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The Top 10 of Everything of 2009

Here’s a little recap of 2009, Google Wave style

Learn how Google Wave works in 10 minutes

Before you react to the title of this post, I did not make a top 10 list for everything in 2009 because that would be crazy. And to the best of my knowledge, I am still relatively sane. The people crazy enough to make such a list, happen to work at TIME.

The Top 10 of Everything of 2009

What I am highlighting here at The best ten, are 10 of their top 10 lists that caught my interest. It’s really a great way to get a handle on everything that went down this year in about half an hour. Catch the viral videos you missed, get some background on that news event everyone was talking about, and even read the top tweets of the year.

Top 10 news stories

Like it or not, these 10 events changed the world to some degree, maybe with the exception of #10, since no one really cares what happens in Sri Lanka. What are they known for anyway? For being South of India? The other 9 events however, either had a direct impact on you, or will indirectly affect you sometime in the future. I’m glad Michael Jackson made the list, because the value of his music on the world is incalculable. Some great Michael Jackson videos here.

1. The lingering economic crisis – After hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the auto industry is dying, banks are as greedy as ever, is the economy actually getting better?

2. Extending the war in Afghanistan – 8 years in, and still no end in sight

3. Political riots in Iran – As people took to the streets and the government cracked down, millions from around the world lent words and prayers of support, to no avail.

4. Health care reform – Despite all the political battles, the reform is making progress. How things will shake out will depend on the next few months of the new year.

5. Massacre at Fort Hood – Major Nidal Mulik Hasan killed 13 people and injured 30 on an American military base. The signs were there, why didn’t anyone react?

6. Death of Michael Jackson – We will miss you.

7. Terrorism in Pakistan – The war on terror rages in Pakistan, potentially American’s greatest threat.

8. Mexico’s bloody drug war – 14,000 deaths and counting. Mexico is so corrupt that it may already be too late.

9. Swine flu – Started in Mexico and spread like wildfire. Luckily it isn’t as lethal as we had feared. 4000 people have died in the US. But what about the next flu?

10. End of civil war in Sri Lanka – That’s all.

Top 10 Facebook stories

Hi. My name is Andy, and I’m a Facebook addict. 2009 was the year of the Facebook. We have all been using it for years but for the first time, parents, grandparents, and even babies got onto Facebook. And also for the first time in 2009, Facebook started making a profit. It also helped to create the Oxford word of the year “unfriend”. So let’s give it up for sharing our personal information and embarrassing pictures online and possibly jeopardizing our future careers!

1. 300 million users – 200 million in April, 300 million by November. 71% of Facebook users are not from the U.S.

2. Farmville - Over 62 of those 300 million are playing Farmville, who knew so many people wanted to be farmers?

3. Twitter fail – Facebook tried to acquire Twitter but failed. Why? No one knows how much Facebook is actually worth.

4. Pranking Techcrunch – A “Fax this photo” prank aimed that Techcrunch. Not really sure it’s actually funny.

5. Rights to photos – If your account is deleted, who do the pictures belong to? Facebook tried to take them, but the users wouldn’t have it. It is still yours.

6. The book about facebook – A supposedly non-fiction book written about Facebook. But how did he write it without ever talking to Mark Zuckerburg? Hmm…

7. Fans of Michael Jackson – Michael Jackson is the most popular celebrity on Facebook, with 10.3 million fans. 2nd place, Obama with around 6 million.

8. Nipples in photos – When the post-mastectomy photos of Sharon Adams were taken off, the public reacted, and now the nipples are back on.

9. Unfriend becomes word of the year – Oxford made the decision on Nov 17. The actual word should be defriend, but who cares about grammar anymore.

10. White house gate crashers – Michaele and Tareq Salahi posted their White House party pictures on Facebook as a publicity stunt. Losers.

