TIME Appreciation

10 Times Social Media Made the World Better in 2014

A look back at some of the year's most inspiring viral stories (in no particular order).

  • 1. When the “Burger King baby” reunited with her mom.

    Courtesy of Katheryn Deprill / AP

    Katheryn Deprill’s March 2 Facebook plea was shared more than 33,000 times—and one of the people who saw it was her biological mother, Cathy Pochek, who contacted an attorney to arrange a reunion at his office. “She left me somewhere she knew I’d be found,” Deprill (nicknamed the “Burger King baby”) told CNN affiliate WFMZ. “She did not want to throw me away.”

  • 2. When Facebook helped save a 3-year-old’s vision.

    After Tara Taylor uploaded a photo of her daughter, Rylee, to Facebook, a friend reached out about a strange glint in the toddler’s eye, saying it could be a sign of vision problems. A Memphis retina specialist diagnosed the youngster with Coat’s disease, which can cause blindness, and Rylee started treatment to help restore some of her peripheral vision.

  • 3. When Jason Biggs found his lost dog.

    When his dog, Gina, ran away on Halloween, the American Pie and Orange Is the New Black actor asked his Twitter followers to keep an eye out for her. Thousands of retweets later, Gina was found alive. Biggs tweeted, “Could NOT have done it without you guys. An amazing woman picked her up in the street, and you guys ended up forwarding the message 2 her.”

  • 4. When a mom surprised her kid with 60,000 Facebook friends.

    On Feb. 2, a Michigan mom started a Facebook page to solicit birthday wishes to cheer up her disabled son, Colin, who said he didn’t want an 11th birthday party because he thought he didn’t have friends. About a week and a half later, he had 60,000 of them on Facebook, and a few weeks after that, Good Morning America hosted a surprise birthday celebration for him in Times Square. Now the “Colin’s Friends” page has more than 2.1 million fans.

  • 5. When a 7-year-old leukemia patient found out he could leave the hospital.

    This video of Avery, son of University of Nebraska assistant men’s basketball coach Chris Harriman—who had spent roughly a month undergoing intense chemotherapy for leukemia—made national headlines in September, and prompted supporters to start an #AveryStrong hashtag.

  • 6. When an ALS patient thanked people for their Ice Bucket Challenge videos.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge craze—which helped raise $115 million for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research earlier this year—produced all kinds of remarkable videos. But none were more poignant than the one from Anthony Carbajal, documenting how he cares for his mother, who has ALS, before revealing that he too had been diagnosed with the disease. For people like him, he said, the Challenge was an invaluable resource.

  • 7. When kids read to cats at an animal shelter.

    The Animal Rescue League of Berks County

    This photo of a little boy reading to a tabby cat went viral on Reddit in early February, raising awareness about the adorable “Book Buddies” program at The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, in which children read aloud to cats at the Pennsylvania shelter to practice their reading skills.

  • 8. When a baby heard for the first time.

    This YouTube video uploaded by Toby Lever of Victoria, Australia, shows the moment when a seven-week-old baby named Lachlan—diagnosed with moderate-to-severe hearing loss—hears his parents’ voices for the first time, thanks to new hearing aids and therapy. It has logged 11.8 million views to date.

  • 9. When a NFL player gave a pep talk to his 4-year-old daughter before surgery.

    Devon Still, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle, shared video of the moment he gave his daughter, Leah, a fist bump en route to the pediatric cancer patient’s tumor removal surgery in September. The viral clip helped boost sales of his jersey, and the NFL team’s pro shop donated all proceeds—more than $1.3 million—to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

  • 10. When a mom with Alzheimer’s remembered who her daughter was

    In this YouTube video uploaded August 29, Georgia resident Kelly Gunderson said she captured a rare moment in which her 87-year-old mother, an Alzheimer’s patient, seems to remember who she is. Gunderson told TODAY she hopes the clip, with some 8 million views to date, will give other family members who are caregivers hope and something to relate to.

TIME Viral video

Watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Entirely in Lego

The Lego-makers awaken

The new Star Wars teaser trailer is undoubtedly one of the most exciting things to happen this week for millions of ner—ahem, diehard fans. The second most exciting thing to happen this week is probably this remake of the trailer done entirely with Legos.

The YouTube user Snooperking pulls off this miniature Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer, capturing all the nuances, from the longsword lightsaber to the Millennium Falcon. Why do it? “I had nothing to do yesterday,” Snooperking said. A hearty round of applause, please.

TIME Appreciation

Watch This Compilation of Amy Poehler’s Best Freestyle Rap Moments

She takes on topics like home schooling, exotic pets and butter

The most important skill in freestyle rapping is improvisation, so it’s only fitting that a comedian who got her start in improv would be able to drop a rhyme or two. Amy Poehler, a frequent guest on Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, showed her emcee chops on several episodes — and some of the funniest clips are compiled in this supercut.

