Category Archives: Positraction

Interesting way to start the week

POSITRACTION: More tools to save lives

2017-Dec-31

https://www.popsci.com/best-science-stories-2017#page-3

SCIENCE
The most uplifting science stories of 2017
A few bright points throughout the year.
By Rachel Feltman  4 hours ago

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A true breakthrough in cancer treatment

After the successful treatment of two twins with leukemia using genetically modified immune cells, the FDA stamped its approval on CAR T-cell immunotherapy, a totally new way of fighting cancer. Now named Kymriah by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the treatment is approved for children and young adults with a recurrent form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer. Traditional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation only target the cancer cells and tumors themselves. You need different types of drugs depending on the type of cancer, and once you stop giving a person the treatment, it quickly leaves the body or stops working. This treatment, and all immunotherapies to a certain extent, target the person’s immune system and harness it to fight the cancer. In theory, it works just like a vaccine: once the immune system is coaxed into fighting the unhealthy cells, it should keep fighting them for a lifetime.

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What a great gift to humanity. Save more children. 

Now if we could just stop aborting healthy babies!

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POSITRACTION: Suicide prevented by random meeting?

2017-Dec-24

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/aussie-woman-builds-school-in-nepal/

Instead of Committing Suicide on a Nepalese Mountain, She Met a Villager Who Changed Everything
Sep 14, 2017 

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In early 2016, 57-year-old Kathryn Lowe found herself on the precipice of turbulent life, wondering if it was all worth it.

Struggling through declining health and a bitter divorce, she decided to follow the promptings of her younger sister Carol who was keen to travel to Nepal for a trekking adventure. Despite a wariness to visit the small, environmentally unstable country that had only a year earlier been devastated by a massive earthquake, Kathryn soon found herself on a small plane coming in to land at Tenzing-Hillary airport, the site of the world’s most dangerous landing strip.

“Before I left, I wrote out my will,” she told Good News Network. “I didn’t expect to come back. I was either going to find an existence over there or quietly fall off the side of a mountain.”

*** and ***

“What became the major catalyst for me deciding to become involved with education in Lukla was the tragic story of a young child who was denied formal education because his parents couldn’t afford the $15 a month asked for by the school,” Kathryn explained.

The 8-year-old boy begged to be allowed into the school only to have the door closed on him.

*** end quote ***

Saved this for a Christmas miracle story.

Hard to imagine the depths of despair that would induce some one to jump.

I doubt that it was a “random” happenstance. I’d like to think the Universe, a Guardian Angel, or just the human will to survive made the world a better place.

I don’t fault the school. Can’t save everyone. No margin; no mission. 

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: In the footsteps of Jonas Salk

2017-Dec-17

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/05/daniel_lewis_built_her_own_art.html

Alabamian with diabetes built her own artificial pancreas, gives away plan for free
Updated May 23, 2017; Posted May 23, 2017
By Lee Roop lroop@al.com 

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Dana Lewis is a good name to remember the next time you hear somebody say Alabama’s mostly good for football and barbecue.

Lewis, a University of Alabama graduate who grew up in Huntsville, used social media, computer skills and mail-order parts to invent an artificial pancreas for people with diabetes. Along with co-inventor and husband Scott Leibrand, she’s now giving her discovery away.

The device is a success – hundreds of people are using it, including Lewis – and it is bringing the young inventors increasing attention. Just this spring, Fast Company put the 28-year-old Lewis on its 2017 list of America’s 100 “most creative people in business.”

Diabetes is caused when the pancreas fails to make the insulin that helps the body turn glucose from sugar and carbohydrates into energy. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood stream. With too much insulin, it can fall to dangerously low levels. For diabetics, staying in the safe center is a constant challenge.

*** and ***

It was December of 2014 when Dana’s system was fully working. “I pretty much knew immediately this is not something I can keep to myself,” she said.

To make and distribute it would violate federal regulations, and to become a company would mean dealing with those regulations. But there is no rule about launching a blueprint on the Internet. “So that’s what we did,” Lewis said, “and that’s why we called it Open APS, which stands for open-sourced pancreas system.”

You can go to openaps.org now and see Lewis’s documentation and her code. You can look at the reference design and decide, in her words, “Do I want to do this?” You can also watch her explain the system further here.

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This demonstrates to me that the Gooferment slows stuff down.

We could have had this device years ago. 

If someone was willing to assume the risk for the reward offered, then why should the Gooferment be in the picture at all?

I wonder what having this device a decade or two earlier might have been.

Argh!

