Highlights of 2017

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Jillian Augustine, Executive Editor
@jillaugcourant

Caroline Castle, Senior Editor
@ccastlecourant

As with any year, 2017 has brought along many memorable headlines that will be looked back upon in years to come. Here, you’ll see our faves.

Memes
Inside jokes between internet geeks have somehow made their way to every teen that uses social media.
“Salt Bae”
A meme that took the internet by storm. The original video posted to Instagram showed the chef ~artistically~ cutting and salting meat. It instantly caught on in the world of memes and was used to poke fun at Donald Trump and his endless “sprinkling” of tweets. This meme especially caught on when famous singer Rihanna sported Salt Bae’s face on a shirt.
Spongebob acting as a chicken
This was used in many different ways such as a text response to mock what someone else said. Everyone now-a-days seem to have Snapchat, so if you are familiar with this app, you will know about this next meme. The Snapchat hotdog filter took hold in October when people began videotaping friends dancing with the hot dog. This was seen on Snapchat stories, Instagram, and other types of social media.
“Cash me ousside”
This originated from the Dr. Phil sensation, 13-year old Danielle Bregoli. Not only was this meme a huge hit, it became so popular that it was made into a song, and the teen became a rapper known as Bhad Bhabie. This past year, I’m sure you could walk down the hall and hear at least one person quoting these words. 2017 was full of memorable memes. However, they will never replace Vine, the OG meme maker. RIP Vine 1.17.17.

News
Total Eclipse of the Sun
One story that has made this year particularly memorable is the solar eclipse, which occurred for the first time since 1979. It’s been a looong time since the world was last mooned. On August 21, the sun was completely blocked by the moon for up to three hours in some places of the world. The path of totality stretched from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Everyone in all of North America and parts of South America, Africa, and Europe were able to witness a partial eclipse.
Miss Minnesota
Another groundbreaking event that happened in 2017 was the first young woman with down syndrome to compete in the Miss USA state pageant. Mikayla Holmgren, a 22 year old from Minnesota, took home the spirit of Miss USA Award as well as the director’s award. The spirit of Miss USA Award is given to someone who embodies the positive character traits that the pageant values, while the directors award recognizes a young woman who stands out in the competition. Mikayla Holmgren made history in her pageant debut, and definitely serves as an inspiration to us all.
Despite the hardships that the world has faced throughout this past year, it’s also important to take time to remember the positive things, which is what we chose to do with this story.

Film
Disney Animation, Moana.
With catchy tunes, interesting characters, and a family-friendly storyline, this movie, like all Disney films, attracted audiences of all ages. Moana also made just under $400 million worldwide.
‘IT’ was a big hIT
Based on the Stephen King novel, this freaky movie is sure to draw you in. The second film adaption was made this year and the sequel is to come in 2019.
Wonder Woman Makes Waves
This female-driven (and directed) film was released in June and immediately set multiple box office records. It has grossed over $821 million worldwide. If you’re not into children’s movies or horror movies, Wonder Woman is probably up your alley.
Netflix Hits
Moving on to TV shows, there were three big hits this year: Orange is the New Black, Riverdale, and Stranger Things. With the first season premiering in 2013, Orange is the New Black became a huge hit within the Netflix community. The fifth season came out in June 2017 and has become Netflix’s most-watched original series. I won’t spoil the show for you, but it is definitely a must-watch binge show. To continue with popular TV shows, Riverdale premiered its first season and with crazy teenage drama, mixed with an unsolved murder, and a cast that doesn’t fall short in the beauty department, the show caught the attention of all teenagers. Finally, the science fiction-horror series, Stranger Things, created a huge hype this past year with people infatuated with Barb’s disappearance, Eleven’s obsession with Eggos, and the hunt to close the gate to The Upside Down. With the second season that came out in October 2017, this show left many people creeped out, yet excited for the third season. If you like a thrilling TV shows, this Netflix original series is a great fit for you.