Poehler takes on topics not commonly explored in hip hop, like home schooling, exotic pets and butter. Because it’s a podcast, the video uses stock photos in place of Poehler actually rapping, but she offers a mental image of how she gets into the zone: “I’m just finding my beat here, clearing my space, getting into my rap battle pose.”

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the video is that Poehler cracks herself up, delivering her lines through a steady stream of giggling. The last time we saw her rapping, she was trying to hold it together in an entirely different way: When she performed her unforgettable Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live in 2009, she was, in her own words, “so pregnant that I was just trying not to give birth.”

TIME Appreciation

The 13 Most Influential Toys of All Time

As the holiday season approaches, we interviewed toy historians and experts (hello, dream job!) to rank the playthings that made the biggest impact on the toy industry—and the world at large.

  • 13. Cabbage Patch dolls

    Cabbage Patch dolls
    Vince Talotta—Getty Images

    These dolls were the first toys not tied to a popular TV, movie, or comic that “everybody had to have and nobody could find,” says Jim Silver, editor of TimetoPlayMag.com. A December 1983 TIME article described parents knocking over display tables, grabbing, and shoving each other just to get one for their kids. By billing each doll as unique (each one came with adoption papers and a birth certificate), the makers of Cabbage Patch dolls were able to create an urgent sense of demand—a strategy mimicked by Beanie Babies, ZhuZhu pets, and more.

     

  • 12. Leap Pad

    LeapPad
    Amazon

    Introduced in 1999 to help kids master reading, this talking book was the first toy that aimed to make learning fun. “Kids thought they were playing,” says Silver. “And they could do it on their own without their parents.” It also paved the way for VTech’s orange and purple V.Smile, which debuted in 2004 to help preschoolers hone motor skills through a Winnie the Pooh game, as well as countless other educational gaming consoles (including a new launch of its own). But still, “if you go down the learning aisle, LeapFrog and VTech dominate it,” says Silver.

  • 11. Rubik’s Cube 

    Rubik's Cube
    Pat Greenhouse—The Boston Globe/Getty Images

    More than 350 million have been sold worldwide since it was invented 40 years ago in Budapest by architecture professor Erno Rubik, making the cube one of the best-selling puzzles of all time. (There are a maddening 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different ways to twist and turn it.) Today, there are annual tournaments held to reward the fastest solvers, and the Transformers toys have adopted a similar mechanism. “People love play that involves mastery,” says Richard Gottlieb, CEO of Global Toy Experts. “The harder you work at it, the better you get at it.”

  • 10. View-Master

    View-Master
    Steve Russell—Toronto Star/Getty Images

    Invented by Harold Graves, president of Sawyer’s Photographic Services, the stereoscope was unveiled at the 1939 New York World’s Fair as a way to view photos of tourist attractions in 3D and got its big break when it landed a licensing agreement with Disney. Think of it as a precursor to the Internet, says Tim Walsh: “People who couldn’t get to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty could feel like they were standing in front of it.” The old-school device still exists in some form—Mattel’s Fisher-Price makes a version—but its lasting impact is more visible in gadgets like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

  • 9. Star Wars figurines

    Star Wars
    Darron R. Silva—AP

    Ever wonder why every summer blockbuster seems to come standard with a line of toys? Credit Star Wars‘ 1977 marketing campaign, which encouraged people to buy empty boxes with coupons redeemable for collectible Star Wars-themed toys. That “opened up the collectible category and made collecting cool,” says Silver. Likewise, the popularity of Marvel toys can be traced back to Mego, which helped license action figures for Marvel and Star Trek characters.

  • 8. Doc McStuffins

    Doc McStuffins
    Amazon

    The toy line based on the Disney Junior animated TV star who is doctor to her stuffed animals was the first black figure to become popular among kids of all races, boasting $500 million in sales last year. “This is a big statement about how the world is finally changing,” says Silver, “because it means kids are buying the doll not because of the color of its skin, but because of the character of the person.”

  • 7. Super Soaker

    Super Soaker
    John Blazemore—AP

    This pump-action water gun literally blew its competition out of the water, so to speak. Before NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson invented and licensed it to the Larami Corporation (later acquired by Hasbro) in 1989, “water pistols were cheap throwaway toys that you gave to somebody at a birthday party,” says Tim Walsh, author of Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them. “The Super Soaker changed the summer toy aisle, so now there’s an aisle of Super Soaker-esque water pistols that shoot 30-50 feet of water into the air.”

  • 6. Easy Bake Oven

    Easy Bake Oven
    Hasbro/AP

    Cooked up in 1963 by Kenner Products (now part of Hasbro), it was the first toy that allowed kids to make edible food, a brand new category of play. Now stores feature devices that make s’mores, sno cones, cotton candy, cupcakes, and most recently, cake pops.

