Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Oscar Picks for The 86th Academy Awards, March 2nd, 2014: What are your picks?

“I decided to host the Oscars again because I like a challenge, and I don't like to get stuck in a rut doing the same thing every day. So every once in a while I like to challenge myself. And this year I thought I would challenge myself in front of a billion people. And the gift bag.” ~~ Ellen DeGenerous , host of The 86th Academy Awards, American stand-up comedian, television host, and actress who starred in the popular sitcom "Ellen" from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted the syndicated talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" since 2003; As quoted on why she decided to host The Academy Awards a second time. 86th Academy Awards
Seems like yesterday that the Oscar nominations were announced. Oscar night this year is telecast live on ABC on March 2 from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland. More Oscar nomination coverage is at the Official 86th Annual Academy Awards -- Oscar.com and visit the “Oscar Nominee” section of the Website.

Here are my Oscar Picks for The 86th Academy Awards, March 2nd, 2014.

What are your picks? There's still time to cast your votes at Oscar.Go.com

Or you can look below which also includes my Oscar picks (begins with best picture category and includes links to more info about the Oscar nominated movie). Bookmark this post as it will be updated with winners as they become announced.
Photo left of Oscar statue award courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.

Next to each category header is my prediction. Winner updates will be added as they are announced on Oscar night:

Best Picture: Winner ★ “12 Years a Slave,” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers; My prediction, “Gravity”
★ “American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
★ “Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
★ “Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
★ “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers http://gravitymovie.warnerbros.com
★ “Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers http:// www.herthemovie.com
★ “Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
★ “Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
★ “12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
★ “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Winner ★ Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club;” My prediction, Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Although I keep on going back and forth between Leonardo DiCaprio (also deserves an Oscar) in "The Wolf of Wall Street" and McConaughey.
Christian Bale, "American Hustle" (2nd Oscar nomination)
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" (2nd Oscar nomination)
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street" (5th Oscar nomination)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave" (first Oscar nomination)
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" (first Oscar nomination)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner ★Jared Leto; My prediction, Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club" “…This is incredibly special because there are so so many people who have helped me….This is for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to aids...” ~~ Jared Leto on accepting award
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips" (first Oscar nomination)
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle" (2nd Oscar nomination)
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave" (first Oscar nomination)
Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2nd Oscar nomination)
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club" (first Oscar nomination)

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Winner ★ Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine;” her 2nd Oscar My prediction, Amy Adams, "American Hustle" (this is her fifth Oscar nomination)but I keep going back and forth between Judi Dench, "Philomena" and Adams.
Amy Adams, "American Hustle" (5th nomination, 2nd for leading role)
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine" (6th nomination, received one Oscar best actress supporting role in The Aviator) adorned the red carpet in a spectacular, nude blush Armani
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity" (2nd Oscar nomination, one Oscar for lead role "Blind Side") in a fabulous Alexander McQueen gown
Judi Dench, "Philomena" (nominated 7 times, one Oscar best actress supporting role Shakespeare In Love)
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County" (nominated 18 times, won 3 Oscars for Sophies Choice, Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner ★ Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"; My prediction, Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine" (first Oscar nomination)
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle" (3rd Oscar nomination, won Oscar leading role "Silver Linings Playbook" dressed in Dior red gown at Oscar night
Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave" (first Oscar nomination), wore pale icy blue Prada gown at Oscar night
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County" 4th Oscar nomination, won Oscar leading role "Erin Brockovich" adorned the red carpet in a spectacular black lace Givenchy
June Squibb, "Nebraska" (1st Oscar nomination)

Best Animated Feature Film: Winner ★ "Frozen," Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho ; My prediction, “Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
★ "The Croods" - Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson (3rd Oscar nomination for Chris Sanders; first for Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson)
★ "Despicable Me 2" - Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri (2nd nomination for Chris Renaud, first for Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri)
★ "Ernest & Celestine" – Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner (1st nominations for Renner and Brunner)
★ "Frozen" – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho (2nd nomination for Chuck Buck; first for Lee and Del Vecho)
★ "The Wind Rises" – Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki (3rd nomination for Miyazaki; 1st for Suzuki)

Best Cinematography: Winner ★ “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki; My prediction – obviously, “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
★ "The Grandmaster" – Philippe Le Sourd (1st nomination)
★ "Gravity" - Emmanuel Lubezki (6th nomination)
★ "Inside Llewyn Davis" – Bruno Delbonnel (4th nomination)
★ "Nebraska" – Phedon Papamichael (1st nomination)
★ "Prisoners" – Roger A. Deakins (11th nomination)

Best Costume Design: Winner ★ Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby; My prediction, "The Invisible Woman" Michael O’Connor
★ "American Hustle" – Michael Wilkinson (1st nomination)
★ "The Grandmaster" - William Chang Suk Ping (1st nomination)
★ "The Great Gatsby" - Catherine Martin (6th nomination, won 2 Oscars "Moulin Rouge" Art Direction + Costume Design")
★ "The Invisible Woman" - Michael O’Connor (3rd nomination, won for "The Duchess")
★ "12 Years a Slave" - Patricia Norris (6th nomination)

