1. The economy
The Times quoted several reports that are optimistic about US economic growth in 2014. Unemployment is down, manufacturing and construction are up. And although Americans are still pessimistic, spending is up as well. Of course, here in America being broke has never stopped anyone from buying more stuff so I don’t know how reliable an indicator the last one is, but still; a good start.
Impressive transformation: Sarajevo, known during the 1990s as “the world’s most dangerous city”. It is now apparently one of the safest and most culturally diverse destinations in Europe, and was listed by National Geographic as one of the Best Trips for 2014.
3. Cool Runnings redux
Twenty-six years after the original Jamaican underdogs of “Cool Runnings” fame made history, they are back at the winter Olympics this year. Cool indeed!
4. International relations model
A Chinese helicopter rescued 52 people from a ship stranded in Antarctica and brought them 12 at a time to an Australian icebreaker. I bet international relations were pretty warm and fuzzy on that helicopter. Team building idea for summit meetings…
5. HIV vaccine
Finnish company FIT Biotech has developed an HIV vaccine which will be tested in a comprehensive study sometime this year.
6. Not exactly a beginning, but…
Enough to restore my faith in humanity: For nearly two years, Brad and Kim Campbell have been feeding, clothing, educating and parenting 10 South Sudanese children whose parents were killed by conflict or sickness. Definitely a reminder to me for 2014 about perspective and priorities.