Monthly Archives: December 2014

Top Songs of 2014

As already shown in my daily #SongOfTheDay, here are my Top 10 (or 11) songs of 2014:

11. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

10. Waves by Mr. Probz

9. The Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez

8. Dirt by Florida Georgia Line

7. Fancy by Iggy Azalea

6. Problem by Ariana Grande

5. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

4. Chandelier by Sia

3. Hideaway by Kieza

2. Boom Clap by Charlie XCX

1. Rather Be by Clean Bandit

Deaths of Public Figures in 2014

Maya Angelou – 86 – Poet and Activist

Richard Attenborough – 90 – Actor

Lauren Bacall – 89 – Actress and Model

Simone Battle – 25 – Singer

Polly Bergen – 84 – Actress

Ben Bradlee – 93 – Newspaper Editor

David Brenner – 78 – Comedian

Dave Brockie – 50 – Musician

Diem Brown – 34 – TV Star

Richard Bull – 89 – Actor

Sid Caesar – 91 – Comedian

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – 76 – Boxer

Ann B. Davis – 88 – Actress

Oscar de la Renta – 82 – Fashion Designer

Ruby Dee – 91 – Actress and Activist

Phil Everly – 74 – Musician

Eileen Ford – 92 – Founder of Ford Models

James Garner – 86 – Actor

Peaches Geldof – 25 – Writer and Model

Phillip Seymour Hoffman – 46 – Actor

Geoffrey Holder – 84 – Actor an Dancer

Jan Hooks – 57 – Actress and Comedian

Bob Hoskins – 71 – Actor

Henry Lee “Big Bank Hank” Jackson – 58 – Rapper

Russell Johnson – 89 – Actor

Casey Kasem – 82 – Radio Legend

Charles Keating – 90 – Activist

Bobby Keys – 70 – Musician

Dave Madden – 82 – Actor

Mike Nichols – 83 – Director

Francis Warren “Frankie Knuckles” Nicholls – 59 – DJ

Don Pardo – 96 – Voice of SNL

Elizabeth Pena – 55 – Actress

Harold Ramis – 69 – Director and Actor

Tommy Ramone – 65 – Musician

James Rebhorn – 65 – Actor

Paul Revere – 76 – Musician

Joan Rivers – 81 – Actress and Comedian

Mickey Rooney – 93 – Actor

Maximilian Schell – 83 – Actor

L’Wren Scott – 49 – Fashion Designer

Pete Seeger – 94 – Musician

Marcia Strassman – 66 – Actress

Elaine Stritch – 89 – Broadway Star

Carol Ann Susi – 62 – Actress

Al Tanger – 91 – Broadcast Consultant

Meshach Taylor – 67 – Actor

Shirley Temple – 85 – Actress

Misty Upham – 32 – Actress

Eli Wallach – 98 – Actor

Robin Williams – 63 – Comedian and Actor

Bobby Womack – 70 – Soul Singer


Top Stories of 2014

Thanks to Facebook for compiling most of this list (unlike the lists the next two days, which I compiled)

Here are the Top 10 talked about stories this year around the world:

  1. World Cup
  2. Ebola
  3. Brazil Elections
  4. Robin Williams
  5. Ice Bucket Challenge
  6. Israel-Gaza Conflict
  7. Malaysia Airlines
  8. Super Bowl
  9. Sochi 2014
  10. Ferguson

As for the most talked about in individual subjects:

  • Athlete: Lebron James
  • Entertainer: Beyonce
  • Movie: Frozen
  • Song: Happy by Pharrell
  • TV Show: Game of Thrones

Brooklyn College JLIC Minyan at Kingsway Jewish Center

I’ve been attending the weekly Shabbos morning minyan (Saturday morning prayers) since it first started over 3 years ago.

We’ve struggled with our ups and downs. In the beginning it was getting someone to read the Torah, and sometimes finding enough people to get to 10.

These days we are good to go most weeks!

But one of the bigger issues has been getting the word out on when we are on or off…so this week I set up a website, via this very blog 😉 , to help people find out if they should make the walk or not!