Best Directing: Winner ★ “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón; My prediction, “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón (6th Oscar nomination)
★ "American Hustle" – David O. Russell (5th Oscar nomination)
★ "Gravity" - Alfonso Cuarón (6th Oscar nomination)
★ "Nebraska" - Alexander Payne (7 Oscar nominations, 2 Oscar wins)
★ "12 Years a Slave" - Steve McQueen (2nd Oscar nomination)
★ "The Wolf of Wall Street" - Martin Scorsese (12 Oscar nominations, one Oscar "The Departed")

Best Documentary Feature: Winner ★ “20 Feet from Stardom” Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers; My prediction, “20 Feet from Stardom” Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers
★ "The Act of Killing" – Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen (1st nomination for both)
★ "Cutie and the Boxer" - Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher (1st nomination for both)
★ "Dirty Wars" - Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill (1st nomination for both)
★ "The Square" - Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (1st nomination for both)
★ "20 Feet from Stardom" - Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers (1st nomination for all 3)

Best Documentary Short Subject: Winner ★ "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed ; My prediction, "CaveDigger" – Jeremy Karoff
★ "CaveDigger" – Jeremy Karoff (1st nomination)
★ "Facing Fear" - Jason Cohen (1st nomination)
★ "Karama Has No Walls" - Sara Ishaq (1st nomination)
★ "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life" - Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed (3rd nomination for Malcolm Clarke, won 1 Oscar; 1st nomination for Reed)
★ "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall" - Edgar Barens (1st nomination)

Best Film Editing: Winner ★ "Gravity" - Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger ; My prediction, "Gravity" - Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
★ "American Hustle" – Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten (3rd nomination for Cassidy, 2nd for Struthers, 1st for Baumgarten)
★ "Captain Phillips" - Christopher Rous (3rd nomination, 1 Oscar won for THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM in 2007)
★ "Dallas Buyers Club" - John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
★ "Gravity" - Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger (6th nomination for Cuarón; 1st for Sanger)
★ "12 Years a Slave" – Joe Walker (1st nomination)

Best Foreign Language Film: Winner ★ “The Great Beauty” Italy; My prediction, “The Great Beauty” Italy
★ "The Broken Circle Breakdown" - Belgium (7th nomination Belgium)
★ "The Great Beauty" - Italy (28th nomination for Italy with 11 Oscar wins counting 2014 Oscar)
★ "The Hunt" - Denmark (10th nomination, 3 Oscar wins)
★ "The Missing Picture" - Cambodia (1st nomination)
★ "Omar" - Palestine (2nd nomination)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Winner ★ Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyer’s Club; My prediction, "The Lone Ranger" - Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
★ "Dallas Buyers Club" – Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews (1st Oscar nomination for both)
★ "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" - Stephen Prouty (1st Oscar nomination)
★ "The Lone Ranger" - Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny (2nd nomination for Harlow, won Oscar for Star Trek; 1st nomination for Pasqua-Casny)

Best Music (Original Score): Winner ★ “Gravity” Steven Price; My prediction, “Gravity” Steven Price
★ "The Book Thief" – John Williams (49 nominations, won 5 Oscars)
★ "Gravity" - Steven Price (first Oscar nomination)
★ "Her" - William Butler and Owen Pallett (1st Oscar nomination)
★ "Philomena" - Alexandre Desplat (6th Oscar nomination)
★ "Saving Mr. Banks" - Thomas Newman (12 Oscar nominations)

Best Music (Original Song): Winner ★ “Let It Go” from “Frozen;” My prediction, “Let It Go” from “Frozen;” Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
★ “Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone;" Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
★ “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2;” Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “Let It Go” from “Frozen;” Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “The Moon Song” from “Her;” Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze (4th Oscar nomination for Spike Jonze; 1st Oscar nomination for Karen O)
★ “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom;” Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson (2nd nomination for all 4 nominees)

Best Production Design: Winner ★ “The Great Gatsby,” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn; My prediction, “Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard, Third Oscar nomination for Katherine Martin
★ “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler (1st nominations for both)
★ “Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (2nd nomination for Wollard; 1st for Goodwin and Nicholson)
★ “The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn (6th nomination for Martin who won 2 Oscars Art Direction + Costume Design MOULIN ROUGE (2001), 1st nomination for Dunn)
★ “Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena (1st Oscar nomination for both)
★ “12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker (1st Oscar nomination for both)

Best Short Film (Animated): Winner ★ “Mr. Hublot,” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares; My prediction, “Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
★ “Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden (1st nomination for both)
★ “Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
★ “Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
★ “Possessions” Shuhei Morita (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer (2nd Oscar nomination for Lang, 1st for Lachuer)

Best Short Film (Live Action): Winner ★ “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson ; My prediction, “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
★ “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras (1st Oscar nomination for both)
★ “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson (5th Oscar nomination for Magnusson, 1 Oscar win; 1st nomination for Walter)
★ “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari (1st Oscar nominations for both)
★ “The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li (1st Oscar nominations for both)

Best Sound Editing: Winner ★ “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle; My prediction, “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
★ “All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns (9th Oscar nomination for Hymns, won 3 Oscars; 1st nomination for Boeddeker)
★ “Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle (1st nomination)
★ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge and Chris Ward (1st Oscar nomination for both)
★ “Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman (7th Oscar nomination)

