Rewind: 2014

Robin Williams, 1951-2014 (image via NBC)

It’s another few days before 2015 officially launches.

Personally, I can’t wait. 2014 was a strenuous year.

In fact, it was a terrifying year — “terrifying” in the sense that it started off by financially fucking me around big time. 2014 was terrifying in that my personal data got mixed up with that of someone else, an assumption that Deutsche Post sold to a notorious company named Unister GmbH (of fluege.de fame).

Of course this is chicken feed compared to “the Fappening”, the publication of some very, very naughty pictures of several (mostly female) celebrities following targeted hacks into their private iCloud accounts. Jennifer Lawrence described the leak as a “sexual violation”.

In late November, Sony Pictures Entertainment was hit on by a group called “the Guardians of Peace” in an unprecedented cyber attack. This led to the exposure of thousands of sensitive emails from Sony executives and physical threats against moviegoers  if the release of the film “The Interview” wasn’t cancelled. Some blame the hack on North Korea who had described the film as an “act of war”.

In December the Pirate Bay was shut down after a raid by Swedish police.

Also terrifying is the racial and religious turmoil going on in Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, Hong Kong, Gaza and Ferguson. Then there’s a bit of an Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, and everyone was challenged to pour a bucket of ice water over themselves.

The Dalai Lama was again refused an entry visa into South Africa.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games took place in Sochi, Russia in 2014 — much to the delight of instagraming hotel visitors and reporters. A few months later Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Scotland remains part of the UK.

Air Malaysia’s flight record took a beating as it lost two planes: MH370, carrying 239 people, went missing over the Indian Ocean. 131 days later another Boeing 777, MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in eastern Ukraine amid allegations that it was shot down by pro-Russia separatists. 298 people died.

2014: Death, defeat and intrusion

Support for Windows XP ended on the 8th of April. Flappy Bird was killed off.

We also bid farewell to Joe Cocker, guitarist Paco De Lucía, house DJ Frankie Knuckles, Alien designer and surrealist artist HR Giger, actors/directors Harold Ramis, Richard Attenborough, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, James Garner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, “ugly” Eli Wallach, TV producer Glen A. Larson, and radio personality Casey Kasem.

Speaking of “the letter U and the numeral 2”: Apple CEO Tim Cooke unveiled a new iPhone (that fans once again sheepishly queued up for) as well as a new U2 album (that music fans couldn’t remove from their free iTunes libraries quickly enough). Taylor Swift accidentally “released” eight seconds of white noise which promptly topped the Canadian iTunes charts. Later in the year she pulled her entire catalogue from Spotify.

Microsoft skips version 9 and makes free “Evaluation” downloads of Windows 10 available.

Camera-equipped quadcopters called “drones” became the latest toy craze, and mankind succeeds in landing a probe on a comet.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (courtesy of European Space Agency - ESA)

Brangelina finally got married. So did George Clooney.

2014 was the year in which I got rid of my VHS collection and finally got to watch a Harry Potter movie — all eight of them, in fact.

Meanwhile, Germany deservedly took their 4th FIFA World Cup title but not without utterly thrashing host country Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals. A few months later they celebrated 25 years since the fall of the Berlin wall.

Bradley Cooper took a selfie.

In 2014, the World Wide Web turned 25.

And since the top keyword raking in visitors at this time of the year is “Christmas Babes”, here’s Taylor Swift doing this year’s honours.

Christmas Babe 2014

2015 must hurry up and get here.

Image credits: AFP/Getty, Greg Wyshynski, J-Law, ESPN, Wiki Commons, almstba.com etc.

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