Good News Friday: The Beatles debut in America turns 50. An awesome Canadian response to Russia being anti-gay. And a USA Olympian to root for.

It’s hard to fathom for people of my generation how amazing and transformative a cultural event “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964 was.

Of course rock and roll existed before that date, but when the Beatles came on television, it was like nothing any Americans had ever seen before.

Elvis made girls scream, sure. But when John, Paul, George and Ringo were around, people lost their ever-loving minds.

Lots of good stuff has been said and written this week about the 50th anniversary of that seminal moment, and I’m very much looking forward to the special on CBS Sunday night about them.

I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was about 13, when a friend of my mother’s bought me their “20 Greatest Hits” cassette, and I played it pretty much non-stop for a while.

I’m nowhere near as obsessive as most fans, but what struck me tonight while I was going through some of their history was just how much music they made in such a short time. They made twelve studio albums from 1962-70, an insane pace that no act today could ever match.

And so many of those albums are filled with classic songs; there really isn’t a bad record in the bunch.

Everybody always wonders what would’ve happened if they’d stayed together. Me, I’m just happy they did so much amazing work while they got along.

**Next up, yet another reason for me to love Canada, as if I didn’t have enough already, what with their universal health care, worship of hockey and curling (Man am I excited to watch curling again at the Olympics!), and wonderful gifting of comedians to us.

Ahead of the Winter Olympics which, oddly, started Thursday before the Opening Ceremonies), the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion has released this hilarious 30-second commercial mocking Russia’s horribly anti-gay laws and beliefs.

And the music is classic, too. Bravo, Canada.

emilyscott

**Finally today, the Olympics really get going this weekend, which gives me a chance to plug my Olympics writing for Thrive Sports. I’ll be writing daily blogs about skeleton, curling and speedskating.

NBC will of course give us lots of human-interest stories to make us care about Team USA, but I doubt there’s a better story than Emily Scott, a short-track speedskater making her first Olympic appearance.

Joe Posnanski has written a magnificent story about Scott, who’s overcome a lot in life: Her mother was a meth dealer and has been in prison for most of Emily’s life, and Emily’s Olympic dream pretty much ended last year when she ran out of money to train.

But a story about her in USA Today led to a fundraising drive, and strangers from across this great land of ours (689 people, to be exact) pitched in nearly $50,000. And now Emily Scott qualified and is in Sochi, and her heroic father will be there to watch.

Read the whole story here; pretty hard to get through without having a lump in your throat.

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