Prayer on high alert

"We interrupt programming to bring you a special report ...." "This just "This just in ..." We now go live to ..." "All eyes are focused on ..." Messages that begin like these — sometimes accompanied by an additional crawl of information across the bottom of the TV picture — bring instant recognition that something big may happen. Even with the volume turned down, the visual images can convey urgency, tension, disruption.

In this age of instant communication, information travels at lightning speed, and the benefits are enormous. Being informed is a good thing. The ability to know what's happening in a flash is useful in everything form one person's finding the latest stock quotes or sports scores, to a whole city's taking safe cover in time to escape a tornado.

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March 10, 2003
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