The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deirdre Macken macken.deirdre@

Many im­por­tant things hap­pened this year. In­deed, some think that 2016 will go down in his­tory — like 1066 or 1966. But while you were fo­cused else­where, you missed a lot. So let’s brief you on that. Peo­ple have started wear­ing py­ja­mas in pub­lic. Well, women mainly, be­cause you can’t tell if men are wear­ing shorts or box­ers. This trend started in Eng­land, where women couldn’t be both­ered get­ting changed for a day that lasted only a few hours. Now that’s it’s arrived here, let’s just be re­lieved they’re not wear­ing one­sies.

Poke­mon dis­ap­peared. Of course you were aware of its ar­rival but you prob­a­bly didn’t know it vir­tu­ally van­ished within a month. Ev­i­dently pin­ball is mak­ing a re­turn — but they’re al­ways try­ing to push that one. In fact, fit­ness trends were telling this year. Tram­polin­ing was still hot at the start of the year but has since faded. In­stead, ev­ery­one is do­ing an­i­mal flow. It’s sort of like ag­gres­sive yoga. Think an­i­mals. Think stretch­ing. Think, unattrac­tive from the rear. (Why don’t they just play with a puppy?)

This year an un­usual name popped up in the top 10 baby names. Noah was No 4 in Aus­tralia and No 1 for boys in the Amer­ica. I won­der what Amer­i­cans saw on the hori­zon.

Big news on the lit­er­ary front. Mar­lowe wrote some of Shake­speare’s plays. Well, the Henry plays at least, and prob­a­bly only a bit of them, so let’s say he was in the room when Wil­lie was writ­ing. This dis­cov­ery is cour­tesy of data an­a­lyt­ics, a sci­ence that can now reach back 400 years. (Per­haps that’s the big news.)

Gen­der stuff was big. Or at least more di­verse than ever. Face­book listed 58 gen­ders but at the end of this year, Tin­der an­nounced it had de­cided on 37 gen­der va­ri­eties and mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties were freak­ing out about how many pub­lic toi­lets would be needed. Gen­der iden­tity made mar­riage equal­ity look like a dod­dle — well, a dod­dle for most coun­tries.

Tech­nol­ogy. Of all the tech­nolo­gies that changed our lives this year, but­ler socks were the most un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated. Th­ese socks can de­tect when you’re fall­ing asleep dur­ing a binge TV view­ing ses­sion, and wire­lessly pause the pro­gram for you. If you think this is too much, you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­pres­sion that we are liv­ing in a dig­i­tal mesh. And if that makes you feel like a fly in a spi­der’s web, you got it.

Drones went un­der­wa­ter this year. I know, they’re on your Christ­mas list, but al­ready they are swim­ming around the depths of the Black Sea, dis­cov­er­ing ship­wrecks from 1000 years ago. Maybe there’s an idea for a shark de­ter­rent.

The word agile dis­ap­peared from the Aus­tralian lex­i­con. It be­came a five-let­ter word once it be­came as­so­ci­ated with job losses, scary tech­nol­ogy and bosses so young they can’t get fuzz go­ing for Movem­ber. Think Wy­att Roy. Yes, in case you missed it, he’s his­tory too.

Hair was big, but not in the same places as last year. The bushranger beard is dis­ap­pear­ing, re­placed by chin growth that sug­gests a week in the wild rather than a life­time. Men’s hair has gone bonkers, though. Some guys went for the quiff; oth­ers worked the hairspray to achieve the full pom­padour; and oth­ers crafted graf­fiti cuts: styles you read for mes­sages.

Food trends con­tinue to con­found. The big- gest dish was the break­fast bowl, filled with di­verse in­gre­di­ents that strip South Amer­ica of her­itage crops, but ac­tu­ally made for In­sta­gram shar­ing. Pre­bi­otics, pro­bi­otics, any­thing to do with bowel health was huge since that book called Gut re­vealed that our di­ges­tion knows more than we ever thought about our­selves.

Turmeric or golden tea was the lat­est func­tional food; fer­mented foods got in on the act, smoked foods be­came char­coaled foods and wines went au na­turel — noth­ing added ex­cept the profit mar­gin. The only bev­er­ages more ex­pen­sive were green juices. Mut­ton made a come­back, on the back of ex­pen­sive lamb. But the big­gest move­ment was the home de­liv­ery of chef meals from top restau­rants. Ka-ching. Big se­cret: Most farm­ers did re­ally well this year.

So, that’s your wrap. And if all this were the most im­por­tant stuff that went down this year, then 2016 would have been a rip­per.

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