CollectionofAwesome’s 2016 – a year in review

I’ve always wanted to write a “year in review”, so here is my version of what has happened in 2016.  This year has been full on. It’s in no means comprehensive, and I admit there are bits and pieces I’ve left out, but what I’ve done is hand-picked the key things that have happened throughout the year;

January 2016 – Started off losing great people.

Each year we say goodbye to great people, but 2016 seemed particularly notable because it was just so many of our favorites.

08.01.2016 – David Bowie


14.01.2016 – Alan Rickman – One of my all time favourite actors.


21.04.2016 – Prince – Another loss for the music world.


03.06.2016 – Mohamed Ali – The Greatest. You can view the full sized image here.


19.06.2016 – Anton Yelchin – Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films, was tragically killed by his own car. An awful accident that claimed a talented young actor. It was sad seeing him in Star Trek Beyond, knowing he had just passed away.


08.08.2016 – Midget Farrelly – Australia’s first surfing champ… I wrote a post about Midget.


29.08.2016 – Gene Wilder – another one of my favorite actors, gone. The one and only Willy Wonka!

**Update: after posting this, George Michael and Carrie Fisher passed away.

25.12.2016 – George Michael – another music icon.

27.12.2016 – Carrie Fisher – Farewell Princess Leia, and an outstanding woman.



This is obviously only a very small number of important people that died in 2016… from this point onwards I’ll have the rest of this review in chronological order (because I’m a big nerd).



05.01.2016 – Obama tries (and cries) to enact stricter gun laws in the USA, but fails.

Gun violence, gun control and the USA have an extremely complex relationship. Following a mass shooting that opened 2016, Obama was actually wiping back tears as he remembered children killed. It’s depressing that people can now come to expect them to occur. Obama urged American voters to reject pro-gun candidates. Obama made it clear he does not expect gun laws to change during his remaining year in office, but pledged to do what he can to make gun control an issue that is discussed in 2016.


13.01.2016 – Adele Carpool Karaoke

James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke is a fantastic reoccurring bit but nothing beats the one where he picks up Adele for a drive around and they sing some of her classic songs. Adele closes it by rapping Nicki Minaj’s “Monster.”


15.01.2016 – Donald is slowly becoming a real option.

I promise that I will keep the mentioning of Donald Trump and the US election to a minimum. We all know what has happened. In mid-Jan we laughed at him, we mocked him, and he became the Republican front-runner. Republicans have for some reason selected Trump as strongest candidate. I believe that they mistook attention-focusing (seeking) with actual political leadership… something that various people realised far too late when they had to voice their own objections (with no effect). His awful commentary and hate-speech prompted this great photo;


28.01.2016 – The DeLorean is coming Back from the Future

We’ve gotta go back, and bring the DeLorean with us!!! The DeLorean Motor Company announces that it will build about 300 replicas of its 1982 DMC-12, the model featured in the “Back to the Future” films. Roads? where we are going, we won’t need….roads.


February 2016 – The world enjoys Ryan Reynold’s lifetime ambition to become Deadpool

11.02.2016 – Deadpool

The release of Deadpool in Feb 2016 was a real highlight of the year. The love and passion that Ryan Reynold’s has for the character came across in the big way in this film. You can tell walking out of the cinema that this was his pet project for years. This is a ground breaking movie in that it is the first time an R-rated action/comedy has performed so well. The rest of the superhero movies in 2016 all took note and add in their own “deadpool-esce” touches. 


12.02.2016 – Flint Water emails/update

This is the date that emails about the Flint Water situation were released. Now I’m not going to go too deep into the horrible situation about the tainted water in Flint. I can just say that the contamination in the water supply and outbreak of lead poisoning in Flint, Mich. means that the mayor is beginning the work to replace lead pipes (duh).

17.02.2016 – Obama voices that the USA is not stupid enough to vote for Donald Trump.

Through out the year President Obama was publicly against the concept of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. On this date he basically said that Trump will not be President: “The electorate will not pick him, said Mr Obama, because “they recognize that being president is a serious job.” This is a pretty mild statement, but impressive that it was done publicly at all.


18.02.2016 – Ted Cruz is Kevin from “The Office”

One little bit of fun from the US election nightmare was this great image about Ted Cruz being the character ‘Kevin’ from “The Office”. There was also



19.02.2016 – Channing Tatum does Beyonce’s “Run the world (girls)” on Lip Sync Battle.

I actually missed this completely… but once I heard about it I had to include this to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Channing Tatum seems to be a hit on Lip Sync battle.


19.02.2016 – The US government pressures Apple to decrypt iPhones

Throughout early 2016 there was a legal battle in the USA between law enforcement/court and Apple regarding the decryption of phone information. This all revolved around the government wanting Apple to unlock and decrypt the iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who shot up an office party in a terrorist attack in nearby San Bernardino in December 2015.