  • 5. Chatty Cathy

    “The fact that dolls talk started with Chatty Cathy,” says Silver. She was the first portable, interactive doll that said things like “Let’s play house” or “I love you” when children pulled her drawstring. Mattel made it from 1959 to the mid-1960s, paving the way for the 1986 launch of Teddy Ruxpin, the first interactive stuffed animal or plush toy—kids inserted a cassette tape in its back, and it would talk—and mega-popular talking plushes like Furby, Tickle Me Elmo and Hasbro FurReal Friends.

  • 4. Nerf Bow and Arrow

    Nerf Bow and Arrow
    Mark Lennihan—AP

    The NERF “Bow ‘N’ Arrow” launched the toy blaster market when it was introduced in 1991. “Up until the 1980s, NERF had always been the hoop and basketball, so the bow and arrow changed NERF’s entire brand to where it is today, which is more of a blaster with foam darts,” says Silver. Today, the brand (owned by Kenner Products and now Hasbro) counts on the popularity of The Hunger Games’s bow-hunting heroine Katniss Everdeen to sell blasters, especially to girls, while its influence market-wide can be seen in the emergence of Zing Toys, a line of foam darts and slingshots, and the “secret” line of blasters Mattel revealed in April that are designed to fire more accurately than NERF ones.

  • 3. G.I. Joe

    G.I. Joe
    William A. Rice—MCT/Getty Images

    No one thought boys would play with a doll—until Hasbro introduced G.I. Joe in the middle of the Cold War as an “action figure” named after Government-Issued Joe, the World War II nickname for regular soldiers. “He’s an everyman, but he’s a hero—a singular individual who gets things done,” says Patricia Hogan, curator at the Strong Museum of Play. Joe paved the way for other action figures, specifically spies like the female private detective Honey West and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as people were fixated on espionage during the Cold War. But his most enduring impact may be his bendable frame. “You couldn’t bend Barbie’s knees or her elbows—she just sort of stood there while you explained what she was doing,” Hogan says. “But a kid could pose G.I. Joe doing almost anything. There were a lot of action figures that came out after Joe that didn’t have that kind of articulation, and they did not sell nearly as well.”

  • 2. Barbie

    Barbie
    Stan Honda—AFP/Getty Images

    Sales may have dropped recently, but Mattel still claims a Barbie doll is sold every three seconds, which would make the billion-dollar brand the world’s most popular doll for girls. And she’s a pretty good role model, having held more than 150 careers—including doctor, scientist and lawyer—since her debut in 1959, and always keeping an active lifestyle. “Barbie was the first incarnation of the adult version of a doll that would allow girls to envision, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ besides a mom,” says Walsh. She also embraced cultural diversity before many Americans did. Barbie’s first African-American friend debuted in 1968, and the first African-American version of herself debuted in 1980. “She has staying power because she’s changed and grown with the times,” says Hogan. And she has even surged ahead of them: Barbie has, after all, become President of the United States.

  • 1. LEGO

    Lego
    Kazuhiro Nogi—AFP/Getty Images

    Never mind that LEGO is the world’s biggest toy company—bringing in $2.3 billion in the first half of 2014 compared to Mattel’s $2 billion—and that it has spawned action-figures, TV shows, a fan conference and, most recently, a hit film. Since its debut in 1958, LEGO has also redefined the potential of playthings, allowing kids to build permanent structures from scratch, in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and “take them anywhere they want,” says Silver. That has had a massive impact on the toy and gaming industry—Minecraft was born from its creator’s experience playing with LEGO—and especially its younger players. As Walsh puts it: “I hear more stories about people who have become architects and engineers because they had a love for building with LEGOs” than I have heard people say, ‘I became a lawyer because I had a lawyer Barbie.'”

TIME Appreciation

Watch John Cale’s Tribute to Lou Reed One Year After His Death

The former Velvet Underground member shares an emotional new version of his song "If You Were Still Around"

It’s been exactly one year since rock legend Lou Reed died at age 71. To pay tribute, Reed’s former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale released a re-recording of his 1982 tune “If You Were Still Around.” The video mixes new footage of an emotional, tearful Cale with old footage of Reed.

Cale also shared a statement, Pitchfork reports, alluding to the rockers’ at times contentious relationship:

A Moth and a Candle met. They decided to become friends. Everyone enjoyed watching their discourse – especially the risk takers. Then one day a big rain came. The Moth couldn’t fly and the Candle puttered out. Everyone laughed in bitter awe and blamed the rain. Most however knew the deeper truth – the Candle remains lit and the Moth will stay close.

