Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Here are eleven good things that happened in 2022 that gave us cause to hope and celebrate.

Ukraine still stands

Russian President Vladimir Putin and most others expected Ukraine to succumb to Russian control within days of his late February invasion. Few foresaw the force of the Ukrainian people, who have battled bravely for their nation and democratic values for over 10 months. They resisted Russian invaders from much of their land. They survived without heat, water, or power. Time’s Person of the Year, 44-year-old Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, successfully galvanized the globe to donate relief and weaponry. Kyiv’s blue-and-yellow flag flies worldwide.

American voters rejected extreme candidates

A shocking number of GOP candidates this year openly questioned the 2020 election results. Some even joined in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. However, voters everywhere rejected these candidates, especially in tightly contested statewide races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. One point for the democratic system’s checkpoints.

Gas prices are no longer at shocking levels

Remember when gas was $5 per gallon? That was the reality in the United States for much of June, thanks primarily to Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. However, gas prices have slowly declined during the summer as China’s consumption has cooled and many countries have pumped a little more oil. The average price is now approximately $3.10, which is slightly less than a year ago.

Lizzo played Jame Madison’s 1813 crystal flute

Lizzo, a musician extraordinaire, went viral after performing on James Madison’s 1813 crystal flute. She first performed with it at the request of the Library of Congress. Then she played it momentarily onstage in front of thousands of fans during her D.C. event. Lizzo, a classically trained flutist, immediately reminded us of the enchantment of live events and the treasures of American history.

“Jeopardy!” contestants were on fire!

The classic game show suddenly featured many heartwarming trivia whizzes who just couldn’t stop winning. Uber driver Ryan Long won 16 straight games. Cris Pannullo won 21. Tutor Mattea Roach won 23. Writer and transgender rights activist Amy Schneider won 40 games in a row to become the second-most-winning player ever (and then took home the Tournament of Champions prize).

Nathan “Quad King” Chen skated to redemption

The Beijing Winter Olympics were highly controlled and, let’s face it—cringe-worthy. But all things considered, American Nathan Chen’s “redemption gold” in men’s ice skating was a highlight. Chen persevered four years after a terrible Olympics. He set a world record and landed five quad leaps. He made it look so easy that many were ready to slip on skates and do it—until Jimmy Fallon showed that these jumps are superhuman even without ice.

Metro finally lands at Dulles International Airport

For ages, residents and visitors in the Washington, D.C., area have wished for the day when they could take a train from downtown to Dulles Airport. Why shouldn’t the nation’s capital have this luxury, like so many other American cities? When designs for the subway system were first drawn up in the 1960s, it was thought to be a far-fetched idea. The Silver Line expansion for Metro was planned to be finished in 2018. On November 15, it finally became a reality.

Pickleball becomes our new favorite pastime

It’s a combination of tennis and table tennis, with a dash of chess strategy thrown in for good measure. This year, pickleball blossomed with youngsters, elders, and everyone in between. Who cares if it doesn’t provide much exercise? After years of seclusion, let us embrace pickleball for reactivating our social lives while getting our bodies moving again.

TikTok brought us “butter boards”

The butter board: where people spread butter on a chopping board and add spices such as garlic, pepper flakes, figs, and oranges, was one of 2022’s most enjoyable TikTok fads. Will it win culinary awards? Probably not. However, during a time when supply-chain issues and rising inflation made it impossible to find many goods on your grocery list, the butter board encouraged us to make the most of what we had.

The world (mostly) averted a global food crisis

After Russia invaded Ukraine, grain shipments to developing nations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East collapsed. Hundreds of millions were starving. Fortunately, the UN brokered a deal over the summer to get Ukraine’s grain on ships, and the U.S. government provided more than $5 billion in food aid, including cash for the UN World Food Program. Many Americans donated. The world is still struggling, but swift intervention helped many.

We’re going back to the moon!

NASA’s Artemis I moon mission launched on Nov. 16 and beamed back stunning photographs. This is the first part of a plan to put people back on the surface of the moon. Artemis reminds us that space exploration unifies humanity.

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