This month, the United States authorized airstrikes in Iraq. Video footage of a journalist’s brutal execution circulated through social media networks. War raged between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and the death toll in Gaza escalated. A policeman fatally shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown, whose death incited protests and more violence. About 1,500 people died in one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history. Robin Williams, who usually makes us laugh, took his own life.