 

TIME

The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014

Teens today might have a mixed reputation, but there’s no denying their influence. They command millions of fans on Twitter and Vine, start companies with funds they raised on Kickstarter, steal scenes on TV’s most popular shows, lead protests with global ramifications, and even—as of Friday—win Nobel Peace Prizes. But which ones rise above the rest? We analyzed social-media followings, cultural accolades, business acumen and more to determine this year’s list (ordered from youngest to oldest).

  • Mo’ne Davis, 13

    Mo'ne Davis #3 of Pennsylvania waits to pitch to a Nevada batter during the United States division game at the Little League World Series tournament at Lamade Stadium on August 20, 2014 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mo'ne Davis
    Rob Carr—Getty Images

    It’s not every day that a black female athlete appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated—let alone one who’s 13. So Mo’ne Davis made quite a splash in August when she landed that spot (cover line: “Remember Her Name”) after pitching a shutout game in the Little League World Series. Her team, Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, was eventually knocked out of the tournament, but not before Davis got accolades from Michelle Obama, Kevin Durant and Ellen DeGeneres, among others. Many hope she will be a role model for girls in sports, especially those that are typically male-dominated. —Sarah Begley

  • Sasha Obama, 13, and Malia Obama, 16

    Sasha and Malia Obama arrive at the ceremonial swearing-in of their father President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

    A lot of dads get squeamish about their daughter’s first prom, but only Malia Obama’s date status could be called “classified information,” as the President joked on Live! with Kelly and Michael last spring. Nonetheless, she has emerged as a figure of national interest: her appearance at Chicago’s Lollapalooza Music Festival caused almost as much of a stir as the musicians themselves, and her name has spiked in popularity after her father’s election. (It’s predicted to peak again in 2018.) Sasha, meanwhile, has become an icon in her own right: after being photographed in a unicorn sweatshirt, the style sold out at ASOS in a matter of days. —S.B.

  • Kiernan Shipka, 14

    Actress Kiernan Shipka attends the Elle's Women in Television event in Los Angeles January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTX17QSW
    Phil McCarten—Reuters

    Mad Men fans first met Sally Draper, eldest daughter of Don and Betty Draper, when she was just five years old. Since then, she’s transformed into a central, scene-stealing character that may well launch Shipka into superstardom. As Mad Men‘s final season looms, the actress has broadened her resume—landing a starring role in the Lifetime movie Flowers in the Attic—and consistently wowed on red carpets and magazine covers. —Samantha Grossman

  • Jazz Jennings, 14

    Jazz Jennings arrives at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on April 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
    Gregg DeGuire—WireImage

    In a landmark year for transgender visibility in the media, Jennings stands out for how much she’s already accomplished. She’s been interviewed by Barbara Walters, met Bill Clinton and become the youngest person ever featured on the Out 100 and The Advocate‘s 40 Under 40 lists. She even co-wrote a children’s book, I Am Jazz, loosely based on her life (she started living as a girl at age 5), that aims to help other kids understand what transgender means. “I have a girl brain but a boy body,” Jazz says in the book. “This is called transgender. I was born this way!” —Nolan Feeney

  • Flynn McGarry, 15

    Jason Schwartzman and host Jimmy Fallon freeze Halloween treats with Chef Flynn McGarry on Thursday, October 31, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)..
    NBC

    At an age when many of his peers are still picking around the green stuff on their plates, McGarry has emerged as a chef du jour in the culinary industry. After helping to build a high-tech kitchen in his bedroom (modeled on Grant Achatz’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea), he started his own supper club, Eureka. It serves tasting menus—at $160 per person—at his mother’s home in Studio City, Calif. Since then, he has appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, cooked on the Today show, and apprenticed at 11 Madison Park. His ultimate goal? To have, as he puts it, “the best restaurant in the world.” —S.B.

  • Erik Finman, 15

    Courtesy of Erik Finman

    The rural Idaho native is the founder of Botangle.com, which offers tutoring over video chat services for teens who, like him, wanted more than the limited education opportunities within physical reach. To fund the site, Finman two years ago invested a $1,000 gift in Bitcoin, then an unlikely digital currency; soon it spiked in value, and he had $100,000. It’s no wonder, then, that Finman says he struck a deal with his parents: if he makes $1 million before he turns 18, he won’t have to attend college. —Jack Linshi

  • Nash Grier, 16

    Vine star Nash Grier attends the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
    David Livingston—Getty Images

    The self-described “King of Vine”—the social media platform that loops 6-second videos—has more than 9.6 million followers and over 1.1 billion loops of his comedic videos, more than any other user. His meteoric rise to fame hasn’t been without scandal: Grier was slammed for using a homophobic slur on one of his since-deleted Vines. But he’s nonetheless parlayed his massive audience into endorsement deals, netting thousands to plug products such as Aquafina FlavorSplash. —J.L.