Hopefully it will be helpful 🙂 or just click on the Tab on the left (JLIC Minyan).

More Giveaway Ideas

Last week Wednesday I discussed possibly running a promotion/giveaway, and by Friday I realized why it would never work…

I was able to come to the conclusion that the best “prize” would be a gift card, preferably to something that anyone, anywhere, can use.

But the lack of responses, is exactly the flaw with the idea.

Sure, I’d love to give the one person that replies a gift card…but the whole purpose would be to get multiple people involved, including (hopefully) new followers.

This thought process still needs more work…and as usual, any suggestions are always welcome.

Sucker – Charli XCX — Review

I spent the last week and a day since it came out listening to Sucker trying to figure out what made it so appealing, and stand out among some of the top albums of 2014. And it wasn’t an easy task to put a finger on what made it so good.

That is until I read the Rolling Stone article on Charli XCX, and realized what made it so good is that it’s an “artist on a plate” without being forced into following rules. Which brings me to one of my favorite songs on the album: “Break The Rules”, and if you just watch the music video, you can see her clear “non caring” for what makes things “politically correct” these days, as well as listen to one of the finer songs that came out this year (albeit I heard it too late for my Top 10 list).

The album is full of pop, rock & roll, and lots of “female attitude”, which seemed to be the theme of 2014 (I’m talking about Bang Bang).

Charli XCX (Charlotte Aitchison) may be an unknown to most people before Boom Clap hit the scene with the movie release of The Fault In Our Stars, but don’t let that fool you. She’s been writing songs for years, including the 2012 hit “I Love It” (by Icona Pop) and this years #7 on my Top Songs (full list on the 31st) “Fancy” and “Beg For It” (both by Iggy Azalea).

charli xcx sucker

So, for those of you looking for the next hottest singer/songwriter, look no further than Charli XCX, she’s exploded into the market, and is more than ready to take it down.

This Sucker of an album gets a nice 9 out of 10.

Amazing Race 25 – Review – Some SPOILERS

It has been almost 14 years since the series first started, and recently I went back and watched parts of Season 1….only to realize how much the show has evolved since then, and become all the more better.

I’ve been watching since Day 1, and besides the Gordon Ramsey adult shows, there isn’t much in the “reality TV” world that I find interesting.

But The Amazing Race takes you exploring around the world, giving tastes of different cultures, and letting you see sights and views you wouldn’t see unless in some boring, Morgan Freeman narrated-style, documentary.

The concept is simple enough, as teams need to Race from Point A–>Point B, as quickly as possible, but not without some Detours, Roadblocks, Speed Bumps, and Fast Forwards along the way.
The first team to finish all the legs, wins 1 Million Dollars, and The Amazing Race.

Combine all those with the eyebrow of Phil Keoghan, and you have yourselves a 13-time Emmy Award winning show!’


This year was especially fun to watch, and as it came down to the finale, of four teams this year instead of the usual three, it got harder and harder to figure out who to root for, although I had one favorite from Day 1.


Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks are quite possibly one of the best couples to ever run The Amazing Race.
For those that might’ve recognized the name, Bethany is a one-armed surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack at age 13, and was the focus of the movie Soul Surfer based on her book.
They were honestly one of the most loving, non-fighting, teams to ever run a complete Amazing Race, and while usually that would be boring to watch, with them it was inspiring to watch, as well as seeing her face challenges (and run through them) that most of us complain about.
It’s a shame they couldn’t finish first, but seeing their reaction on the finish line mat, you realized that they meant more to each other than just the money, which was great.

At the end of the episode they teased Season 26, which will feature 11 dating couples, as they try to make it work in their relationships and on the race for a million dollars….with an added twist of 5 teams meeting on the starting line for an epic Blind Date :-O
Personally, I expected next year to not be able to meet the excitement of this season before I saw the trailer…now I think it’ll be even worse than that :-/ But only time will tell!
The race returns Wednesday, February 25th at 9:30PM for a 90-minute premiere, followed by a one-hour episode in its regular time slot on Friday February 27.