Sports
Patriots Prevail
When reviewing a year, it’s impossible not to mention the great events in sports that have passed. 2017 was kicked off with the annual February event, the Super Bowl. Not only did this game feature the largest comeback in Super Bowl history as the Patriots defeated the Falcons 34 to 38 after trailing behind by as many as 25 points for a majority of the game, but it was also the first Super Bowl ever where the outcome was decided in overtime.
The Money Fight
In other sports, Floyd Mayweather Jr., undefeated 11-time five-division world boxing champion, took on two-division mixed martial arts world champion and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. This game has been referred to as “The Money Fight”, and, in some opinions, “the biggest fight in combat sports history.” Mayweather held back in the first few rounds while McGregor fought hard, then came back strong and won by a TKO in the 10th round, once the referee ruled that McGregor was no longer able to defend himself. With this win, Mayweather earned a streak of 50-0, defeating the 49-0 record set by Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano. Since I was planning to only watch one boxing match in my life, I guess I picked the right one.
World Series Whirlwind
More recently, the 2017 World Series took place from October 24 to November 1. This was a best-of-seven playoff between National League champion the LA Dodgers and American League champion the Houston Astros. The Astros beat the Dodgers, winning four games, and becoming the first team from Texas to win the World Series in its history. The series also set a number of other records, such as racking up a combined total of 25 home runs, including eight home runs in Game 2 alone, and the Astros breaking their own team record with 15 home runs. In even more recent news, I excelled at wiffle ball in PE class.

Celebrities
While many releases, rumors, and relationships have taken place throughout the year, the collective effort to help those in need is definitely the most memorable thing about celebrities this past year.
Moves in Makeup
On September 8, singer Rihanna released her highly-anticipated makeup line, “Fenty Beauty”. Since then, the line has generated praise from people everywhere, mostly due to the wide range of foundations. Rihanna included a huge array of shades, including one for people with albinism. The release of the Fenty Beauty line was certainly a huge event across the US for both the beauty world and equality as well.
The Return of Jelena
At the start of 2017, stars Selena Gomez and The Weeknd were in the midst of a 10-month long relationship, which sparked a lot of support and excitement among fans of both artists. However, this relationship ended in late October, due to “scheduling conflicts” and long-distance difficulty, and from there, an old romance has been rekindled between Selena and 2009 boyfriend Justin Bieber (Jelena!). From the first moment that they were spotted at lunch together on October 31st, fans have been swooning about the re-emergence of their childhood favorite couple. They still seem to be going strong!
Hurricane Help
Following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose, a train of celebrities have contributed time, money, and support to help with the relief effort. While there have been many donations, including $1 million from Sandra Bullock, $75,000 from Ellen Degeneres both personally and through her TV show, $1 million from Leonardo Dicaprio, and unknown amounts from Beyoncè, Lady Gaga, Oprah, and Drake, some celebrities have put themselves into the heat of the work. Kristen Bell, who was in Florida when Irma hit, spent her time there performing at a hurricane relief shelter as well as comforting elderly residents. Additionally, stars including Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Reese Witherspoon, Beyoncè, and Leonardo Dicaprio got together for a concert benefit, streamed on all the major networks, called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief.” The proceeds of this concert went to relief for both Harvey and Irma. Along with these efforts have been many more donations, service efforts, and words of support from both celebrities and the public in order to help the people of Texas and Florida get back on their feet.

Music
One of the most popular albums of this year came out by a new 19-year old artist, Khalid. “American Teen” dropped in March and includes fifteen songs featuring “Location”, “Young Dumb & Broke”, and “Another Sad Love Song.” In August, the album reached number four on the Billboard 200. Moving on to the rap genre, Kendrick Lamar came out with his album, DAMN. in April. This could be considered his “Triple Crown,” earning the top spot on the Billboard 200 for the third time in his career. The album has fourteen songs, all of which are upbeat and passionate. DAMN. features other famous artists, including Rihanna, Zacari, and U2. It received a nomination for album of the year at the Grammy’s, proving the success of the album… “Divide” by Ed Sheeran. Its sixteen songs were released in March. “Castle on Hill” and “Shape of You” were the album’s lead singles and became very popular among people. This album includes a variety of songs, some slow and some upbeat; it has a perfect balance… “More Life” by Drake. It has twenty two songs and features various artists such as Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, and Young Thug. It was released in March and those who love Drake, loved this album. Although there have been mixed reviews on this album, it reached number one on Billboard 200, becoming Drake’s seventh time being on top. Additionally, one of the most famous singles that came out this past April was “Despacito.” This song features Justin Bieber who sang in Spanish for the first time in his career, Luis Fonsi, and Daddy Yankee. The song’s music video was the first video on YouTube to reach over three billion views and it eventually hit four billion views this past October… “Havana” performed by Camila Cabello as a promotion to her upcoming album that has yet to be released. The song came out this past September and has an unusual, but catchy beat. “Havana” features Young Thug, a popular rap artist and on November 18, the song hit its peak spot on the Billboard’s Hot 100 as number two, just under “Rockstar” by Post Malone.

All in all, 2017 was a year of many positive events and cultural milestones. We look forward to more memories in 2018!

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Senior Editor for The Courant at NCHS

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