Top 10 Buzzwords

A great way of reviewing the cultural changes that occurred this year. From words like sexting to Autotune, these words in their own ways affected all of us. My favorite out of the 10? Beer Summit. As in we have serious issues to discuss, let’s call a beer summit. Just like Obama. Sorry professor, I’m late to class because I had to attend an international *cough beer* summit.

1. Sexting – More than 25% of teenagers are now sexting, or sex-texting. Wish I was a teenager again.

2. Public option – The buzzword used to refer to the health care reform

3. Autotune – A software tool used to make bad singers into popstars became the claim to fame of T-pain, who autotunes EVERYTHING. He now has an autotune Iphone app. I am T-pain.

4. Wise latina – Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, and she popularized the phrase Wise Latina. What can’t she do?

5. Death panel – Sarah Palin’s term for the health care reform, how far will she go to screw up this country?

6. Birther – The movement led by Orly Taitz to prove that president Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States. It is still going on.

7. Opposite marriage – Term used to refer to same sex marriages by Miss California Carrie Prejean in the Miss America 2009 pageant.

8. Summer of death –  Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, Patrick Swayze, and the Taco Bell Chihuahua died this summer.

9. Beer summit – President Obama invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley to settle their differences after a racial profiling case over beer. Awesome.

10. Green shoots – Signs of economic turnaround. Maybe this coming spring?

Top 10 Gadgets

Who doesn’t like gadgets? They are a glimpse into the trends of the coming years. Iphone 3G or Droid, doesn’t matter if we can afford them or not, they’re just so freakin cool! These are the best gadgets and toys of 2009 and things we all wish we owned. Perfect timing since Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe this list will just happen to pop up in front of that generous uncle in Oregon…

1. Motorola Droid – Google’s Android OS combined with Verizon’s 3G network. Iphone watch out! $300

2. The Nook – Barnes and Nobel’s version of the Kindle. Similar technology with a few more features. $260

3. Dyson air multiplier – A fan that uses no blades??? $300-330

4. Iphone 3GS – You know it, it’s faster now. $200-300

5. Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – Everything you’d expect a $5000 camera to do.

6. Dell Adamo XPS – A super thin Dell laptop with a funky design. I like it. $1799

7. FinePix Real 3D WI (3D digicam) – The way of the future. Shoot Avatar like pictures for $600

8. Casio G-shock – Heavy Duty Watch $150

9. Beats Solo by Dr. Dre – Everything the musician wants you to hear and nothing else. $200

10. Panasonic G10 series plasma HDTV – THX certified for true home theater experience. Watch online content too. $1200-2000

Top 10 Business deals

How about the economy huh? 2009 was a year when everyone took an active interest in the economy. It is such a complicated thing that no one seemed to understand how it works, except for one man. The sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett. He again proved his investment genius by investing when no one else dared to and coming out the big winner. So far he has made approximately $3 billion on the Goldman Sachs trade alone. All hail Warren Buffett!

1. Berkshire Hathaway/Goldman Sachs – Buffett plopped down $5 billion when everyone else was selling, negotiated a better price than anyone else, and is now sitting pretty with billions more added to his wealth. He is the master of the fundamentals of investing, an art form that is practiced by the few.

2. JP Morgan/Chase – The firm that created mortgage backed securities found them too risky to invest in, and they were right. The non-move earned them $8.5 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2009.

3. BB&T/Colonial – Wachovia is gone, Bank of America is suffering, leaving BB&T to pick up the pieces of the biggest bank failure in 2009 and becoming the eighth largest bank based on assets.

4. Berkshire Hathaway/Burlington Northern – Berkshire acquired all of the railroad company with $26.3 billion of cash and stock. An unglamorous company that makes steady profits. Just how Warren Buffett likes them.

5. Ford – Grabbing a huge loan from banks before the recession, Ford is now the only one out of the big three to be it’s own driver. The other two had to surrender some control to Washington.

6. Blackrock/Barclays – The acquisition of Barclays makes Blackrock the world’s biggest asset manager. A mere 21 years after its founding by Larry Fink.

