In The World—November 27, 2016

November 27, 2016 No Comments »
In The World—November 27, 2016

By Melissa Wuske

Teens’ Views on the Bible

Nearly 70 percent of American teens own a Bible, and 34 percent read the Bible (outside of church services) at least once a month. These findings come from a Barna study, in partnership with the American Bible Society, that examined teens’ views and behaviors about the Bible.

Teens responded that when they see someone reading the Bible in public, 37 percent are happy to see another Christian around, 36 percent are grateful that people still think sacred books are important, and a third feel encouraged. Only 10 percent think a person reading the Bible in public is old-fashioned.

“In an increasingly secular culture, the Bible remains a highly regarded and well-read text among the vast majority of American teens—most of whom believe it to be sacred,” said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. “The research also tells us that teens care deeply about the relevance of the Bible to the world in which they inhabit. And the fact that so many still consider it a source of hope and guidance is reason for great optimism for church leaders and parents alike.”

Facebook Meets Vatican

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan recently met with Pope Francis. “Together they spoke about how to use communications technology to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and to communicate a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged,” the Vatican Press Office said.

“We told him how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness,” said Zuckerberg. “It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness and how deeply he cares about helping people.” Zuckerberg and Chan shared with the pope about their work through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. They also gave the pope a solar-powered drone—the same kind the Initative is developing to “beam Internet connectivity to places that don’t have it.”

Tech Companies Create “Returnships”

More and more tech companies are offering “returnships”—paid internships geared toward people, mostly women, in their 40s and 50s who previously left their profession to care for family. “We’re increasingly looking for creative ways to bring women back to the workforce who we know are incredibly competitive,” said Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, IBM’s chief diversity officer.

“There’s a huge stigma to time off in the tech industry,” said Laura Sherbin, director of research for the think tank Center for Talent Innovation (CTI). “There’s a perception that tech passes us by even on a maternity leave, and if you’ve had time out of the workforce you’re hugely behind.” Sherbin also said these initiatives address the industry’s tendency toward hiring younger workers. Returnships were first used by Wall Street banks. Goldman Sachs, for example, has given full-time jobs to nearly half of the 150 people who’ve gone through their program.

What a Dog Hears

“Dogs process both what we say and how we say it in a way which is amazingly similar to how human brains do,” said Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary. Researchers took images of dogs’ brains as a human said either a praising word or intoned words with praise. Dogs responded to both the content and tone of the messages.

Before beginning the study, researchers had to train the dogs to lie still in a scanner. “[The dogs] are really happy to participate,” said Andics. “The difficult aspect of the training was to convince dogs that ‘motionless’ means really motionless. They can’t move more than 3 millimeters in any direction, otherwise we have to throw out all of the data.”

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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