Best Sound Mixing: Winner ★ “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro; My prediction, “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
★ “Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro (Including "Gravity" 4th Oscar nomination for Munro who won 1 for Black Hawk Down; 1st nominations for Taylor, Prestwood and Smith)
★ “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro (Including "Captain Phillips" 4th Oscar nomination for Munro who won 1 for Black Hawk Down; 6th nomination for Lievsay; 1st nomination for Adiri and Benstead)
★ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson (14th Oscar nomination for Boyes, won 4 Oscars; 4th nomination for Hedges, won 2 Oscars; 10 nomination for Semanick, won 2 Oscars; 3rd Oscar nomination for Johnson)
★ “Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland (6th Oscar nomination for Lievsay includes nomination for "Gravity;" 4th nomination for Orloff, 1 Oscar win; 4th nominatin for Kurland0
★ “Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow (1st nomination for all nominees)

Best Visual Effects: Winner ★ “Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould; My prediction, “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
★ “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould (2nd nomination for Webber; 4th nomination for Corbould, 1 Oscar win; 1st nomination for Lawrence and Shirk)
★ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds (8th nomination for Letteri, 4 Oscar wins; 2nd nonimation for Saindon; 2nd nominatin for Clayton; 1st nomination for Reynolds)
★ “Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick (6th Oscar nomination for Sudick; 3rd nomination for Nash; 2nd for Williams; 1st for Townsend)
★ “The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier (11th Oscar nomination for Frazier; 1st nomination for Alexander, Brozenich and Williams)
★ “Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton (3rd Oscar nomination for Guyett; 3rd nomination for Dalton, 1 Oscar win; 2nd nomination for Grossman, 1 Oscar win; 1st nomination for Tubach0

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Winner ★ “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley; My prediction, “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
★ “Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (3rd Oscar nomination for Hawke; 2nd nomination for Linklater and Delpy)
★ “Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray (1st Oscar nomination for Ray)
★ “Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (2nd Oscar nomination for Coogan; 1st nomination for Pope)
★ “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley (1st Oscar nomination for Ridley)
★ “The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter (1st Oscar nomination for Winter)

Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Winner ★ “Her,” Spike Jonze; My prediction, “American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
★ “American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell (5th nomination for Russell includes Best Directing nomination for "American Hustle;" 1st nomination for Singer)
★ “Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen (24th Oscar nomination for Allen; 4 Oscar wins)
★ “Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack (1st Oscar nomination)
★ “Her” Written by Spike Jonze (4th Oscar nomination for Spike Jonze)
★ “Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson (1st Oscar nomination for Nelson)

The Oscars are voted on by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. More information on the voting process is available at the Academy's website Oscar.com.

Photo of Ellen DeGeneres courtesy of Wikimedia; Photo of Oscar Award statue courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos; Screen shot of Ellen DeGeneres Twitter account taken from my computer.

Additional resources:
♦ 2014 Oscar nominations: ‘Gravity,’ and ‘Hustle’ lead with 10 nominations including best picture, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-oscar-nominations-2014-main,0,500124.story#axzz2qZqycltO
♦ Oscar.com 2014 nominations, http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/86/nomineesByPicture.html
♦ Who’s gonna get picked ? Predicting the 2014 Oscar nominations http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/movies/2014-oscar-predictions-nominations/
♦ Meet the 2014 Oscar Nominees, RottenTomatoes http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/movies/2014-oscar-predictions-nominations/
♦ Jennifer Lawrence to Present at 86th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS, BroadwaWorld.com, http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/article/Jennifer-Lawrence-to-Present-at-86th-ANNUAL-ACADEMY-AWARDS-20140214#ZAexyVhJtR8ihioZ.99
♦ Jared Leto Dating Lupita Nyong'o? 2014 Oscar Nominees' Rumored Romance Revealed, International Business News, http://www.ibtimes.com/jared-leto-dating-lupita-nyongo-2014-oscar-nominees-rumored-romance-revealed-1555605

This article will be updated during The 86th Academy Awards, March 2nd, 2014 with the Academy Award winners. Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media.

Follow me @gbdaly

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy 136th Presidents' Day America ♦ ♦ ♦ Will Google celebrate with doodle?

“But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret."
~~ Ronald Reagan

40th President of the United States (1981–1989). Prior to his presidency, he served as the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975), and was a radio, film and television actor.

Many of us think of Presidents’ Day as that wonderful 3-day weekend.

President’s Day is also well known for large department stores holding big sales and attracting many bargain shoppers throughout the Presidents’ Day long weekend holiday.

Discounts on furniture, appliances, clothes, etc., but it's also a big day for big automakers who have huge discounts on their cars, trucks, hybrids, etc.

Besides auto demand not growing as quickly as in the past, fewer people are owning cars and many have been opting for big-discount leasing deals. Depending on a potential auto purchaser, the huge discount offerings on cars may far outweigh the option of leasing.

Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day.

Originally it was known as George Washington's birthday, a United States federal holiday celebrated on our first president's birthday, February 22nd.

Now it is celebrated on the third Monday of February and is referred to as Presidents' Day.

The holiday was first implemented by an Act of Congress 136 years ago (1879 which was about 90 years after Washington's inauguration year 1789). The main purpose was solely for government offices in Washington D.C., and in 1885 it was expanded to include all federal offices.