  • Rico Rodriguez, 16

    Actor Rico Rodriguez arrives to the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 -- (Photo by Trae Patton/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
    Trae Patton/NBC/Getty Images

    As scene-stealing Manny on ABC’s smash-hit Modern Family, Rodriguez isn’t just one of the most visible child actors on TV (the show’s sixth season premiere averaged more than 11 million viewers)—he’s also one of the richest. According to reports, he’ll earn a whopping $115,000 per episode if the show continues through season eight. —S.G.

  • Ciara Judge, 16, Émer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17

    Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge from Kinsale Community School in Co Cork as they are named the BT Young Scientists of the Year at the RDS, Dublin. Picture date: Friday January 11, 2013.
    Niall Carson—AP

    The trio from County Cork, Ireland took home the grand prize at the Google Science Fair after wowing the judges with their discovery: Diazotroph, a bacteria that sucks nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil, speeding up the germination of cereal crops like barley and oats and—more importantly—increasing their yield. This advance could play a crucial role in solving the global food crisis, and Judge, Hickey and Healy-Thow are already planning to commercialize it. —S.B.

  • Shawn Mendes, 16

    Canadian music artist Shawn Mendes poses for a portrait, on Wed., July 8, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)
    Drew Gurian—Invision/AP

    After amassing millions of Vine followers by performing six-second micro-covers of hit songs, Mendes caught the attention of Island Records and scored a record deal. His first single, “Life of the Party,” was an instant smash, making Mendes the youngest-ever artist to debuted in the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the follow-up EP, titled—what else?—The Shawn Mendes EP, reached the No. 1 spot on iTunes earlier this year, a mere 37 minutes after its midnight release. —N.F.

  • Jaden Smith, 16

    Actor Jaden Smith arrives at the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood issue party on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
    Dan Steinberg—Invision/AP

    Smith rose to fame as the son of Will Smith, occasionally popping up in movies. But his real legacy may well be his Twitter musings, which are equal parts absurdist (“Anything You See In Any Magazine Ever Is Fake.”) and insightful (“Once You Witness A Cycle Enough Times You Step Out Of It.”), earning him more than 5 million followers and labels like, “Confucius for the Internet age.” One of Smith’s recent posts sums him up pretty well: “Hate Me Love Me Doesn’t Matter I’m Still Occupying Time Inside Of Your Psyche.” —S.G.

  • Becky G, 17

    Singer Becky G attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
    Christopher Polk—Getty Images

    Mega-producer Dr. Luke (who’s worked with Britney Spears, Kesha and Katy Perry) signed Becky G to his label in 2011 after watching her YouTube covers. The investment paid off: Rebecca Marie Gomez, who began performing at age 9 to help out her cash-strapped parents, saw her irresistible ode to young love, “Shower,” chart in more than a dozen countries and become a top 20 hit in the U.S. this summer. When she’s not writing her own music, she represents Covergirl as one of its youngest-ever Latina spokeswomen and helps craft tunes for other pop acts, like Cher Lloyd and fellow teen Cody Simpson. It’s fitting that one of her first music videos was a Jennifer Lopez cover (retitled “Becky From the Block“); she’s well-positioned to follow in her footsteps. —N.F.

  • Salma Kakar, 17

    Kakar is the lead rider on the co-ed Afghan National Cycling Team, which has drawn global praise for promoting female empowerment in a country where it has been rare to see women driving, let alone competing in a sport. Her dream is to wave the flag of Afghanistan at the Olympics one day, and to show the world how far Afghan women have come. —J.L.

  • Lorde, 17

    Singer Lorde poses backstage during The 24th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Shrine Auditorium on December 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Radio.com)
    Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

    The New Zealander, born Ella Yelich-O’Connor, started 2014 off strong by nabbing two Grammy Awards for her inescapable smash-hit “Royals.” Since then, the singer-songwriter has become a force in music and pop culture: her debut album, Pure Heroine, went platinum; she won an MTV Video Music Award; and she signed on to curate the Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack, out Nov. 21. She has also established herself as a role model who promotes healthy body image. In March, she shared two photos of herself, one Photoshopped and one unedited, to remind her more than 1.3 million Twitter followers (at the time) that “flaws are ok.” —S.G.

  • Lydia Ko, 17

    Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a shot on the 8th hole during the first round of the CME Group Titleholders at Tiburon Golf Club on November 21, 2013 in Naples, Florida.
    Sam Greenwood—Getty Images

    After going pro last year, Ko now ranks third among women golfers worldwide, sparking interest in the sport “not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe,” as golf legend Annika Sorenstam wrote in this year’s Time 100. Thanks to her many tournament wins and endorsement deal with Callaway, she’s also the youngest millionaire in LGPA history. “That’s big money,” she said in April. “But when I’m out there I’m thinking about making birdies and hitting good shots and making putts rather than, ‘OK, this putt is going to give me an extra thousand.'” —S.G.

  • Chloë Grace Moretz, 17

    Actress ChloÎ Grace Moretz attends the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards brought to you by Samsung Galaxy at The Wiltern on July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Variety)
    Ari Perilstein—Getty Images

    The Atlanta native has already built an impressive resume with roles in films like (500) Days of Summer, Kick-Ass, Hugo and Carrie, and this year was no exception. She was the lead in this summer’s If I Stay, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, which netted $47.6 million at the box office (despite a considerably low budget) and also starred opposite Denzel Washington in hit thriller The Equalizer. Next up: roles in Dark Places, the film adaptation of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s gripping crime novel, and the sci-fi thriller The Fifth Wave. —S.G.

  • Kylie Jenner, 17, and Kendall Jenner, 18

    Reality stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner share hot spring trends for teens on "Good Morning America," 2/8/13, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/Disney-ABC via Getty Images)KYLIE JENNER, KENDALL JENNER
    Donna Svennevik—ABC/Getty Images

    Together, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians co-stars hosted red-carpet events, released clothing and nail polish lines and even published a dystopian young-adult novel this past summer (though yes, they had some help). But they’ve had solo success too—Kendall with modeling (she’s walked the runway for designers like Marc Jacobs) and Kylie with pseudo-entrepreneurship (she’s launching a line of hair extensions and hopes to get into acting). Next up: a multimillion-dollar mobile game? —N.F.

  • Malala Yousafzai, 17

    Pakistinian teenager and education activist Malala Yousafzai is interviewed on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing MONDAY, AUG. 18 (7:00-9:00am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) MALALA YOUSAFZAI
    Ida Mae Astute—ABC/Getty Images

    Two years and one day after Taliban gunmen shot her in the head while she was riding to school, the Pakistani youth activist became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The accolade caps an impressive—albeit early—career for Yousafzai, who has used her organization, the Malala Fund, as a platform to promote girls’ education, help Syrian refugee children and demand the return of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, among other things. In April, she received an honorary doctorate in civil law from the University of King’s College in Canada. “Malala is a testament that women everywhere will not be intimidated into silence,” Gabrielle Giffords wrote of Yousafzai in this year’s Time 100. “We will speak, no matter how hard it is to do so.” —S.G.

  • Rachel Fox, 18

    Teen Vogue's 10th Anniversary Annual Young Hollywood Party - Arrivals
    Jason Merritt—Getty Images

    Known to Desperate Housewives fans as Kayla Scavo, the teen actress somehow found enough time between TV and movie shoots to train herself in the art of day trading: she says her investments earn her a 64 percent annual return. Now she’s trying to pay it forward. In addition to running the blog Fox on Stocks, which offers financial literacy tips for teens, Fox has created the MyGenLoves index, which tracks 20 companies that are currently hot in the youth market (such as Chipotle and Urban Outfitters). —S.B.

  • Bethany Mota, 18

    Internet personality Bethany Mota attends Blake Michael's 18th Birthday at Riviera 31 on August 9, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
    Imeh Akpanudosen—Getty Images

    The fashion and beauty blogger has spent five years building her YouTube channel, Macbarbie07, into a bona-fide business—with 7.4 million subscribers, 565 million-plus views, and between $500,000 and $750,000 in annual ad revenue. Now she’s expanding her brand. This year, Mota appeared on Project Runway as a guest judge and Dancing with the Stars as a celebrity competitor, all while overseeing the clothing line she launched with Aéropostale. She also released her first single, “Need You Right Now.” —S.G.

  • Joshua Wong, 18

    Joshua Wong, leader of the student pro-democracy group scholarism addresses demonstrators after the press conference of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Hong Kong on October 2, 2014. Hong Kong's embattled leader rejected protesters' calls for him to resign, but in a significant concession agreed to talks with a students group involved in mass pro-democracy demonstrations that have paralysed parts of the city.AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
    Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images

    Wong, who recently covered Time‘s international edition, has become the face of the Hong Kong protests, a civil disobedience movement demanding that China stages unfettered elections for Hong Kong’s top political position. To some, he’s a symbol of hope—a youth rallying his peers to fight for a cause they believe in. In mainland China, however, many argue Wong is an extremist and an emblem against China’s storied national order. —J.L.

  • Austin Mahone, 18

    singer Austin Mahone poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. His EP "The Secret" released on May 23, 2014. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
    Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

    Mahone’s social media following is modest compared to that of Justin Bieber—the pop star to whom he’s most often compared—but it’s still powerful: Mahone’s 7 million Twitter followers helped him became the first artist to hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s new Trending 140, a live-updated chart that tracks what songs have people buzzing online. It helps, of course, that he’s got a pretty sizable resume: in addition to touring with Taylor Swift and signing with Chase Records/Cash Money, Mahone released his first U.S. EP, The Secret, in May; it debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. —N.F.

