Great things from 2014

Collectively we as a society have decided that 2014 was a real shit sandwich of a year, and good riddance to it! Arguably we think that every year, but it sure feels right about 2014.

It wasn’t all bad, though. Here’s a bunch of random stuff that I thought was pretty wonderful during a pretty shitty year.

T-Pain, king of autotune, sang a few songs for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series without autotune. Dude can sing. Seriously.

Paul Ford was on fire this year. I particularly liked “How to Be Polite” and his exploration of YouTube’s secret star, “The American Room”.

Sam Biddle at Gawker followed up and discovered that Justine Sacco is good at her job.

Mallory Ortberg has my vote for queen of the internet. I could link to so, so many things she’s written this year, but I’ll limit myself to Ayn Rand’s reviews of children’s movies, the comments you’ll find on every recipe blog, songs Sufjan Stevens will never write, why you should hate that hermit from Maine that people were going nuts over, anything about Ronbledore, and a horrifying collection of curses.

Serial was pretty great, huh?

I don’t keep up much on console gaming lately, but the Mario Kart 8 Luigi Death Stare gave me a serious case of the giggles.

Jon Bois at SBNation killed it all year. Near Thanksgiving he posted this look back at working at a Radio Shack on Black Friday. The Super Bowl edition of his “Breaking Madden” series might be the funniest thing I saw all year.

This interview with Chris Rock was pretty awesome.

This toaster over sounds like Pearl Jam.

I don’t even know what to call this instrument from another dimension.

I do not have children but I’ve enjoyed this series by on new parenting by Laura June at The Awl.

So you mashed up Final Fantasy 3 (6 in Japan) and the Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers? That’s an automatic link.

If you’re on a Simpsons message board and start complaining about people making Simpsons quotes, you deserve what’s headed your way.

This essay by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee, who had a stroke at 33, was lovely.

I loved Mike Monteiro this year, particularly this piece about making better presentations. It’s about presentations for design clients but could works almost anywhere.

Sasha Frere-Jones reviewed that terrible new U2 album. I might not ever forgive Rolling Stone for calling it their #1 album this year.

I also loved the multiple playlists of perfect songs he put together.

Speaking of music, I loved a few albums that came out this year: Morning Phase by Beck, Lazaretto by Jack White, They Want My Soul by Spoon, Sukierae by Tweedy, ART OFFICIAL AGE by Prince. I’m not sure there was anything better than Run The Jewels 2, though.

Maciej Ceglowski’s talk about privacy, advertising, and the internet is hilarious and thoughtful in equal measure. You should use Pinboard to support him. (I do.)

As evidence for the points about advertising in Maciej’s talk, see what happened when Mat Honan liked everything he saw on Facebook.

I only saw three movies in theaters this year—wow, is that it?—but they were all great: Boyhood, Edge of Tomorrow, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Craig Mod wrote about giving a shit (by way of book design) and the future of photography.

This was the year of “Ask Andrew W.K.”! Here he is on dogs and handling negativity online. Please read this at my funeral.

I grinned the whole way through the episode of the Song Exploder podcast about Bob’s Burgers. Everyone just sounds like they’re having a great time.

Nicole Cliffe shared the proper way to buy a car.

The episode of Radiolab about translation was a lot of fun. So was the one about buttons.

“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

This long, funny post about complexity was written in 2009 but I found it this year. I use “shit’s easy syndrome” at work constantly.

Drew Magary taught us how to be terrible people.

I loved this presentation by Frank Chimero about unknowns, killing wolves, and managing bears .

If you’re a programmer of any stripe and you haven’t figured it out from personal experience, you should know that “all code is bad”.

I had no idea that a perfect round of putt-putt golf was so rare!

Happy new year!

Am I doing it wrong?

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