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Thu, 01 Sep 2016
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Heart

Autistic boy fails test and receives this touching letter

© Twitter
Recently, an 11-year-old boy named Ben Twist, who happens to have autism, took his schools SAT exams. Though he did his best, the results were far from what he was expecting.

When teacher Ruth Clarkson learned of his disappointment, she decided to do something special. She sat down and wrote a touching letter to Twist and sent it from the Lansbury Bridge School & Sports College.

She mentions in the letter that the exams aren't everything and writes that Ben has many other talents that aren't measured in the tests. It is mentioned that he should be proud of his artistic talents, abilities in sport, his musical ability, his kindness, and his growing independence which set him apart from other students.

Comment: It's refreshing to see a head teacher with such understanding, who values their students based on their individuality, rather than an externally imposed model of judgement.


Rainbow

Being in the flow: Where energy moves in the direction of our intentions

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, (the researcher who coined the term "flow") originally set out to study exemplary people because he wanted to understand what constitutes those "peak experiences" often described by champion athletes, recognized artists. However, what he discovered was a state not just where psychic entropy is absent (he calls this state "negentrophy") but where optimal experiences happen.

What Csikszentmihaly uncovered was that the state of flow differs greatly from all other states of consciousness - such as psychic entropy, where information conflicts with our existing intentions or prevents us from carrying them out. In the state of flow, the entirety of our attention is devoted to the task at hand. The example that Csikszentmihalyi gives is the difference between being distracted at work by the flat tire you will have to deal with on your way home, and being completely immersed in what you are doing. Csikszentmihalyi describes this type of experience as "the order of consciousness", where all of the information that comes into awareness is congruent with our goals. In this state, psychic energy flows in the direction of our intentions. That is to say, we operate without distraction, worry, self-doubt, or questioning ourselves (Csiksentmihalyi, 2005).

According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow experiences result when the challenge in front of us perfectly matches our skills. Describing what he calls a "flow channel", when our skills exceed the task we face, the result is boredom, and on the other hand, when the task is too challenging, we experience anxiety. To have flow, then, challenges must fall into the "channel" just enough to challenge us, but not too much to overwhelm us.

Comment: See also:


Che Guevara

What is Sovereignty?

This subject or concept is a hot topic in the alternative community. I recently attended the Anarchapulco conference that featured a wide range of aspects of this important subject regarding our personal awakening and growing financial, legal and spiritual independence and empowerment.

Cryptocurrencies were featured along with our current geopolitical situation and alternative lifestyle choices, while roundly exposing the futility and anachronistic nature of statism, brilliantly done by Larken Rose and many other speakers. Understanding what we've been programmed to accept and learning to question every aspect of what the social engineers have indoctrinated us with is paramount to any real truth seeker.

When I approach these subjects touching on sovereignty, whether it be freedom from the binding maritime law-based legal system or questioning all forms of the hierarchical control paradigm, I look at it from a spiritual perspective.

Clock

New mathematical model explains why flying Eastwards worsens jet-lag symptoms

© Perfscience
If you've ever found that recovery from jet lag took even longer than you expected it to, physicists have answers: A new mathematical model helps explain why flying east is tougher on jet-lag recovery.

The model takes into account how certain cells in the human brain respond to crossing time zones, according to the study, published today (July 12) in the journal Chaos.

These cells, called "neuronal oscillator cells," regulate people's circadian rhythm, or biological clock, by syncing up with one another and also linking up with external cues, said Michelle Girvan, an associate professor of physics at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the study.

But the cells don't quite operate on a perfect 24-hour schedule, Girvan told Live Science. Rather, their activity follows a cycle that lasts slightly longer than that, about 24.5 hours, she said. That means that it's easier for a person to extend the length of a day — for example, by flying west across time zones — than to shorten the day, by flying east, she said.

The researchers incorporated the activity of these cells into their model of jet lag, Girvan said. They found that jet-lag recovery doesn't quite fit into a neat pattern of the widely touted advice to give yourself "one day of recovery for every time zone crossed."

Rather, the amount of time it takes for a person to adjust to a new time zone depends on not only how many time zones are crossed but also the direction in which the person travels.

Brick Wall

The modern day school system: The incarceration of children

CAFOs, also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, are confined feedlots in which animals raised for food products are kept in confined prison-like conditions absent of natural vegetation. Here, animals are kept outside of their natural habitat and fed feed they would not eat in nature. The filthy conditions and poor nutrition make for sick animals, so the CAFOs depend heavily on antibiotics which are given prophylactically. Beef and dairy cattle, pigs, turkeys, and chickens are among the animals in the more than 257,000 AFOS in the United States.

