Five for Friday: Finger Math, Bono, and Breaking the 200 Barrier

Math on Your Fingers
By Linda Sladkey

CHICAGO, IL (April 22, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Go Ahead, Count on Your Fingers

Ask any pre-school kid how old they are and they’re sure to hold up fingers to show you. According to a Stanford University study, using fingers to count boosts your brain power. And couldn’t we all use a little less math anxiety?

From the article: “Fingers are probably one of our most useful visual aids, and the finger area of our brain is used well into adulthood. The need for and importance of finger perception could even be the reason that pianists, and other musicians, often display higher mathematical understanding than people who don’t learn a musical instrument.”

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Put Away Your Laptops

If finger math makes stronger brain connections then it makes sense that taking notes longhand would also reap neurological benefits. Laptops are becoming more and more prevalent in our schools, even in early elementary classrooms. Educators may need to reconsider the old fashioned pencil and paper for more productive learning.

From the article: “When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can,” says Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University. “The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective—because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them.”

Breaking the 200 Barrier

How big is your church? A dreaded question if it’s below 200 members, but 80 percent of churches are in that category. Assumptions about growth involve prayer, righteousness, and hard work. It seems the real answer has more to do with delegation and business sense.

From the article: “To break through the 200 barrier, a church and its leadership must adapt to a different way of doing church. They have to become more systems oriented. Pastors need to do less one-on-one ministry themselves and delegate more of it to staff members and volunteers.”

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Bono Gets “The Message”

A joint venture between U2’s lead singer, Bono, and The Message author, Eugene Peterson, is an intriguing partnership of faith and culture. The pop music icon and the retired Presbyterian pastor have developed a friendship and are releasing a short documentary on the book of Psalms.

From the article: “Set in Peterson’s Montana home and in New York’s gallery for the International Arts Movement, the 20-minute film, Bono and Eugene Peterson: The Psalms follows a conversation about the book of Psalms as the foundation of their friendship.”

Happy Birthday Elizabeth II

I’m not an avid follower of the royal family but the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II draws me in. She has lived the past 90 years in the public eye with the dignity of a true royal. The timeline of her reign includes death, scandal, great grandchildren, and twelve prime ministers.

From the article: “She becomes the UK’s longest reigning monarch but it is business as usual on the day she surpasses Victoria’s 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.”

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