Every year, we post the Best and Worst from the year, in several different categories. This year we wanted to do something a little different, and simplify the format. So, we decided to get back to what we do best – top 10 lists! Here are the ten “things”, for lack of a better word, that defined 2014.
#10. Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media July of 2014. The challenge encourages nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation. The fact that this challenge was for charity made it worth while but everyone would agree that it got a bit too much having your social media accounts overloaded with people doing this ice bucket challenge, what happened to the anonymous donating to charity!
Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was inescapable in 2014. The song is written, produced and performed by Pharrell Williams from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. It also served as the lead single off of his second album Girl (2014). “Happy” is Billboards #1 single for 2014 as well as iTunes highest selling track of the year.
#8. Bad Year for Comedians
2014 was a bad year for comedians. Three comic legends died – David Brenner, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Then there was Bill Cosby who went from American Dad to alleged serial rapist. David Brenner died in March. Robin Williams committed suicide in August and Joan Rivers died during a routine surgery that went wrong in September. Bill Cosby found himself in the spotlight this year – and not in a good way. So far 15 woman have come forward with allegations that include drugging and sexual abuse.
#7. Big Butts
If 2013 was the Year of the Selfie, then 2014 was definitely the Year of the Butt. From Kim Khardashian “breaking the internet” with her photoshoots exposing her famously large behind to songs like “All About the Bass”, “Anaconda”, and “Booty” becoming some of the biggest hits of the year. It was impossible to get away from the booty in 2014, Sir-Mix-a-Lot must’ve had a great year.
#6. World Cup
As it does every four years, the world went soccer-crazy this summer. The world’s most popular sporting event was bigger than ever in Brazil, with extreme drama throughout. Costa Rica became the darlings of the world as they stunned everyone to nearly reach the semifinals, while Colombia became everyone’s second favorite team with their electric play, led by the new superstar in soccer – James Rodriguez, and silky dance moves. But at the end of day, it was Germany who walked away deservedly with the trophy, humbling Brazil in the semifinals with a ruthless attacking display.
Hack attacks and security breaches on the rise have dominated tech news in 2014. Large companies such as Ebay, Target, Home Depot and Staples were hacked and millions of personal records stolen. Then there was the Heartbleed scare, which is a security bug disclosed in April. This bug made many secure web servers certified by trusted authorizes vulnerable to attack. In August hackers gained access to Apples iCloud service, stealing personal photos of celebrities in various stages of undress. Finally we had the international warfare on Sony Pictures concerning its controversial movie “The Interview”.
#4. Race Riots
First Michael Brown was shot and killed and then Eric Garner was choked to death. While the circumstances were extremely different in both cases, both caused mass outrage. First Ferguson and then New York City broke out in large protests that quickly grew violent. As the protests spread throughout the country, so did the violence. Two NYPD officers were shot and killed in their car “in revenge for Eric Garner” leading to fears off a full-blown race war igniting in 2015.
#3. Malaysian Plane Crashes
2014 has proved to be a strange year for aviation. We had a plane shot out of the sky, another vanish forever. Now we have the disappearance of AirAsia. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down killing 283 passengers and 15 crew. Malaysian Airline flight MH370 went missing on March 8th on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, and we still do not have any news as to the whereabouts of this plane. AirAsia flight Qz8501 went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore with 155 passengers and 7 crew aboard. Plane wreckage has been found off the Indonesian coast and as of today 10 bodies have been recovered.
A mass outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 killed nearly 8,000 in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea and, to a lesser extent, Nigeria and Mali. Once the disease spread to Spain and the United States, the world truly panicked, fearing a global pandemic that could devastate the world population. Fortunately, nothing on that scale ever occurred, and the disease was quickly controlled and eradicated from both countries.
Before 2014, hardly anyone outside of the Middle East had even heard about ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) before. That changed in a brutal way over the course of the year. On June 29th, ISIS declared a worldwide caliphate. ISIS rampaged through Iraq and Syria, killing thousands and thousands of innocent civilians and targeting the Yazidi people. 5 videos were released by ISIS and sent across the world showing beheadings. Two American journalists, and American aid worker, and two British aid workers were killed in the horrific videos, all beheaded by a terrorist with a British accent who went by the name “Jihadi John.”