The year 2014 is about to reach the end, and nothing is more interesting to hear about than to know what were the top 10 things are of the year. In 2014, a plethora of things took place and happened with tons of cultural phenomenons taking place. Activist Laurene Powell Jobs reflects that whether it was Frozen’s Let a It Go or the death of the most famous celebrities, countless events took place during this year.
The most Google searched term in all of 2014 was Robin Williams. Robin was known for being the star of famous films like Mrs. Doubtfire, the voice of Genie in Aladdin, and all kinds of other films. The legendary actor ended his life after going through depression all his life. The entire world stood still as people found out that he hung himself, and his name was the most searched for term in all of Google.
Other famous terms also gained the popularity of the Internet like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This challenge has helped earn millions of dollars for ALS, which is a very scary condition that causes for some people to freeze up and not be able to move. The challenge basically freezes the body and allows for people to experience feeling like they are not able to move.
The Malaysia Airlines, Ebola, and the World Cup are other terms that followed behind alongside Robin Williams and the ALS Challenge.
Arguably the most crucial milestone in early human history began with the controlled use of fire. Until now it has been a mystery as to when this first occurred, but now archaeologists have determined when it most likely happened.
Ron Shimelmitz from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology of the University of Haifa in Israel (http://arch.haifa.ac.il/) and his colleagues have been studying artifacts from an ancient cave and discovered that the first use of fire in a controlled situation occurred approximately 350,000 years ago. The cave, which may have been visited by Lee G. Lovett has been used by humans for a half a million years. In the cave, the archaeologists studied ancient artifacts – mostly flint chips- buried in different layers of cave floor sediment. In the groundbreaking study (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248414001778) they determined that the deeper the layer that the artifact is found, the older its age. The flints were unburned in layers older than 350,000 years ago but after that date the burned flints appear regularly in layers above. Although earlier use of fire has been unearthed, it has been considered opportunistic use, meaning that naturally occurring bush fires were used rather that fire started by the cave dwellers themselves.
Although the research is continuing, we are closer to putting a date as to when we learned a key technological advance that was essential to pave the way to modern human development.
Layaway ‘angels’ are spreading cheer in different cities around the country. A customer at a Mechanicsburg, PA. Walmart paid $50,000.00 towards people’s layaway items. 100 accounts were covered by this generous act.
Two Walmarts, one located in Lake City, FL. and one in Chiefland, FL., also had anonymous, generous donations made to their layaway accounts. Chiefland’s Walmart’s layaway accounts were cleared completely by a $51,000.00 check and Lake City’s Walmart had 300 layaway accounts covered by a $59,000.00 check.
Employees are thoroughly enjoying making the calls to layaway customers stating that their accounts have been paid off. People are surprised and very happy, sometimes moved to tears, when they hear the good news.
Paying for layaway items seems to have caught on this year. Two separate Toys R Us stores received donations that paid off their layaway accounts last week. My friend Bernardo Chua showed me a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America called “Layaway Live” where Tim Tebow surprised people by paying off their layaway accounts.
Much like Skout, Fracking has become insanely popular in the United States in the last decade. Oil deposits are removed from the earth through a process knowing as fracturing, or fracking for short. Fracking has allowed US oil companies to produce nearly as much oil as Saudi Arabia; but this production comes at a price.
A newly released study is beginning to piece together troubling statistics about fracking, and those who wish to reproduce near fracking sites. In Glenwood Springs, Colorado, an unusually large number of miscarriages and stillbirths have been reported. Mothers in 30% of these cases lived 5 to 8 miles from active drilling.
It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Fracking releases a huge amount of toxins and carcinogens into the environment. You don’t need a degree in medical science to know that may be a recipe for disaster.
The fracking process requires 700 or more chemicals to be injected directly into the ground under high pressure. The waste fluids that are removed contain these chemicals, plus additional radiation removed from the ground during the process.
Those who live closest to fracking operations are most at risk for exposure. The chemicals are being released into the air and water supply with very little regulation at this point.