In 1968 President Lincoln’s birthday (February 12th) and President Washington’s birthday (February 22nd) were combined into Presidents’ Day to honor both presidents by the 90th Congress.

On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

There have been 136 celebrations (counting the first President Washington’s birthday celebration in 1879 which was later combined with Presidents’ Day beginning 1968 and officially implemented by Congress in 1971.

The very first attempt to create a Presidents Day actually occurred in 1951 when the "President's Day National Committee" was formed by Harold Stone bridge Fischer of Compton, California, who became its National Executive Director for the next two decades.

The White House has celebrated Presidents’ Day in various ways throughout the years. To view a slide show of President’s Day celebrations throughout the years visit the White House, President Barack Obama, photo gallery titled Celebrating Presidents’ Day.

Photos include page one of President George Washington’s Inaugural Address (photo above left is a snapshot of the whitehouse.gov Web site).

Across the country, many public and private parks include performances in honor of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. The National Park Service also features a number of historic sites and memorials to honor the lives of these two presidents, as well as other important leaders.

Will you be taking advantage of the various sales this Presidents' Day? Are you doing anything special to celebrate Presidents' Day?

♦ Presidents’ Day – What Does it Mean? http://usparks.about.com/od/historicalparks/a/Presidents-Day.htm
♦ Presidents’ Day, History Channel http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/presidents-day
♦ Presidents’ Day, History Channel Videos http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/presidents-day/videos
♦ Why Do We Celebrate Presidents’ Day?, DoSomething.org, http://www.dosomething.org/blog/why-do-we-celebrate-presidents-day
♦ Presidents Day, 2014, Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-hamilton/presidents-day-2014_b_4788962.html
♦ Guide to Getting Monumental Savings During Presidents Day Weekend Sales, GoBankingRates.com, http://www.gobankingrates.com/savings-account/best-presidents-day-sales-discounts/
♦ Presidents’ Day 2014: A Guide to Great Sales, The Fiscal Times http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/14/Presidents-Day-2014-Guide-Great-Sales
♦ Shoppers’ Guide to Presidents’ Day Sales, Fox Business, http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/02/14/shoppers-guide-to-presidents-day-sales/
♦ Washington’s Birthday on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington's_Birthday
♦ Lincoln’s Birthday on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln's_Birthday
♦ How Abraham Lincoln lost his birthday holiday, ConstitutionCenter.org, http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/02/how-abraham-lincoln-lost-his-birthday-holiday/
♦ Presidents Day, 2014, Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-hamilton/presidents-day-2014_b_4788962.html
♦ The Key To It all/Lincoln’s Birthday, 2014, Townhall.com, http://townhall.com/columnists/paulgreenberg/2014/02/11/the-key-to-it-all-lincolns-birthday-2014-n1792872

Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media. Follow me @gbdaly Thanks.

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia; If any screen shots were taken from video and websites credit will be mentioned. All other photos will be credited as required.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentines Day America! What's in your heart this Valentine's Day?

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”

~~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet,
Act IV, Scene 5
Valentine's Day
as ruefully mentioned by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601

Are you still looking for that special gift idea and want to give back to someone? Gifts can be so very hard to find but you still have 3 days to give that special thoughtful gift.

Why not give the book that is "red all over" (pun intended), and filled with heart, humor and everyday business insight, "The World Without Pants: WordPress and the Future of Work" by Scott Berkun. It's available on Amazon in hardcover, kindle and also at Barnes & Noble hardcover and nook.

Photo of book cover courtesy of Scott Berkun

Here's a link to my book review on the AllThingsDigitalMarketing blog post September 2013.

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly known as Valentine's Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most countries.

The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love was 632 years ago in Parliament of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
["For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]

This poem by Chaucer was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).

Have you marked your calendars for giving back this month? February is the month of love and of "giving back," be it supporting a cause or simply going the extra mile for someone. The energi PR firm in Canada is dedicating Valentine's Day to "Acts of Love & Kindness" and closing the office on Friday, February 14th to continue it's strong message of corporate social responsibility.

ACTS of LOVE & KINDNESS performed by energi PR on Friday, February 14, 2014 can be followed online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #energiPRALK.

ALK (Acts of Love & Kindness) was conceived in 1994 by Patrice Tanaka, chief counselor and creative strategist at PadillaCRT and was later adopted by more than 50 public relations firms in the US through the Public Relations Society of America. energi PR approached Tanaka and sought her blessing to bring ALK up to Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility program.

The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius.

Legend states that before his execution he wrote "from your Valentine" as a farewell to her.

Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church.

The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, however on July 6th in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and July 30th, in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna.

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The flower crowned skull.

The modern cliché Valentine's Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784):
The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

According to the U.S. Greeting Card Association approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines. Also, many send Valentines Day chocolates and other candies.

New traditions have evolved with the internet. Millions of people today use digital (e.g., eCards, eCoupons, etc.) to send Valentine's Day greeting messages. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010. Below are two sets of Valentines Day card collages, to view detail, zoom in 150% to 200%.

Do you plan on volunteering this month and on Valentines Day? Are you participating in any social responsibility initiatives for the month of February? Please share in the comments section and do include links to any of your Valentines Day giving back themed campaigns.

