Five for Friday: Why People Kiss, Robot Priests, True Tiny House Costs

CHICAGO, IL (June 2, 2017) — 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.

Why do People Kiss?

Talk about taking away the romance. This article presents research on the scientific study of kissing to answer the question, “Why do people kiss?” (I wonder how researchers discovered that men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer on average and make more money?) There are all kinds of need-to-know facts here.

From the article: “During a kiss, couples exchange 9 mg of water, 0.7 mg of protein, 0.18 mg of organic compounds, 0.71 mg of fats, and 0.45 mg of sodium chloride, along with 10 million to 1 billion bacteria according to one estimate. Kisses use as little as two muscles, burning only 2 to 3 calories, while passionate kissing involves up to 34 facial muscles along with 112 postural muscles and burns around 26 calories per minute.”

Robot Priest Unveiled in Germany to Mark 500 Years Since Reformation

A robot priest called BlessU2 that delivers blessings is the brainchild of a European church leader. Part of an exhibit celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the robot has a touchscreen chest and beams lights from its hands. Apparently people who don’t attend church are amused and intrigued. People inside the church—not so much. It seems unlikely to lead to a new Reformation.

From the article: “We wanted people to consider if it is possible to be blessed by a machine, or if a human being is needed…The idea is to provoke debate,” said Stephan Krebs of the Protestant church in Hesse and Nassau, which is behind the initiative.

Price Check: What It Costs to Live Small

There must be something like 900 TV shows about the joys of living in a tiny house. Of course, they never show how a family of five copes with living together in 280 square feet. Turns out, they also may not be saving as much money as they thought.

From the article: “The average cost of a tiny house is roughly $23,000. But to keep this number low, owners typically have to maintain a square footage of 186 square feet—which is smaller than most people’s master bedrooms—and build their own home with mostly salvaged materials, such as reclaimed windows or flooring.”


How the Self-Esteem Craze Took Over America

It’s OK. If you don’t win a trophy, you can go on living. This article recounts how self-esteem became a national obsession.

From the article: “During this span, just about everyone, from CEOs to welfare recipients, was told — often by psychologists with serious credentials — that improving their self-esteem could…unlock the gates to more happiness, better performance, and every kind of success imaginable. This was both a personal argument and a political one: The movement, which had its epicenter in California, argued that increasing people’s self-esteem could reduce crime, teen pregnancy, and a host of other social ills — even pollution.”

‘Shaming the Pregnant Girl’: Does Graduation Ban Promote Abortion?

A Christian school in Maryland won’t allow a pregnant teenager to participate in graduation ceremonies tonight. She took her story to the media.

From the article: “School administrator David Hobbs wrote a letter to the Heritage family saying the school is disciplining the student ‘not because she’s pregnant but because she was immoral.’ The academy has a strict conduct code that forbids sexual immorality as well as the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs….Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life, told the New York Times, ‘she made the courageous decision to choose life and she definitely should not be shamed.’”

Here is a commentary by the student, Maddi Runkles.


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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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