Five for Friday: When Zebras Talk to Lions, Brilliant Disguises, Heartwarming Photos

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons: Keith Allison


CHICAGO, IL (November 16, 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.

When NFL Zebras Chat with Lions and Giants and Bears

The relationship between referees and NFL players isn’t all that complicated. They have a great time together, sometimes confront each other, and try to keep it all in perspective. Perhaps there’s a life lesson in there.

From the article: “Joe Theismann, the former Washington quarterback who won the N.F.L.’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1983, recalled a time when he thought he had spotted a foul by a defensive player at the line of scrimmage. He turned to complain to referee Ben Dreith, who disagreed. There were no replay reviews back then, but Theismann knew that the officials went over tapes of their games days later. ‘You’re going to look at a replay and know you’re wrong,’ Theismann recalled telling Dreith. ‘Maybe,’ he recalled Dreith answering, ‘but here’s what I know for sure. If you don’t get the next snap off in 15 seconds, you’re going to get a five-yard penalty. And that won’t be very good for you, either.’”

How Spies Use Disguises

In life we all put on some sort of disguise to help keep people from seeing the “real” us. But for spies, being seen can be a matter of life and death. Who hasn’t wondered how they do it? (The accompanying photo is Matthew Rhys, who played Philip Jennings on “The Americans.”)

From the article: “With women, you have a broader range of what you can do. You also have one extra step: you can turn a woman into a man. I would mention that it’s almost impossible to turn a man into a woman. What we do is always additive—we can make you taller, we can make you heavier, we can make you older—we can’t go the other direction. You want to be the person that gets on the elevator and then gets off and nobody even remembers that you were really there. That is a design goal at the disguise labs at CIA.”

Heartwarming Photos of Acts of Kindness

From the article: “Sometimes the onslaught of bad news can weigh heavy on our hearts, but there is also plenty of good in the world to remember in the midst of unease and heartbreak. These selfless deeds remind us of all of the ways we can help.”

Rage Rooms: Recreational Smashing Can be Good for Mental Health

Apparently rage rooms are, well, all the rage these days. If you’re looking for a safe place to release your frustrations, this might be just for you. Though the fact that people would pay $300 to break stuff seems—maddening.

From the article: “Rage rooms are generally affordable, but like anything else, prices vary. In Glen Burnie, Maryland, you can pay as little as $15 for a BYOB package—that’s bring your own breakable—if you want to destroy some keepsakes of your own. In New York City, you can pay $95 for the ‘Couples Therapy’ package, which comes with two electronic items, such as a printer or laptop, and two buckets of dishes, such as ceramic plates, mugs and bowls. In Los Angeles, you can pay up to $300 for the ‘Overkill’ package, which includes 100 items such as televisions, wine bottles and printers.”

Teacher Had to Tell Deaf Students People Hear Farts, Gets Hilarious Reaction

A first-grade teacher posted on Facebook a replay of a conversation she had with her deaf students who are in a class with hearing students. The exchange is funny, but it points to the isolation some kids experience.

From the article: “’I know it started with farts, but the real issue is that many of my students aren’t able to learn about these things at home or from their peers because they don’t have the same linguistic access,’ she told GOOD. ‘So many of my students don’t have families who can sign well enough to explain so many things it’s incredibly isolating for these kids,’ she continued.”

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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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  1. Take out the word “farts” and then re-read the story, Joanne. Focus on the takeaway, not the actual event. So, yes, really, the story was very classy.

    1. Just off the top of my head, I’d say in many of the faces and hands pictured in the 38 snapshots of compassionate acts as well as so many not pictured, within and enfolding the teachers willing to have the difficult conversations with students to help them bridge disconnection, within every comment on the Covenant website any of us has the courage to post—even the ones which we might disagree with—as comments and observations so frequently open the door to further discussion, mutual understanding, and an affirmation of shared humanity, and most especially in the knowledge that even in the midst of our flaws and disagreements and messy emotions like anger and less than socially appropriate odors, actions, comments, and moments, we are loved and accepted exactly as we are by a loving God who chose to walk among us and share our humanity on a journey toward our ultimate salvation…an act which we will soon enter the season of celebrating. Amazing. Brings me to tears darn near every time I really think about it.

    1. Yes, really. You have to read about compassion on the Covenant website. You have to read about shared humanity on the Covenant website. You have to read on the Covenant website things that make you consider what makes people feel disconnected and isolated from the rest of humanity. Absolutely you do. Perhaps “classy” is about what you choose to consider.

      As a teacher of teens with special needs, I can say with certainty that most people have no idea the level of disconnection my students experience on a regular basis around basic, ordinary stuff that comes so easily to the rest of us. Especially the ones with disabling conditions which aren’t immediately visible to the rest of us. It’s easy to be compassionate toward a child whose disability isn’t offensive to anyone. When a disability results in behavior we find offensive, such as loudly passing gas without understanding that it can be heard, shouting out odd comments, having difficulty curbing impulsive behavior like interrupting or moving around, or struggling with appropriate social interaction due to mental health issues, it’s a lot more difficult to bring a compassionate response. Compassion is born from understanding the struggle and from acknowledging our shared humanity within it. Let’s not get hung up on the mention of passing gas. It’s not like nobody surfing the hallowed Covenant website ever does that.

      …Except me. I never do.

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