Five for Friday: Literary Eclipse, Internet Vigilantes, Bad Airplane Food

CHICAGO, IL (August 18, 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.

Annie Dillard’s Classic Essay: ‘Total Eclipse’

You can read Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard’s “Total Eclipse” at The Atlantic until next Tuesday. It first appeared in her collection Teaching a Stone to Talk. The long essay describes her experience of watching a solar eclipse in Washington state.

From the essay: “The second before the sun went out we saw a wall of dark shadow come speeding at us. We no sooner saw it than it was upon us, like thunder. It roared up the valley. It slammed our hill and knocked us out. It was the monstrous swift shadow cone of the moon. I have since read that this wave of shadow moves 1,800 miles an hour. Language can give no sense of this sort of speed—1,800 miles an hour. It was 195 miles wide. No end was in sight—you saw only the edge. It rolled at you across the land at 1,800 miles an hour, hauling darkness like plague behind it.”

Bonnie Tyler’s Classic Hit: ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’

On a much less literary note: Bonnie Tyler will be singing her Karaoke classic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a Royal Caribbean cruise that will sail so that passengers will be in a perfect position to watch the moon block out the sun. Consider this a “bonus link” for the week.

From the lyrics:
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time (all of the time)
I don’t know what to do and I’m always in the dark

Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire

Amateurs have taken to the internet to identify and publicly shame people who were part of the alt-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. But vigilantism is still vigilantism, and innocent people are getting hurt. Take, for example, Kyle Quinn, who was mistakenly identified as a white nationalist marcher and targeted by online activists.

From the article: “Mr. Quinn, who runs a laboratory dedicated to wound-healing research, was quickly flooded with vulgar messages on Twitter and Instagram, he said in an interview on Monday. Countless people he had never met demanded he lose his job, accused him of racism and posted his home address on social networks.”

This Simple Box Serves Up Running Water and Clean Electricity in Remote Locations

The Off Grid Box has proven itself to be effective in meeting critical needs. But there aren’t enough people buying the system to make it affordable.

From the article: “Off Grid Box, an Italian startup, was founded to bring clean water and renewable energy to the millions of the people in the world who still live without. The box itself is a simple container, measuring six by six by six feet. With solar panels on top and water treatment inside, it can help remote communities with both off-grid energy and easily accessible filtered water. Founder and CEO Emiliano Cecchini has sold a few of the units, but he worries he’s not yet found the formula to take his invention to scale.”

Applebee’s is Done Trying to Win Over Millennials

The popular restaurant chain decided to change its menu and décor as a way to attract a younger demographic. It backfired. Of course, churches also face the tension of how to keep their current members while also trying to attract a younger demographic.

From the article: “I think, in retrospect, we may have tried too hard to attract new guests. That’s left some of our fans shaking their heads, asking ‘What happened to Applebee’s?’”

The Real Reason Why Airplane Food Tastes So Bad

Airplane food is notoriously bad. The logistics of serving hundreds of people in such a tight space is part of the problem. Other reasons are biological. Now some airlines are trying to adapt.

From the article: “But even when airplane food is made in a way that might taste good before the flight takes off, the combination of dry air, low pressure and loud engine noises in flight cabins heavily impact the passengers’ ability to smell and taste — causing even the best-prepared food to seem slightly off.”

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About the Author

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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