An annual rite of passage into winterness occurred today: I had to cover the window which has the air conditioner mounted in the lower half. Winter, yuck foo. Less light in the living room, ugh.

To dispel this gloom and doom I give you uplifting news links from the week:

First up is a young girl who sacrificed her “cheer-full-ness” for her very mature convictions.

Eleven-year-old cheerleader Faylene Frampton was kicked off her sixth-grade cheerleading squad in Ashland, Neb., for refusing to participate in a cheer that required the girls on the cheer squad to point their backsides toward the crowd and shake their booties.

In a note of irony — which I’m normally four-square in favor of — cheerleading coach Tina Harris kicked Frampton, who had complained about the cheer several times previously, off the squad for insubordination, but Harris also dropped the cheer from the squad’s repertoire since someone found it offensive. This is the kind of logic that gives cheerleaders a bad name.

The article quotes Frampton, the oldest cheerleader in her squad, as saying in her interview on the “Today Show” that: “It just felt wrong. I don’t know why. I just didn’t feel it was a cheer that was appropriate for kids of my age or younger.”

Rock on, little sister.

Calgary, Alberta, elected the first Muslim mayor in any of Canada’s major cities. Way to see past the obvious issues, voters of Calgary. May Allah guide you in the light of the Mother Ship, Amen … Ooooohmmmm.

After her adopted hometown Praxedis G. Guerrero, Mexico, went without a police chief for more than a year, 20-year-old mother and student Marisol Valles Garcia decided to step up to be accountable. What makes her desire to serve in this very public capacity remarkable is that Praxedis is located in the middle of the drug and gang wars of the Juarez Valley. Valles Garcia’s predecessor was gunned down, and since then many of the male police officers have quit. Still she refuses to carry a gun. Valles Garcia has chosen to focus on crime prevention and share her duties as law enforcement chief with the mayor who is more experienced with enforcement matters.

Stay strong. And if you won’t carry a gun with which you can aim small, miss small, then at least walk softly and carry a big stick.

And if that’s not enough heroism for you, then watch this video of a guy who jumped down onto the tracks of the D.C. Metro Railway to save a stranger who fell off the platform while suffering a seizure. The train driver saw the two men on the tracks and realized they wouldn’t be out of harm’s way in time, so he stopped the train short of the station.

Which means, our Good Samaritan very likely could’ve been shmooshed for his efforts … and he did it anyway. Thanks, man. You renew my faith in hooman beans.

The ultimate good news, of course, is that the Earth will most likely not end Dec. 12, 2012, as is possibly, maybe, predicted by the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. The only negative part about all of this is that scientist also say that according to the calendar, the Earth may have already ended. In which case, this is some kind of screwed up afterlife.

Then again, it would explain a lot at: pam(at)