A very cool cause to fight lung disease. Seahawks fans paid to stay quiet during a game. And the State of the Union depresses me

I get lots of emails asking me to promote this cause or charity on my little blog, and most of them I ignore or glance over.

But this one stopped me short, and I thought it was cool enough to share and encourage you to check out when you can this week.

A reader named Cameron Von St. James sent me the following note recently:

“Eight years ago, my wife Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within two years of diagnosis.  She had just given birth to our daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live.  After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, LungLeavin’ Day was born.  This will be the 8th year that we celebrate (on Feb. 2)!

The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears!  Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire. (My note: How cool is that? Totally want to see video of that)  We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!

Very cool idea, and very cool cause. Please check out LungLeavin;Day’s page when you can.

Check out this great MSN video – Seattle’s 12th Man Room of Silence.

**So it’s Super Bowl week, and it’s still very strange to me that all this is happening in New York and New Jersey, where I live. There are signs in the streets all over here in Manhattan, they’re closing down half of Broadway for the rest of the week so we can have ‘Super Bowl Boulevard” (I have to say, it does look pretty cool and your humble blogger may go check it out on Thursday).

But it’s just weird to be living in a Super Bowl city; I haven’t noticed too many Denver or Seattle fans yet, but I’m sure they’ll be a ‘comin’.

The Seahawks, of course, are known for their loud fans, called the 12th Man, so I thought this Fox Sports video was pretty hilarious: The network offered to pay a bunch of hardcore fans $5,000 if they stayed quiet for the entire game.

The results are awesome (watch above):

US-POLITICS-STATE OF THE UNION-OBAMA

**And finally today, Tuesday night was the State of the Union. I used to get fired up about these things, and I still love hearing Barack Obama give a rousing speech, but with each successive do-nothing Congress, I get less and less hopeful about changes the President suggests and calls for actually being enacted. I wish I could believe Obama when he talks about getting gun control done “with or without Congress,” but I absolutely do not.

I thought Tuesday’s speech was fine; hopeful, with specific details about the minimum wage, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and other topics liberals like me love.

A couple highlights from this mostly-paying-attention viewer:

— Obama was channeling his inner Jesse Pinkman (Yes, I’m watching “Breaking Bad” now, and yes, it is freaking fantastic through the 1st 2 seasons I’ve seen) a little bit, basically shouting “Yay, science!” when talking about climate change. I cannot believe he still has to remind people that this phenomenon is real.

— Also can’t believe that equal pay for equal work for women and men is in any way shape or form controversial. It’s 2014, why in the hell shouldn’t women get paid the same as men for doing the same work! How is this still something that’s debated?

— Loved the line about “helping your mother through the health care forms, plus she’ll be glad to hear from you.” Really funny.

— So many good Tweets about the speech, but one of my favorites was from @XMastimeblog, who said: “Going l-r, Biden/Obama/Boehner looks like a spray-tan chart, right?”

— Finally, this reality check from NPR host Scott Simon, which I loved: “If you think America never changes, remember seeing an African-American president kiss Jewish women on the Supreme Court.”

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