By Christy Barritt
Restaurant Owner with Disability Thrives
Restaurant owner Tim Harris believes in offering three things at his business: breakfast, lunch, and hugs. Since he opened his restaurant in Albuquerque four years ago, he’s hugged many customers, including Stevie Wonder, Jordin Sparks, and even President Obama.
But Harris has another record. According to several news reports, he’s the only restaurant owner in America with Down syndrome. After dreaming for years of owning his own business, Harris attended Eastern New Mexico University, where he earned certificates in food service. In 2010, he opened Tim’s Place with his parents’ help.
He’s also launched is own non-profit, Tim’s Big Heart Foundation. His goal is to help people with disabilities to start their own businesses.
ISIS Brings in $800 Million Per Year
A new report in October by a U.S.-based global analytics group found that the Islamic terror group ISIS is bringing in an estimated $800 million per year in crude oil sales. Much of this oil is produced in regions the group has captured in the past year in Iraq and Syria. The product is then sold on the black market.
IHS, a leading source in global information and analytics, reported that the terror group is generating more than enough income to fund its deadly jihadist activities. Some analysts expect this amount to increase. However, if U.S.-coalition airstrikes continue, the future of ISIS’s oil revenues could be crushed.
3D Games Make Players Angrier
A new study from Ohio State University examined the anger levels of video gamers playing on either 2D or 3D screens. Researchers concluded that adding the third dimension can stir up negative emotions.
A group of 194 college students played Grand Theft Auto IV, both in 2D and 3D. After each session, they were asked to rate their feelings using a number of adjectives on a scale of 1-5. Those who allowed themselves to immerse themselves in the game’s mayhem on a 3D screen saw significant anger spikes after playing.
“3D gaming increases anger because the players felt more immersed in the violence when they played violent games,” said Brad Bushman, coauthor of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State. “As the technology in video games improves, it has the ability to have stronger effects on players.”
Unchurched Americans Resistant to Evangelism Outreach
A new study from Barna Group revealed that unchurched Americans are the most resistant to outreach efforts by the church and friends than they’ve been in 20 years.
Data for the survey showed that only 47 percent of U.S. adults who do not attend church said they were open to being invited to church by a friend. That number is down from 65 percent in 1993. The study did show, however, that personal invitations from friends are the most effective way to draw church visitors as compared to other outreaches.
The data also found “moderate openness” to efforts such as home visits and phone calls. About 27 percent of unchurched adults said they’d be open to visiting a church if invited through a pastoral visit, compared to 34 percent who agreed 20 years ago.
The study also revealed that the unchurched are resistant to church advertisement. Only 18 percent of the unchurched said they would consider visiting a church after viewing TV, radio, or newspaper advertising. Only 16 percent would be responsive to a direct mailing, and 14 percent would consider a visit after seeing a billboard.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, VA (christybarritt.com). She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.