What happened to the boy in viral “Success Kid” meme — 9 years later

Famous face: Sammy is better known as the face of the 'Success Kid' meme. His mother snapped the photo - which actually shows him just moments before trying to put sand in his mouth - when he was 11 months

It’s been about nine years since Laney Griner took that viral snapshot of her 11-month-old son sitting on a beach with a furrowed brow and a fist-full of sand.

The mom from Jacksonville, Florida, never imagined that the photo she shared with friends on Flickr would become a viral sensation. But it did. And years later, the boy in the picture, known by meme makers as “Success Kid,” is using his internet fame for good.

“Everything to do with ‘Success Kid’ is positive,” Griner told CBS News. “I so rarely have heard anything negative directed toward us.”

The best part, Griner says, is that her now 10-year-old son, Sammy, really is a success story.

He was born six weeks premature and had to get brain surgery as a preemie due to hydrocephalus, an abnormal build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain.

“He recovered fantastically, and he’s been great ever since,” Griner said.

Last year, his dad, Justin, suffered a major health complication of his own — kidney disease. He started dialysis in 2009, but Griner knew that couldn’t continue forever.

In order to get on the waiting list for a transplant, Griner said her husband had to show that he could pay for anti-rejection drugs. As Justin’s health declined drastically in 2015, she launched a GoFundMe campaign, writing, “[Justin’s] mother died from this disease, please help us write a different story for Justin and his son, Sam.”

A loyal group of “Success Kid” followers happened to see Griner’s plea for help and chipped in to help the family in their time of need. Within days, more than $100,000 was raised to cover the man’s medical expenses.

“There’s a lot of medicines and anti-rejection drugs one must take for life, some costing thousands of dollars a month,” Griner explained back in 2015. “Medicare pays for the first three months, and that’s it.”

It’s now been a year since Justin received a successful transplant, and he’s felt better than he has in years, Griner said.


Justin Griner, 40, and his son, Sammy, 10.

As for Sammy, even though the picture kind of annoys him as people constantly ask him to mimic the viral pose, he’s thankful that it happened to go viral. That meme may just be the reason his dad is alive today.

“He loves that. He’s so proud of that. And I love that for him,” Griner said. “The good that came out of it makes it all worth it. He’s incredibly thankful for that.”


Here Are the Most Popular Google Search Terms of 2016

Google Scrubbing Search ResultsPikachu had a really big year.

On 15/12, Google revealed the most popular searches in 2016, and the viral sensation Pokemon Go was the top search worldwide this year.

The game uses augmented reality to hunt down pocket monsters called Pokemon, leveraging a GPS map and the camera on your smartphone to simulate catching the creatures as if they exist in the real world.

Pokemon Go was a summer phenomenon, as players strolled across cities and landmarks in search of Pokemon. It set an Apple App Store record for the most downloads during its first week of availability.

Apple’s iPhone 7 was the second most popular global search in 2016, followed by President-elect Donald Trump, Prince — who died in April — and Powerball. In the U.S., Powerball was the most popular search, followed by Prince, Hurricane Matthew, Pokemon Go, and mobile game Slither.io.

Trump was the most-searched person globally on Google this year, followed by his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump and gold medal winning gymnast Simone Biles.

See below to check out the full list of search queries that made it into Google’s top 10 trending list.

1. Powerball
2. Prince
3. Hurricane Matthew
4. Pokémon Go
5. Slither.io
6. Olympics
7. David Bowie
8. Trump
9. Election
10. Hillary Clinton

10 things you didn’t know about Starbucks

StarbucksA little summary:

• Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world.
• There are 36,000 possible Frappuccino combinations.
• A grande coffee has more caffeine than four Red Bulls.

In an era when consumers’ tastes are becoming increasingly fickle, Starbucks has been a constant. It’s the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with more than 24,000 locations in 70 countries, nearly half of those in the United States. But even if no day is complete without a grande iced white chocolate mocha, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this mega-chain.

Starbucks was founded in 1971 by three friends who met at the University of San Francisco, and the first location, in Seattle, only sold whole roasted coffee beans, not brewed coffee. The company grew in popularity over the next several years, introducing brewed coffee and espresso, and by the time former employee Howard Schultz bought it in 1987, there were already six locations. Schultz implemented a rapid expansion program, and when the company went public in 1992, there were 140 outlets, with revenues of $73.5 million (as opposed to $1.3 million in 1987). In 2014, total revenues were $16.45 billion.

As the company continued to take over the world, management decided that the time was ripe to branch out from just coffee and introduce some food items. While only one in three Starbucks transactions includes food, the company is working hard to make Starbucks just as valid a culinary option as a coffee option. In 2012, they purchased the La Boulange bakery chain for $100 million and have completely overhauled the menu within the past few years. Because there are no kitchens in Starbucks, they’ve shifted to a frozen-food model, with hot items being reheated on the spot.

On the beverage side, the brand continues to look beyond coffee. The company purchased Tazo Tea in 1999 and Teavana in 2012, and they’re also now selling Fizzio sodas, Evolution Fresh cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and Starbucks Refreshers, which contain green coffee extract.

It seems as if Starbucks is in the news every week for one reason or another, whether it’s because they’re rolling out almond milk, testing out biodegradable coffee cups, partnering with an Italian bakery to improve their food, or adding to their seemingly endless array of Frappuccinos. The company is on a constant mission to improve and innovate, working hard to stay ahead of the curve. Read on to learn 20 things you might not have known about this nearly ubiquitous chain.

McDonald’s has a secret gold card for celebrities and billionaires


Go go gold! (Photo: YouTube)


A little summary

• McDonald’s has something called the McGold card.
• Card owners get free McDonald’s anytime.
• Card owners are generally celebrities or people with connections to big-time franchisees.

• Cards usually have a time limit, but in some rare cases the card is for life.

You might brag about your Starbucks gold card, but when it comes to chain restaurant membership perks, nothing beats the secret McDonald’s gold card. The McGold — which allows the recipient free McDonald’s anytime — can’t easily be bought, and is usually given to high-profile celebrities or people with connections to big-time franchisees.

Warren Buffet had a gold card that allowed him to order any McDonald’s food anytime at a McDonald’s location in Omaha, according to CNBC. Comedian Rob Lowe got a gold card from a friend whose father, David Peterson, invented the Egg McMuffin.

Peterson’s son actually wields the power to give out gold cards to anyone he wants. He usually gifts them to friends, celebrities, and everyday people who did heroic deeds, like Charles Ramsey, the man who dropped his Big Mac to rescue three kidnapped woman in 2013.

In most instances, these gold cards have a time limit, only granting the recipient a year or six months of free food. But in some rare cases, the card is for life. Mitt Romney has often told the story that his father had a “little pink card” that awarded him free McDonald’s, given by owner Ray Croc himself.


Read the original article on The Daily Meal. Copyright 2016. Follow The Daily Meal on Twitter.

What Is a ‘Meme’?

Leo DiCaprio toasting meme. screenshotA ‘meme’ is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea.

The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more philosophical content.

The world of memes (which rhymes with ‘teams’) is noteworthy for two reasons: it is a worldwide social phenomenon, and memes behave like a mass of infectious flu and cold viruses, traveling from person to person quickly through social media.

According to Cecil Adams of theStraightDope.com, the concept of memes “is either really deep, or really, really obvious”.

Examples will be provided in the next page.