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POSITRACTION: A cat’s care teaches me about what the USA should be

2017-Dec-10

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5129397/Cats-life-saved-week-head-stuck-mayo-jar.html

The cat that got the cream! Stray feline is saved by vet after spending a week with her head stuck inside a mayonnaise jar

  • A stray cat in Pennsylvania spent a week with her head stuck inside a mayo jar
  • Members of the cat rescue group Whisker’s World caught her and brought her to a veterinarian who treated her for free
  • She was weak and malnourished with severely infected chin wounds
  • After treatment she was released back into the neighborhood 

By Mollie Cahillane For Dailymail.com
PUBLISHED: 12:21 EST, 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:34 EST, 29 November 2017

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Kathio frequently treats animals in dire cases for free.

‘When I was a kid in Pakistan, the American Red Cross gave us vaccinations. They came to school and gave us milk. They didn’t have to do it. I learned humanity from America. America inspired me. That’s why I do it,’ Kathio said.

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This is what I hope the USA would do. I remember my relatives talking about CARE packages to Europe. 

How can we match this man’s faith in the USA?

Makes me humble.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: Catholicism’s impact on NOLA recognized?

2017-Dec-03

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/23/new-orleans-300th-anniversary-will-highlight-catho/

New Orleans’ 300th anniversary will highlight Catholicism’s impact on city, women’s contributions
By Eric Althoff – The Washington Times – Thursday, November 23, 2017

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New Orleans will not be ringing in its tricentennial quietly. The city famous for its Mardi Gras parties, hurricane rum drinks and nightly bacchanal has a year of events planned to mark the 300th anniversary of the city’s founding in 1718 by French explorers.

As important to the Big Easy’s history has been the influence of the Catholic Church. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founded the St. Louis Cathedral Church, which served as the missionary center of Catholicism from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes (Detroit was also a French settlement) and within the Mississippi Valley.

An exhibit is now open called “The Church in the Crescent: Three Hundred Years of Catholicism in New Orleans,” and will run through June 30. 

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Interesting to see Holy Mother Church’s in the news for something other than a scandal.

Maybe someone will report on the exhibit and if it’s a fair representation.

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POSITRACTION: $28 baby saver

2017-Nov-26

http://time.com/5023212/best-inventions-of-2017/

Bempu

Fat is an extremely useful quality in babies. Without it, they can rapidly lose body heat, become hypothermic and develop breathing and other problems. But in areas with few resources, where the numbers of premature or low­-weight births are highest, most hospitals and clinics can’t afford incubators to keep babies warm, and most parents don’t know their babies are in danger until it’s too late. Enter the Bempu, a $28 light-­up temperature­-monitoring bracelet that fits on a baby’s wrist; it sounds an alarm and flashes orange if babies are too cold, so mothers can warm them against their skin or swaddle them. So far, the device has helped an estimated 10,000 newborns, mostly in India but also in 25 other countries. And earlier this year, it won a $2 million grant from Saving Lives at Birth to scale its distribution even wider. “Our goal,” says Bempu CEO Ratul Narain, “is to make a solid dent in the neonatal mortality numbers.” —Belinda Luscombe

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It’s great that “we” can save more babies.

It’s a conundrum that “we” abort so many babies.

It’s like “we” are psychotics.

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POSITRACTION: Regime change in a seemingly non-bloody and nonviolent way

2017-Nov-19

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL “The 10-Point”

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READER RESPONSE

Responding to yesterday’s question on the recent events in Zimbabwe,

Philip Gianas of Arizona shared: “My uncle Peter Lyon’s farm in Africa was confiscated in 2002 by Robert Mugabe under the false promise of returning land to Zimbabweans. The real outcome was devastating not only to my uncle who was violently evicted, but to the dozens of Zimbabweans who lived and worked on the farm, and countless others who benefited from the economy built around it. The buildings were burned, equipment was destroyed, animals were killed, and the land was left to deteriorate into permanently barren acres of dirt. Whether or not one agrees with Mr. Mugabe’s vision for Zimbabwe, the people of that once bountiful country never prospered from his nationalist populism.”

Russ Gibson of Iowa said: “I am glad that steps have been taken to remove Mr. Mugabe from power, and in a seemingly non-bloody and nonviolent way. Nearly 40 years of being in power is too long. At the same time, I worry about the power vacuum and who will fill it, as well as the consequences for ordinary residents in Zimbabwe.”

And Joe Ely of Indiana wrote: “I traveled and worked in the Zimbabwe countryside in the years of struggle before Mr. Mugabe’s takeover. His collectivization of a vibrant agricultural juggernaut drove millions into famine and poverty. At last, he appears to be on his way out. The question remains, however, as it always does in Africa: Is the replacement government better? Zimbabwe would be wise to look to their neighbor Botswana for a better model.”

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One can only hope that the change is for the better. Socialism leads to disaster as seen in Venezuela. Dictatorship also leads to disaster as seen in Zimbabwe.

Only a free market economy, protected by the rule of law, and with a government that is an “honest referee” and “night watchman” can empower the people to be all they can be.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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