Oprah’s Optimism

Pick up a newspaper and pessimism dominates the headlines. Fears of gangs, flu's, global warming, earthquakes, violence and cyber-bullies grab our attention. As a result, dark news is front and center.

Every so often I grab a magazine that there is 'no way I'll read.' In airports, doctor's waiting rooms, or at Barnes and Noble I'll gravitate toward stuff that is clearly out of my normal sphere of understanding. It keeps me in touch with all parts of the world and occasionally provides good sermon humor.

So, today I pulled out a copy of "O", the Oprah magazine. In it Oprah lists 100 things that are getting better. Reallly? Better? From Dry Cleaning to Designer Jeans to Dads, Oprah sees a lot that is improving in our culture. I don't agree with every comment in the article, but Kudos to Oprah and her team for their optimism. Here are a few of my favs:

#4 Apps to help you lose weight: Is that a gym in your iPhone? iFitness lets you build a custom workout. iTreadmill turns your phone into a pedometer, Lose It! Tracks how many calories you've burnied in every workout and WeightBot charts your daily progress.

#5 Polyester: Who doesn't love the softness of a microfiber throw, the convenience of wrinkly-free sheets? Both can be attributed to the once-hidden charms of those much maligned twins, Polly and Esther.

#8 Our Lungs: This just in from the CDC: The number of American adults who smoke has dropped from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 20.6 percent in 2008; at last count, 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 360 cities have banned cigarettes in workplaces, bars, or restaurants –which means no more unintentionally smoked salmon.

#33 Surgery: Removing an organ through a ninny nick in the skin; using radio waves or ultrasound to destroy a tumor without a single cut – in the past decade, the kinds of medical procedures once seen in sci-fi novels have arrive in the OR, often performed in an outpatient basis with minimal pain and recovery time.

#53 Chips: Spicy Thai, Cheddar, sweet chili sour cream, crab boil, honey Dijon, chocolate, jalapeno… No one can just eat one bag.

#92 Tatoo Removal: Love may come and love may go. Tattoos? Not so fast, kiddo. But advances in lasers – better pigment recognition and deeper skin penetration – are making it easier to hike the evidence of a failed romance or an Aerosmith obsession.