Other Resources
♦ Closed for the day: Gone volunteering, NewsWire.ca http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1296689/closed-for-the-day-gone-volunteering
♦ 10 things for happier living: do things for others, actionforhappiness.org, http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living/do-things-for-others?gclid=CO-V0fuup7wCFZDm7AodiXoAQQ
♦ Becoming Ginger Rogers, How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO, Patrice Tanaka http://www.prsa.org/Conferences/HealthAcademy/Archives/2012/Sessions/2012BecomingGingerRogers#.UusLS_ldV7M
♦ Valentines Day Ecards http://www.americangreetings.com/ecards/valentines-day?source=aggoogle548
♦ Greeting Card Association http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeting_Card_Association
♦ No better place to say "I Love You" than Times Square, TimesSquare.org http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/valentines-day/index.aspx
♦ Guy Kawasaki Google Plus, https://plus.google.com/+GuyKawasaki/posts/8SaRPXr8cEA#+GuyKawasaki/posts/8SaRPXr8cEA
♦ Valentines Day Recipes & Cooking, FoodNetwork http://www.foodnetwork.com/valentines-day/package/index.html

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media and professional network. Thanks.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Be on the Lookout for Another LookBack Enhancement: Coming to your Facebook Soon

"It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It’s rare to be able to touch so many people’s lives, and I try to remind myself to make the most of every day and have the biggest impact I can."
~~ Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Most of us know by now that Facebook celebrated its 10 year milestone with LookBack, a 1 minute, auto-generated video of your life on Facebook. The photos were automatically selected by Facebook based on popularity, viewership, etc. Many liked but many also complained because the photos included (unintentionally) ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, nasty comments and other drunk messaging, etc.

Facebook reacted quickly with a tool that lets you edit out any photos or nasty message posts enabling you to replace with another from the collection. Unfortunately, you are still limited to the auto-selected photos by Facebook (you cannot choose from your entire Facebook photos). Don't fret just yet; This limitation will be changing soon.

Be on the lookout for another LookBack enhancement. The Facebook tech team is working on an editing tool that will enable users to remove and replace content to their LookBack video from other photos in their respective Facebook account.

Did you notice your LookBack yet? Find yours at https://facebook.com/lookback/ ‪#‎FacebookIs10‬

In our world of dense network connectivity (i.e., Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) and now with Facebook's latest LookBack, do you believe our culture is becoming overly narcissistic?

I was actually very happy and surprised by my LookBack. Although I'm not crazy about the fuzzy photo quality or the loooong Facebook intro and ending logos. I try not to spend too much time there but with the latest LookBack, coupled with my curiousity it's very tempting to spend hours on Facebook.

How about you? What's in your Facebook LookBack?

Below are my handpicked Resources about Facebook LookBack; bookmark this as this list will grow:

You can now edit your Facebook.com/lookback video, PIX11.COM, http://pix11.com/2014/02/06/you-can-now-edit-your-facebook-look-back-video/
Hilarious Parody Shows What Those Facebook 'Look Back' Videos Really Look Like http://www.businessinsider.com/hilarious-facebook-look-back-video-2014-2
A handdrawn history of Facebook, Mashable, (only thing missing is the latest addition, LookBack) http://mashable.com/2014/02/06/facebook-look-back-parody/
Link to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Lookback video, Facebook Feb. 5, 2014 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10101251383040151&set=vb.4&type=2&theater
A New Way to Look at Facebook, The New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/02/facebook-paper-iphone-app-stream-new-look.html
Paper Stories from Facebook, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/paper‎
Facebook Launches Paper, A Curated Visual News Reader Feb. 3 on iOS, TechCrunch

Photos are from screen captures from my computer, unless otherwise indicated.

Follow me at @GBDaly

Photo of FB comments are screencaptures from my FB account.

“Be on the Lookout for Another LookBack Enhancement: Coming to your Facebook Soon ” is part of the evergreen marketing insighter ▲▲▲ series by Gloria Buono-Daly

Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media and professional network. Thanks.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ms. Wheelchair NY models at Fashion Week: Wants everyone to use #disabilityglam and #turningdisabilityintodateability in posts

"Some people are walking around with full use of their bodies and they're more paralyzed than I am."
~~ Christopher D'Olier Reeve
, (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004), American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author and activist. On May 27, 1995, Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He required a wheelchair and breathing apparatus for the rest of his life. Reeve lobbied on behalf of people with spinal-cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center

Who says people in wheelchairs are not capable of being sexy, chic and fashionable?

Definitely NOT Dr. Danielle Sheypuk (Ms. Wheelchair NY) who has been changing that and wants everyone to use words that include folks who are disabled particularly those in wheelchairs. She's doing it in true #disabilityglam style.

After Dr. Sheypuk searched the internet to find "models in wheelchairs," all she was able to get were results on various wheelchair models.

Dr. Sheypuk aims to change all that and wants everyone to participate by including the hastagged terms -- #disabilityglam and #turningdisabilityintodateability in posts as much as possible particularly when pertaining to fashion, beauty, disability, and folks in wheelchairs.

I have a request for all you social media and digital marketing leaders out there: Please let's all help enhance the search engine landscape by requesting that the search engines including Google, Yahoo, Bing, as well as the secondary and tertiary ones add depth and dimension in their search results by having them include those with disabilities and in wheelchairs.

