[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see a hard copy of the Dec. 26 issue for the actual diagram.]
MILD FEAR/LIFE ALTERING
SNAPCHAT GOES PUBLIC
The startup’s wildly anticipated IPO is cut short when its new stock ticker disappears after six seconds.
THE TREASURY DOESN’T TURN PLATINUM
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash musical Hamilton, about America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, struggles to come up with a rhyme for the surname of the incoming appointee: Mnuchin.
MILD FEAR/LIFE THREATENING
WESTWORLD IS REAL
The Supreme Court declares that intelligent robots are people too. Robots find the classification beneath them.
PERMANENT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
On Aug. 21, there will be a total solar eclipse, the first visible in the contiguous U.S. since 1979; relieved of its view of the world, the sun decides to stay behind the moon.
IT’S TIME FOR A SPACE STAYCATION
After the eclipse begins, Boeing and SpaceX move up their manned space trials, enabling more of us to join the sun in hiding.
INTENSE FEAR/LIFE ALTERING
IT’S CHILLY BIGLY
For his Inauguration, President Trump opts to just retweet the oath of office.
THE SUPER BOWL WILL TEAR US APART
After a close loss by the New England Patriots, Green Party leader and Massachusetts resident Jill Stein demands a recount nobody wants. Faith craters in America’s last remaining institution.
INTENSE FEAR/LIFE THREATENING
FUNK NEVER DIES
After unpublished songs from the late Prince’s archive debut, the Left Coast parties so hard that California quakes and breaks into the sea, finally giving the state the secession many of its liberals wanted.
Climate-change deniers point out that polar bears have always looked that sad.
THE INTERNET OF HACKINGS
After successfully disrupting the 2016 U.S. presidential election, hackers turn their attention to the final four on The Voice.
This appears in the December 26, 2016 issue of TIME.