There goes the penny. Not ours, theirs. Canada is discontinuing the penny coin, no longer distributing them to businesses and banks. With that, prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel. Canadians – at least the ones our reporters spoke to – are unworried. And why should they be? It costs more to make a penny than the coin is worth and, given that virtually nothing these days costs less than a nickel, why not drop it?

Americans, don’t worry. If past is prologue, we will have our penny for generations to come. Canada dropped Saturday mail service in 1969; we still have ours. Canada went metric in the 1970s; we didn’t, even though that was the plan. Canada has had national health insurance for decades. No, our penny is safe. No matter what it costs.

The nation is on a financially perilous path. Republicans and Democrats barely speak to one another. Winter 2013 is pounding the Northeast. And now, as if that weren’t bad enough, Monopoly no longer has the iron token for its game board. It’s gone. In its place is a cat.

It’s been hard to work up much fury over Hasbro’s decision to fire the iron and hire Garfield. The iron looked old-fashioned anyway – where was the button for the sprayer? – and it won’t be missed. Besides, with everything else happening in the world, who has time to worry about stuff like this?

Of course, if they’d gotten rid of the dog, that would be different.

Fisher-Price and its corporate parent, Mattel, have been delighting generations of children with their educational and just plain fun toys. Now the toymakers will be helping future generations of children get well, thanks to a $3 million gift to fund a respite area at the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital to be built on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The Fisher-Price/Mattel Family & Child Resource Center will have a computer and video game area, family consultation rooms and meditation areas with access to a winter garden.

The generous gift from Fisher-Price/Mattel, a longtime supporter of Women & Children’s Hospital, follows a $10 million donation from the John R. Oishei Foundation, $5 million from Buffalo-area businessman Sal H. Alfiero and $2 million from the Children’s Guild Foundation. Our thanks to them all.