    Correction appended: Oct. 14, 2014, 5:18 p.m. E.T. An earlier version of this article misstated Mahone’s record label.

  • Tavi Gevinson, 18

    Actress Tavi Gevinson of 'Enough Said' poses at the Guess Portrait Studio during 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
    Larry Busacca—Getty Images

    Gevinson may bristle at being called the “voice of a generation,” but the label does fit: Rookie, her online magazine for teenage girls, gets roughly 3.5 million hits a month—thanks in part to her mix of personal essays (see: her poignant editor’s letter about graduating high school and mourning “forever”) and insightful pop culture coverage (see: her chat about feminism with Lorde, the Seth Rogan contribution to Rookie‘s “Ask a Grown Man” video advice column). Next up: the recent high school grad, currently starring in the Broadway play This Is Our Youth, plans to head to college after a gap year. —N.F.

  • Megan Grassell, 19

    Megan Grassell
    Courtesy of Megan Grassell

    After taking her 13-year-old sister shopping for bras, Grassell was perturbed by how sexualized most of the available choices were for young girls; everything seemed to have padding and underwires. So she started her own company, Yellowberry, to offer an alternative: comfortable, colorful training bras with names like Junebug and Sugar Cookie. She initially raised $42,000 through Kickstarter—well above the $25,000 goal she set for herself—and now runs a full-fledged online retailer. —S.B.

  • Troye Sivan, 19

    Actor Troye Sivan attends the 4th Annual Streamy Awards presented by Coca-Cola on September 7, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/SAs 2014/Getty Images for DCP)
    Kevin Winter—Getty Images

    The South African-Australian may have initially broken through as an actor—he snagged a role in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine after a Hollywood producer found him on YouTube—but he’s found major success this year as a musician. Thanks in large part to the support from his 2.8 million YouTube subscribers, Sivan’s latest EP, TRXYE, which he recorded in secret, topped iTunes sales charts in more than 50 countries following its August release. —N.F.

  • Read next: The 16 Most Influential Teens of 2013

TIME Appreciation

35 Things We Learned From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was published Oct. 12, 1979

Douglas Adams' novel was published on Oct. 12, 1979, 35 years ago on Sunday

Are you a hoopy frood who really knows where her towel is? Then you probably already know that Sunday marks 35 years to the day since legendary comedy/sci-fi author Douglas Adams published the novel based on his radio show The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, first in a trilogy of five books. Yeah, a trilogy of five — Adams was a weird dude!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide follows the story of a hapless human called Arthur Dent, who is saved from Earth’s destruction by aliens with just seconds to spare by his good friend Ford Prefect. Prefect, who Dent at first believes to be human, actually turns out to be an alien working for something called the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — sort of a combination travel guide/Wikipedia for intergalactic travelers roaming about the universe by grabbing rides on passing spacecraft.

Dent and Prefect wind up on a ship stolen by President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox. Along with another human runaway and a depressed robot, the crew find themselves in a serious of perilous adventures one after the other and it’s all good fun with a great story that holds up in its own right while also poking a lot of fun at the generally very serious science-fiction genre.

Anyway. In celebration of Hitchhiker’s 35th birthday, here are 35 things you learn from reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy”:

1. If you’re ever stuck on a question, you know the answer is, of course, just “42.”

2. Forget “Keep Calm and Carry On.” The book teaches this motto: Don’t Panic, written in very friendly letters on the front of the actual Hitchhiker’s Guide.

3. You learn to always know where your towel is, because that thing can save your neck in more ways that you can count.

4. Dolphins are smarter than humans — but they’re still thankful for all that fish.

5. Earth, despite its nuclear weapons, war, bacteria and so on, is really just Mostly Harmless.

6. The secret to understanding all the universe’s languages is putting a tiny creature in your ear called a Babel Fish — and you also know that’s where the online translation service got its name.

7. When you rock out to Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, you know the band was referencing Marvin, the chronically depressed robot with a brain the size of a planet — voiced by Alan Rickman in the 2005 film adaptation.

8. This killer restaurant at the end of the universe.

9. Time is an illusion — and lunchtime doubly so.

10. The universe’s creation made a lot of people very angry and was widely considered a bad move.

11. Anyone who can be elected President shouldn’t be trusted to do the job.

12. If a Vogon ever, ever tries to read poetry to you, you should turn tail and run immediately.

13. Ford Prefect isn’t just the name of a British car.

14. You’re not the only one who could never really get the hang of Thursdays.

15. You can understand that an alien sent to study life on Earth would think cars were the dominant life-form.

16. But not why people spend so much of their lives wearing digital watches.

17. When in a bar in outer space, the best thing to order is a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

18. If somebody suddenly thinks they’re a hedgehog, the best thing you can do is give them a mirror and some pictures of a hedgehog, and they’ll figure it all out soon enough.

19. Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is, to be honest.

