New year, old news

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A pessimistic look towards 2015

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Here’s to another new year—but let’s be honest, as much as things change, the next 365 days will probably contain some scenarios that will feels as though history is repeating itself. This is because numerous unresolved incidents, like lawsuits and wars, can just drag on and on. Other occurrences may seem spontaneous and random, but after the smoke clears, we’ll see that it’s much of the same.

I have high hopes for 2015, I think it’ll be a great one, but don’t be surprised if some of these scenarios occur without warning to derail our plans.

Death of a star: Each year we seem flabbergasted when we hear about tragic deaths of celebrities. It’s nothing new. Death is inevitable and stars burn out. Some might be aging legends, others are troubled individuals, and a few are just ill-fated tragedies.

At the start of 2014, none could have guessed that we’d lose Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Joan Rivers. Shirley Temple, Lauren Bacall, and Richard Attenborough were not that surprising, although the pain lingers still. By the end of 2015, we’ll be recuperating from another year of mourning.

Health crisis: In 2014 Ebola scared medical workers, border guards, and pretty much everybody else in the world. Every few years we get an epidemic scare. Here’s a brief list of diseases we’ve survived so far: H1N1 (swine flu), E. coli, H5N1 (avian influenza), Listeriosis, mad-cow disease, SARS, etc. With that in mind, let’s be ready for the next one. It’s bound to happen with so much filth in the world. Let’s trust in the warning systems and the institutions that protect us. Let’s make good health practices and laugh in the face of death one more time.

Aircraft tragedy: Since 9/11 and the disappearance of Malaysia Airline’s aircrafts, getting on an airplane is a risky and stressful experience. While flying still remains the safest method of travel over great distances, aircraft tragedies have become an international crisis whenever they occur. Tenerife, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, and Captain Sullenberger are all memorable stories that have made a significant mark in our lives and in the year when they occurred. Don’t be too shocked when another aircraft crash lands into our headlines and leaves us wondering what if.

Cyber controversy: The world of technology is an exploration people have just embarked on and we are all discovering the wonders and the horrors of the Internet and the devices we use. From newly implemented laws such as distracted driving to chilling crises like security breaches and hacks, 2014 was full of stories involving technology, proving that although we can send files across the globe we have yet to master this new tool. The celebrity nude images scandal and the Sony/North Korea hack were proof that the cloud and the ether are no safer than a dark alleyway. As we venture deeper, more awfulness will be discovered and hopefully vanquished.

Natural disaster: Finally, we come to natural disasters. Unlike 2012, 2015 does not have any prophesized apocalypse, and I hope Mother Nature knows that. Any act of God this year will undoubtedly be a shock whether it be an earthquake along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a volcano on an island nation, blizzards on the east coast of North America, or maybe even a wildfire close to home.

Bad things happen. They’re bound to happen and they’re probably happening already, but don’t let that ruin our year. We can rise above it; we have before. Here’s to a great year!