Five for Friday: The Baseball Shift, Suffering Suffrage, Making Friends with Strangers

CHICAGO, IL (October 14, 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.

Learning from Dogs As They Sniff Out Their World

Let your dog take you on a wonderful journey of discovering new scents and developing your sense of smell—but don’t feel obligated to sniff everything they do.

From the article: “There are many ways to sniff, and the human method is not the best,” (researcher Alexandra) Horowitz said. Sniff researchers (yes, you read that correctly) have found we have about six million olfactory receptors; dogs have 300 million. Humans sniff once per second-and-a-half; dogs, five to 10 times a second.”

The Shift Is On in Baseball

It can drive fans nuts to watch the shortstop playing on the second side of the bag and the third baseman moved over to shortstop. It’s just not right. Nor is it right that your .300 hitter can’t put one through the resulting enormous gap on the left side.

From the article: “According to shift data from FanGraphs (itself collected by Baseball Info Solutions), defenses put on some kind of shift for more than 28 percent of balls in play during the 2016 season, a new high for the seasons BIS has been tracking shifts.”

Ball Pit Installed on Street for People to Make Friends

Would or wouldn’t you do it? Maybe a church could put one of these out on the street. Can you picture kids telling their parents that they have to finish one more chicken nugget before they can go out to play?

From the article: “Emblazoned with a sign reading ‘Take a Seat & Make a Friend,’ the ball pit became host to a dozens of passing pedestrians.”

Don’t miss the video of strangers talking to each other in the pit—it’s inspiring.

“We Can’t Do Much Worse Than the Men”

Just two months after the 19th amendment guaranteeing women in the U.S. the right to vote was ratified, the residents of Yoncalla, Oregon, elected an all-female city council. People across the country took notice, and some claimed it was part of a sinister plot. This article unpacks the rumors and offers

From the article: “Female leadership isn’t a monolithic thing; women’s backgrounds and values span the full spectrum of human experience. But Yoncalla’s all-female council reflected one modern through-line: Women tend to run for political office in reaction to specific circumstances. In a survey of U.S. Congress members…69 percent of male respondents strongly agreed with the statement, ‘I always wanted to get into politics,’ while only 30 percent of women did.”

Stop Encouraging Everyone to Vote

A fan wrote to actor and narrator Mike Rowe and asked him to encourage everyone to vote. He politely replied that he could not because it is dangerous for some people to vote. By the way, who knew that the star of “Dirty Jobs” is a former opera singer? Thanks, Wikipedia.

From the article: “Like all rights, the right to vote comes with some responsibilities, but let’s face it—the bar is not set very high. If you believe aliens from another planet walk among us, you are welcome at the polls. If you believe the world is flat, and the moon landing was completely staged, you are invited to cast a ballot….So if you really want me to say something political, how about this—read more. Spend a few hours every week studying American history, human nature, and economic theory.…Develop a worldview that you can articulate as well as defend. Test your theory with people who disagree with you. Debate. Argue. Adjust your philosophy as necessary. Then, when the next election comes around, cast a vote for the candidate whose worldview seems most in line with your own.”




  • Mike Rowe is right: democracy depends upon an educated and informed citizenry. It is clear that some of the fans of today’s candidates are ill-informed, and support their candidate for a host of side issues.

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