Five for Friday: Picture Book Biographies, Scatter-Brained Reading

CHICAGO, IL (April 17, 2015) — Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another 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.

mejane goodall_1Fifteen Picture Books Celebrate Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists
This is a great collection of 15 picture books that celebrate the lives of people such as Julia Child, Jane Goodall, and Ella Fitzgerald. They tell the story of the subjects’ childhoods. As the article author writes, “a great many such books exist, but few feature the trifecta of wonderfulness: a cultural icon notable for his or her lasting contribution to humanity beyond mere fame; an intelligent and nuanced life-story lovingly told; and beautiful, imaginative illustrations rewarding in their own right.”

Reading for Scatter-Brained People with Neither Patience nor Respect for Authority
If your stack of partially read nonfiction books continues to grow, then this is for you. The writer explains how you can get through them quickly and even retain more information than if you tried to read them straight through cover to cover. My scattered-brain and I will be trying this approach during my vacation.

Majority Still Favor Death Penalty but Support Declines
Support for the death penalty is down 22 percent from two decades ago. Studies reveal growing gender and partisan divisions on the issue. One interesting statistic: 71 percent of Americans surveyed thought there was a risk an innocent person would be executed, yet 56 percent still favored the death penalty. I wonder how they do the risk-reward calculation, especially since 61 percent of people think it doesn’t deter crime.

Britt McHenryDon’t Rush to Judgment about Reporter’s Disgusting Rant
ESPN reporter Britt McHenry was suspended after a video of her foul-mouthed rant at a towing firm clerk went viral. McHenry derided the woman’s appearance telling her to “lose some weight, baby girl,” and suggesting, “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”

Michael Bayer, director of outreach and education at the University of Iowa Newman Catholic Student Center, cautions that before we self-righteously judge McHenry, we should consider our own actions. He writes, “It’s symptomatic of a deeper cultural pathology of viewing others, including ‘the poor,’ ‘immigrants,’ ‘high-school dropouts’ and other demographics as somehow less worth of dignity and respect than ourselves.”

Atlanta School Cheating Scandal: Is Prison Too Harsh a Punishment?
Is the sentencing of Atlanta educators convicted in the cheating scandal an indictment of the education system? Are the sentences appropriate? The judge inveighed against the teachers who refused to take responsibility for changing answers on students’ standardized tests. He stated that their crime was far from victimless: thousands of students were deceived into thinking they were better at reading and math than they actually were, thus denying them adequate education.




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