The Review in Review, 2014

Collage of art from articles from 2014

Review in Review, 2014
| published December 29, 2014 |

By Thursday Review editors

Thursday Review gained a lot of new readers in 2014, and many of those newcomers to our website came by way of specific articles and topics. In 2013, for example, some of our most clicked-upon articles included Earl Perkins’ retrospective look at the 40th anniversary of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Pronounced Lynyrd Skynyrd,” Alan Clanton’s look back at the release of Bruce Springsteen’s “Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ,” Kevin Robbie’s examination of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Sarah Herrin’s review of three great books about Paris. The year 2013 also brought us a lot attention for our articles about the NSA, water rights, Quincy Jones, the British Museum, and numerous book reviews by Kristy Webster.

Here then, is a short list of 15 of our most popular and most-read articles from 2014:

  • Christmas Truce 1914Silent Night, Christmas 1914; Kevin Robbie’s historical look at the famous Christmas Eve truce of World War I, in which the British, French and German combatants declared an ad hoc day of peace to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; soldiers mingled among the lines, sharing photos, telling stories, singing carols, and even playing football (soccer) and rugby. Proof that the spirit of Christmas can overcome the juggernaut of war. This holiday article can be found on our Features Page.

  • Muscle ShoalsMuscle Shoals: Musical Ground Zero; Features editor Earl Perkins gave us a detailed look inside the once-iconic epicenter of American rock and roll, in a tiny studio in a small town in Alabama, where the musical likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and the Allman Brothers recorded some of their most famous music. A great look back at one of the centers of rock and roll, and blues. Other retrospective music articles can be found on our Music Page, or in the Archives.

  • Running shoesRun Chicken Run: My First Injuries; the first of many installments by frequent Thursday Review contributor and artist Sarah Herrin, who—after taking up running—gave us a diary-like look into her new-found passion for running; Sarah covered everything, from minor pains and aches, to her clothing and mood, to her diet and health, to her love of her surroundings. Great reading, and these articles can be found on our Features Page.

  • F-18 Hornets on a carrierYou’re Gonna’ Need a Bigger Foreign Policy; Editor Alan Clanton’s long-form look at why the foreign policy and military crises of the last year should not have come as such a surprise to the White House or the Pentagon, and why it is never wrong to forge a proactive template for international flash points and foreign policy. Article received many written responses via emails and social media. Followed numerous articles about the Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, and the rise of the terrorist army ISIS. Article can be found in the lower area of our Front Page.

  • graveyard at Dozier's school yardMurder & Torture in a Florida School; Earl Perkins looked deeply into the strange and dark past of an infamous school for wayward boys in Florida, where for decades young boys and men were abused systematically by their guardians and jailers; last year, when the unmarked graves of scores of the dead were revealed to the public, it sparked outrage that the state could have allowed such a medieval detention facility to have operated for so long. This was part of a series of four articles.

  • obama shhh-ing with flag background - art by Rob ShieldsThwarting Terror: How Much of Your Personal Data is Enough?; Alan Clanton’s careful look at the legal and ethical concerns which sprang out of our awareness that the NSA had been collecting and harvesting our digital data for years—emails, text messages, cell phone calls, uploads and downloads, social media likes and dislikes, even our online buying preferences. One of the last articles on the subject from 2013 (it was published on December 27, 2013), the article received a lot of attention throughout January. Included art by frequent contributor Rob Shields.

  • hamburgerThe Hamburger: A Family Affair; food critic, author, TV personality, and chef, Michael Sigler gives TR readers a loving examination of the hamburger; an excerpt from his latest book Tales From the Frying Pan. This was one of many great food articles, but this one received a lot of attention and a lot of shares on social media. For more of Michael’s articles (including “The Brussels Sprouts Controversy)”, visit our Food Page.

  • assortment of berriesThe Health Magic of Berries; Speaking of food, maybe it was the colorful photograph of the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries that drew in readers and clicks, but Maggie Nichols’ articles extolling the health virtues of all types of fresh berries got a lot of attention and benefited from many shares on social media. Delicious, colorful fruit: antioxidants and loaded with vitamins, and though we cannot promise instant results, you’ll feel better just reading the article. You can find more of Maggie’s great food and diet articles on our popular Food Page. Photo by Alan Clanton.  (You can also find some of our best food articles on Pinterest!)

