Thursday, January 1, 2015

Zeitgeist: Year 2014
As we begin 2015 and end yet another round of ABCWednesday, I offer you a look back at  Zeitgeist: Year 2014. Please share your favorites and your insights in the comments below.

According to Wikipedia:
"The Zeitgeist (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought which typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time."
So here's to 2014 with the hopes that 2015 will be a better year. A year of hope, of peace, of health and prosperity, of greater friendships and greater sharing.

Google's Zeitgeist MOST SEARCHED in 2014:

In 2014 we searched trillions of times.  We searched about our hopes and our fears, about science, space and technology. We searched our favorite shows and movies, about sports, the Olympics and the World Cup and searched to come to grips with tragedies. And, we searched to be inspired by dance, music and by the joy of giving. Here's a sweet 90 second glimpse at our searches:

Here are the ranks for the greatest trending topics as searched in Google within the U.S.:
  1. Robbin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola (For more see:
  4. Malasia Airlines Tragedy
  5. Flappy Bird
  6. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  7. ISIS (For more see:
  8. Ferguson
  9. Frozen
  10. Ukraine
 Here are the greatest trending "How To" Google searches in 2014:
  1. How to Airdrop
  2. How to Contour
  3. How to Vote
  4. How to Kiss
  5. How to Craft
  6. How to Colorblock
  7. How to Wakeboard
  8. How to Refurbish
  9. How to Delegate
  10. How to DIY
Here are the "Most Searched" on Google Maps in 2014:
  1. Walmart
  2. Starbucks
  3. Target
  4. McDonald's 
  5. Home Depot
  6. Bank of America
  7. Walgreens
  8. CVS
  9. Wells Fargo
  10. Costco

With The Most Searched behind us, now we take a look at BEST IMAGES OF 2014:

TIME has posted their "TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2014"  Sadly, they were all depressing (albeit breath taking). Here are a few.  Please visit for the complete selection.
<b>Whitney Curtis. Ferguson, Mo. Aug. 11, 2014:</b> "I was not surprised by the reaction following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson," says photographer Whitney Curtis. "The racial tension in the St. Louis area was something I noticed when moving to the city. It was an issue bubbling just under the surface.
"Aug. 11 was my second day covering protests in the suburb. That night I was working at the site of Brown’s makeshift memorial when I heard the sound of tear gas canisters being fired in the distance. As gas started to fill the air, I rushed several blocks to the main road where 23-year-old Rashaad Davis stood with a small group on the sidewalk with their hands in the air.
<br><br>"I turned and walked away from the group to photograph the police presence, which had increased dramatically from the night before. Some officers were in tactical gear holding their weapons, and several armored personnel carriers were parked behind them. Suddenly I felt my knee buckle under me and it took me a moment to realize the police had shot me with a rubber bullet or beanbag round. I quickly ran to a parking lot to take cover behind cars and at that moment I saw a group of officers round the corner and approach Davis as he slowly backed away with his arms in the air. They tackled him to the ground and he was arrested that night."
Ferguson, Mo. 8/11/2014 taken by Whitney Curtis for The New York Times
<b>Ross McDonnell. Kiev, Ukraine. Jan. 25, 2014:</b> "The banging of sticks on metal is the only noise I can remember from that Saturday on Hrushevskoho Street," says photographer and filmmaker Ross McDonnell. "It provided a dull, metronomic backing-track to my afternoon as I photographed in and around a barricade of charred vehicles in central Kiev. It was only then, in the daylight, that the results of the previous nights rioting, a scene of seething anger and towering, explosive flames, were visible. Temperatures had dipped below -20ºC and the winter light, diffused by heavy smoke and the spray of fire hoses created an alien but ethereal scene that will linger long in the memory.<br><br>"The rioting continued. Young, brave protesters ventured beyond the line of torched buses to launch molotov cocktails, their wooden shields and pastel ponchos making them seem so vulnerable against the backdrop of metallic shields and the armed riot police that stood behind them. Other protesters, with blackened faces and tired eyes, continued working, ferrying tires to the barricades and shoring up their defenses. Keeping busy meant keeping warm.<br><br>"This is an image I'm sure 'we all' have; those that were there that day, capturing the moment. I took a couple of images from this position and then found this frame within a frame that the bus window provided, the icicles and the distant police...and Kiev."
Aftermath of riots - Hrushevskoho Street, Kiev, Ukraine 1/25/2014 taken by Ross McDonnell
<b>Tomas van Houtryve. Lake Oroville, California. Nov. 25, 2014:</b> ”I took this photo with my camera attached to an aerial drone as part of my ‘Blue Sky Days’ personal art project,” says VII photographer Tomas van Houtryve. “During the past year I've traveled from coast to coast building a portrait of our country as seen from the sky. In addition to the unique point-of-view offered by this new technology, my project allows me to push back against what I consider to be a troubling trend: cameras are increasingly weaponized – used for surveillance, targeting and killing – rather than their traditional role as tools for portraiture, fine art and journalism. The rapid rise of drone technology means our sky will soon be buzzing with many more cameras.
“Do we want these robotic machines only to be scanning our faces and license plates for suspicious patterns, or we do want them documenting beauty, historic moments, and a hint of poetry as so many human photographers have since the invention of the camera?
“In this photograph, house boats are seen on Lake Oroville which is 70% empty due to California's severe drought. Much of the food eaten across the U.S. comes from California, and agriculture has been severely impacted by the scant snowpack and low rainfall of the past three years.”
Houseboats in California’s Central Valley where the shoreline shows the effects of a months-long drought. This is a drone’s-eye perspective taken by Thomas van Houtryve
<b>Jerome Sessini. Torez, Ukraine. July 17, 2014:</b> “We were in Donetsk when we got word that a military plane had come down,” says Magnum photographer Jerome Sessini. “As we made our way there, we heard it was, in fact, a passenger plane. When we arrived, I could see the burning wreckage along the small roads. And the scene [revealed] itself to me: There were bodies strewn everywhere, and bits of plane scattered – it was a horrific scene.
“There were separatists guarding the place. I saw one woman in part of the wreckage and she looked like she was just asleep. Her body was intact. At one point, near some fields, I noticed this purple color on the edge of my sight and we walked in and found this body. He was still strapped into his seat and the scene looked totally unreal. It was pretty scary, actually. I only took a few frames. I didn’t want to go any closer. What you see here is as close as I got.
“One security guard asked me to hand over my memory card. I had to – and I think this photo was on it. But when he was leaving, I stood in the middle of the road and blocked the car as they left. He gave the card back to me, and even apologized for taking it.
I was there with two other photographers and on the way back in the car we didn’t talk. It was such a hard scene to process. It was hard to take it in. Nothing can prepare you for a scene like that. It is one of the most violent I have seen.”
Photo by Jerome Sessini, Torez, Ukraine, 7/17/2014 - a scene of a man still strapped in his seat from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 "allegedly" shot down in eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists.

