Aside from toppling dictators and civilian uprising, 2011 managed to produce a few good things that seemed to have escaped the public’s eye. Some are large scale ones, and some effected just one person, all very uplifting. So in case these flew under your radar I present “Things you probably missed in 2011 (because you were too busy wondering what the hell is going on)” :
- In April, researchers in Minnesota created a living human heart using adult stem cells, paving the way towards no-donor heart transplants. Also, in a trial test held in the US, patients who suffered from heart failure have shown positive results when infused with stem cells taken from their own hearts during a bypass. And when I say positive I mean they felt better than they’ve had in years.
- Oprah Winfrey hosted her last show in May. No more giveaways just for being a brainwashed audience member and no more recommendations of fake memoirs.
- Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizonian congresswoman who was the target of an assassination attempt in early January (that killed six and injured 13 more), has made an unbelievable recovery considering she was shot in the head. In August she made her first public appearance in the house of representatives in order to cast her vote in the debt ceiling debacle, and was received with wild applause from both sides of the aisle.
- A twelve year old girl from Florida raised 250,000$ in order to build homes in earthquake-stricken Haiti. By running bake sales and an aggressive letter campaigns to friends of the family, this little girl was able to build 27 new cement-structures houses. She’s halfway into rebuilding the local school. Here in Israel a 12 year old boy used all his annual allowance to buy toys for hospitalized kids in Nahariya at Rosh Hashana. Twelve is apparently a very philanthropic age.
- Famine crisis in Somalia seems to be something of a perpetual state, but due to avid rainfall and an increase in foreign aid, the number of people in imminent danger has dropped by two-thirds to 250,000. That is still an appalling number and the country is in critical shape as always, but at least the situation is not as severe as before.
- Louis CK made a million dollars selling his show from the Beacon Theater using no middleman, in the span of time that it usually takes me to make dinner. He then decided to donate a large amount to charity. The curmudgeon who hates himself did something for humanity. Maybe there is hope after all.
And lastly, I didn’t see how it fits the list but I felt a need to promote it – a while back a movie named Warrior was released. It’s an MMA movie, with an actual plot and decent acting. Shocking, I know, who would’ve thought? Probably no-one since that’s the number of people who bothered to go see it in the cinema. So, see it. You won’t regret it.