Records and Rankings12/31/2014
It was once believed that the media created trends. People thought that “facts are facts” and things were popular because some old white guy who gets paid too much at Hollywood Studios put the suggestion into the media sphere. Well, we are here to tell you that things are popular because We the People say they are. We stand by our belief in talking snowmen in “Frozen,” and we all would like to know why our Facebook timelines were filled with videos of people dumping buckets of ice on other people’s heads for months. And, as Iowans, we love our corn and hogs, and we find it mandatory to attend the critically-acclaimed state fair. And so we give you, by popular demand and public decision, our most recent collection of records and rankings.
Arts & Entertainment
A reoccurring question recently is “how and why is Netflix so popular?” This big movie monster came out of nowhere, and now it has its own TV shows that are more popular than some cable shows. Our answer to that question is this: Since 2008, movie ticket prices have jumped almost $3. Ten dollars on a movie plus an extra $15 for the candy that you could get at the gas station for $4, and there you have it. Netflix is a way of life. So, before you spend too much money at the box office, put down that Xbox controller and pause Netflix for just a second (we know, it’s hard), and take a look at the top charts from the media and entertainment world.
Top Grossing Movies of 2014
- “Guardians of the Galaxy” – $332,657,316
- “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” – $289,356,110
- “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – $259,766,572
- “The LEGO Movie” – $257,760,692
- “Transformers: Age of Extinction” – $245,439,076
It makes our inner child proud that cartoons and comics were first in America’s heart last year. Although, we can’t help but wonder how Guardians of the Galaxy topped this list…cute villains just don’t do it for us.
Top TV Series of 2014
- Amazon, “Transparent”
- FX, “The Americans”
- CBS, “The Good Wife”
- Netflix, “Orange Is the New Black”
- FX, “Fargo”
Is anyone else wondering where “The Blacklist” or “House of Cards” is on this list?
- “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
- “Divergent” by Veronica Roth
- “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth
- “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth
- “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
The bestsellers of 2014 are overrun by young adult novels. This is nothing compared to last years’ top book charts, because now we have 50 Shades of Shailene Woodley…and she had made a lot of money this year.
Top Selling Albums of 2014
- Soundtrack, “Frozen”
- Beyoncé, “BEYONCE”
- Taylor Swift, “1989”
- One Direction, “Midnight Memories”
- Eminem, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”
We know this list is full of pop songs that teens are listening to constantly at home, but sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and “let it go, let it go!”
Top Songs of 2014
- Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
- Katy Perry ft. Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
- John Legend, “All of Me”
- Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX, “Fancy”
- OneRepublic, “Counting Stars”
Teen girls seem to be taking over the Billboard charts again this year, but this time they aren’t heartbroken. This list is about being happy, confident, having sex and being in love. Awwwe.
Top Video Games of 2014
- inkle, “80 Days”
- The Creative Assembly, “Alien: Isolation”
- From Software, “Dark Souls ll”
- Blizzard Entertainment, “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft”
- Nintendo, “Mario Kart 8”
Who says that video games are violent these days (ignore the part about dark souls and aliens)? Is anyone else as excited as we are that the new Mario Kart is on this list? The Nintendo era was the best for video games, though. And if you don’t believe us, well, let’s go man! Me and you! Head to head! Burgertime!
Technology and Media
The rise of technology brought wonderful new developments such as the Internet, which has allowed us to be a little bit too curious about the celebrity nude photo leaks or have ridiculous Internet fights over the Ferguson riots, and maybe to look up that obnoxious cover photo that Kim K did for Paper magazine that no one would stop talking about. Speaking of which, I could be wrong, but isn’t the Internet still working?
- “What is ALS?”
- “What is Ebola?”
- “What is ISIS?”
- “What is Bitcoin?”
- “What is asphyxia?”
People desperately wanted to know why they kept watching people dump buckets of ice on each other’s heads. As a follow up, try going to YouTube and looking up “ice bucket challenge fails.” Thank us later.
Most Googled Person in 2014
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Kim Kardashian
- Tracy Morgan
- Ray Rice
- Tony Stewart
The mockingjay lives! And the odds are ever in her favor.
The Most Heartbreaking Losses of 2014
- Robin Williams
- Joan Rivers
- Philip Seymour Hoffman
- Maya Angelou
- Jan Hooks
“But oh, to be free… Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world…” You’re free, Genie.
Top Apps of 2014
- Flappy Bird
Did anyone ever try to play Flappy Bird? The game was frustrating, and damn near impossible. Apparently the app developer felt the same, because when the app went viral, he took it off of the market because he couldn’t “take it anymore.” “It” being a reported $50 grand per week. Oh the misery.
Most Frequented Websites of 2014
Let’s take a moment of silence for the days before social media had taken over the world. Remember those days? Yeah, neither do we.
Top News Stories and Events of 2014
- Police killings — Ferguson, Missouri
- Ebola outbreak
- Islamic state — air strikes and revulsion
- U.S. elections
The Ebola outbreak has been a terrible tragedy for many people, specifically in West Africa. That being said, doctors weren’t relishing the hypochondriacs calling their office every 10 minutes with “another symptom of the disease.”
