pennyI spend big chunks of my day being astonished.  Here's an example: While sorting out a drawer in my room that I haven't been into for a while, I found an old penny.  It was minted almost eighty years ago in 1937.  That year was one of the most horrible years to attempt to live through in the last two centuries.  Stalin was getting his rocks off in his purges then.  During his time in office twenty million people died unnecessarily and that on top of the twenty million who died in World War II.  Hitler was trying to keep up in the heaps of corpses department.  Believe it or not, conservatives in the US lynched eight black men that year, which made it a comparatively lame year for conservative production in that effort.  And who knows what awful things were going on in Asia, Africa, and the American South?  Yet, in that year, this penny was a shiny copper.  And

 

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I am watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Something happened which appeared on the screen for less than half a second, but I saw it.  A Dallas attacker broke in very close to the St. Louis goal with the puck.  He took his shot and the goalie blocked it.  Now the Dallas player was without the puck and skating very fast by the goal.  What happens?  The St. Louis Blues goalie reached out and grabbed the upper arm of the Stars player to stop him from slamming into the goal or the back board.  All in less than a second: The approach, the shot, the save, the perception of danger to an unknown opposing player, and the offer of assistance in the form of a brake.  What human spirit.  The goalie moved in an instant above the competition of the game to caring about another player and I, five hundred miles away, saw it.  Our species is extraordinary and life on this planet is amazing.  Every day.

And then there is a sappy commercial encouraging people to eat animals.