7. HP/EDS – EDS, founded by presidential hopeful Ross Perot, was acquired by HP in order to compete with IBM in the IT services industry. EDS’s profits were a big reason for HP staying in the black in 2009.

8. Google/AdMob – Omar Hamoui started AdMob 3 years ago, and this year sold it to Google for $750 million. It finds innovative ways to advertise on Iphone apps.

9. Time Warner/AOL – In a time of great change in the news and media industry, Time Warner spun off Cable and AOL in order to better navigate the choppy waters in the coming years.

10. Mead Johnson Nutrition – An IPO in Feb used a century’s worth of history and steady earnings to assure skittish investors. Its stock went up 90% by November from $24.

Top 10 Fleeting celebrities

Oh how America loves their celebrities. They’re Gods living in a human world. It’s no wonder then that some people are willing to go to any lengths to gain the fame they so desperately desire. But there is light in the dark. Like Susan Boyle, who at 47 auditioned for Britain’s got talent and was discovered as a great singer. So fame can be had, but it should be earned.

1. Octomom – single mom who is living with her parents and gave birth to octuplets after already having six children.

2. Susan Boyle – 47 year old Britain’s Got Talent contestant who shocked the world with her voice and attitude

3. Miss California – Famously uttered the phrase “Opposite marriage” when referring to same sex marriages during Miss America 2009

4. Orly Taitz – Led the birther movement which tried to prove president Obama was no born in the United States

5. Dr. Conrad Murray – Michael Jackson’s doctor who prescribed medication that ended up killing the King of Pop

6. Stephanie Birkitt – David Letterman’s assistant, whose ex-bf tried to blackmail Dave based on accounts in Stephanie’s diary

7. Tareq and Michaele Salahi – Crashed a White House party to get onto a reality TV show

8. John Yettaw – Tried to save a Burmese political prisoner, ended up getting her more time in jail

9. Rachel Uchitel – One of Tiger’s mistresses

10. Edgar (patient zero) Hernandez – The first confirmed Swine Flu case

Top 10 Heroes

Imagine this world if we had just as many heroes as celebrities. How would the world be different when people will sacrifice themselves to save others in danger? What would change if all bankers weren’t greedy and took care of their employees? How would our lives be if everyone performed above and beyond the call of duty? We should honor these heroes, for they truly make our lives better.

1. Captain Chesley Sullenberger – Landing an Airbus A320 in the Hudson safely and saving all those aboard is one heroic feat. He can be my wing man anytime. Here is the 3-D recreation of the event.

2. Neda Agha-Soltan – The murder seen around the world. Her death in Iran was caught on a camera phone and she became a symbol for resistance against oppression. Here is the video.

3. Mike Perham – The 16 year old who sailed around the world alone in his 50 foot yacht. Pretty awesome.

4. Captain Richard Phillips – Like a scene from a Tom Clancy novel. Captain Phillips, Somali pirates, a hijacking, fighting back, pirates escaping with Phillips as hostage, a U.S. destoryer, Navy SEALs, snipers, and 3 shots that ended the high seas adventure of a lifetime.

5. Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd – The two officers whose heroic actions stopped the massacre at Fort Hood.

6. Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell – The two University of California police officers whose instincts helped to rescue Jaycee Dugard.

7. Tan Zuoren – The democracy advocate put behind bars in China for exposing the cheap buildings that killed hundreds of students during the Sichuan quake.

8. Leonard Abess – A bank CEO who split up his $60 million bonus among 471 current and former employees. That’s an average of $127,000.

9. Sultan Munadi – A journalist who was shot to death during a rescue attempt. He went where nobody else would because somebody had to be there.

10. Muelmar Magallanes – A construction worker who saved dozens of lives and finally lost his own in the floods during Tropical storm Ketsana which hit the Philippines.

