Five for Friday: Historical David, Happy Late People, Secular Rituals

CHICAGO, IL (May 11, 2018) – 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.

Does Discovery Confirm Historicity of King David?

In recent decades, the historicity of King David and his kingdom have been questioned due to the paucity of archaeological evidence and mentions in contemporary writings. Some archaeologists say a recent discovery finally offers proof of their existence, but others say the connection is weak at best.

From the article: “We, of course, did not find any artifacts that said ‘King David’ or ‘King Solomon’ but we discovered at the site signs of a social transformation the region underwent, including the construction of a large edifice in a plan known to archaeologists as ‘the four-room house’ which is common in Israel but is rare to non-existent elsewhere. This seems to indicate that the inspiration or cause for the transformations are to be sought in the highland.”

A Design Lab Is Making Rituals for Secular People

Do you want to create a ritual for mourning the death of your laptop? There’s an app for that.

From the article: “At the Ritual Design Lab in Silicon Valley, a small team of ‘interaction designers’ is working to generate new rituals for modern life….The team’s website offers a Ritual Design Hotline with a tantalizing promise: ‘You tell us your problem. We will make you a ritual.’”

Researchers Are Keeping Pig Brains Alive Outside the Body

Scientists made what seems to be an extraordinary breakthrough by keeping pig brains alive outside the animal’s body. Although no one thinks the brains regained consciousness, the development could change the definition of death.

From the article: “These brains may be damaged, but if the cells are alive, it’s a living organ,” says Steve Hyman, director of psychiatric research at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was among those briefed on the work. “It’s at the extreme of technical know-how, but not that different from preserving a kidney.”

Habitually Late People Are Happier, More Successful

See, worrying about all those deadlines is bad for you. (As is waiting for someone to meet deadlines or show up on time. Just saying.)

From the article: “Science has shown that stress is incredibly bad for overall health. People who are late typically feel less stressed, unconcerned with deadlines, and generally more relaxed. That can lead to lower blood pressure, lower risks of heart disease, greater cardiovascular health, lower risk of stroke, and lower chance of depression, all of which can prolong life.”

96-Year-Old Secretary Quietly Amasses Fortune, Then Donates $8.2 Million

No one had any idea that Sylvia Bloom was wealthy. She earned her college degree by attending classes and then worked 67 years for the same law firm. The bulk of the money will fund scholarships for disadvantaged students. She worked until she was 96. (She must have habitually shown up late for work.)

From the article: “She was a secretary in an era when they ran their boss’s lives, including their personal investments,” recalled her niece Jane Lockshin. “So when the boss would buy a stock, she would make the purchase for him, and then buy the same stock for herself, but in a smaller amount because she was on a secretary’s salary.”

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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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