- Edward Snowden, for the impact his leaks (though they began in 2013) have continued to make? (Or William Binney, for similar reasons?)
- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzay, who fought a difficult battle for children's right to an education?
- Telescope popularizer John Dobson, who died earlier this year at the age of 98, after bringing space a little more down to earth for many thousands of people?
- May-Britt Moser, her husband Edvard Moser, and John O'Keefe for their discoveries about how the brain navigates through the world?
- Eben Upton, whose little educational hardware project has bloomed into millions and millions of cheap, hackable Linux computers?
- How about Maryam Mirazkhani, the first woman to become a Fields medalist?
- Theo de Raadt, who stepped in with replacement project LibreSSL soon after cracks appeared in OpenSSL, and who's been helming the OpenBSD project since 1995?
- The ESA team that landed a probe on a comet, or the ISRO engineers who managed to send a probe to Mars on a shoestring budget?
- Anita Sarkeesian, for helping draw attention to undue harassment faced by women in the video game world?
- Someone relatively quiet or obscure who's nonetheless made the world better through some kind of interesting innovation or contribution?
Read on below to see how you can take part, and then nominate your favorite in the comments below.
- Please use the title of your post well; in the form "Name: Description of why they're deserving." (Example: "Harold Ramis: Goodbye, and thanks for all the laughs.") That way, your title can help organize the discussion, and will be easy to scan for. (That's how we'll look to credit the first one to suggest a candidate, as well.)
- Speaking of which: please scan the other suggestions first; if you find there one you'd like to argue for or against, better to do it there, rather than start a new thread.
- Please name an actual person, or a specific group of people, so we can send your choice -- or a representative, as appropriate -- some kind of token (to wit, a beanie). But be as creative as you want: the names listed above are just starting points.
- Explain why your choice deserves to be lauded, with links and words; underrated heroes are welcome. If there's a relevant Slashdot story to link to, so much the better, but it's no requirement. Make it clear why your favorite deserves recognition for 2014, even if it's for contributions that started longer ago. Feel free to nominate yourself, but the same guidelines apply.
- Accentuate the positive. We figure beanies sent to Keith Alexander, John Brennan, or Kim Jong Un won't get worn very often. Maybe there can be some anti-Beanies down the road, but for now, name the good guys, of whatever variety.
- You need not be logged in to take part -- anonymous entries are welcome. However, because of comment thresholds, among other reasons, logged in comments may carry more weight.
We'll winnow down the suggestions below into a short list for further consideration -- and perhaps toss in a few more options to boot -- and aim to come up with a deserving new Beanie recipient (possibly more than one) before the first new moon of 2015.