Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014: top ten Top Tens

Yes, it's true, it's kinda meta, it's really pointless, it's my top ten Top Tens of 2014!

1. Best Viral Internet Animal Moments (Daily News)

This is pot of gold for those who like the ridiculous and crazy stories of animal daring-do and dear-god-Fluffy! Don't! Doooon't! Personally my favourite headline of the lot: Oregon family dials 911 after being held hostage by 22-pound pet cat

The most amazing by far though, is the cat that ninja kicks a dog in the face to save a wee boy. "I think not, baby puppy".

2. Top 10 (x4) Worst Book Covers and Titles Ever (Bored Panda)

Okay, so this is a top 40 (I may be a scientist but I was never gifted at maths), I just couldn't resist it. It is also a great way to find items for your Amazon wish list.

3. Feuds (Time)

There's something comforting about knowing that no matter how much money you have, or how famous you are, you will be unable to overcome the basic human drive to squabble. Of most interest here are the White Hats vs Black Hats - the Jedi and the Sith of the internet (respectively) - and #Gamergate and misogynism in gaming culture. Check it out for more info.

Black Hats Vs White Hats - to hack or protect?
Getty Images

4. Top 10 Physics whatever *yawn* (Scientific American)

Speaking of feuds, I unwittingly stumbled into the one between the sciences, that is, between Physics and... well, everything else. Some comments on my facebook got me an earful from physicist friends (I made the mistake of saying something unfavourable about their God: Prof Cox). So, in an effort to smooth things over, here is a list of top stories about physics and space.
No 3. "gravitational waves from the big bang – or just some galactic dust" - gosh, that sounds exciting... (said no one, ever)

I love you really.

5. Top 10 Films Mentioned on Most Critic Top 10 Lists (Metacritic)

This is the inception of list picks, a meta metacritic list! Not only has it made my list of lists, but it is in fact a list of metdata on other lists made by online critics. I'll need a sit down after this one.

Metacritic has always interested me, as they are applying statistics and metdata to film. Their scores are based on the consensus of many critics, and are updated as more reviews are written and published. Does this mean they are more accurate? A statistician might say yes, but my Mum poses the philosophical riposte: "just because everyone else is jumping off a cliff..."
She's not mad keen on statistics.

From Metacritic, updated regularly as reviews are published and data added.


6. Top Memes and Viral Videos (BBC)

The BBC does some pretty decent social media coverage (@BBCtrending is a good follow) and this list goes to show how crazy people are out there on the ol' websicle. They've taken their pick for every month of the year, have a browse and relive those goat-filled moments of 2014.

"Goats got us very excited in February" Image BBC

7. Social Media Fails (Inc)

As a relative newbie to twitter, I sympathise with others who make mistakes with their hashtags. When you are tweeting on behalf of a large company however, you better make sure your social media skills are sharp and your support team is savvy. A momentary lapse of care and you may end up posting this to your customers... hashtag oops

8. Science Images (Science)

An image speaks a thousand words, never more true than in science. Meghna Sachdev's choice of images for Science in 2014 is beautiful, inspiring, and takes us to every corner of the house of Science. I sense a desktop background in your future.

Rosetta - Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

9. Biblical Archaeology Discoveries (Christianity Today)

You got to hand it to 'em, those Christians know how to dig themselves a hole: an archaeological one that is. From 8,000 year old olive oil ("4,000 years before the time of the biblical patriarchs"!) to tracking down a stone Jesus was really keen on in the Bible, I just can't believe the wondrous discoveries from the holy land.
I mean literally: I don't believe any of it.

No, follow the gourd!

10. The Most exciting and Frustrating Stories from the World of Dinosaurs (Brian Switek)

There are so many people doing dino lists, but Switek's is the only list you need to read. There are way more than 10 in this list, but it was a must in any list of lists. From the funny (dinos farting themselves into oblivon) to the fascinating, he picks out the best of the year for you, with links and explanations.
If you don't already follow this guy, I have no idea what is wrong with you.

@laelaps - instant follow!

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