It's never too late to help in #turningdisabilityintodateability and get the momentum going. How can we can help change what displays when people search for "models in wheelchairs?" Let's all start the tipping point with inclusive terms such as #disabilityglam and #turningdisabilityintodateability.

Psychologist and Ms. Wheelchair NYC, Dr. Danielle Sheypuk, will become the first person in a wheelchair to walk the runway at Fashion Week Thursday, February 6th.

Expert, media commentator, disability-rights advocate and fashion model, Dr. Danielle Sheypuk is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in dating, relationships and sexuality among the disabled.

Dr. Sheypuk has special insights and perspectives about the challenges facing the wheelchair community, both in the everyday physical world as well as in the areas of mental, emotional and interpersonal well-being. More information about Dr. Sheypuk is at the official Danielle Sheypuk Web site http://daniellesheypuk.com/

I am very fortunate to say I have met psychologist Dr. Sheypuk while covering various fundraisers and non-profit events. She is a leader, visionary and is paving the way for future leaders in all she does. I feel privileged to know her and to also have the opportunity to get an amazing Q&A from her. See below.

Q. Have you ever modeled on the Fashion Week runway before. Or any other fashion show runway before this event?
A. This is my first time modeling at Fashion Week. I’ve attended a few shows before but have never “walked” the glorious runway! In high school, I was part of a local modeling agency in Scranton PA that did a few fashion shows at the malls in the area.

Q. What does it mean to you to be at such an amazing event and model on the runway at Fashion Week?
A. I feel that this event and the incorporation of a model in a wheelchair is significant progress. People in wheelchairs have such a poor image in our society and that image is starting to crack (and it is a difficult nut to crack, let me tell you!!). To have NY Fashion Week, which can have a tendency to have a rigid concept of beauty, so accepting of a model in a wheelchair is a huge deal.

Q. From a digital perspective, particularly search engines Google and Yahoo for wheelchair runway model search, has any progress been made in terms of inclusiveness? Is there anything we all can do to help in this regard? (Links, hashtags, etc. we can use to help?
A. From my personal use of social media, I find it difficult to feel connected to other groups of people with disabilities and also to feel like I am integrated into the general masses. Now, I confess that I am no expert when it comes to social media but I would love to see more hashtags become popular that link disability with the general media/population. I love the hashtags #disabilityglam and #turningdisabilityintodateability and frequently try to use them in my posts.

Q. You are an inspiration and role model to so many. Is there anything else you are involved with that you would like to share with us?
A. Well thank you and I can say that I do my very best. I live and breathe my mission (frequently using every ounce of energy!!) to improve the dating, romance, and sexual lives of people with disabilities and improve their image in society. I am growing my Skype Therapy Practice where I provide therapy sessions over Skype and I engineered it this way to make it easier for people with disabilities to come to therapy. I also am involved in several media projects. I have an article that I wrote coming out in MDA’s Quest Magazine. It is on the topic of how to date when you need a home attendant. I will also be speaking at the ReelAbilities Film Festival in NYC in March discussing a film on dating with disability. I am also involved in The Raw Beauty Project (therawbeautyproject.com) which is being sponsored by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. I am on the planning board for the project and I will also be a model. Finally, I will be doing an academic conference at The New School for Social Research in Manhattan also on the topic of dating and sexuality for people with disabilities. These are just a few of the items on my agenda. Opportunities pop up all of the time so I'd like everyone to follow me on Facebook for updates!

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk Follow her on Twitter
Dr. Danielle Sheypuk on Facebook
Danielle Sheypuk, Ph.D. Official Web site
♦ AllThingsDigitalMarketing blog
This Week on FM Magazine: Ms. Wheelchair NY Does NY Fashion Week!, CBS
New York FashionWeek Live

All photos courtesy of Dr. Danielle Sheypuk unless otherwise indicated.

Photo of Christopher Reeve with Jane Seymour courtesy of Wikimedia.org; All other photos courtesy of Dr. Danielle Sheypuk and Peter Hurley.

Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media and professional network. Thanks.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Facebook reaches the big 010: Happy Birthday to you

"I used to do Facebook but you get a little too wrapped up in that stuff. Its more distracting than anything so I don't any more. I left it behind. I detoxed!"
~~ Emily Stone

American actress and 2012 People’s Choice Award, Favorite Movie Actress

Facebook that controversial social networking service with media, social, political and cultural implications launched in February 4, 2004,(speculative as some say February 3) and turns 10 years young today. As of December 2013, Facebook had over 1.23 billion active users, more than 945 million (versus 600 million a year ago) using Facebook on a mobile device. Happy Birthday Facebook! Any Google doodle this year?

In January 2014, chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, clarified: "He [Mark] always said Facebook was started not just to be a company, but to fulfill a vision of connecting the world."

Facebook Inc. began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012.

Latest Facebook, Inc., Form 8-K (current report filing) from EDGAR® Online here.

Not surprising, Facebook is not number 1 in the following 11 countries: Belarus - vk.com; China - qq.com/qzone.qq.com; Kazakhstan - vk.com / odnoklassniki.ru; Moldova - odnoklassniki.ru; Russia - vk.com / odnoklassniki.ru; Ukraine - vk.com; South Korea - qq.com/qzone.qq.com; Uzbekistan - odnoklassniki.ru; Iran - Cloob.com; Vietnam - Zing.vn; North Korea - not available.

