Five for Friday: Grand Canyon Resident, Happy Cows, Brain-to-Brain Messaging

CHICAGO, IL (October 5, 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.

Your DNA Is Not Your Culture

The quest for meaning and identity has taken some strange turns over humanity’s long history. Now businesses such as AncestoryDNA and 23andMe say they can help connect you with your cultural roots if you just spit into a tube. So far, more than 15 million people have bought in.

From the article: “First, the accuracy of these tests is unproved. But putting that aside, consider simply what it means to get a surprise result of, say, 15 percent German. If you speak no German, celebrate no German traditions, have never cooked German food, and know no Germans, what connection is there, really? Cultural identity is the sum total of all of these experiences. DNA alone does not supersede it.”

Cows Are Happier Setting Their Own Schedules Too

Cows apparently produce a lot more milk and are much healthier when allowed to choose their “work schedule.” Could the same be true for humans? Managers, take note.

From the article: “In 2007, the Hallgrímssons rebuilt their barn from the ground up, spending kr160 million ($1.46 million) on technologies such as milking robots, an automatic feeding system, and cleaning robots. The investment quickly paid off…. Within a year, their 80 cows were producing 30% more milk and the rate of infections had plummeted, cutting the farm’s veterinarian bills from kr2 million a year to under kr0.5 million.”

The Man Who Lives at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

Less than 1 percent of the six million people who visit the Grand Canyon each year descend all the way to the bottom. That’s where Sjor Horstman has lived for 31 years as a volunteer with the National Park Service. Like anyone else who has visited the park, he lives with a sense of wonder.

From the article: “He’s always paying attention,” ranger Elyssa Shalla tells me later, “whether it’s the seasonal changes or noticing that a boulder came down the slope. No one else would notice that rock moved, but he notices.”

Why We Need “Blue Laws”

Blue laws, which restrict commerce on Sundays, were once seen as limiting freedom and stifling economic growth. But they may actually save us from being constantly tied to our work and give us an opportunity to find a deeper sense of community.

From the article: “Blue laws continue to fall by the wayside. They are inconvenient for a busy society. But their inconvenience is precisely why they must be defended, and defended as a matter of legal requirement. People need to have their rest defended from the constant encroachment of busyness, particularly at the hands of business.”

“Social Network” Enables Brains to Communicate to Each Other

This is both fascinating and frightening. Either way, it gives new meaning to having your head in the clouds.

From the article: “A cloud-based brain-to-brain interface server could direct information transmission between any set of devices on the brain-to-brain interface network and make it globally operable through the Internet, thereby allowing cloud-based interactions between brains on a global scale,” Professor Andrea Stocco and his colleagues say.


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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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