With the conclusion of the 57th annual Grammy Awards last weekend, 2014′s musical year is officially at its conclusion. New artists like Sam Smith emerged on the scene, and exposed the music business’s inherently murky nature after the 22-year-old pop singer was sued by Tom Petty for similarities between his Grammy Award-winning single, “Stay With Me” and Petty’s vintage classic, “Won’t Back Down.” Singer-songwriter and producer Beck shocked the world (well really, just Kanye West’s world) after beating out Beyonce for Album of Year with his 12th studio album, Morning Phase.
Pharrell Williams’ neo-urban soul single, “Happy,” exploded onto global billboard charts, earning three Grammys in the process. The tune’s light, get-up-and-go inspired groove, coupled with Pharrell’s ground-breaking digital marketing campaign for the song’s 24-hour music video, helped the 41-year-old sensation land an inspiring feature on Oprah Prime.
The Vevo and YouTube worlds were again preoccupied with tapping into contemporary pop culture’s sexual perversions. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” dominated viral music video charts, all placing in Vevo’s Top 10 Most Viewed Videos of 2014.
As a whole, I’d say it was a good year. Kanye West continued to exhibit he has an ego larger than the entire state of Texas. Young pop stars (Sam Smith, cough, cough) remained tainted in the media’s eyes for stealing tricks from the greats. And, oh yes… Sex continues to sell. What did you think of 2014?
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Boom! Right off the bat, the Japanese have shown us being rude isn’t to be tolerated. I have a feeling a lot of you haven’t been splashed by a passerby while you wait for the bus or ride your bike to work, but I have. Puddles are nasty. Filled with toxins, run-off and God knows what. The thing about being a drive-by splash victim is that the drenching isn’t the worst part of the day. First off, it is a crappy day outside. The rain is pelting, the wind is like daggers, the air is dry and cracks the skin. The bus is late and you see this jacked-up F150 barreling down the road, and right behind it is your bus. You step up to the edge of the curb, ready to escape winter’s grasp. In the last second, the asshole in the truck veers over to slosh the grossest wave of brackish liquid, soaking your clothing.
It happens to a lot of us public commuters. Although there are a lot of other crazy laws in this world surrounding the world of automobiles, I can’t agree more with the anti-splash law in Japan. It’s a huge health hazard and every driver should be on the look out for puddles. I avoid them at all costs if I’m driving by a bus stop. Perpetrators should be prosecuted, and ticketed. I know I’m ranting, but this type of behavior should not be allowed anywhere. I hope you never have to experience it. [via]
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You and I thought we were doing the right thing when we returned to college and took out those loans to pay for our higher education. Now, we have finished our education and we are deep in debt and cannot afford to make ends meet. It also does not help that we probably haven’t gotten a raise in many years or even employed. So now we are broke, under paid, under appreciated, and we will be in debt for many years to come.
Take a look at this infographic on the horrors of student loan debt and what lies ahead. One of the numbers that startled me is the fact that tuition has risen 900 percent since 1978. It is no wonder a lot of students are borrowing money from anybody and everybody. Another number to look at is the amount of student loan debt to credit card debt. I guess we live in a society that stays in the red.
All of this is not to dissuade you from continuing your education, but to keep you knowledgeable about loans. Almost everyone who went through college is in the same boat and some of them maybe sinking. Yet finding a career that you can flourish in by attending college will be advantageous in the long run.
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Supercars have always been an envy of the human race. Some of our Hollywood’s biggest heroes, like Batman or James Bond drive them for work. The ultra-rich and A-list celebrities have been collecting supercars for as long as these types of vehicles have been around. A lot of young boys (and some girls) grow up with a picture of a red hot Ferrari or a sleek Lamborghini on their wall. Good looking, exceptionally performing vehicles are attractive. Most car enthusiasts would agree they’re fun to take apart and put back together.
Getting that better modification in the mail, or installing a new component to generate more horsepower and torque is like Christmas for a gear-head. Car enthusiasts can improve many aspects of their whip. Some like to put in lavish sound systems that can shake an entire block. Some are just in it for the looks, lowering the ride, or jacking their car up with huge suspensions. Some tweak their vehicle to conquer the outdoors for climbing mountains or fording rivers, but the most popular and universally respected improvement would be speed.
Supercars have chased higher speeds since their creation. Just in 2010, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was one of the first supercars to achieve speeds over 250 mph. If you want the best though, you’re going to be paying for it. The Veyron starts at $2.5 million. You better start saving money now if you’re interested in one of those. [Via]
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We live in debatably the world’s number one economic powerhouse. The United States economy has provided the country with sustainability, ample business opportunity, and has been one of the main driving forces in the maintenance and flow of the larger global economy for over a century now.
Unfortunately, not all of American economic production is conducive to modern health and environmental concerns. The American corn industry, one of the nation’s most lucrative, subsidized agricultural ventures, has been linked to causing a dramatic decrease in the cost of unhealthy, junk food in the US (i.e. any high fructose corn syrup product). According to today’s infographic, of the 90 million acres of corn fields in the US, less than 1% of those are used to produce actual sweet corn for Americans to consume; the rest are dedicated solely to the production of high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy corn-based products. Researchers at the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service have even linked the cheap availability of these unhealthy food products to the subsequent increase in obesity among the average American over the last 30 years.
How does this affect the average American’s diet and health, you ask? Well, for starters it drives down the prices of unhealthy, cheaply-made products like sodas, potato chips, and other junk food, making it increasingly less likely for lower and middle class Americans to choose healthy alternatives when grocery shopping. Additionally, it has been responsible for the 33% decrease in the price of soda over the last 30 years, and the 40% increase in the price of fruit. So, next time you’re at 7-11, think twice before spending that dollar on 1200 calories worth of potato chips, and consider spending $2 for a healthier alternative.