Five for Friday: Most Checked-Out Books, Leaving Shopping Carts, World’s Oldest Couple

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 17, 2020) – 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.

The 10 Most Checked-Out Books from the New York Public Library

Beloved children’s books make up most of the list. Others include “1984” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

From the article: “Since it was founded more than a century ago, the New York Public Library has seen millions of books checked in and out. But the book that’s been checked out the most is a simple story about a child enjoying his city’s first snowfall.”

Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories.

Speaking of books, this article compares how the same textbook, produced by the same publisher, is edited differently depending on whether it is being used in California or Texas. When Americans are taught two different histories, it’s nearly impossible to pursue a united future. This story is a powerful reminder that whoever controls a narrative wields power.

From the article: “In a country that cannot come to a consensus on fundamental questions — how restricted capitalism should be, whether immigrants are a burden or a boon, to what extent the legacy of slavery continues to shape American life — textbook publishers are caught in the middle. On these questions and others, classroom materials are not only shaded by politics, but are also helping to shape a generation of future voters.”

Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts?

You know who you are. If you leave your cart in the parking lot, you may cause other people to stumble.

From the article: “The world will likely not end because we aren’t returning our shopping carts—that would be an amazing butterfly effect—but it’s an example of a quality of life issue we can control. That guy who didn’t return his cart may not be a complete jerk. He may just be using the example set by others so he can get home a little more quickly. But if everyone does that, then we’re shifting the balance of what is acceptable, which may have greater ramifications to the social order. We have a greater influence over seemingly mundane situations than we realize.”

The Race with No Finish Line

Ultrarunning, where competitors race for more than 26.1 miles, are increasingly popular, and Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra gives the trend a new twist. Runners must complete a four-mile track every hour. They can rest until the next hour begins, and then they run the loop again—and again and again. The winner is the last person running.

From the article: “Guterl has been running for more than 48 hours. She staved off the urge to drink caffeine until just before sunrise on the third day. But with a few sips of a caffeinated sports drink and her knee soreness under control, she hits the 200-mile mark. By 7 a.m. on Day 3, there are only four runners left. Guterl wants to win, but she doesn’t want the race to end. Two more hours pass; 208 miles; another runner drops out.”

The World’s Oldest Living Couple Celebrates 80 Years of Marriage

John and Charlotte Henderson still exercise together—although it is unlikely they will participate in Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra.

From the article: “It all started in a zoology class in 1934. Students were seated alphabetically in the tiered lecture hall, so John Henderson, 21, sat directly behind Charlotte Curtis. When he looked down, he liked the shy 20-year-old he saw in front of him.

And Charlotte?

‘I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder.’”

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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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