"... Although the number of evangelical churches in the United States declined for many years, the trend reversed in 2006, with more new churches opening each year since, according to the Leadership Network’s most recent surveys. This wave of “church planting” has been highest among nondenominational pastors, free to experiment outside traditional hierarchies.
Mr. Pagitt has written several books on church innovations, many of which were first developed in the “emergent” church movement of the last decade or among “missional” churches whose practices focus on life outside the church.
Many of their innovations are being adopted by an increasing number of pastors in the mainstream.
... But in March, unbeknown to Ms. Pu, a critical meeting had occurred between Foxconn’s top executives and a high-ranking Apple official. The companies had committed themselves to a series of wide-ranging reforms. Foxconn, China’s largest private employer, pledged to sharply curtail workers’ hours and significantly increase wages — reforms that, if fully carried out next year as planned, could create a ripple effect that benefits tens of millions of workers across the electronics industry, employment experts say.
Other reforms were more personal. Protective foam sprouted on low stairwell ceilings inside factories. Automatic shut-off devices appeared on whirring machines. Ms. Pu got her chair. This autumn, she even heard that some workers had received cushioned seats.
The changes also extend to California, where Apple is based. Apple, the electronics industry’s behemoth, in the last year has tripled its corporate social responsibility staff, has re-evaluated how it works with manufacturers, has asked competitors to help curb excessive overtime in China and has reached out to advocacy groups it once rebuffed.
Executives at companies like Hewlett-Packard and Intel say those shifts have convinced many electronics companies that they must also overhaul how they interact with foreign plants and workers — often at a cost to their bottom lines, though, analysts say, probably not so much as to affect consumer prices. As Apple and Foxconn became fodder for “Saturday Night Live” and questions during presidential debates, device designers and manufacturers concluded the industry’s reputation was at risk. ...
3. Yet another reflection on the impact of 3-D printing in Spiegel: Technology May Bring New Industrial Revolution
4. Some states are no longer requiring that cursive writing be taught. The Wall Street Journal laments The Lost Art of the Handwritten Note
5. Speaking writing, an e-company has come up with a new spin on celebrity autographs: Is This Really the Future of the Autograph?
"...Launched in July, the Seattle-based Egraphs' business model is simple, but pretty clever. Fans can peruse the company website to see if their favorite athlete has partnered up with Egraphs. Each player's section has a number of professionally shot action photographs included, typically priced between $25 and $50. The fan pays and sends the athlete a message through the website, including some personal details or memories.
The athlete then receives that message on his custom iPad app, using the the information provided to write a personalized note and electronic autograph on the selected photo. The photo is then sent electronically to the fan, who can save it digitally, share it on social media or order a physical print. Revenue is split between company and athlete. ..."
7. Huffington Post ponders whether or not Biblical Baby Names Falling In Popularity
8. This month is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, legalizing abortion across the country. Time magazine has a feature article about the Pro-Choice movement this week that suggests 1973 may have been the high-water mark for the movement. Unfortunately, the article is behind a pay wall. Here is a short clip summarizing their take.
"...Academic Publishers will tell you that creating modern textbooks is an expensive, labor-intensive process that demands charging high prices. But as Kevin Carey noted in a recent Slate piece, the industry also shares some of the dysfunctions that help drive up the cost of healthcare spending. Just as doctors prescribe prescription drugs they'll never have to pay for, college professors often assign titles with little consideration of cost. Students, like patients worried about their health, don't have much choice to pay up, lest they risk their grades. Meanwhile, Carey illustrates how publishers have done just about everything within their power to prop up their profits, from bundling textbooks with software that forces students to buy new editions instead of cheaper used copies, to suing a low-cost textbook start-ups over flimsy copyright claims. ..."
10. Feeling thirsty? Consider that Bottled Water Is More Dangerous Than Tap Water.
11. Good news for history mystery buffs. Amelia Earhart Plane And Flight 19 Wreckage Could Be Found By New NOAA Technology
12. Baseball Pitchers like Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield, and now, R. A. Dickey did their magic throwing a knuckleball. Pitchers who master usually do very well and it puts less stress on the arm. So why don't more pitchers throw it? Why the Knuckleball Isn’t Thrown by More Pitchers in Major League Baseball
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