Five for Friday: Quiet! Embarrassed Goalie, Ice Bucket Challenge

CHICAGO, IL (July 22, 2016) — 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 Quietist Place in America

No one within 13,000 square miles of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia is allowed to have WiFi, smartphones, or even a microwave because the “slightest touch by electromagnetic waves could ruin the fun.” Most of us are irritated when the pilot tells us to switch off our devices when our plane takes off or lands.

From the article: “Residents of the area are required to sign agreements that they will not own or operate any technology that would violate the National Radio Quiet Zone’s strict requirements.”

Americans Losing Faith in Religion Tackling Social Problems

Because people are losing faith in religion in general, the results of this study shouldn’t be surprising. However, the rate at which attitudes are changing might raise an eyebrow or two.

“The percentage of those who believe that churches help solve social problems has declined almost equally across age, religious belief, geographical location, and political affiliation. ‘It is striking just how broad-based this change is,’ said Greg Smith, deputy director of religion research at Pew Research Center.”

icebucket challenge

A.L.S. and the Ice Bucket Challenge Two Years Later

When Facebook users posted 17 million videos responding to the A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, critics scoffed at the phenomenon, calling it an example of “slacktivism” where people feel good about doing something when they don’t really do much. Others feared that the challenge would draw money away from other causes. In fact, within eight weeks, A.L.S. Association received 13 times as many donations as the organization received the entire previous year. And the donations keep coming—albeit at a lesser rate. Also, other organizations haven’t suffered.

From the article: “The campaign was an enormous success with millennials, a demographic most charities have had a hard time reaching. The young are the demographic least likely to make charitable donations, and millennials seem more resistant to traditional charity appeals than previous generations. The challenge circumvented those problems by leveraging the power of social media to spread the word, and by making it easy for people to donate via their cell phones.”

Delete Your Unnecessary Apps

Influential tech writer Walter Mossberg acknowledges that his job requires him to download far more apps than the average person, but he believes just about anyone can cut half the apps clogging up their phones. That may be true, but just like any other housecleaning undertaking, you just know you’re going to need one of them the day after you get rid of it.

“I attacked my phone’s app landfill to learn how very many apps which once seemed interesting or necessary hadn’t made it into the toolkit of my life. How many had been superseded by better apps or by functions built into the phone or my other devices since their debut. How many were redundant or disappointing. Or, on the other hand, how many were great but did more than I ever needed.”

own goal

Goalkeeper Handles Embarrassment Better Than Ball

Minnesota United keeper Sammy Ndjock may have committed the worst, most-embarrassing own goal in the history of soccer, and, of course, the video has gone viral. Ndjock has responded by making his own video that models how we might handle failure.




  • Regarding the decline in perception about religious activism, it is my observation that religious folk do a great deal of work in addressing those in need in many different ways. They are like the ambulance that gets called when there is an accident. The problem is that religious folk have been reluctant to be involved in changing the circumstances that cause people to be in need.

    If an ambulance is needed over and over again at a certain intersection, perhaps it is time to change the intersection so it is safer and requires fewer calls. Churches seem to take pride in giving more food to the soup kitchen this year than last year, but how about doing something to reduce the number of people who need the soup kitchen!

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