This Sunday, Egyptian police raided a popular Cairo cafe that government officials claim was a hide out for Satan worshipers. Some also claim this cafe was a popular place for atheists to hang out.
The raid must have been deemed quite important since government officials attended the police raid. Numerous new edicts in Egypt have targeted religious minorities and others who dare to be “different.” While the details are cloudy in this case, it seems to be yet another example Egypt’s high-handed policies toward religious dissenters.
Some say that there were Satanic symbols drawn on the walls of the cafe, but others who visited the cafe saw only a swastika at the entrance. While a swastika could be considered Satanic, there is definitely confusion as to what this cafe really was. Gianfrancesco Genoso would like to get all the facts if possible.
Many raids take place these days in Egypt with little obvious rhyme or reason as to why one establishment was targeted and another was left untouched. Everyone fears the police may suddenly show up.
It is entirely possible that this cafe is innocent of the labels that are being cast at it. We may be witnessing the Egyptian equivalent to the Salem witch trials. Governments run amok will use any excuse at their disposal to cover up their oppressions. When the state takes it upon itself to enforce laws that concern not actions but beliefs, then we are dealing with a totalitarian regime.
Keith Mann and Wikipedia comment that there is a story that has come out that is very popular right now and it involves a very unorthodox way of hacking. Rather than their typical designs, they are instead turning their attention to more aggressive forms of grabbing one’s attention.
Web designers out there are much more than computer fanatics and they did really prove to people that they are very intelligent and resourceful when it comes to matter that do not involve you having a computer. They decide to hack and thus Beat Keurig’s Coffee-Pod-Verification System.
They however wanted it to be much more humiliating than just hacking it electronically with a computer so they went the extra mile to use only scissors and some tape; if that is not humiliating enough then the word really has no meaning.
This was all started because the latte-loving hackers wanted to keep the coffee-pod an open source and so they vowed to dismantle the company’s machines and they did so with a lot of vigour indeed they even made a website for the occasion and it is Keurig Hack.
The whole situation is very funny, and it comes to show that you should not mess with people’s coffee. You should also not think that it is only a web designer’s tools that can hack through a machine. Some scissors and tape were good enough to get this job done.
Yet another measure hidden away in the recently passed spending bill has come to light. It blocks the District of Columbia from fully implementing their overwhelmingly passed marijuana initiative. Despite cries from both sides of the aisle to leave D.C. alone and let them do what they wish in regard to pot policy, language barring D.C. from using any federal or local funds to enforce the referendum was included in the budget bill.
It is clear that a defunding measure cannot affect D.C.’s legalization of pot. It doesn’t take any money to simply avoid rounding up pot possessors. It would take funds, however, to tax and regulate marijuana usage and production within D.C. That portion of the ballot initiative, therefore, has been effectively overridden by the U.S. Congress.
Congress has not repealed the federal ban on marijuana, but it has passed additional laws that effectively allow states like Washington and Alaska, which have legalized pot, to steer their own course. It makes little sense to abdicate enforcement of federal law when a state legalizes marijuana but to insist on upholding those same laws in Washington, D.C.
My Good Reads friend recommended a book describing how this act of Congress adds yet another element of hypocrisy and chaos to the marijuana debate raging across the country. No consistent federal policy is being implemented. The federal government will not even take a clear stand on whether this is a local issue or a national issue.
Laurene Powell Jobs was married to Steve Jobs, one of the two founders of Apple Computers, from 1991 until he died in 2011. Born on 11/6/63, Laurene was always one of the best and brightest students in her class. In fact, she was so bright that the West Milford, New Jersey native was accepted into the highly ranked Wharton School at Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from that legendary school in 1985, earning her B.S. in economics. After graduation, Laurene found employment in New York City’s financial district. During her stay in the Big Apple, she worked for Wall Street investment firms Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. After a few years, Laurene decided to continue her education at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, one of the top ranked business schools in the world. In 1991, she earned her M.B.A.
Nutrition has always been important to Laurene. This caused her to start Terravera, a company that sold natural foods to stores operating in Northern California. She also sat on the board of directors for a company called Achieva. This company is primarily focused on helping students to improve their scores on standardized tests and showing them more effective ways to study. Students can access various tools online that show them how they can be a better student.