CNN had a somewhat happier collection of "best" images from 2014. Please check out their complete album at My favorites:
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty of ice building up along Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach as temperatures dipped to record lows in Chicago, IL.
Aurora Borealis over Mt. Hoffell, Hoffellsjokul Glacier, Iceland (3/9/2014) - image by Arctic-Images/Corbis
Image by © Arctic-Images/Corbis
Image by © Arctic-Images/Corbis
Image by © Arctic-Images/Corbis
A Palestinian man and a member of Israel's security forces take pictures of each other after a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh (3/14/2014) Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP-Getty Images

Boys in a slum on the outskirts of Brasilia, Brazil, watch a World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico. Photo by Reuters
Dozens of commuters (8/6/2014)  in Perth, Australia, work to rescue a man who got his leg trapped between a train and the platform. The passenger was able to wriggle free with their help (

Young activist Malala Yousafsai attends an awa Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai sits before receiving the 2014 World’s Children Prize for the Rights of the Child during an award ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, western Stockholm on October 29, 2014. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP
 A couple kiss during a perigee moon, also known as a "supermoon," as it rises in the sky in Sydney. The phenomenon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee -- the point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to Earth. (9/9/2014 found at

Not to be outclassed, The New York Times has a collection of 100 "Best" photos from 2014.  I could not copy or find these images to paste here,  but you can check them all out at:

 The Atlantic has their "2014 year in photos" in three installments:
 Here are a few of my favorites:
Thousands of Bluebells bloom, carpeting a forest near Halle, South of Brussels, Belgium 4/1/2014. Photo by Yves Logghe/AP
Michael Phelps warming up prior to a 50-meter freestyle preliminary at the Arena Grand Prix swim event, Mesa, Arizona 4/25/2014 Photo by Matt York/AP

"Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" by artist Paul Cummins, under construction in the Tower of London Moat 9/10/2014. Each of the 88,246 ceramic poppies represents an allied victim of WWI (on its 100th anniversary). Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

Now, onto the BEST INFOGRAPHICS of 2014.
The first contender for "Best" is Travel Hacks by Best Hospitality Degrees. I thought it packed some really cool information and was easy to read. What do you think?


My next choice for "Best" is Your Brain on Beer vs. Coffee by I Love Coffee. Not only is this an age-old question, I loved the colors, the playfulness and the details given.  What do you think?


The final contender for "Best" is an interactive infographic "The Existential Calculator" designed by artist Kelli Anderson who was asked by Adobe to "make something interesting." She did - a paper infographic that answers that age-old question: "Should I take that job?" Under the image is a vimeo link showing how it works. [And please check out her blog link here, to learn more about all the decision factors involved: ] [Note: if you look closely on the blog this was designed in 2013, but I discovered it in 2014 - and just couldn't resist posting it.]
Link for Kelli Anderson's Existential Calculator -


After exploring the above links from Google, here is my choice of "Best"  YouTube Zeitgeist 2014 [Note: while not comprehensive, I found it captured much of the year's best and worst.]

Last year I also included the Best Graphic Novels of the year in my Zeitgeist.  As this post is so long already, I'll be doing a separate post shortly on the best graphic novels of 2014 and the promise of what's going to be around in 2015.  I hope you'll check in for that.

And if you're still with me, and want to see how 2014 compares to 2013, please check out:
A Zeitgiest 2014 versus Zeitgeist 2013 at;postID=3545338069166267041;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=1;src=link
As always, thank you for your visit and for your visits in 2014.
I hope you'll leave your favorite 2014 impressions in the comments below, and I look forward to your insights and kind remarks in your 2015 comments.
Finally, I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2015.


  1. Amazing post! I love looking at the photos. Some are sad, some are happy but all are definitely interesting. Happy New Year. Dropping by from

  2. Such an interesting post - a mirror reflecting society.

  3. whoa! i can't wrap my brain around this right now :)

    i do like the word.


  4. Amazing Post! I remember many of the images when they were first posted, many are sad but indeed breath-taking and certainly powerful!

    Happy New Year and Happy Wordless Wednesday! (like me you weren't quite wordless today!) :-)

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  5. Very thorough. It nearly overwhelmed my senses, but that infograph about beer calmed them down. I drank a coffee stout by Sierra Nevada on Christmas Day. It was mighty fine. :-) Happy New Year!