In The World—July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015 No Comments »
In The World—July 19, 2015

By Melissa Wuske

The Ultimate Compact Bible

The Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute has created a minute-sized Bible that puts pocket-sized Bibles to shame. Researchers etched the entire Hebrew Bible on a chip the size of a grain of sugar. The engraving was done by an ion beam focused on a silicon wafer coated in a layer of gold less than 100 atoms thick—the precious metal is simply for “poetic beauty.”

Certainly the text is beyond too small to read, so what’s the point? “We realized that we might have found an interesting way of introducing nanotechnology to the general public,” said Dr. Ohad Zohar. “We want to encourage people to think about the unbelievably tiny dimensions in which we can create complex systems today to process, store, and share data.”

The Changing Landscape of Adoption Worldwide

The number of Americans adopting from overseas is at a 30-year low. Much of the decline is due to countries like China, Russia, and Ethiopia changing their stances on international adoption. 

These conditions are cause for frustration and worry for many—including American families who are on years-long adoption wait lists. (Chinese Children Adoption International cites a more than eight-year wait for families adopting healthy infants.)

But Mike Hamilton, executive director of Show Hope, a Christian nonprofit that offers adoption grants to Americans, sees this as a new opportunity to strengthen in-country child welfare systems. While many people’s first thought of adoption is bringing children from other countries into American families, Hamilton said, “The first hope is that children who are orphaned can stay in their family of origin. If that’s not an option, then that they can stay in their country of birth.” He feels international adoption should really be a last resort. 

In response to this belief and the current international poltical climate, Show Hope is providing financial support to trustworthy child welfare organizations around the world, allowing children in need to find “forever families” close to home.

What America Thinks About SCOTUS

At the start of the current session of the Supreme Court, Gallup asked Americans how they thought the Supreme Court was doing: 44 percent said they approved of the court and 48 percent disapproved. This mirrors the split in opinion that’s held fairly steady since 2012, but it also creeps close to the court’s lowest ever approval rating of 42% back in June 2005.

Concerning the court’s ideology, 43 percent say the court’s philosophy is about right, 30 percent say it is too liberal, and 24 say it’s too conservative.

While the overall approval numbers are not exactly hopeful, fluctuations in polls after key decisions have shown one encouraging development: the nation is watching what the Supreme Court does.

A Book-Lover’s Getaway

The Rocky Mountain Land Library may sound like a fantasy: a 32,000-volume library 10,000 feet above sea level where readers and nature-lovers alike can stay in tents and dorms, enjoying natural beauty and the written word. But Jeff Lee and Ann Martin are determined to make it a reality. 

They’ve collected thousands of books (many about the West) and have purchased an abandoned ranch called Buffalo Peaks. Now they’re in the process of upgrading the ranch with water, electricity, supplies, and staff—and raising more funds to make the endeavor possible. 

They’ve been working toward this dream since the mid-1990s, and as it grows closer and the digital era advances, their resolve grows: “As important as connecting people to nature and the land is now, it’s going to be even more so in the future,” Lee says.

Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (

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