Five for Friday: Mandatory Happiness, Asian Americans and Black Lives Matter, Smart Tattoos

happiness girl
CHICAGO, IL (August 26, 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.

Mandatory Happiness Classes for College Freshmen?

Given that 10 percent of incoming freshmen say that they feel “frequently depressed,” according to a 2015 survey, universities like Harvard, Brown, and Stanford are offering happiness classes, where students learn about basic wellness, the secrets of a meaningful life, and stress management. Perhaps they would be better off seeking out spiritual directors.

100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century

nemoCritics constantly debate which film is the greatest, while at the same time lamenting the “death of cinema.” So the BBC decided to poll critics around the world to identify the top 100 American films made this century. How did a mess of a movie make the top spot? (For that matter, how did many of these films make the cut?)

Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the story, including this infographic. There is a huge gender difference when it comes to judging many of the films, especially the top pick.

You’re Asian, Right? Why Are You Even Here?

Writer Aaron Mak, who is Chinese-American, was covering the recent riots in Milwaukee while he was working as an intern at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As the riots escalated, Mak was assaulted by protestors—the attack ended only when someone noticed that he wasn’t white. This piece examines the complexity of racial reconciliation between Asian and African Americans.

From the article: “One factor in some activist groups’ hesitancy to stand with BLM seems to be the fear that bringing race into any debate can turn society into a zero-sum game—one that Asian-Americans often lose. Asian-Americans are labeled, controversially, as the ‘model minority’—referring to the notion that many of us have achieved success in the United States through sheer hard work and determination. But we still must fight against discrimination in politics, workplaces and the media. When it comes to some key minority-rights issues like affirmative action, Asian and black communities can often sit on opposite sides of the fence.”

C-SPAN Caller Asked How He Can Stop Being Prejudiced

This is how barriers break down. A white caller to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal confessed that he was prejudiced and feared black people. “What can I do to change?” he asked. “You know, to be a better American?”

The guest, Heather McGhee, is a public policy organizer and responded with grace, saying that people of all races and backgrounds hold such prejudices, and that his own confession is “one of the most powerful things that we can do right now in this moment in our history.” She went on to offer some specific suggestions for how he could begin to address his fears. The video of their conversation has gone viral.

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Smart Tattoo Turns Your Skin into Touchpad

This project creates body art from gold leaf that can serve as a trackpad or button to control your phone. It’s both fascinating and frightening.

From the article: “In the near future, the technology could serve as a substitute for identification, subway cards, and even movie tickets.”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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