By George

This may be the break you have been waiting for! A thoughtful moment from an illiterate!

Just what is a conundrum? Try this on: What is the difference between a duck? The answer: One of its legs are both the same. Or this one: Why is a mouse when it spins? The answer: The higher the fewer.

If you are still reading this column after the opening you have been given to toss this into the recycle bin, thank you. And for Evelyn and the others who have shaken their heads in disbelief, this will prove to be one more time to wonder about my sanity, ad infinitum!

As I know there are others who share my views I intend to press on!

Do you really believe the Tsunami was just a moment in time when a hiccup on the ocean floor produced such an awesome result?

Or was there some incredible opportunity for us to rethink what being a billionaire, or trillionaire, really means?

Proxima Centauri, our nearest star to us, and an invisible dot in the myriad constellations abounding in the night (and day) sky, has been calculated as being about four and a half light years away. That is: if you jumped on your space ship, and travelled at 186000 miles every second, after four and a half years you would approach that star. No idea what you would find there, but when you realize that most of the visible stars are much larger than this, and obviously very, very large compared to our little star (the sun), our earth shrinks to an infinitely tiny speck in the scheme of things.

Always wondered about infinity. It became much more confusing that there is also a minus infinity when the mathematics folk begin their quest for an understanding of what the heck is going on. But, this is not a lesson in the improbable, but a moment to reflect.

We have been inundated with God Bless America! However, as Michael Moore?s Fahrenheit 9/11 film has just won the Best Film of 2004 award, perhaps sanity will once more rule the airwaves, the television programs, the computer web pages, and all the media outlets around this tiny planet. Let us hope for a nicer world to live in. Let us chuck the chuckle-headed idea that we too need to have a Star Wars shield to protect us all!

Just maybe there is hope for a future for our kids, grandchildren, and all their offspring. Is it just possible that, right on schedule, some Great God, said, folk you need to broaden your outlook on what is important in your lives. Stop putting Santa Claus on top of your list of selfish things you think you need and start giving your time, your energy, and your money to those in desperate need.

It would be a wonderful way to start this chapter in the ongoing saga of life on this tiny planet. Just maybe the retroviral medicines needed by the millions of people with Aids to sustain their lives will be made by the pharmaceutical people so the vast number of people dying will have a shred of hope for themselves and their children. Just maybe some other optimists who think that the Kyoto Accord means sustaining ourselves for just a tiny bit longer, and, hopefully, there will be a better opportunity to extract the riches of this earth without killing everyone who has some of the gas and oil we think we deserve!

I guess that about covers my hopes for the New Year. Forget the apocalypse. You and I are not going to have to worry about any of that. But we can share a few more of the abundance we have in this country as a new day dawns. The children seem to understand, so why can we fail to help? Once again, welcome to Shangri la.