This article appeared in the June 28, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 06/28 edition

What blue socks, cupcakes, and one amazing sprinter have in common

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
A blue-footed booby pair are unafraid of the tourists on North Seymour, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. This island is home to one of the biggest populations of nesting blue-footed boobies.
Peter Grier
Washington editor

Welcome to your Daily. Today we look at what the Democrats’ debates revealed about the party, what outsiders (including diplomats) should know about the people of Iran and South Korea, the business ethics of the border crisis, and a collection of works from a master-class essayist.

First, is it time for some blue socks? Or a “freedom fighter” cupcake?

Maybe. Whatever it takes for you to realize you’re in a “magic moment.”

We say all this because it’s Friday, finally. The news in recent days seems to have poured upon us nonstop. It has been one of those weeks when it seems almost impossible to keep up.

This is when lighter stories help. Whatever they’re called – human interest, heartwarmers – they help put in perspective self-important “Who Won and Who Lost, Five Takeaways” list stories.

Thus blue socks.

Will Gladstone is an Arlington, Massachusetts, high schooler. He’s worried that the population of blue-footed boobies, a wondrous Galapagos bird, has dropped by 60% in the past 30 years. Since he was in eighth grade, he and his little brother have raised more than $80,000 selling blue socks to fund research on reversing the decline.

Michael Platt makes the cupcakes. At age 11, the Bowie, Maryland, teen started a bakery as a two-for-one charity. For every item he sells, he donates another to a homeless shelter. Every month, his special “freedom fighter” cupcakes honor a personal hero.

Julia Hawkins is a record-holding sprinter. She is also 103. At the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this month she competed in the 50- and 100-yard dashes. Her nickname is “Hurricane.”

“Have many passions,” she told The New York Times. “And look for magic moments.”

Our hot take: only winners here. No losers at all.

This article appeared in the June 28, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 06/28 edition
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