Top 10 Tv ads

Filming a great Tv ad is one great challenge. You have to convince people to like your brand or buy something without actually selling it and it all has to be done in 1  minute or less. It takes some creativity and expert film making to get it all done. These may not be my 10 favorite ads of the year, but they were all very memorable. And that’s good advertising. My favorite has to be the Traveler’s insurance one, it so perfectly encapsulates the emotion of worry.

1. Evian Roller Babies – I found it kinda creepy…

2. Hulu with Alec Baldwin – Alec Baldwin is an alien, as if we didn’t know that already.

3. Coca Cola heist – Coke always makes great commercials that sell nothing but good branding.

4. Careerbuilder.com super bowl commercial – Eh… it gets a little weird at the end.

5. Prius “Harmony” – Well done, giving the car a very green image.

6. American Express “Don’t take chances, take charge” – One of my favorites, I call it the “smiley faces”

7. Traveler’s insurance – #1 in my opinion. And here it is.

8. Budweiser with Conan – Hahahahaha Partie startah!

9. Shelter.org.uk – Houses of cards, definitely the saddest one of the bunch.

10. GM: reinvent – Good message and finally some honesty from the company.

Check out some odd commercials featuring Frisbees.

Top 10 video games

Awww yea, this is what I’m talking about. Too bad I can’t afford most of the consoles needed to play these games. No matter, I enjoy my Rome Total War just as much as these games… Oh who am I kidding. If you’re into gaming, I bet you can guess at least 4 titles on this list. Also check out, 10 hottest girls of gaming.

1. Modern Warfare 2 – I think war games are getting a little TOO close to reality. Is it a good thing? I’ll tell you after I play the game.

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum – Just the cover itself is badass. Not to mention the scenario where you’re trapped in Arkham Asylum surrounded by all your worst enemies.

3. DJ Hero – The era of the musical games is just getting started. I’m waiting for the next DDR…

4. Borderlands – Haven’t heard much about this one, sounds kinda like Fallout, but more open ended.

5. New Super Mario Bros – For those that still like 2-D side scrolling action.

6. Geo-defense Swarm – An Iphone app making it onto this list is pretty impressive, considering the lack of buttons.

7. Scribblenauts – A puzzle game like no other puzzle game before. Very curious.

8. Halo 3 ODST – Just look at that picture, just look at it!

9. Assassin’s creed 2 – The game that’s actually an art history lesson? Hmm… okay!

10. Uncharted 2 – This game won much acclaim and shouldn’t be this low.

Top 10 viral videos

My favorite! If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love videos, especially viral videos. I figured I had this list covered but was surprised to learn of the 2 videos which I hadn’t yet seen. Very enjoyable list, enjoy! The Deadline video was featured in a previous post on Post-it videos. And the single babies video was part of my very first post!

1. Susan Boyle – See above

2. Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson’s wedding – Interpretive dancing to Chris Brown’s Forever at a wedding. There is a sequel, but they tried too hard.

3. David after dentist – Kids on drugs, we should see more of that.

4. All the single babies – Either s/he is gonna be a great dancer, or a great stripper

5. Slate V: The all-star celebrity rant – combining the angry profanity laced rants of several celebrities, starring Christian Bale.

6. Total Eclipse of the Heart (literal version) – Now I understand all that craziness in this video!

7. United Breaks Guitars – Eh…

8. The longest way 1.0 – Walking from Beijing to Germany, one picture at a time.

9. Deadline: Post-It stop motion - See 10 uses for Post-its you never thought of.

10. Flutter – Ya know, I think it could work. Brevity is the soul of wit.

Well there it is, all the most important things that happened in the year 2009. It was a year of great change for me, having moved back from the Philippines after a 3 year extended vacation in paradise. But I have no regrets. It was a great year where I lived a lot, learned a lot, and grew a lot. So here’s to 2010, the best year of our lives.

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  1. January 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

    any idea when farmville is going to give us the 24×24 farm? i’ve run out of space on mine, and I don’t want to start moving all of my cool decorations into storage!

    • Andy Huang
      January 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      Haha, I don’t actually play the game so I have no clue.

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