Sometimes, we need to step back and ask a question like that.
Philippians 4:8 challenges believers to think and dwell on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.” So the Facts & Trends staff would like to regularly share our “Favorites” at the moment.
It might be a new book or podcast we’re enjoying or something going on in our lives we want to share. Hopefully, you’ll think about things that are your favorites right now and maybe find something else to add to that list.
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor), online editor: While Pokémon Go is all the rage in culture, the Japanese characters have been popular with my sons for several years.
I recognize the game is not for everyone and can clearly be misused, but it has provided a fun summer distraction in our home and encouraged us to get outside as a family.
I’m thankful for a connection with my 14- and 11-year-old sons to discuss silly and fun things, as well as an open door to have more serious conversations about life and faith.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: My favorite this week is the local farmers’ market for reminding me of the goodness of God. I’m not a big fan of summer. About the third week of June I begin my lament, “Oh, fall, please come quickly.” Then I proceed to grumble about the heat until mid-September.
However, this past Saturday as my husband and I ate dinner—comprised of bounty from our local farmers’ market—I pledged my love and gratitude to summer. If it means fresh tomatoes, squash, corn on the cob, and okra, I can tolerate the sweltering heat.
With each bite of heirloom tomato, I thanked the good Lord for giving us summer. And I thanked Him for the men and women in my community who labor through the seasons to provide fruit and vegetables for my table. God is good!
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), managing editor: One of my favorite theme park attractions as a child was the “gravity house,” designed to throw visitors’ perceptions off kilter. People stood on walls, water flowed uphill, and it felt impossible to stand up straight. Although I knew there must be a trick, I couldn’t figure out how such a house could be built.
I was reminded of the gravity house this week when I saw videos of the work of Kokichi Sugihara, an engineering professor in Japan. His sculptures show balls rolling uphill, beads flowing to the peak of a roof, and objects passing through seemingly impossible spaces.
There’s a trick, of course. The optical illusions appear only when the sculptures are viewed from a specific angle. From the opposite side, they look completely different.
Sugihara’s work demonstrates how our preconceptions can affect our understanding of what we see. Even viewing something with our own eyes isn’t firm proof. Sometimes seeing the truth requires stepping to the other side.
Bob Smietana (@BobSmietana), senior writer: My favorite this week: Listening to a Red Sox game while out for a walk on a warm summer night.
My grandfather loved baseball. He and his brothers played constantly while growing up, and at least one of them was good enough to be offered a contract to play minor league ball.
My grandfather eventually became an umpire—officiating at high school games in his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the surrounding communities. He turned down an offer to go to the Texas League, a training ground for Major League umpires because my grandmother didn’t want to move.
On Saturdays, he’d sit in his easy chair with one of his grandkids on his knee and watch his beloved Red Sox. If they weren’t on TV, he’d tune in the game on the radio and relax while the game unfolded over the airwaves. He passed on his love of baseball to my Mom and to his grandkids.
Among my fondest memories were falling asleep at my grandfather’s house with a transistor radio hidden under my pillow, listening to a ballgame. I also will never forget sitting up late at night watching the Red Sox with my Mom in her later years. She was wheelchair bound at that point, a cruel fate for a woman of boundless energy. Watching a ball game provide some escape from the limitations of her daily life.
These days, I listen to the Red Sox on the MLB app, which brings my team’s hometown broadcast on my cellphone. On a warm summer night, I love to pop in my headphones, tune in the game, and head out for a long walk at the park, where I can enjoy the game and think of my mom and my grandfather. It’s a small blessing but one I’m thankful for.
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: Being a designer, people are always asking me my favorite color. I have to make color decisions based on emotions, trends, the audience, product, and brand recognition every day.
I tell people “I don’t have a favorite color.” While there may be colors I prefer to use over others, I intentionally work to expand my palette so my designs don’t look stale. It’s more complicated than you think.
Almost everyone has to make some decision about colors, even if they aren’t a designer. Just choosing what to wear every morning can be a challenge for some. If you need help selecting a color or figuring out why you’re drawn to a certain color, here are two infographics that can help: color psychology and color theory.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?