Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and

Life is full of surprises.

John Roberts leads the Supreme Court liberals to save Barack Obama's health reform. The Dow shoots up 278 points in a day. Katie Holmes declares Tom Cruise a Mission: Impossible.

Honestly, who would have predicted any of this? OK, the Cruise news -- but not the other stuff.

Cynical as we are, blasé as we get, shrewd as we can be about predicting, we still get caught off guard all the time. Hardly anyone expected Obama's Affordable Care Act to last through the weekend, just as no one guessed gas prices would be sliding into the $3.50 range.

Wasn't gas supposed to hit $5 by the Fourth of July?

It isn't true that everyone loves a surprise. The Supreme Court's health care decision was a relief or an outrage, depending on your politics. Tom Cruise pronounced himself "saddened" as People magazine said Katie blindsided him with the outta-here.

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What could possibly be next? A functioning Congress? A stock market rally? Some nobody destroying a Wimbledon star?

Surprises can be rattling, especially when they come as a surprise. But life would be awfully boring without them, though that could be an improvement for poor Tom Cruise.




Island Harvest's new Hauppauge distribution center is up and running. From the 23,000-square-foot warehouse, hunger-relief volunteers are directing 8 million pounds of food a year to hundreds of church pantries, soup kitchen and family shelters across Long Island. And here's what's so special about the new facility, beyond the miles of shelving, the walk-in freezers and the high-tech inventory system. It was opened for $12,000 after local businesses and unions kicked in $350,000 in work and supplies. Not a bad Harvest, helping 300,000 Long Islanders to eat.