No, 2016 Wasn't A TOTAL Dumpster Fire

To say that 2016 has been a rough year would be an understatement.

From Brexit to President-elect Donald Trump, yet more tragic shootings to celebrity deaths, the last 12 months have been a raging dumpster fire for many.

But hard as it may be to believe, hidden among the ashes, some flame-retardant gems have survived to give us a glimmer of hope for humanity.

Here are 16 actually good things that happened in 2016.
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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
For the first time ever, a woman won the popular vote for president of the United States.
No, Hillary Clinton will not be president of the United States. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that more than 65.5 million people voted for her. Not only is that 2.8 million more than those who went for Donald Trump — more people voted for Hillary for president than they did for any white man in the history of American politics.
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Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.
Six other women broke the glass ceiling on November 8, too. Presenting the first Somali-American Muslim female legislator and the first-ever Latina to serve in the U.S. Senate. Tammy Duckworth. Kamala Harris. Catherine Cortez Masto. Pramila Jayapal. Kate Brown. Ilhan Omar. Learn their names. Revel in their bad-assery.
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This meme exists.
At least the internet gets us. This “me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016” meme is the perfect representation of the year.
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Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
More than 82,000 donations have been made to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name since the election.
Bless these sweet angels who are telling the future vice president what they think of his plans to police American women’s uteri. Even more good news: In total, Planned Parenthood has received more than 315,000 donations since the election.
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Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images.
The Ice Bucket Challenge actually made the world a better place.
The videos might have been the bane of your Facebook newsfeed two summers ago, but this July the ALS Association announced that the more than $115 million donations resulted in the discovery of three new genes and the invention of two new drugs that are currently being clinically tested.
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Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.
Beyoncé surprise dropped “Formation.”
And we all knew it by heart by the time she sang it at the Super Bowl half-time show literally the very next day.
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Photo: VCG/Getty Images.
Giant pandas are no longer endangered!
Wired reports that there are now 2,060 giant pandas living in the wild, which upgrades the species from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” LIVE LONG AND PROSPER, YOU ADORABLE GIANT PANDAS, YOU.
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Photo: Barcroft Media/Getty Images.
Speaking of adorable animals…
...the wild tiger population increased for the first time in 100 years. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that the number of tigers increased from 3,200 in 2010 to about 3,890 in 2016.
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Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images.
The Supreme Court struck down one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws.
Texas’ HB2 severely limited women’s access to legal abortions, leaving the state’s 5.4 million women with only 10 abortion clinics. While the law’s advocates (disingenuously) said that the law only tried to keep abortions safer for women, as the Notorious RBG put it in the 5-3 ruling doing away with the law, “It is beyond rational belief that HB2 could genuinely protect the health of women."
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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.
The survivors of sexual assault got a bill of rights.
The legislation, which Obama signed into law in October, guarantees survivors have rights such as not getting charged fees for rape kits, and being informed before their rape kits are destroyed.
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Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
India opened the biggest solar-power plant in the world. Sprawled across four square miles, the plant was built in a mere eight months. With a capacity of 648 megawatts, it can power as many as 150,000 homes at full strength.
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Photo: Adam Taylor/Getty Images.
Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won an Oscar.
And he used his acceptance speech as a platform to talk about the environment.
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Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Patagonia donated 100% of its Black Friday sales to charity.
While the outdoors retailer had only expected to get $2 million on the shopping “holiday,” it ended up bringing in a record-breaking $10 million!
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Photo: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images.
The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
Love ’em or hate ’em, you’ve gotta admit that it’s nice for their fans to see the century-plus curse lifted.
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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
A first victory for the Standing Rock pipeline protesters!
The decision to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline sends an important message to all of us going into 2017: Protesting isn’t futile. Organize. Make your voices heard. Because if you’re loud enough, people might start listening.
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Photo: Chicago Tribune/Getty Images.
And the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team — a.k.a. the “Final Five” — won gold at the Olympics.
Live every day like you are Simone Biles.
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