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The News of the Day by Robert Fulghum

Here’s the six o’clock news at the end of this day – thoughts while sitting by a fire for a while, looking out the window as snow and darkness fall.

About 14 billion years ago there was Nothing – then BANG! – Something.

Ten billion years ago, where I sit now was but a gathering place in space full of cosmic dust and possibility. Earth was not yet, but gravity called for roundness.

Ten million years ago, there was a great fire here – molecular collisions – volcanic upheavals – and lava flows.

Ten thousand years ago, the very place where I sit on this hillside was covered with more than five hundred feet of glacial ice and snow. The wolves in the valley below were bigger than bears. The local men’s club was out hunting mastodons during the day. They ate the mastodons raw until someone dropped a chunk into the fire.


One hundred years ago, a mix of horse manure, mud, garbage, and sewage in the streets of the little town nearby was blamed for an outbreak of influenza, which killed half the horses and a tenth of the children before Spring.
Nobody who lived then where I live now went into town that Winter.

There was no electricity or treated water then. No gasoline for cars. No cars.

No social security, health insurance, or workman’s compensation, either.

No television or cell phones. No phones.

Even square dancing was suspended until spring because the only fiddler broke his arm. A hard winter. But people lived on.
The fiddler recovered. The music and dancing resumed.

This past week there were no murders, fires, earthquakes, or floods within a hundred miles of where I sit.

No war or armed conflict.

And I do not have the current virus….

In town this past week quite a few refrigerator doors have mid-term report cards stuck on them with silly magnets. Most of the grades are as good as this time last year, though some did better and some worse. Some refrigerators bear photographs of smiling people with missing front teeth – mostly first and second graders. Usually, there is sports news from the local high school, but not this year – no games. But lots of optimistic talk of “just wait until next year.”

When I figure the percentages and possibilities against the population statistics of the town, it’s safe to make some assumptions:

About seventeen people fell in love this past week.

Eight fell out of love.

Eleven men and one woman are going to propose marriage on Valentine’s Day. There will be seven yeses, four maybes, and one “ask me again next year.”

Nine couples learned this week they had managed to get pregnant.

And those who managed that around the beginning of May last year are heavy with child to arrive in early Spring….

RTWT AT Winter Letter – Author Robert Fulghum

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper January 23, 2021, 11:14 AM

    “Nine couples learned this week they had managed to get pregnant.”
    In 1987 my sisters husband called me and said, “We’re pregnant!”
    I didn’t say a word, just hung up.

  • james wilson January 23, 2021, 11:24 AM

    Another demonstration that a peoples health is determined not by what they have or do not have but by the opportunity they perceive ahead of them. Or not.

  • Vanderleun January 23, 2021, 11:28 AM

    ghostsniper: Master of Ceremonies at Family Reunions

  • Fred Hedgecoth January 23, 2021, 2:12 PM

    “About 14 billion years ago there was Nothing – then BANG! – Something.” If anything exists now, then something has always existed. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Simple logic.

  • Dirk January 23, 2021, 2:35 PM

    Dangit, ghost, I spit my afternoon coffee up, ” I Just Hung Up” Simply Brilliant!

    On another note, my nieces husband, ” Both Cal Tech,,,, PHd’s” was on a crew in his doctorial studies class’s , their mission was to ” prove” the Big Bang. The Italians made the call, first.

    His second job, was to NOW disprove the Big Bang Theory. Was always amused by that one!.
    They’ve grown up, the niece runs the Cal Berkeley earthquake lab.

    He’s with an oil company discovering oil off the shelf!. Thinking out loud, he mayyyyy want to search for other employment with this NEW Liar and Thief in control!.


  • rabbit tobacco January 23, 2021, 3:59 PM

    Nothing IS something.

  • ghostsniper January 23, 2021, 7:13 PM

    You know the one about “turtles all the way down”, right?
    Well it’s bangs all the way back.
    And the one you’re familiar with ain’t the last one, no siree, there’s another waiting in the Q and ready to pop any day now.

  • Fred Hedgecoth January 24, 2021, 5:07 AM

    Ghost sniper… You still have to account for the first in the series of “bangs” if originally there was a state of Nothingness. Since a “bang” is an effect (a change in state), it must have a cause (every “effect” must have a cause). Even a series of effects must have an original cause. And since the cause must exist before it can have an effect, there cannot ever have been a time when there was absolutely nothing.
    Rabbit tobacco….your assertion that “No-thing is Some-thing” is logically absurd.