20. Mice aren’t actually mice at all. Instead, they’re insanely hypersmart beings from another plane of existence. Also, they’re smarter than dolphins. Who are still smarter than humans.

21. That one can find tea on a spaceship. But it’s not really tea, it’s rather something almost but not entirely unlike tea. (Also, if you count the movies, there’s a tiny lightsaber that toasts bread while you slice it. Handy!)

22. You can spend a year dead to dodge your taxes. Good tip.

23. Sometimes your friends turn into penguins. Or sofas. It’s all a little weird.

24. Every once in a while, it’s absolutely terrific when somebody’s trying to kill you — it means you’re on to something.

25. The only thing that can break the speed of light is bad news.

26. Life is like a grapefruit, and some folks have half one for breakfast.

27. Ships can hang in the sky, but bricks can’t.

28. That you should always, always, always stay abreast of plans posted at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri.

29. That if you ever discover why the universe is here, it could be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

30. And that might’ve already happened.

31. It’s possible to be your own great-great grandfather, if something goes wrong with a contraceptive and a time machine.

32. One of the greatest sources of power in the universe is Restaurant Math. Oh waiter, check please!

33. Anything that happens, happens.

34. You don’t want to go to Heaven with a headache.

35. 42.

 

 

TIME Appreciation

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy, mateys!

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, an annual celebration that brings together all the swashbuckling scoundrels who set their Facebook languages to ‘English (Pirate),’ have closets full of costume eyepatches, pledge allegiance to the Jolly Roger or just want an excuse to walk around saying “Arrrrgh!” or order people to walk the plank.

There are many ways for landlubbers to celebrate today without hitting the high seas – Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut to anyone who talks like a pirate, and a dozen free doughnuts to those scallywags who show up in full pirate garb. (Need to brush up on your pirate parlance? Here’s a helpful how-to.)

After your free doughnuts, check out this Google map of all the Talk Like A Pirate Day events around the world. From free mini golf to pirate-y pub crawls, there’s sure to be something that will shiver your timbers.

And when your day of yo-ho-ho-ing is done, sit back with a bottle of rum and have a good laugh over these trending tweets about hypothetical pirate TV shows:

 

TIME Appreciation

Hero Starts a Petition to Get His Cat Into the High School Yearbook

Seems like a totally reasonable and attainable dream

Draven Rodriguez is just a normal high school kid in upstate New York hoping to make his dreams come true. In this case, those dreams involve getting the administration at Schenectady High School to agree to use the following photo as his senior portrait:

Vincent Giordano / Trinacria Photography

The school has said the photo can be included in the yearbook somewhere, but not as Rodriguez’s official senior portrait, a local CBS affiliate reports. So Rodriguez has started a petition as a “pre-emptive strike.” He hopes to gain enough backers so that the school simply can’t deny this request.

His goal was to reach 500 signatures by Sept. 15, and by the morning of Sep. 11, he’d already hit 721.

TIME celebrities

Celebrities and Comedians Mourn Joan Rivers With Funny Anecdotes and Reflections

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2010
Joan Rivers talks about her documentary, "A Piece of Work," on "Good Morning America." Steve Fenn—ABC / Getty Images

From Kathy Griffin to Whoopi Goldberg to Billy Eichner

As soon as word spread that the legendary Joan Rivers had died Thursday, fellow comedians and celebrities swiftly took to social media to mourn the comedy icon.

As tributes and memories and reflections continue to roll in, here are a few of the responses to Rivers’ death:

Ryan Seacrest, in a statement: “Joan was a trailblazer in so many ways, and I greatly admired her talent and humor. She was a colleague and friend, as we worked together on E!, and she was also a treasured guest on my radio show many times. Regardless of the forum, Joan was full of funny, witty surprises and she had so much spirit. She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Melissa and her family.”

Louis CK, in a statement: “I feel very lucky that I knew Joan Rivers and I feel very sad that she’s gone. She was a great comedian and a wonderful person. I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience. She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. And I already miss her very much. It really fucking sucks that she had to die all of a sudden.”

Amy Schumer, in a statement: “Joan was hilarious and relevant all the way to the end. She inspired every comic I know and we will carry her with us and quote her jokes forever. When I met her at the premiere of her movie, “A Piece of Work” she was so kind and wanted to make sure all the comics were going to stay so we could all hang out together. I thought that was so cool. Such a pro, such a hard worker. This was a huge loss for us all.”

Tyler Oakley, in a statement: “Whether you loved her or hated her, you can’t deny Joan Rivers’ impact on comedy as we know it. To me personally, she was kind, present, and genuinely interested in hearing my story. Her energy was electric and her presence was unmatched. She was unapologetically herself, yet always evolving. If her work ethic on Earth is any indication, she’ll have absolutely no interest in resting in peace – and I love her for that.”

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