Man Plans, Cats Laugh: What Our Editors Are Reading | Sojourners

Man Plans, Cats Laugh: What Our Editors Are Reading

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When Elon Musk’s SpaceX company designed the latest Starlink satellite dishes, they added a self-warming feature to the dish to make sure snow didn’t inhibit the $500 internet technology from providing pristine service. As the old Yiddish saying goes, “man plans, God laughs.” On New Year’s Eve, exactly five cats cuddled on Starlink user Aaron Taylor’s dish, slowing down his movie-streaming experience.

“Starlink works great until the cats find out that the dish gives off a little heat on cold days,” he wrote in a now viral tweet. Man plans, cats cuddle.

Almost certainly, the cats were drawn to the dish for the warmth it emanates. But I’d like to think those kittens are actually carrying out an act of chaotic good (kinda like Daniel Berrigan burning draft files to protest the Vietnam War — but cuter). You see, I’m not a fan of the Billionaires-in-Outer-Space Country Club. That’s one reason I spoke to astrophysicist and Methodist minister David Wilkinson about how to decolonize space exploration. He warned that we live in both a “good and fallen world with institutions and nations that are looking to space for their own economic advantage or military supremacy.”

The dish that the aforementioned felines were sleeping on is part of a network powered by 1,200 satellites orbiting Earth. One of them nearly collided with China’s Tiangong space station. Just because we can harness Earth’s gravity for optimal Netflix streaming doesn’t mean we should. Just because we can have billionaires take joy rides to space doesn’t mean we should. As I watch our technology advance faster than our ethics, I ask myself, “What would the cats do?” They would cuddle. Here are 10 stories to read this weekend while cozied up on your couch or favorite metallic parabola.

1. The Colonization of Space Is Likely Inevitable
“Christian leaders need to approach science with humility and with confidence and joy, rather than fearfulness or silence.” By David Wilkinson via Sojourners.

2. Outdoor Cats Are Using $500 Starlink Satellite Dishes as Self-Heating Beds
The devices—developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX—have a warming feature to prevent snow built up from disrupting the signal. By Margaret Osborne via smithsonianmag.com.

3. Death Penalty Protesters Want to ‘Break the Cycle of Violence’
Police arrested 11 people protesting the 45th anniversary of the first execution following the Supreme Court's 1976 ruling. By Catherine Buchaniec via sojo.net.

4. ‘You Never Forget It’: These Are the Stories of Life Before Roe v. Wade Transformed America
“[R]ight then and there I thought no one, no matter what kind of mistake or goof-up or whatnot they did in their life, they shouldn’t have to suffer and die like that.” By Shefali Luthra via The 19th.

5. ‘Red Lip Theology’ Lets Black Christian Women Be Ourselves
Candice Marie Benbow expands the breadth of literature written specifically for Black Christian women. By Deirdre Jonese Austin via sojo.net.

6. Tennessee-Based Adoption Agency Refuses to Help Couple Because They’re Jewish
“The Tennessee Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, promises religious freedom and equality for everyone. Tennessee is reneging on that promise by allowing a taxpayer-funded agency to discriminate against Liz and Gabe Rutan-Ram because they are Jews,” Alex J. Luchenitser, associate vice president and associate legal director at Americans United, said. By Tyler Whetstone via tennessean.com.

7. Daniel Berrigan’s Lifetime of Saying ‘Yes’
The poet, prophet, and priest’s legacy of laughter and delight. By Joyce Hollyday via Sojourners.

8. ‘The Lowest Point in My Lifetime’: How 14 Independent Voters Feel About America
In a new Times Opinion focus group, voters who were decisive to President Biden’s victory lay out their biggest concerns — chiefly, inflation. By Patrick Healy and Adrian J. Rivera via The New York Times.

9. Carrie Newcomer's Folksy Soundtrack for This ‘Great Unraveling’
The singer-songwriter and poet moves between pastoral and prophetic with gentleness, maturity, and playfulness. By Jes Kast via sojo.net.

10. A Toast to All the Rejects
What a shared rejection spreadsheet taught me about success. By Rhaina Cohen via The Atlantic.

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