing foreign wars, a global economic recession and a lower favorability rating for the U.S.
In 2012, he confirmed his re-election for a second presidential term and beat Republican candidate Mitt Romney. He officially began his second term on January 21, 2013.
In his eight years in office, Obama fought to redeem America’s economy and to repair the nation’s image abroad. He also improved healthcare for millions of Americans.
However, he failed to end the war in the Middle East, and he never closed Guantanamo Bay. He wanted more for America, but he faced resistance from Republicans.
His presidency officially ended on January 20, 2017. He made a great impact and is missed by most Americans.
2. DONALD TRUMP IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
After Obama, the guy from The Apprentice show took over.
Back in 2007, no one would have imagined that Trump would even get past the primaries, but he did, and he eventually outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton. He now has Bush’s job with all his orange glory.
Critics claim he would not have won if Hillary’s ‘dirt’ had not leaked.
Most people claim he doesn’t know what he is doing because he keeps firing people and making inflammatory comments. So far, he has mostly been dramatic and has been using his Twitter account to start international conflicts. Twitter seems to be his preferred communication channel.
There have been numerous allegations that Trump is Russia’s puppet, but nobody can prove it. Because of his criticized presidency, critics now claim that Angela Merkel is the leader of the free world.
1. GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
Gay Marriage is now legal across the entire U.S.
Thanks to a 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v Hodges on June 26, 2015. The case came up after James Obergefell sued the state because he wanted his name listed on his husband’s death certificate.
Five out of the nine court justices approved that the right to marriage equality was covered in the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The argument was that the attempts by conservative states to ban gay marriages was unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs only wanted equal dignity in the eyes of the legislation, according to Justice Anthony Kennedy, and the Constitution had granted them exactly that.
The ruling was the culmination of years of LGBT campaigns for couples who had waited for years to tie the knot. It was jubilation across America, from coast to coast.
The ruling brought to an end the decades of court battles that had been witnessed in American courts. However, Christian conservatives have never welcomed the decision.
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