Five for Friday: Teens Learning Einstein, Van Gogh the Movie, Life on Mars

CHICAGO, IL (March 4, 2016) — 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.

Teens Do Better in Science When They Know Einstein and Curie Struggled

Would learning that great scientists like Albert Einstein or Marie Curie struggled—both personally and intellectually—cause students to give up and say “if Einstein doesn’t understand it, then I certainly won’t be able to”? Or would that knowledge help them engage in their studies at an increased level? Columbia University’s Teachers College were surprised by the answer.

From the article: “ ‘In our culture we always say you don’t want to intimidate kids, you don’t want to tell them how hard the work is,’ Xiaodong Lin-Siegler noted. But the experiment showed the opposite strategy works better: Showing how great scientists had to muddle through lots of tough stuff made the subject matter real and allowed students to connect with them as people.”

Hilfiger Clothing Line for Kids with Disabilities

Adaptive clothing with magnet closures and adjustable waistbands are the newest addition to the classic Tommy Hilfiger fashion line. In partnership with the organization Runway of Dreams, Hilfiger is making clothing designed for people with a variety of disabilities.

The line came about when fashion designer Mindy Scheier had a revelation. Her son Oliver wears leg braces because he has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that limits his movement. The braces make jeans a challenge, but he wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends did. So she decided to design a line of clothing that “actually works” for kids like Oliver.


Life on Mars

Since the release of the motion picture The Martian, six astronauts road-testing life in a simulated Martian colony located on a Hawaiian mountainside have captivated media attention. Sheyna Giffords, health science officer and crew journalist on the mission, shares her reflections on what they’ve learned so far. They’ve been “off planet” since last August and when they emerge on August 28, 2016, they will be veterans of the longest NASA-funded Mars simulation in history.

From the article: “This is what the six of us came here for: to get along and, in the process, help press humanity outward into the Universe. To hasten the day when people put boots on Mars, and probe its surface for signs of past or present life. In the meanwhile on this barren hillside, we are also finding something of our essential natures….Ponder this: how would it change your worldview if every person you laid eyes on for years was utterly necessary for your survival? That’s life on [simulated] Mars.”

Mystery Worshipper Critiques Covenanter

The webzine Ship of Fools has been sending out Mystery Worshippers to evaluate church life worldwide since 1998. They visit churches incognito and write up their responses to the questions that are on the minds of all new visitors: How long was the sermon? How hard the pew? What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?

Check out how Greg Mesimore, pastor of Edgebrook Covenant Church in Chicago, fared last November when the Mystery Worshipper dropped in on an ecumenical service where he happened to be preaching.

Loving Vincent

The trailer for “the first fully painted feature film in the world” was released this week. It’s a biopic of Vincent van Gogh that splices 12 oil paintings per second. Filmmakers have collaborated with a team of more than 100 painters to bring van Gogh’s works to life in narrative form. The trailer is fascinating.

From the article: “Vincent wrote in his last letter: ‘Well, the truth is, we cannot speak other than by our painting,’ and that is what we are doing—letting his paintings tell the story of what the painter had inside his heart, and ultimately, what happened to him.”




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