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Year in Review: The Bright Side of 2014

To wrap up 2014, we have compiled all that have happened throughtout the year. While yesterday we brought to you the dark side of 2014, today we will lift up your spirits once again with a list of good things that have happened over the year. 

So read on and turn that frown upside down – let’s welcome the New Year with a renewed, bright outlook on life!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

(Photo source: indiatimes.com)
(Photo source: nydailynews.com)
This challenge turned viral fast when celebrities (from Taylor Swift to Hugh Jackman) started joining in. It doesn’t hurt that the steps are pretty simple and anyone can partake in it. Step 1: Grab a bucket of ice cold water. Step 2: Either douse yourself with it (remember to film) or donate to the ALS Association.

The man who inspired the challenge, former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gherig's Disease) three years ago and has since worked on raising awareness for ALS.

When celebrities started drenching themselves with ice cold water and still made a donation, it turned into a trend for social network users to do the same. It had help raise USD100 million for ALS research this year. 

Pete Frates celebrating his 30th birthday (Photo source: dailymail.co.uk).

Girl Power

(Photo source: deathandtaxesmag.com)
(Photo source: vg.no)
2014 is the year when female celebrities stand up and assert feminism in their songs, performance and speech. Emma Watson, who was appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July, delivered a moving speech this year that not only empowers females but also asks for gender equality in her HeForShe campaign. 

Singers like Beyonc√© and Taylor Swift also made a stand for female empowerment, with the former delivering a powerful feminist stage at this year’s MTV VMA and the latter showing her feminist side really shine through in her recent album, “1989”.

It was not only celebrities who contributed to the awakening, however. Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Pakistani human rights advocate, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize laureate with her staunch support for female education. Even being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 did not deter her from continuing to speak out for education for all.

Malala Yousafzai receiving her Nobel Peace Prize (Photo source: twitter.com/saberbouabid).

Bill Gates donate to fight Ebola

(Photo source: flipboard.com) 

Back in September, Bill Gates, through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which he runs with his wife, donated USD50 million toward fighting the Ebola outbreak. The Microsoft co-founder tweeted,“By fighting Ebola now, we can make sure it doesn’t become an epidemic in [West] Africa.”

A statement from the Gates Foundation gave a break down, stating that “more than $10 million of the $50 million to fight the Ebola outbreak, including $5 million to WHO for emergency operations and R&D assessments and $5 million to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to purchase essential medical supplies, coordinate response activities, and provide at-risk communities with life-saving health information.”

It’s good to know that no matter how high up someone might seem (hey, he’s rolling in dough), inside he or she really is just a humble person who will not forget the suffering of the less fortunate. We’ll not post any more Ebola pics here…the one we put up yesterday was bad enough. This is the happy article, remember? So let’s move on to our next happy point!

‘Let’s go!’ (Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images).

Royal babies

(Photo source: news24world.com) 
(Photo credit: Palais Monaco)
Here’s something that will cheer almost anyone up – photos of cute babies. Cute royal babies, to be specific. This is the year when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, welcome their first child, Prince George.

The little heir definitely inherited his father’s dashing look and mother’s beauty – just look at those chubby cheeks! Soon, the royal family will have another addition as the Duchess is now five months pregnant with a younger sibling for little George.

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco also recently welcome their bundles of joy, royal babies Jacques And Gabriella. The twins (pictured in second photo above) are the next in line for the throne, with Jacques being the first heir even though Gabriella was born first, because Monaco follows male primogeniture.

Guess who? Hint: Not a recent photo. Hint 2: Prince George calls him dada,
presumably. (Photo source: eonline.com)

Celebrity weddings

(Photo source: pinterest.com)
(Photo source: murai.com.my)
Before you have the babies, first you have the wedding. Well, usually. Anyways, this year we see the union of some of the biggest name in the entertainment industry, be it local or international.

Scarlett Johansson finally marries Romain Dauriac, in a secret ceremony in October 2014. Then there’s George Clooney who ended his golden bachelor status when he marries Amal Alamuddin in a star-studded wedding. Ashley Tisdale too says I do to Christopher French. It was also a big year for gay celebrities with Glee and 30 Rock actor Cheyenne Jackson marrying entrepreneur Jason Landau and Neil Patrick Harris finally marrying partner David Burtka.

Local celebrities who tie the knot this year include Datuk A Rahman Hassan & Fadilah Mansor, Wan Raja & Yaya Maembong, Elaine Daly & Nick Boden and last but not least, Jaclyn Victor & Shawn Rivera.

Jaclyn with brother, Jullian Victor (in glasses)
and husband Shawn (Photo credit: Jullian Victor).

(Main photo source: urbanturf.com)

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