2017 (MMXVII), according to the Gregorian Calendar, will begin with much fanfare and thousands of celebrations on Sunday 1st January. While the first Friday the 13th of the year will occur very early in January, Easter Sunday is to be observed at the late date of April 16th. However, don’t let anyone trick you into believing that April Fools’ Day will occur on a different day in 2017. But what about more important events that are to happen this year? Let’s take an exciting peek!
Big Dates to Look Out For
On January 20th: The New US President
The start of 2017 will be closely followed by the inauguration of New York businessman Donald J. Trump as the 45th US President. The Times magazine person of 2016 has pledged to do the following within his first 100 days in office:
• Appoint new judges to ‘uphold the Constitution’ and ‘defend the Second Amendment.’
• Begin constructing a wall on the southern US border, and enforce immigration laws.
• Re-assess current trade agreements with foreign nations, and put pressure on domestic companies to keep jobs in America.
• Repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
• Take away federal restrictions on energy production.
• Amend the US Constitution which imposes term limits in Congress.
According to his earlier Gettysburg ‘Contract with the American People’ pledge, President Trump also intends to: withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership; withdraw from or renegotiate NAFTA; remove illegal immigrants from the USA; suspend immigration from ‘terror-prone’ regions; and work with congress on a variety of issues relating to crime, corruption, education, energy, childcare, and eldercare.
On August 21st: A Solar Eclipse in America
This is one rare event I can’t wait to witness. No total solar eclipse has been visible from the US since 1991, and that was only from part of Hawaii. This will actually be the first total solar eclipse on mainland USA since 1979. It will occur along a curved path from South Carolina to Oregon. The best place to witness this marvel will be at the western edge of Christian County, Kentucky (36.97 degrees North and 87.65 degrees West) at 18:25 UTC. The eclipse is expected to last 2 minutes 40 seconds.
On October 26th: JFK Assassination Records Published
Following the premiere of the 1991 film JFK, a huge public outcry led in 1992 to Congress passing the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which ensured the collation and publication of all government records (some 4 million pages) relating to the infamous event of 1963. The process took six years to complete, but is only set to be published in 2017. So, the public will perhaps finally be able to decide for itself just why and by whom President Kennedy was assassinated.
On December 15th: The Latest Blockbuster Star Wars Premiere
For fans of the intergalactic science fiction series, the pre-Christmas launch of Star Wars Episode Eight is something to get really excited about. Also, production for the final part of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Episode IX will begin in 2017, though that movie will only be released in 2019. Other entertainment to look out for this year includes a new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie (March 17th) and the long-awaited continuation of TV series Twin Peaks, on Showtime.
Hotly Anticipated in 2017…
The First Attempt at a Human Head Transplant
Surgeon Sergio Canavero has been promising for over a year that by 2017 he’ll be able to perform the first human head transplant, proposed in order to provide people suffering total paralysis with a new body. Recently, Canavero announced successful operations performed with a mouse and a monkey, who were each given a new body and survived.
Canavero is currently seeking financial sponsorship from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to finance the surgery of 31-year-old Russian patient, Valery Spiridonov, who has signed up to be the first man to undergo a head transplant. If the surgery is successful, this would be the story of the century!
The First Synthetic Yeast
In 2010 the first living cell to be controlled by synthetic DNA was made. Yet that was a simple bacteria cell with no nucleus. A new program is currently underway to manufacture synthetic yeast, a much more complicated cell with a nucleus.
Professor Tom Ellis explains that humans have long utilized yeast’s byproducts to make alcohol and baked goods, and that in 2017 we’ll be able to use yeast cells as hosts for “manufacturing the complex products we need for modern living.” It’s thought that the study will provide unparalleled insights in genetics.
An Automatic Car to Drive Itself Through America
In October 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that one of his vehicles will complete a drive from LA to New York by the end of 2017 without a driver! The company believes that auto-piloted cars are far safer for humans. Yet many people are still wary of accepting the changes that companies like Tesla are introducing. Musk hopes that the publicity gained from the 2017 stunt will propel the automatic cars into the public imagination.
Moon Express to Make the First Private Lunar Landing
Back in 2007, Google announced a prize of $20 million for the first private company to land a robotic spacecraft successfully in the Moon. Three companies are in the running, but so far only one, Moon Express, has received US government approval. The launch is penciled in for the second half of 2017. The company hopes to soon start mining the Moon for resources, but knows that its success will also pave the way for the first privately manned trips to the Moon. It seems like it’s finally happening, folks!
2017 is set to be a very interesting year indeed!