Now in theory this is fine (we need to know what the bad guy had hidden), in practise however it is a very terrifying and dangerous step for a government to take. It means that they were mandating a flaw/weakness into the core of a phone’s security which would legitimately make everyone’s devices vulnerable to attack by hackers. Having a known-exploit in any device that holds information is a beacon for trouble.

John Oliver did a segment on Encryption on Last Week Tonight;


22.02.2016 – On a personal note, I launch “BJL_Photography” whilst on my trip to Japan

In late Feb I went on a trip to Japan and also launched “BJL Photography”. This is a pet project of mine; I have always loved photography and wanted to take up a hobby that I could share with anyone. Below is one of my all time favourite photos from the trip – a picture of Dontonburi in Osaka. I set this up as an Instagram account (@bjl_photography) but also set up various connected social media accounts (facebook page, tumblr, and twitter account). Please feel free to check it out and give me comments/feedback. I’m learning about how to be a photographer and really appreciate feedback.



28.02.2016 – John Oliver talking about Donald Trump

One of the other highlights of the year was listening to John Oliver repeatedly discuss Donald Trump. There were so many moments in Season 3 of Last Week Tonight that were exceptional, here is a sample of just one of his rants from late Feb;


28.02.2016 – Leonard DiCaprio finally wins his Oscar. 

Leo finally does it, he gets his Oscar (and a meme dies). He won Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. There was a long-running meme about Leo not getting an oscar (and deserving it)…


March 2016 – Batman and Birds

06.03.2016 – The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Another cultural highlight of the year was Netflix’s release of The Umbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I’m very pleased that Netflix is creating some awesome content (and bringing joy in 2016). I think that as a comedy this show is brilliant. The character of Titus Andromedon, although completely over-the-top, is one of my favourite characters from the show;


17.03.2016 – Zootopia

If you have told me the premise of this movie without any context I don’t think I’d have seen Zootopia. But seeing images of it pop up in memes, online, and hearing it was great I gave it a watch. I’m happy to say that this was one of the best “feel good” movies of the year.


20.03.2016 – Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Who can talk about movies in 2016 without mentioning some of the more notable disappointments. Everyone was hyped up to see Batman vs. Superman… and what we got was… meh. I was more excited about the idea of tying in the rest of the Justice League, but I didn’t like it overall.


20.03.2016 – Obama visits Cuba

President Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. The restoration of the relationship between the USA and Cuba is a big deal. One thing I appreciate is that Obama stipulated that he would only visit Cuba if he could meet with Cuban dissidents – “If I go on a visit, then part of the deal is that I get to talk to everybody.


25.03.2016 – Sad Ben Affleck meme

On the back of the reviews of Batman vs. Superman this incredible video / gif was created. I love it so much;



25.03.2016 – Bernie / Bird

A tiny bird interrupted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ rally in Portland, Oregon, on Friday afternoon, to the thunderous applause of the crowd.

and then this brilliant scene with Donald Trump and the Eagle;


April 2016 – I dunno, The Jungle Book?

07.04.2016 – The Jungle Book

A new version of Jungle Book came out and it was really well done.


13.04.2016 – Kobe Bryant Retires 

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m almost completely oblivious when it comes to sports. I am aware of who Kobe Bryant is… and that his retirement is something of note in 2016.


27.04.2016 – Captain America: Civil War

Another year, and another Marvel instalment. Civil came out and was a bit meh. Deadpool took the 2016 Superhero movie in my opinion.


May 2016 – The Blog is back!

04.05.2016 – CollectionOfAwesome returns.

In May this year I resumed the blog! Is it a coincidence that came back on May the 4th? No… you all know how much of a Star Wars nut I am. The only issue is, that the blog quite literally had to start from nothing again… which was an interesting challenge. I started posting new content, but also searching for old content that I could revive.

It turns out, that nothing is really ever “gone” from the internet. I found a way of reviving old posts, but it takes a lot of effort to do.

Below is a little screen shot of my blog view stats… 570 views in the month of May… ha, gotta start somewhere!



18.05.2016 – X-Men: Apocalypse

I actually liked X-Men: Apocalypse. The highlight was Quicksilver’s scene running through the Xavier Mansion;


12.05.2016 – Oldest Woman passes away

Susannah Mushatt Jones passes away at 116 as the Oldest Woman. She was born on an Alabama farm in July 1899, was also the last living American born in the 19th Century.


22.05.2016 – Game of Thrones – “Hold the Door”. (Season 6, Episode 5)

The world was sad to watch “The Door”. This was a great episode of Game of Thrones.


24.05.2016 – Bottle flipping became a thing…

The world went nuts for water bottle flipping for some reason. It apparently started with this talent show clip;


27.05.2016 – Obama Visits Hiroshima. 

President Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, Japan, the White House said Tuesday, a charged final-year stop meant to advance his goal of nuclear disarmament.

28.05.2016 – Harambe

The Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a more-than-420-pound gorilla called Harambe. It was manhandling/attacking a small boy who had fallen into its enclosure on Saturday afternoon.


June 2016 – Violence, Britain, and Brexit.

02.06.2016 – Brock Turner rapes a girl and gets a slap on wrist.

The courts finally reach a verdict on Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus party and decide that six months confinement in the Santa Clara County jail to be followed by three years of probation is a just sentence for rape. There was a loud outcry from many Americans about this.

12.06.2016 – Mass Shooting in Orlando

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. It was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in United States history. It was also the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the September 11 attacks in 2001.


13.06.2016 – Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Microsoft buys LinkedIN for $26 billion. This is reasonably important to a lot of people because a large percentage of the world have a professional LinkedIN account. I’ve heard LinkedIN jokingly referred to as “Facebook with a tie”. How will Microsoft change/use the information on the site? No one knows.


16.06.2016 – Finding Dory

Another brilliant movie, the sequel to the massively popular Finding Nemo… Finding Dory revolves around the story of Dory trying to find her parents. This was really well done, but also dealt with some deep themes regarding dementia etc.


16.06.2016 – Jo Cox, a British MP killed. 

A British member of parliament was “stabbed and shot” in her town on Yorkshire. This senseless and horrible act is something that is pretty uncommon in Britain.


19.06.2016 – Game of Thrones – Battle of the Bastards

Another awesome Game of Thrones episode was released.

This meme summed it up perfectly;




22.06.2016 – Independence Day: Resurgence

The sequel to Independence Day came out and I have mixed feelings about it. I loved that they got some of the old cast involved, and I liked the Sci-Fi parts… not sure.


23.06.2016 – Brexit

Britain voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity. Global financial markets plunged and many British citizens immediately realised the error they had made.

I posted the following photo on my bjl_photography account;



July 2017 – The world becomes obsessed with Pokemon Go!.

05.07.2016 – The Shooting of Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot several times at close range while held down on the ground by two white Baton Rouge Police Department officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This sparked a huge series of protests, demonstrations and violence. Unfortunately 2016 had a number of police shootings.


06.07.2016 – Pokemon Go. 

Pokemon Go launches and becomes the fastest and most popular game in the world. It uses real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon. In Sydney it was crazy;

Here is an actual photo of people swarming a park with an unusually high concentration of pokestops/rare pokemon.



07.07.2016 – Star Trek’s Sulu is going to be gay in new movie, and George Takei (the original Sulu, who is gay – and amazing) isn’t happy about it.

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry]’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.” Takei said Roddenberry was very supportive of the LGBT movement, but envisioned Sulu as heterosexual.


12.07.2016 – Dallas police use a robot bomb to kill cop-killer

A violent man was killed after he killed Five Dallas Police Officers claiming to be upset about “the recent police shootings,”. The suspect eventually was killed by a bomb that authorities detonated, “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,”.


14.07.2016 – 84 people killed in Nice, France

86 people were killed in Nice, France when a truck rammed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riviera. This awful attack was then met with unity and love from around the world.


14.07.2016 – Ghostbusters (2016)

It happened, it was mocked, and rightfully so. I wish I could have that time back.


15.07.2016 – Stranger Things

Hurray! this is something that many people were thankful for in 2016. We all enjoyed this great show and are now all eagerly awaiting season 2.



19.07.2016 – Trump becomes the GOP presidential nominee

Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman whose outsider campaign has both galvanized millions of voters and divided the Republican Party, is the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.

The rest of the world watching the American politics is like:






…and to most American’s it’s like:


21.07.2016 – Star Trek Beyond

A new Star Trek came out, it was pretty good.. I liked it. It was sad seeing Anton in it though. I liked this third movie more than the second.

26.07.2016 – Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic presidential nomination

Hillary is naturally the Democratic nominee.


27.07.2016 – Arthur’s Fist meme

I’m not sure if it’s because of the political situation, but a lot of people really loved the idea of pent up rage that Arthur’s Fist demonstrates.


29.07.2016 – Zika Virus appears in Florida.

An outbreak of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Florida, marking the first time the virus has been found to be transmitted via infected mosquitoes within the continental U.S. The outbreak has infected at least four people, three men and one woman, through local transmission.



August 2016 – Olympics.

01.08.2016 – Suicide Squad

A hugely hyped movie, that fails to really deliver. At least it’ll spawn some Halloween costumes?


02.08.2016 – Obama unleashes on Trump.

President Barack Obama offered one of his sharpest denunciations of Donald Trump to date Tuesday, declaring the Republican nominee entirely unfit to serve as president and lambasting Republicans for sticking by their nominee. The strong rebuke in the White House East Room came after Trump’s criticism of the family of a slain Muslim US soldier, along with comments that displayed apparent confusion related to the Russian incursion into Ukraine.