Facebook’s major competing social media are as follows: QQ.com; vk.com, odnoklassniki.ru and Zing.vn. Other competitors are mixi in Japan and renren in China.

Based on its 2012 income of US$5 billion, Facebook joined the Fortune 500 list for the first time on the list published in May 2013, being placed at position 462, BusinessInsider.com, Carlson, Nicholas (March 5, 2010) “At Last – A Full Story of How Facebook was Founded http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-was-founded-2010-3#we-can-talk-about-that-after-i-get-all-the-basic-functionality-up-tomorrow-night-1

Below the resources section is a chronological timeline that reflects milestones, launches and product information beginning with October 2003 through January 2014.

Founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, the website's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University.

Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook, on October 28, 2003, while attending Harvard as a sophomore. According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not, and "used photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the 'hotter' person.

With success comes controversy particularly with Facebook. Zuckerberg hacked protected areas of Harvard's computer network and copied the houses' private dormitory ID images. Harvard at that time did not have a student "facebook" (a directory with photos and basic information), though individual houses had been issuing their own paper facebooks since the mid-1980s.

From it’s first 4 hours online, Facemash attracted
450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views.

According to an article from Rolling Stone in July 2008, the site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration.

Zuckerberg was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy, and faced expulsion.

Ultimately, the charges were dropped. For more information visit The Battle of Facebook, Rolling Stone, NY July 2008.

Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a social study tool ahead of an art history final, by uploading 500 Augustan images to a website, with one image per page along with a comment section. He opened the site up to his classmates, and people started sharing their notes.

The following semester, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website in January 2004. He was inspired, he said, by an editorial in The Harvard Crimson about the Facemash incident. On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched "Thefacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com.

Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com, while he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product.

The three complained to the Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an investigation. The three later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently settling. In June 2004, Facebook moved its base of operations to Palo Alto, California and received its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The company dropped “The” from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.

Writers for The Wall Street Journal found in 2010 that Facebook apps were transmitting identifying information to "dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies". The apps used an HTTP referrer which exposed the user's identity and sometimes their friends'.

Facebook said, "We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms.” Facebook in Privacy Breach, The Wall Street Journal (New York).

In January 2013, the countries with the most Facebook users were:
FB stats by country, March 3, 2012)
United States with 168.8 million members
Brazil with 64.6 million members
India with 62.6 million members
Indonesia with 51.4 million members
Mexico with 40.2 million members This totals to 309 million members or about 38.6 percent of Facebook's 1 billion worldwide members.
43.1 Million Members of Facebook in Indonesia, Kompas, February 2, 2012.

In regards to Facebook's mobile usage, per an analyst report in early 2013, there are 192 million Android users, 147 million iPhone users, 48 million iPad users and 56 million messenger users

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

Additional resources:
Facebook profile may expose mental illness Fox News
Facebook Banned: 9 Ways To Get Kicked Off The Social Network Huffington Post
Facebook Wikipedia
This is The Future of The Facebook ‘News Feed’ Business Insider

