Meanderings, 3 December 2022
We are in the season of Advent when we look forward, in a remembering kind of way, the first coming of Christ. But in the church tradition, we connect the first coming with the second coming. Now for those in NT studies, this means something very important to us: inaugurated eschatology. We are “in between” the times, the kingdom has come, but has not come completely. We have experienced the realization of hope yet we continue to hope. Redemption has happened, but there is more to come.
NEW YORK (AP) — GivingTuesday raised a record $3.1 billion in 24 hours for charitable causes in the U.S. earlier this week, as the event that started as a hashtag in 2012 celebrated its 10th anniversary and its status as a staple of fundraising for nonprofits, the group’s leader said Wednesday.
Despite the difficult economic year that many households have experienced, with inflation in the costs of basic goods, gas and housing, people were still willing to give, said GivingTuesday CEO Asha Curran.
“That’s really what we saw yesterday,” she told The Associated Press. “That whatever it is that people are experiencing, they were as generous as they had the capacity to be.”
GivingTuesday estimated that giving increased about 15% from 2021′s $2.7 billion, outpacing inflation. Donations were tallied using an array of data sources that includes major community foundations, companies that offer fundraising software, the payment processor PayPal and large grantmakers like Fidelity Charitable and Vanguard Charitable. Their methodology for compiling the estimate seeks to eliminate duplicate data points, Curran said.
In another measure of the resilience of donations, Fidelity Charitable said Tuesday that for the first time since 2018, the value of grants from its donor advised funds exceeds the value of investments going into the funds.
The organization said this year’s totals marked the largest amount donated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since the group started tracking it.
Please come back Monday when I announce this year’s Jesus Creed Books of the Year.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — A 10-year-old girl is staying positive after fending off a shark during an encounter at a Florida beach.
“I fought a shark and won,” Jasmine Carney told NBC affiliate WPTV. Earlier this week, a shark came right at Jasmine while she was visiting Hobe Sound Beach.
“Something grabbed me. So, I’m like, ‘don’t you touch me.'” Jasmine told the news station. “It looked pretty big, It was grey. It hurt, so I’m like, kick it, run away.”
Jasmine’s adoptive grandma, who goes by “Nana,” told the news outlet that she was “amazed.”
“She came running up that beach, screaming, ‘Nana! Nana! Something bit me. Something bit me,'” she recalled. “And I saw all the blood and went and got a lifeguard.”
Jasmine was flown to a children’s hospital with a severe injury to her right foot. Her surgeon, Dr. Nir Hus, said he was surprised by how calm she was.
“She was very positive from the get-go,” he said.
An Indiana police officer and his wife went above the call of duty and are now celebrating after they adopted a baby who was surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box.
Bruce Faltyski and his wife Shelly finalized the adoption of their 8-year-old daughter Kaia eight months before they received the call about an infant that was less than a day old when she was left in a Safe Haven Baby Box.
Doctors told the couple that by the time baby Myah came to the hospital, she’d already suffered a seizure.
The Faltyskis felt equipped to care for her, with Bruce being a police officer and Shelby a nurse.
“Initially, (we were) a little apprehensive and nervous about the initial call,” Bruce recalled. “Then, once we were selected to be the adoptive parents for Myah, complete joy and just excitement for our family and just answered prayers.”
“When we got the call about Myah, we were just really surprised; God just blew us away,” Shelly added. “When we got that call that she was ours, it was just overwhelmingly full of joy and gratitude and knowing that so clearly she was from the Lord.”
Myah was adopted Nov. 18, a day known as National Adoption Day.
In this age of misinformation—of “fake news,” conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes—gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time.
A driver of disorientation and mistrust, gaslighting is “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.” 2022 saw a 1740% increase in lookups for gaslighting, with high interest throughout the year.
Its origins are colorful: the term comes from the title of a 1938 play and the movie based on that play, the plot of which involves a man attempting to make his wife believe that she is going insane. His mysterious activities in the attic cause the house’s gas lights to dim, but he insists to his wife that the lights are not dimming and that she can’t trust her own perceptions.
When gaslighting was first used in the mid 20th century it referred to a kind of deception like that in the movie. We define this use as:
: psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator
But in recent years, we have seen the meaning of gaslighting refer also to something simpler and broader: “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for a personal advantage.” In this use, the word is at home with other terms relating to modern forms of deception and manipulation, such as fake news, deepfake, and artificial intelligence.
A historian named Jay Green wrote an essay in Current that used a wildly inconsistent set of ideas for one axis and then measured one’s activism on another axis, and came up with some assignations that just didn’t fit. What his article told us about was who he agreed with and who he didn’t. Which means, his graph told us far more about himself than those whom he decided were not to his liking. His axis that concerned me mapped people from “civilization” to “emancipation.” The end of a spectrum of civilization is not emancipation but anarchy, and the opposite end to emancipation is slavery. So, the whole thing got skewed. It was not a good day for Jay Green. Here are two responses: one by Kristin and the other by Joey Cochran. A piece of advice for historians: don’t even try to do sociological graphs. The essay makes a good case for 2022’s “Essay Unworthy of Publication.”
Here at the NIH Clinical Center, we are proud to be considered a world-renowned research hospital that provides hope through pioneering clinical research to improve human health. But what you may not know is that our doctors are constantly partnering with public and private sectors to come up with innovative technologies that will help to advance health outcomes.
I’m excited to bring to you a story that is perfect example of the ingenuity of our NIH doctors working with global strategic partners to create potentially life-saving technologies. This story begins during the COVID-19 pandemic with the global shortage of ventilators to help patients breathe. Hospitals had a profound need for inexpensive, easy-to-use, rapidly mass-produced resuscitation devices that could be quickly distributed in areas of critical need.
Through strategic partnerships, our Clinical Center doctors learned about and joined an international group of engineers, physicians, respiratory therapists, and patient advocates using their engineering skills to create a ventilator that was functional, affordable, and intuitive. After several iterations and bench testing, they devised a user-friendly ventilator.
Then, with the assistance of 3D-printing technology, they improved the original design and did something pretty incredible: the team created the smallest single-patient ventilator seen to date. The device is just 2.4 centimeters (about 1 inch) in diameter with a length of 7.4 centimeters (about 3 inches).
A typical ventilator in a hospital obviously is much larger and has a bellows system. It fills with oxygen and then forces it into the lungs followed by the patient passively exhaling. These systems have multiple moving parts, valves, hoses, and electronic or mechanical controls to manage all aspects of the oxygen flow into the lungs.
But our miniature, 3D-printed ventilator is single use, disposable, and has no moving parts. It’s based on principles of fluidics to ventilate patients by automatically oscillating between forced inspiration and assisted expiration as airway pressure changes. It requires only a continuous supply of pressurized oxygen.
The possibilities of this 3D-printed miniature ventilator are broad. The ventilators could be easily used in emergency transport, potentially treating battlefield casualties or responding to disasters and mass casualty events like earthquakes.