05.08.2016 – Rio Olympics

Summer Olympic Games occur in Rio. I think it was something positive in 2016.

08.08.2016 – Angry Michael Phelps Meme

Images of American swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps looking angry while focusing on his pre-game meditation for the 200-meters Butterfly semifinals match in men’s swimming at the Summer Olympics in August 2016 was turned into a meme;


25.08.2016 – Pen-Pineapple-Apple Pen


27.08.2016 – Jupiter Flyby

NASA arranges for Juno to do a close flyby of Jupiter… yay.



September 2016 – The iPhone 7 and no headphones.

07.09.2016 – Apple iPhone 7 announced.

Apple announced the new iPhone 7, and everyone was barely impressed. The only notable thing about the iPhone 7 was the fact that it no longer has a headphone jack, forcing people to adopt wireless headphones.


22.09.2016 – Aleppo

The Syrian town on Aleppo is the subject of intense warfare. Airstrikes rain down on the rebel-held neighborhood in Syria’s east.


October 2016 – Shark Bait

12.10.2016 – The Mannequin Challenge

Oh god I’m not going to describe the Mannequin Challenge. It’s people posing as if frozen like a mannequin.


13.10.2016 – Great White Shark Cage Breach Accident

This is one of the best videos of 2016… where a great white shark breaches a shark cage… and there was a person inside!!! Watch it;

November 2016 – Cubs, President Trump, I am holding your hand.

02.11.2016 – The Cubs win the World Series

To the joy of long time cubs fans they won the World Series.

06.11.2016 – Evil Kermit Meme

Probably my favourite meme of 2016 was the rise of Evil Kermit…

09.11.2016 – Donald Trump wins the US Election

To the shock and horror of the rest of the world… Donald Trump has won the US election.

When watching the results online….


I snapped this screenshot of the time & date of this occurring… and though, “huh, 9/11”.


I love how Australian newspapers reported it;



10.11.2016 – Travis McElroy supports everyone post-election via “I’m Holding your Hand”

One of the sad facts about the result of the 2016 US election is that a large number of Americans (and everyone) is afraid of what will happen now. Many fear what will come during a Trump presidency. The day after the result, amist the anger, fear and panic… Travis McElory (one of the three brothers that host my favourite podcast; My Brother, My Brother and me) shared this inspiring 8 minute message (click on media below to listen):


December 2016 – We are given hope by Star Wars: Rogue One

14.12.2016 – Star Wars Rouge One

The newest Star Wars movie is great. Yes it technically lives outside the storyline of the STAR WARS (episodes) but it ties in and explains some gaps in the Star Wars lore. I thought it was well done. My favourite part was near the end when Darth Vader unleashes on a group of Rebels… this finally shows what Vader is like in combat… a terrifying unstoppable killing machine. Perfection!


The Blog is coming back strong.

Since it’s rebirth on May 5th, the blog has been slowly getting back up to it’s old strength. I’m happy to share that we are nearly back to a point where we have 1,000 views a day.



Lastly… John Oliver’s Fuck 2016 finale

John Oliver beat us all to the punch in November by closing season 3 of Last Week Tonight by saying “Fuck 2016” with this video;


Thanks Everyone!!!! – PLEASE SHARE/LIKE this etc.

Thanks to everyone for reading. Please comment, share, like… post links to your facebook… I would really appreciate it if you could share this around.


Merry Xmas!

RIP Midget Farrelly – Australia’s first surfing champ

Today is a sad day for Australia, and the world of Surfing, with the passing of Midget Farrelly. Midget was Australia’s first surfing champion winning the Makaha International in Hawaii in 1962 and the 1964 World Championships at Manly.

I was fortunate enough to know Midget through Whale Beach Surf Club and I know that his passing has come as a shock to many (myself included). I regret that I have only ever had a handful of opportunities to speak with him over the years – but one thing I know is that he was a friendly man that really cared for everyone around him. The other thing most people would agree on is that he was completely at home in the water. Surfing, Surf Boats, Swimming, Paddle boarding… it didn’t seem to matter as long as it was in the water. Midget was quite active in the surf boats at Whale Beach, here is a great photo of him in action;

I’m now slowly reading over all the amazing things he’s accomplished in his life. I’m sorry that it’s only because he has passed away that I’ve learnt about his background. The Encyclopedia of Surfing said “from 1962 to 1970 he was arguably the best competitive surfer in the world“.

I know that many people will be shocked by this news. It’s sudden, abrupt, and we’ve lost a friend and a great man.

I don’t really know what else to say other than I’ll miss him – and that everyone else who knew him will to.

…oh…I have to share this great YouTube clip of Midget surfing:

(note: the quality of the video isn’t great but I’m guessing that is what the original footage looks like).