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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pop culture highlights of the year

    Courtesy+of+Wikipedia

    Courtesy of Wikipedia

    ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    The Ice Bucket Challenge became a fleeting charitable sensation in June of last year and held strong into August. The primary theme of the Ice Bucket Challenge involved dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness involving the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Though a lot of the hype involving the challenge was just that — hype — it was a big deal to some, particularly on Facebook. There was some controversy concerning the legitimacy and effectiveness of this exercise, though the ALS nonprofits and research organizations have now reported over $100 million in donations since the challenge first started.

     

    Celebrity Nude Photo Leak

    Online chaos erupted when hacked photos from female celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst were leaked on social sites like 4Chan, Imgur, Reddit and others. People nationwide scrambled to catch a glimpse of the celebrities nudes before many websites were prompted to remove them. Discussions ensued involving freedom of information and left many Apple users panicking about the security of their iCloud accounts. Additionally, activism surrounding the private lives of these celebrities ensued. Of the actresses violated, Lawrence said: “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime.” Though the shock of this event harbored a relatively short shelf life, it prompted numerous discussions concerning privacy, security and sexual violations.

     

    iPhone 6

    Making its official debut last September, the iPhone 6 met rabid excitement and hype internationally. Though people often go nuts over just about any Apple product’s release, the craze around the new iPhone reached a fever pitch as people camped for days outside stores anxiously awaiting the latest trending product. However, shortly following its release, the iPhone 6 began to meet bizarre allegations. Many users claimed their 6.2-inch phone began bending in their pockets. Soon, the hashtag #Bendgate was born, followed by #Hairgate (which involved hair getting caught between the phone’s glass and aluminum back, and later torn from users’ heads). While there were many negative controversies, in the end, they were ultimately negligible as Apple sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

     

    Kim Kardashian’s Butt

    Many viral sensations can accredit their fame to fluke or mistake. Whereas most have the Internet fall into their lap, Kim Kardashian does exactly the opposite and seeks the “buzz.” Most notable in the past year, Kardashian posed on the cover of Paper Magazine baring her very nude rump. Within one day of publishing “Break the Internet: An Afternoon with Kim Kardashian,” Paper saw 6.6 million page views. By day two, there were 15.9 million page views, with over 11 million unique views. From there the image snowballed, as the Internet simply could not get enough of Kardashian’s derriere. While some criticized her for this publicity stunt, others commended her. Regardless, people talked, and Kardashian did in fact nearly break the Internet.

     

    Alex from Target

    Twitter is a bizarre place, and we were reminded of that last November.  For absolutely no discernible reason, the Internet choose to give 16-year-old Alex, a teen Target employee from Frisco, Texas, national fame and notoriety. Twitter user @auscalum posted a single image of Alex performing his cashier duties, and the Internet went crazy. Alex’s inexplicable fame landed him a slot on several TV shows, including Ellen. And since the Internet is such a horribly creepy place, Alex now boasts over 312,000 followers on Twitter. For no reason besides novelty, Alex got to live the American dream.

     

    Left Shark

    They danced. They sashayed. They shimmied. And they were sharks. Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show eclipsed the game itself and met a whirlwind of attention when Left Shark went rogue. Perry’s show initially kicked off strong, involving a number of winking volleyballs, surfboards, palm trees and colors everywhere. And then there were the sharks. Though they initially danced in unison, Left Shark abruptly began to do his own show frenetically on national television. Left Shark skyrocketed into fleeting international fame, receiving memes and fandoms in his honor.

     

    The Dress

    The Internet took a really weird turn in February when the viral community began to generate buzz about the color of #TheDress. Initially posted to Tumblr, the dress innocently asked viewers to guess its color. Little did audiences know, the dress was rigged. While half of the world perceived a blue and black dress, the other half saw a white and gold dress. At this point, the Internet broke. In a matter of hours, the dress gained fame, and the nation was polarized. To this day, no one can definitively determine the color of the dress or how it managed to befuddle over 300 million people. We leave these riddles to our greatest scientists.

     

    Zayn Leaves 1D

    Zayn Malik, one-fifth of the boy band One Direction, decided to take another direction. Announcing his departure in March via Facebook, Malik met an onslaught of international criticism for departing the band’s world tour. His break from the band has been neither tidy nor clean. Malik’s massive fan base and others have proven their dissidence with his decision, but ultimately to no avail. The future of One Direction is now left to Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis to decide on their own.

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    Follow Elise McClain on Twitter.

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