  • Man wearing snow gogglesAn Inconvenient Chill, Again; Alan Clanton takes a slightly irreverent and politically-incorrect look at Global Warming, and why advocates of the theory often fail to take into account a long series of record-breaking winters which have pummeled both North America and Europe for more than a decade. Meant to be fun, this article was made even better thanks to the great photograph sent to us by TR follower Terry Tindol, of northern Alabama. Preceded and followed by lots of articles about the weather.  This article was so frequently visited and shared, that we left it available on our Opinion Page.

  • Sherman Alexie book cover artReview of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; one of many book reviews by our frequent literary contributor Kristy Webster, this book review received a lot of attention and a lot of clicks. A review of Sherman Alexie’s new book, Kristy Webster tells the backstory of book which was occasionally banned by some schools and which raised the hackles of some parents’ groups. You can find many more of Kristy’s book reviews on the Thursday Review Book Page, which includes articles by Maggie Nichols, Lisa Whitten, Sarah Herrin, Earl Perkins, Kevin Robbie, Lori Garrett, Jessica Smith, and others.

  • LaosLearning in Laos; Frequent Thursday Review contributor Krista Tani travels the world as part of her own education and as part of her spiritual outreach, and readers love her dispatches from faraway places, such as Morocco, Ireland and Spain. In one of her many elegant articles, she tells how she learns by teaching, in this case—teaching English to students in the Southeast Asian country of Laos, tucked between Thailand and Vietnam. You can find more of her articles in our Features Page, and in our Archives. This photo was taken by Krista in November.

  • ComcastKings of Content: Why Comcast is Inevitable; editor Alan Clanton gives readers a close examination of the new dynamic in the cable and internet industry: mergers, buyouts, and other partnerships which some think will make customer service suffer and enable prices to increase; Alan provides a detailed and balanced look at the high stakes issues which make the mega-mergers attractive to investors. This was one in a series of articles on the subject of major cable mergers and mega-marriages among the telecommunications giants. Several of these articles can be found on our Media & Journalism Page, and in our Archives.

  • Seattle Pilots 1969Crash Landing: The 1969 Seattle Pilots; Kevin Robbie’s rich and wonderfully detailed story of the once-and-never-again Seattle Pilots. Seattle once built a baseball stadium for its new baseball team (it now sits underneath a modern Home Depot), and sought to shed its provincial attitude with pro sports, but the team crashed to the ground not long after it got started. A great sports article and great fun for trivia buffs interested in the expansion team that was one of the most short-lived in sports history; a lesson on how not to start a team. This was one of several sports retrospectives written by frequent contributor Kevin Robbie.

  • blue mustangMustang: 50 Years of the Original Pony; a detailed, exhaustive, and celebratory look at the Ford Mustang, which celebrated its 50th birthday this summer; those first Mustang sedans and convertible were premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, and the sporty car quickly became one of the popular autos ever made. Article was popular on social media and spurred a flurry of reader response in June and July, including short articles about the experiences of Mustang owners.

  • VA WheelchairsThe VA's Phony Waiting Lists;Thursday Review's Earl Perkins was slightly ahead of the mainstream media curve on the Veterans Administration's waiting list scandal, a quickly unraveling Federal Department with systemic problems in almost every part of the country. TR published numerous articles (nine by Earl; two by Alan Clanton) on the VA, tracking implications for U.S. veterans as the scandal expanded, prompted Congressional hearings, and ultimately led to the resignation of the VA's chief. And make no mistake: this story is not over.

  • librarian helping a studentHow a College Library Thrives in a Digital Age; Alan Clanton, a former library employee, takes us inside a small college library, and interviewing librarians and staff, shows us how libraries are adapting to the digital age. A detailed look inside the Bainbridge College library in Bainbridge, Georgia. Part of a larger series of articles intended to look more deeply into the world of libraries, articles by both Alan Clanton and Earl Perkins. Other articles in this series can be found on our Media Page.

    Titles, authors and links to other popular articles from 2014:

    The True Art of Video Games; Isaac Fink; Thursday Review; July 12, 2014.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past; Lori Garrett; Thursday Review; May 29, 2014.

    In Love With Mother Mother; Lori Garrett; Thursday Review; February 3, 2014.

    Turnkey Tyranny: Or, If I Am Not Doing Anything Wrong, I Have Nothing to Fear, Right?; Kevin Robbie; Thursday Review; January 6, 2014.