By Melissa Wuske
Religious Groups Barred in Angola
The southern African nation of Angola banned a number of religious groups after a deadly military raid on Light of the World community, an apocalyptic group started by former Seventh-Day Adventist Jose Kalupeteka. The government ordered the disbanding of United Pentecostal Church, Hope Evangelical Church in Angola, the Pentecostal Community of Jesus Christ in the World, New Jerusalem Divine Healing, and Christian Vision.
Some reports indicated that the Christian humanitarian group World Vision was among the newly banned groups, but Grenville Hopkinson, World Vision’s national director for Angola, said the group has not been banned and is fully compliant with the law.
Angola has a tumultuous record of religious freedom in recent years. In 2013 the government ordered the demolition of a mosque and also suspended several Pentecostal churches after a prayer vigil resulted in a stampede.
The nation’s constitution protects religious freedom, but in order to operate, churches must collect signatures and identification documents from 100,000 people in at least a third of the country’s 18 provinces. A U.S. State Department report gives insight into the reasoning behind the rules: “Representatives of longer-established churches spoke critically of smaller, newer religious groups. . . . Critics stated that leaders of some family churches exploited the poorest segment of the population and demanded thousands or tens of thousands of kwanzas (tens or hundreds of dollars) in tithes in exchange for promises of long life, prosperity, or miracles.”
Possible Link Between Food Storage and Weight
Could how a person stores food at home be connected to their weight? Charles Emery, a psychologist at Ohio State University, thought so and set out to find out more. Emery and his team went into the homes of 100 people, half of whom were medically obese, and took note of how much food was in the home, as well as how and where it was stored.
They found that people who were not obese had less cold storage space and less food overall. Additionally they noticed that participants who were obese had their food more visible and spread around the house. “It doesn’t take a big leap of faith to say if you’re spending most of your time where there’s more food sitting out to see, that’s going to make it harder not to eat,” Emery said.
The study is just the beginning. Obesity is a complex issue influenced by socioeconomic factors, mental health issues, and more. This study was purely an observation; it does not prove causation or correlation. Still, similar research could possibly suggest lifestyle changes to help combat obesity.
Video Game for Alzheimer’s Awareness
Alexander Tarvet, a student at Scotland’s Abertay University’s Game Design & Production Management program created Forget-Me-Knot—an interactive video game that allows users to see through the eyes of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition for everyone affected and their loved ones, and through playing Forget-Me-Knot the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels,” Tarvet said.
The game takes place in a living room filled with family mementos and memorabilia, pieces of a life and identity that the character feels connected to but can’t process fully. The game mimics the physically, mentally, and emotionally foggy world for the disease. “Putting yourself into the shoes of the person with the disease gives a very immediate, visceral sense of how disorientating and terrifying it must be to live with long-term memory loss,” he said.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).