Category Archives: Positraction

Interesting way to start the week

POSITRACTION: Our “diminished” perceptions and capabilities


The Human Planet | Psychology

The astonishing vision and focus of Namibia’s nomads

The Himba people of Namibia can see fine details and ignore distraction much better than most other human beings – a finding that may reflect the many ways that modern life is changing our minds and abilities.

David Robson7 March 2017

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The first hints that modernisation could change our vision came from the Victorian anthropologist WHR Rivers, who explored the islands of the Torres Strait, between Australia and Papua New Guinea at the turn of the 20th Century. As he met the locals, he offered them various sensory tests, including the following phenomenon, known as the Muller-Lyer illusion. Take a look at the two lines below left, and try it for yourself:

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A stunning — to me at least — revelation.

I’ve long thought about paradigms and memes.

(Paradigms can be defined as a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind. Memes can be defined as a unit of cultural transmission, imitation, and | or replication.)

So paradigms are our framework around perceptions and memes are the ideas that we exchange.

This striking development is around our perceptions and capabilities.

The Namibian nomad’s vision and focus is so precise that they can identify an individual by its pattern. Clearly “we” can’t do that in the “modern world”; “we” have to use ear tags.

Obviously, that’s a stunning adaption. And the article goes on to say that “… … even very short day trips to Opuwo seemed to have had a lasting impact their perception … …”!


What an adaptive capability humanity has. 

But in our adaptability, what have we lost.

This article changes how I “see” the world.

I’m not sure it’s for the better.

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POSITRACTION: “love people and use things” — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


2017 03Mar 04 Bishop Sheen quote

[TIP ‘o’ the HAT to: my classmate and high school friend Trynosky, Stephen K. (MP64MC68) who posted in on Facebook.]

I wonder who in the Church hierarchy he pissed off that he never was elevated to cardinal? Always found him impressive to listen to. Remember when it was required watching when I was in grammar school. The tests about his show were always an essay. You could cheat by asking a friend the next day. I used to just take my F’s like a true PIA. They didn’t count for anything. And, my Mom ratted me out the Brothers that I’d seen the show. I’d watch the show because I liked him. But hated — and still hate — being manipulated, propagandized, or told what to do. Laugh! I’m sure my fellow alums might do much better. Take what you want from this, but I still liked his sermons even today.

Hope this makes you laugh.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: Francis Kone Saves Player-Youtube


Watch Hero Soccer Player Save Opposing Goalie From Choking
by McKinley Corbley – Feb 27, 2017

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The Czech First League league game on Sunday may have ended in disaster if it weren’t for one of the team’s quick-thinking strikers saving an opposing player from choking to death.

During the first half of the 0-0 game, Bohemians 1905 goalkeeper Martin Berkovec accidentally ran smack into his teammate Daniel Krch, leaving them both injured.

Berkovec, however, was knocked unconscious and fell on his back.

While referees signaled medical officials onto the field, Slovacko striker Francis Kone didn’t hesitate jumping into action.

Kone climbed on top of Berkovec’s motionless body and pulled the goalie’s tongue out of his mouth. If Kone hadn’t acted so quickly, Berkovec would most likely have choked to death.

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Save a life. The highest act of humanity?

All to often we seem to be unaware of our common humanity.

I, first realized that, when I heard a Secretary of State say the unbeleiveable.

“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” — Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes (5/12/96)

Since then, I think about children, human life, and “wars” very differently.

Kudos to this man who forgot about the game and did a mitzvah.

Hope I get the chance and recognize that chance.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: Some Christians Choose a Life Apart


In Depth 
The Saturday Essay
Wary of Modern Society, Some Christians Choose a Life Apart
Longing to lead more religious lives—and wary of the wider culture—a growing number of traditional Christians are creating their own small communities
By Ian Lovett | Photographs by Max Whittaker/Prime for The Wall Street Journal
Updated Feb. 17, 2017 11:42 a.m. ET

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When the first few monks arrived in Hulbert, Okla., in 1999, there wasn’t much around but tough soil, a creek and an old cabin where they slept as they began to build a Benedictine monastery in the Ozark 

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[JR: Worth a read. Wish I could share a link but it’s behind the WSJ paywall. Worth a trip to the library. The essence is that even some Catholics are withdrawing from the secular society and clustering together. Not sure if this is the greatest idea, but I can well understand it. Perhaps, this may save Holy Mother Church in the USA. Reminds me of when I went to Catholic Schools and had the support of others.]

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POSITRACTION: A mourning Mom gets a gift


Late Daughter Unknowingly Left Priceless Gift for Grieving Mom
by McKinley Corbley – Feb 6, 2017

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This mother had been in mourning ever since her 16-year-old daughter Macy Mathis was killed in a car accident. Her mind was eased, however, when she discovered the 25 letters left behind for her.

Each letter asks only to be opened when Cindy Mathis, the mother currently residing in Tifton, Georgia, feels a certain emotion. She found the first note a month after Macy’s death when she was cleaning out the trunk of her car. The front of the envelope was emblazoned with: “Open when you can’t sleep.”

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What a great “leave” for grieving Mom.

Can’t imagine how that makes her feel.

Wish I had “directions” from my long passed wife. She was always the “smart one”.

Maybe we should all leave a legacy like this?

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: Moto — a fake flammable log for refugees


These Logs of Coffee Grounds Are a Lifeline for Encamped Refugees
by McKinley Corbley – Jan 29, 2017

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Instead of throwing out the grounds leftover from morning pots of coffee, these University of Toronto students are turning them into a valuable resource for refugees overseas.

Women and children in refugee camps reportedly perform 90% of their cooking using firewood. Family members are often put in danger when leaving the camp to gather more firewood, and it can be a strenuous hours-long endeavor.

The Canadian engineering students are hoping to eliminate that risk by with the creation of Moto: a fake flammable log made of sugar, coffee grounds, and paraffin wax that can burn for up to 90 minutes.

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Interesting idea. 

Transport of the fake logs would be the stumbling block for me.

But given the applications in the USA — camping, barbecues, survival bags, disaster preps, and fireplaces — if the “logs” are 70¢ each, then it would seem they could be sold at a profit here and the fund transferred to refugees. 

But excellent “in-jin-eering” work to get to this point.

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POSITRACTION: Miracle twins kept each other alive


Miracle twins kept each other alive by holding hands while still in the womb
Richard Hartley-Parkinson for
Monday 30 Jan 2017 12:20 pm2.

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A set of identical twins kept each other alive by CUDDLING in the womb. Hayley Lampshire, 27, from Kidlington, Oxfordshire, discovered she was carrying Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins at her 12 week scan which meant they shared the same placenta and amniotic sac. This type of pregnancy, which occurs in less than one per cent of all twin pregnancies, is extremely rare and the boys were given just a 50 per cent chance of survival.

Hayley Lampshire, 27, from Kidlington, Oxfordshire, discovered her twins were suffering from a rare condition meaning they shared one amniotic sac, instead of having one each.

That mean that if the babies moved around in the womb doctors warned their umbilical cords could become tangled, starving them, or even strangling each other.

The only way they would survive the pregnancy was if they both stayed still.

But she was amazed when she went for a scan – and saw her two boys cuddling each other – and even appeared to be holding hands.

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What an entrancing story. Life is so precious.

Was it some instinctive response to the conditions or an Angel? I have no idea. 

But it is a modern day miracle to to beat the odds. (Slot machines have taught me a lot about odds.)

Dona Nobis Pacem

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