Facebook Timeline
♦ October 28, 2003: Mark Zuckerberg releases Facemash, the predecessor to Facebook. It was described as a Harvard University version of Hot or Not
♦ January 2004: Zuckerberg begins writing Facebook
♦ January 11, 2004: Zuckerberg registers thefacebook.com domain
♦ February 4, 2004: Zuckerberg launches Facebook
♦ March 2004: Facebook expands to MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Yale University
♦ April 13, 2004: Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin form Thefacebook.com LLC, a partnership
♦ June 2004: Facebook receives its first investment from Peter Thiel for US$500,000
♦ June 2004: Facebook incorporates into a new company, and Sean Parker (early employee of Napster) becomes its president
♦ June 2004: Facebook moves its base of operations to Palo Alto, California
♦ August 2004: To compete with growing campus-only service i2hub, Zuckerberg launches Wirehog. It is a precursor to Facebook Platform applications
♦ September 2004: ConnectU files a lawsuit against Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders
♦ December 30, 2004: Facebook achieves its one millionth registered user
♦ May 26, 2005: Accel Partners invests $13 million into Facebook
♦ July 19, 2005: News Corp acquires MySpace, spurring rumors about the possible sale of Facebook to a larger media company
♦ August 23, 2005: Facebook acquires Facebook.com domain for $200,000
♦ September 2005: Added high school networks[14]
♦ October 2005: Added international school networks and added photos
♦ 2006: A leaked cash flow statement shows that Facebook had a net loss of $3.63 million for the 2005 fiscal year
♦ March 28, 2006: A potential acquisition of Facebook is reportedly under negotiations, for $750 million first, then later $2 billion
♦ September 2006: Facebook discusses with Yahoo! about the latter possibly acquiring the former, for $1 billion
♦ September 2006: Facebook launches a high school version of the website
♦ September 26, 2006: Facebook is open to everyone aged 13 and over, and with a valid email address
♦ June 2008: Facebook settles both lawsuits, ConnectU vs Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg et al. and intellectual property theft, Wayne Chang et al. over The Winklevoss Chang Group's Social Butterfly project. The settlement effectively had Facebook acquiring ConnectU for $20 million in cash and over $1.2 million in shares, valued at $45 million based on $15 billion company valuation
♦ August 2008: Employees reportedly privately sell their shares to venture capital firms, at a company valuation of between $3.75 billion to $5 billion
♦ October 2008: Facebook sets up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
♦ August 2009: Facebook acquires FriendFeed
♦ September 2009: Facebook claims that it has turned cash flow positive for the first time
♦ February 2010: Facebook acquires Malaysian contact-importing startup Octazen Solutions
♦ April 2, 2010: Facebook announces the acquisition of photo-sharing service called Divvy-shot for an undisclosed amount
♦ April 19, 2010: Facebook introduces Community Pages, which are Pages that are populated with articles from Wikipedia
♦ April 21, 2010: Facebook introduces Instant Personalization, starting with Microsoft Docs, Yelp, and Pandora
♦ June 2010: Facebook employees sell shares of the company on SecondMarket at a company valuation of $11.5 billion
♦ October 1, 2010: The Social Network, a film about the beginnings of Facebook directed by David Fincher is released. The film is met with widespread critical acclaim as well as commercial success; however, Mark Zuckerberg says that the film is a largely inaccurate account of what happened.
♦ January 2011: $500 million is invested into Facebook for 1% of the company, placing its worth at $50 billion
♦ February 2011: Facebook adds new "civil union" option for gay partnerships
♦ February 2011: Facebook application and content aggregator Pixable estimates that Facebook will host 100 billion photos by summer 2011
♦ June 2011: Facebook partners with Skype to add video chat
♦ September 2011: Facebook partners with Heroku for Facebook application development using the Facebook Platform
♦ September 22, 2011: Facebook launches new UI Timeline in F8 Convention
♦ October 10, 2011: Facebook launches iPad app
♦ December 21, 2011: Facebook log in page changes due to Facebook Timeline addition
♦ December 22, 2011: Facebook launches its new profile user interface, Facebook Timeline.
♦ April 2012: Facebook acquires picture sharing and social network, Instagram, for $1 billion, the largest acquisition to date
♦ May 2012: Facebook IPO, initial price set at $38 a share, and the stock closed at $38.23 on its first trading day
♦ July 2012: Facebook adds same-sex couples as icons for marriage
♦ August 2012: Facebook forces all remaining users of the old profile style to the new "Timeline" style
♦ October 2012: Total number of Facebook users reaches 1 billion
♦ January 15 :Product - Facebook announces and begins rolling out Facebook Graph Search.
♦ January 30, and April 9: Product - Facebook rolls out detailed and fine-grained emoticons to express different actions and emotional states in one's status updates (experimental launch January 30, official launch with universal availability April 9).
♦ March 7: Product - Facebook announces major planned changes to the News Feed. However, Facebook cancelled these changes after receiving negative feedback from users.
♦ March 8: Acquisitions - Facebook announces that they acquired the team from Storylane, but not the product itself.
♦ April 4 and then April 12 Product (mobile-only) - Facebook launches Facebook Home, a user interface layer for Android-compatible phones that provides a replacement home screen that makes it easier for users to browse and post.[62][63]
♦ April 15: Product - Facebook launches a new timeline.
♦ April-July: Product - Facebook launches Stickers, initially only for its iOS apps in April but later expanding to its web version in July.
♦ June 12, then June 27: Product - Facebook announces support for hashtags, initially only for the web (June 12). Later, more functionality is added and hashtags are extended to the mobile site and apps.
♦ June 30: Political activism - Zuckerberg joins 700 Facebook employees for the June 2013 Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration march in San Francisco, U.S. The 2013 Pride celebration was especially significant, as it followed a Supreme Court of the United States ruling that deemed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
♦ September 26: Product - Facebook begins letting people edit their posts and comments after publishing.
♦ September 29: Product - Facebook announces that it will begin rolling out Graph Search for posts and comments.
♦ November 13 : Acquisition talks - News outlets report that Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion USD but was spurned.
♦ December 18 Financial/legal - Facebook, Zuckerberg, & banks face IPO lawsuit.
♦ January 16: Product - Facebook launches Trending Topics for its web version in the US, UK, Canada, India, and Australia. This is based on feedback to a pilot version tested both on the web and mobile starting August 2013.
♦ January 30: Product (mobile-only) Facebook announces Facebook Paper, a separate iOS app that provides a newspaper-like or magazine-like experience for reading on the phone, scheduled for launch on February 3. Facebook also announces Facebook Creative Labs, an intra-company effort to have separate teams working on separate mobile apps that specialize in different facets related to the Facebook experience, rather than trying to make changes to Facebook's main web version, mobile version, or its iOS and Android apps, and says that Facebook Paper is the first product of Facebook Creative Labs. Facebook Paper receives mixed reviews, and some commentators note its similarity with Flipboard.
♦ February 3: Facebook launches Paper. http://www.facebook.com/paper
♦ February 5: Facebook launches Lookback. http://www.facebook.com/lookback
♦ February 19:Facebook makes its biggest acquisition, 16 times more than what it paid for Instagram by acquiring WhatsApp, a free text messaging system for $16 billion (spent $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock plus another $3 billion of stock over the next four years).

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

Please visit this blog frequently and share this with your social media. Thanks.