I ran across a couple pieces of news recently that made me cock my head sideways and say, ‘huh?’

One, Russian health authorities fear the lack of snowfall this year could kick off a wave of depression in the country. (It’s been the warmest December in Russia since 1870.) With Russia’s super short winter days, people depend on snow to ‘reflect sunlight and brighten moods.’ So, officials have installed extra street lamps and are urging citizens to ‘turn on all their lights, hang up yellow curtains, and wear colorful clothes.’ While I find the concern for the psychological health of its citizens endearing, I wonder if Russian might find real solutions are deeper than the suggested measures. Or maybe I’m underestimating the power of a rainbow-striped t-shirt and yellow curtains.

Two, ‘a company that helped build a 14-mile border fence between California and Mexico has agreed to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring hundreds of illegal immigrants.’ An attorney for Golden State Fence Co. says the case proves that construction companies need a guest-worker program. I say the irony is so thick that I’m still chewing on it. Perhaps our country is experiencing its own psychological issues – a disconnect between what we’re preaching and what we’re doing. Somebody should check in with the Russians for possible solutions.


~ mayumi

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