  • EX-Californian Pete January 24, 2021, 9:46 AM

    Weird fact- when you think about it, every single thing on Earth came from “outer space,”– right down to every single molecule, and that includes US. (Insert theremin music here)

    Also, (and at the risk of repetition) Godel’s Equation proved that the universe was created, and by “intelligent design.” His equation has never been contradicted or disproved, because it CANNOT be.
    Feel free to try, though.

  • ghostsniper January 24, 2021, 9:52 AM

    @Fred, who made god?
    That’s the equivalent of the first bang.
    Suppose there was no first bang, it’s just been banging forever?
    Just like no one made god, it just always was.
    Don’t ask me, I’m just guessing like everyone else, cept, I’m more truthful about it.

    “Always willing to learn, from those willing to teach, anything worth learning.”
    –gs, 2099

  • ghostsniper January 24, 2021, 9:56 AM

    @Pete, I hate to be the one to inform you but, we’re all still “out in space”, even the molecules.
    Also, an assertion is not proof.

    I am made from the dust of the stars
    And the oceans flow in my veins

  • EX-Californian Pete January 24, 2021, 1:19 PM


    Technically, our planet is “out in space.” (Where else could it be?) The inhabitants of our planet are part of the planet- courtesy of things like gravity, otherwise we would all be individually “out in space.”

    If the “assertion” remark was aimed at Godel’s Equation, have you bothered to review or test it? Last time I asked, your answer was “no.”
    Have you shared it with any Scientist or Mathematician friends, to see if it can be successfully disputed?
    If either of the above have been done, was there even ONE “variable” found in Godel’s Equation?

    And out of curiosity, did you watch the “Theology Is Practical: The Three-Personal God by C.S. Lewis” video that Vanderleun posted, and what did you think of it?

    I look forward to seeing your answers.

  • ghostsniper January 24, 2021, 1:50 PM

    Truthfully Pete I’m kinda burned out on debating the whole god thing. It’s been done to death. Couple years ago someone here, can’t remember who, John Venlet maybe?, said what I consider the most truthful aspect of it and that is that to believe in god requires the believer to have “faith” in god. I don’t and don’t even see how such a thing is even possible. Notice I didn’t say “bible”. It’s the whole supernatural thing that is just not graspable. Now, watch my stalker come riding in again. Since I just baited it maybe it will stay it’s cowardly ass in the shadows.

  • EX-Californian Pete January 25, 2021, 10:11 AM


    OK, I see your points, and understand your position.
    Point #1 being a willful refusal to investigate any possible evidence provided that might be contrary to your personal beliefs.
    Point #2 being that you consistently avoid answering any and all questions I ask on the above topic.
    Point #3 “burned out on debating the whole God thing.” An actual “debate” is when both parties provide opinions, back it up with facts, the facts are researched, and an intelligent conclusion is made.
    Point #4 I notice your repeated avoidance to use a capital “G” when referring to God, but not with other’s names. It’s like an intentional disrespectful thing.
    Point #5 an obvious dodge concerning the ‘Theology Is Practical’ post illustrates Point #1 above.
    Point #6 “I don’t and don’t even see how such a thing is even possible.” How COULD you see? A person can’t possibly see what they don’t WANT to see.
    Point #7 concerns your comment on your “stalker.”
    Quote- “Since I just baited it maybe it will stay it’s cowardly ass in the shadows.”
    Is someone ‘out to get you’? Would their “staying their cowardly ass in the shadows” mean that you hope they don’t post any replies or comments towards your post?
    See any irony there?

    Don’t worry- I’m not busting your chops, and won’t try to “convert” you or “save your soul.” I just try my best to understand others’ points of view and what they are based on. It’s part of trying to stay open-minded. I have these two crazy credos I live by-
    1) Without open communication, there can be no understanding.
    2) When a wise man is corrected, he will thank you. When a fool is corrected, he will hate you.

    OK, so instead of all that “God” stuff, we can just stick to topics that we both support & enjoy- like shooting & sniping, deal?
    What’s your favorite LD scope? I like Leupold, but have a couple Vortex that have proven to be really good investments.
    What’s your best shot to date? Best rifle? Best caliber and load? Mine (so far) is with an Enfield 4 with a 50 mm Vortex @ 880 yds with an 6 MPH crosswind, using a 180 grain BT home-cast powdercoated bullet and a ‘hot’ charge with IMR 3031. (Despite many tries, I haven’t hit steel at the 3/4 mile mark yet, but I have a custom Smith-Corona ’03 I’m building that might do it)

    Respect, brother.

  • EX-Californian Pete January 30, 2021, 9:27 AM

    Well, it looks as if no reply is going to be made in addressing my points and questions above- how sad.
    Maybe it’s an illustration of the “cowardly ass in the shadows” remark?