Rather than eat native foods such as grasses, vegetation and insects, they are "fed" mostly genetically modified crops such as soy and corn, or cereal based feed made from these crops. Instead of eliminating waste naturally on the land, which acts as fertilizer, the waste is stored in anaerobic "lagoons". These cesspools of waste emit carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia into the air and leach antibiotics, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and bacteria into the land. Without going much further in to the devastating science of why CAFOs are bad for human and animal health, and our environment, it is safe to say that animals do best in their natural habitat, living, reproducing, eating and eliminating as nature intended, and that we as omnivores do best when eating food raised in its wild or natural habitat.

Comment: The key to a real education: Self discovery


Nebula

The content you consume can become your reality

© rolffimages / Fotolia
"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind." — James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
I'm a ravenous consumer of content. I bet you are, too. If we are what we eat, for better or worse, the content we consume becomes our reality. It becomes the story we tell ourselves, the principles we believe in, and it may even determine our health. Some content is detrimental and some is beneficial. Because we're bombarded with information from every direction, it's never been more important to carefully curate what we consume.

Rainbow

Cultivating a sense of adventure keeps you motivated

It's inevitable. Sometimes in life we get stuck. We feel stuck. We get in a rut, and from there all motivation can fizzle and sputter until it craps out entirely. There's nothing inherently wrong with this scenario. It's the way of human nature, I'd say. Boredom can be a productive influence if there's space for it to inspire something new. Alternatively, it can be a deadening force if we've boxed ourselves into an uncompromising daily drill. A sense of sameness can numb us over time, lull us really, until one day we wake up and realize we're not having fun anymore in this game of life. In abandoning novelty and adventure, it dawns on us, we've also abandoned ourselves.

This isn't to disparage routine. After all, set structure often plays a critical role in stabilizing our core lifestyle changes, particularly as we shift toward a Primal take on eating, fitness, sleep and other lifestyle elements. If we're reinventing the wheel every day, we're probably expending too much energy unnecessarily. There are details of life that we can honestly work just fine, if not better, on auto-pilot.

For instance, we might find it easier to stay on our Primal track if we have the same breakfast each day during the work week. Alternatively, scheduling a set "green hour" for ourselves that's the same every day (or weekday at least) can help ensure we regularly get the sun/outdoor benefits we desire. If we see routine as a tool of self-discipline and wise efficiency, we apply it strategically. As a result, we more easily meet our goals and move into the life we want for ourselves.

The danger doesn't lie in employing routine, but in mistaking it for living.

Butterfly

How to shake your bad habits - for good!

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit, only to give up in frustration? The problem isn't that you're weak or that the bad habit is too ingrained; in all likelihood, you just gave up too soon.

Researchers at University College, London, found that it takes 66 days for a new habit to form. Likewise, as long as there is no physical addiction involved, it takes 66 days for you to shake a bad habit. But before you can develop the motivation to stick it out for that long, you need to understand how bad habits form in the first place.

Bad habits are formed and reinforced via the habit loop. First, something triggers you to initiate an undesired behavior. Maybe you're feeling stressed, so you decide to numb out on Facebook for an hour or eat a whole bag of Flamin' Cheetos. The trigger event is whatever puts this idea in your head. The second step is the behavior itself. Your brain says, "Sure, you deserve some Flamin' Cheetos," so you dig in.

The third step—and this part is crucial—is the reward. The behavior has to reward you in some way. That doesn't mean it's good for you or that it's smart, just that it does something that your brain likes. Numbing out on Facebook might help you forget your problems for a while or to put off something that you don't want to do, and we all know, all too well, the reward that comes from eating a bag of junk food. For better or worse, these rewards increase the likelihood that you'll repeat the behavior.

Comment: Further reading:


Info

Direction you walk when blindfolded reveals whether you are inhibited or approach oriented

People experiencing anxiety walk in this direction.

People experiencing anxiety tend to walk to the left, new research finds.

It results from more activity in the right-hand-side of the brain.

The conclusions come from a study in which people were blindfolded and asked to walk in a straight line.

The more inhibited and anxious people tended to veer to the left.

In comparison, people who experience more positive emotions tended to veer off to the right.

The more inhibited and anxious they were, the more people accidentally wandered to the left.

Comment:



Fire

Earth and Fire: Anasazi style pottery done in the backcountry

"Earth and Fire" is a documentary poem about artist and primitive potter Kelly Magleby. Kelly went into the backcountry of Southern Utah with a knife and a buckskin for 10 days to try to learn about Anasazi pottery by doing it the way the Anasazi did it. Funded by Primitive Found (.org), music by Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com, check out Kelly's art at anasazipottery.net

Comment: Read more about the Anasazi people: Ruins Hint at the Benefits of Volcanic Catastrophe