Because we have a collective insatiable maw that needs to be constantly fed new information, it's impossible to remember everything that had us talking in 2014. That was especially true in the second half of the year, when a handful of legitimately important stories managed to distract us from the usual pettiness we focus so much time and energy on. That doesn't mean those things didn't happen, though! The following headline-grabbers held our interest long enough to at least garner a meme or hashtag before we moved on ...
8The Red Eye of Bob Costas
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The Sochi Olympics promised to be a disaster of epic proportions. Leading up to the games, there were accusations of massive corruption, serious concerns about human rights and the treatment of LGBT people, as well as daily reports of construction SNAFUs.
BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg AP
This is a problem.
Everyone loves a train wreck, though, so not surprisingly the world waited with bated breath to see what new strain of calamity would befall the actual events. Who knew the most intense drama would be the battle between NBC's prime-time host Bob Costas and a gross eye infection? With what seemed to be an iron grip on his hosting chair, Costas subjected viewers to nightly appearances by his inflamed peeper. When both eyes began to ooze and glow red, Costas, who has hosted the prime-time Olympics broadcast for NBC since 1988, apparently while wearing the same pair of dusty contact lenses the entire time, finally relinquished his position and took a six-day leave of absence.
TODAY; NBC Olympics
I'll take the inflamed eyes of Costas over Lauer's beady ones any day.
By the time Costas stepped aside to let Matt Lauer cover what was turning out to be a lackluster sporting event, his red eyes had taken on a life of their own and had become the talk of the games.
Costas appears to have made a full recovery. But the interest in his ocular misadventures didn't end with the closing ceremonies. Post-Olympics, there was speculation that the eye infection was caused by botched Botox injections. It's a claim NBC denies.
7The Potato Salad Kickstarter
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According to Zack Brown, his using Kickstarter to raise $10 for a potato salad was meant to be a joke among friends. While the humorous aspect of the endeavor may have been a bit thin, the success was not. What started out as at best a mediocre gag, turned into a full-blown international news story and ultimately raked in over $55,000.
Which is odd, considering potato salad is disgusting.
Nearly 7,000 people from 20 different countries donated and helped make the potato salad Kickstarter the fourth-most-viewed page on the crowdfunding site. But it wasn't without detractors. Some complained that it took away from more deserving projects, while others credited it with being the "Harbinger of the fall of the Ironic Empire."
Kickstarter is where the world goes to invest in useless junk. So it's not quite clear why the Internet lost its collective mind over the success of the potato salad campaign. What many seem to forget is that 90 percent of Kickstarter projects are garbage, and the rest are big companies cashing in on easy financing. Yes, I'm looking at you Zach Braff. At least potato salad is (barely) edible. And it's not the stupidest thing ever funded on the site. A staggering $67,000 was raised for a statue of RoboCop in Detroit:
And over $12,000 was raised to create ...
... an inflatable sculpture of Lionel Richie's Head. Also, sorry, I was reading from the list of the best things Kickstarter has ever done just now. I promise most of it really is stupid, though.
Turns out Zack Brown is a pretty good guy. Instead of taking his windfall and laughing his irony-busting hump all the way to the bank, he decided to do some good. Kickstarter doesn't allow campaigners to give their funds directly to charity, so Brown funded a concert event with proceeds going to nonprofits fighting hunger in Central Ohio. That's so much better than fighting it with $55,000 worth of potato salad.