With so much negativity in the news, it’s refreshing to see some of the amazing things that came from 2014. We are getting closer to curing cancer, and the developments in the medical field every year is encouraging. Now if we can just get people to stop naming their children after TV shows…
Top 5’ Boys Baby Names of 2014 (U.S.)
“Orange is The New Black,” “The Walking Dead,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Revenge”—it’s as though the television show producers are picking out baby names for America. We’re waiting for the next Col. Steve Austin.
Top Colleges of 2014
- Williams College, Massachusetts
- Stanford University, California
- Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
- Princeton University, New Jersey
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts
No Iowa State University? No University of Iowa? Forbes obviously hasn’t been paying attention. This is the place to be on every list known to mankind. Except this one.
Top Medical Breakthroughs of 2014
- The bionic eye becomes reality
- Genomic tests for managing cancer
- Device disrupts seizures
- Breakthrough for hepatitis C
- Decision support for smarter surgery
This list should make everyone proud to be in America. The bionic eye has been developed to help patients suffering from late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) which causes its victims to go blind by age 40. The eye doesn’t save vision but allows people to detect light or movement. New tests have been developed to understand the activity and patterns of cancer. A neurological device has been developed to help people suffering from intractable epilepsy to disrupt their seizures. Three new medications for hepatitis C brings it to its highest cure rates ever. And a new way of surgical procedures has been developed for smarter surgery. To see the rest of this amazing list, visit the website above.
- Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel Peace Prize
- Mary Barra becoming the CEO of General Motors
- Facebook and Apple cover the cost of egg freezing
- Adm. Michelle J. Howard being promoted to Four-Star Admiral in the Navy
- Beyoncé’s performance at the VMAs promoting feminism
Malala is the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel. She survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban and is now an activist for women’s rights. Mary Barra has had a lot to deal with this year at G.M., but this moment is an exciting one in business nonetheless. Facebook and Google announced in October that they will cover the cost for their employees to freeze their eggs—given that they are in good health—so that they can control their family planning. Michelle Howard became the first four-star admiral last year. Finally, Beyoncé’s performance at the VMA’s supported feminism in a big way and ignited a movement in the industry — also check out the work that Emma Watson has been up to.
Is anyone else tired of the Iowa stereotypes? Little do people of other states know, Forbes named Des Moines the best place to live for business and careers, and Livability named five Iowa cities (Cedar Rapids, Ames, Iowa City, Des Moines and West Des Moines) the best places to live in general. So if that’s not enough, here is more proof that there is more to Iowa than corn.
Top Iowa High Schools 2014
- John F. Kennedy High School
- Decorah High School
- Ames High School
- West Senior High School
- Bettendorf High School
US News created this list based on the Iowa assessments which tests civic, financial, health and technology literacy. Schools are awarded medals for their students scoring high on these assessments, and this list is comprised of the schools who received a national gold or silver medal. Oh, and to boost your Iowa patriotism, we have one of the highest graduation rates in the U.S. So there.
Top Cities to Live in Iowa 2014
- North Liberty
Movoto used a seven-step criteria to comprise the list of best cities: unemployment rate, cost of living, crime rate, high school diploma attainment rate, median household income, median home value and median rental prices for homes.
Top Iowa Baby Boy Names of 2013
(Source for boys and girls: www.desmoinesregister.com)
Be proud, Iowa! Your baby names are as slick as a bab…eh, never mind. They’re good.
Top Cash Crops for Iowa 2014
- Cattle and calves
- Dairy products
See, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. We told you there’s more to Iowa than corn. Like soy, and milk and cows…
State Fair Rides 2013
- People who rode the DART State Fair Shuttles: 204,223
- Number of ides down the Giant Slide: 112,797
- Number of people who rode the Sky Glider: 130,689
- Number of people who rode Ye Old Mill: 45,762
- Number of kids who went through Little Hands on the Farm: 32,878
In 2014, Iowa set the record for a giant ram, which tipped the scale at 507.5 lbs. We are told some human fair goers exceeded that mark as well, but no official stats were kept. Something about self-esteem.
Iowa Stats of 2014
Total number of Iowa residents: 3,070,800
Children 0-18: 25 percent
Adults 19-64: 61 percent
65+: 14 percent
65-74: 7 percent
Male to female ratio: 50:50
Median Annual Income: $53,364
Adults with children: 36 percent
Adults without children: 64 percent
Number of births: 38,719
Mothers under the age of 20: 2,298
Number of deaths per 100,000 population: 721.7
Percent of adults who smoke: 19.5 percent
Percent of smokers who attempt to quit smoking: 52.7 percent
Percent of adults who participate in moderate-vigorous physical activity: 49.1 percent
Major crime arrests: 60
Cybercrime arrests: 49
Casino-related arrests: 439
Sex-offender registrants: 5,934
Employed persons over the age of 16: 64.2 percent (1,553,030)
Armed forces employment: 0.1 percent (2,197)
Data collected from:
- Census Bureau