All the best (December 29)

I’m not going to slice and dice about how to grade the things I liked this week. I wish I had more things like this bombarding my emotions all the time.

A cab driver in Las Vegas, Gerardo Gamboa, was named Yellow Checker Star’s Driver of the Year for his honesty. Why? Mr. Gamboa found US$300,000 in his cab after a gambler left the dosh in a paper bag (in stacks of ‘Benjamins’) in the cab. For his honesty, Mr. G. got some Gs of his own–$10,000, to be precise.

Pope Francis reached out to atheists and people of other religions in his first Christmas message.Vatican Pope Christmas That’s a marked contrast to his predecessor. He also preached important concilatory messages to the world, stressing that “Peace is a daily commitment…Wars shatter and hurt so many lives!” Hear, hear!

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, showed that Christmas is indeed the season of goodwill, with more pardons for political opponents. This week, he pardoned two members of the all-girl punk band, Pussy Riot, who were imprisoned after publicly protesting against Putin with a performance. What a riot! He also pardoned a group of 30 Greenpeace activists who had been arrested for protesting Russian drilling activities in the Arctic. Kermit, it just easier to be green. Reason? Russia’s image ahead of next year’s winter Olympics in Sochi is really a bit shredded, and this may help mend a bit of the fraying. Other reasonsScreen Shot 2013-12-28 at 6.32.25 PM? Who knows, with politicians?