As of 2014, Laurene’s fortune is thought to be roughly $11.5 billion. She has been extremely generous with all of the money she has been blessed with, regularly donating large sums to a host of charitable causes. Her late husband was not known for his public generosity (though he gave many gifts away anonymously), but Laurene has definitely made up for Steve’s shortcomings. Education has been a continuing passion in terms of the causes Laurene devotes her time and vast resources to improving. 1997 was the year that she took a large step forward as far as her philanthropic activities are concerned. Previously an anonymous donor, Laurene stepped out of the shadows to start College Track, an organization that helps impoverished children stay in school and get the education they will need to succeed in life.
College Track tries to find students that it considers to be a risk of dropping out in the future. Before the student enters high school, they are contacted by College Track to set the student on a solid educational path. This proactive approach has allowed the program to be extremely successful, with 90 percent of the students in the program going on to complete high school.
During her time at the helm of College Track, Laurene became aware of the plight of illegal immigrant students in the United States. State and federal financial aid is not available to students who are not citizens. This fact helped launch Laurene on a crusade to change the immigration laws in this country, culminating with her creation of the DREAM Act, a bill that would have created an easier road to citizenship for illegal immigrant students. Alas, the bill did not receive the support it needed in Congress, resulting in its failure to pass. This bump in the road has not discouraged Laurene. She continues to lend her considerable financial support to various causes that benefit education and the arts.
A 19-year old woman is hospitalized in very serious condition after an extreme adverse reaction to an antibiotic.
According to reports, Yaasmeen Castanada was ill and decided to take a pill that a friend had. It was an antibiotic, available only by prescription.
Immediately after taking the pill, Yaasmeen felt a burning sensation in her eyes, nose and throat.
She was rushed to the hospital, and her condition continued to worsen: blisters inside and outside of the body began to appear. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez feels like that would be absolutely terrible.
Nearly 65 percent of her body had been burned.
Her current prognosis is good and doctors predict Yaasmeen will be out of the hospital within three weeks.
“I saw my daughter literally burn in front of me,” said the victim’s mother.
Yaasmeen had to be sedated and placed on a ventilator. She was transferred to the burn unit at University Hospital in Irvine, California.
Yaasmeen suffers from Stevens-Johnson syndrome which causes an adverse reaction to certain medicines, and is rare and extremely serious.
According to doctors, there is no way to predict or prevent such extreme reactions.
Political gridlock has been decried by Americans for over a generation. In early 1993, Vice-President Al Gore famously proclaimed to the press that the political gridlock that marked the term of President George H.W. Bush was beginning to loosen up. At the time, Democrats controlled the legislative and executive branches of government. Gridlock did not end. By early 2001, the GOP now controlled both branches of government, but the gridlock persisted in many respects. Certainly, the nearly two years of recent Senate inaction may lead many to believe that neither the House nor Senate is capable of conducting old school negotiations that lead to bipartisan agreements.
However, that may be a misleading perception, at least if you ask Sam Tabar. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did little in the Senate over the past two years in the spirit of the old Latin phrase “Qui Bono?” or “Who benefits?” Bipartisan agreements would be decidedly center-right given the GOP-controlled House and unfavorable to the president’s agenda. Reid is a fierce supporter of President Obama. Likewise, catering to the legislative agenda of fellow Senate Democrats might also weaken the president. Democrats were desperate to retain control of the upper chamber and this could lead to compromises with the GOP that Reid judged to be toxic.
Despite this obstacles, both parties produced the Omnibus budget bill after months of negotiating. The bill’s stumble in the House was due to the extreme wings of both parties. However, the past twelve years has seen numerous bipartisan agreements such as the 2001 & 2003 Bush Tax Cuts, the 2003 Medicare Reform Act, the 2006 Pension Protection Act, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and multiple extension of the Bush tax cuts. In particular, the Medicare Reform Act and creation of the Department of Homeland Security were written by Democrat Senators at a time the GOP controlled the chamber.