From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Superstar 59: Playoffs and Payoffs

Montana in 2006  (Flickr photo by Phil Hull)
Fourteen years with the NFL has turned out to be a huge pain in the neck for Joe Montana.  After three fusion surgeries, it feels like he’s headed for a fourth.

Hardly a night goes by that Montana isn’t awakened by hands that “hurt like crazy.”  Hardly a day goes by when walking isn’t a struggle.  Due to “nerve damage in one of his eyes… from head trauma,” even seeing is no longer believing for this 59-year-old superstar.

According to Josh Peter of USA TODAY Sports, Montana “will handle the coin toss at Super Bowl 50.”  However, there’s nothing super about the injuries sustained during his fabled career. 

With the wisdom that comes from painful experience, Montana may even be wondering whether past playoffs have been worth subsequent payoffs.


Copyright February 6, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 5, 2016

Facebook: No holds barred?

Ready, aim...      (Photo by Sir Stig)
Under a cloak of perceived anonymity, people tend to say and do things that they wouldn’t face-to-face.

Ironically, “Facebook” has often become such a venue.  Acting as a crossroads for virtual friendships, it fosters a sort of “instant intimacy” in which participants can let it all hang out.

Case in point:  the recent firing of "seven Muslim employees over unscheduled prayer breaks” at Ariens Company in Brillion, Wisconsin.  This, in and of itself, is food for critical thinking, as well as for possible legal recourse.

Some Facebook users, however, used the unfortunate situation as a jumping-off point for their own prejudice and rage.  Ariens Company President Dan Ariens recently noted:  People in the Facebook world say things they shouldn’t.  Most of the negativity is aimed at the Muslim population, and I am more worried about that than our business.

Whatever his motives, Ariens' point is well-taken.  Whether idle gossip about so-called friends (and family members, to boot), or persecuting statements about total strangers, Facebook entries often breed private discomfort and public humiliation.


Copyright February 5, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Two Women, One Man and a Baby

Mitochondrion     (Diagram by Kelvinsong)
Two’s company and three may soon be a baby.  Three-parent embryos are already permitted in the United Kingdom, and may next be allowed in the United States.

Called “an elegant solution” regarding the “class of diseases caused by dysfunctional mitochondria,” three-parent embryos combine the nucleus of one woman’s egg with the rest of another woman’s egg.

This is accomplished by first removing “the nucleus from an egg of the mother-to-be,” stripping another egg of its nucleus, then inserting the mother-to-be’s nucleus into that second egg.  Because the second egg presumably has healthy mitochondria, any resulting embryo will not suffer from such diseases.

Since more than 99 percent of the genetic material lies within the mother-to-be’s contributed nucleus, the second egg winds up donating “less than 1 percent of all the genetic material in the embryo.” Nevertheless, questions remain concerning the child’s identity, due to these unusual circumstances.

Biological questions are also being asked, especially this one:  Could there be a danger in mixing two women’s DNA in a single egg?


Copyright February 4, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved