I suppose we could be quoting Andy Williams and say that it is the most wonderful time of the year but it hardly seems true. Once again the stain of violence is in news. Nonetheless, it does seem appropriate to point out that we are in the Advent Season and are awaiting the arrival of Christmas. During this period of time, where we are waiting hopefully for the promised joy of trees and toys and presents and family gatherings, maybe we can remind ourselves that hope for a more peaceful world still exists as well. With compassion, cooperation, and prayer, we can build a far more enduring and beautiful world than violence can mar. It is this hopeful note that we at BlogWyrm mark our final issue of the year as begin our winter break next Friday. We will return on Jan 8th.

But as we are not done yet, let’s say a little about this week’s issue.

Can corporate greed actually be good for consumers? Forget what the pundits and philosophers say for or against, the empirical evidence shows that competing groups can be fueled by greed can keep prices low for the consumer. Common Cents explains how as it examines the nice low price of gasoline.

Can video games be at the edge of cutting-edge research in the fields of mathematics and computer science? Well, maybe not all games but certainly Minesweeper. Read Aristotle to Digital to find out how.

Under the Hood continues its look at how vector calculus maps into the language of differential forms. This week, the link between the two is fleshed out to get the divergence and curl.

Finally, About Comics looks at Neil Gaiman’s return to his best character in The Sandman: Overture.

Until return, we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy!