There are these little tiny fuzzy bugs that are flying around my pear tree and I kind of want to call them cute but I feel like the second I do someone’s gonna tell me they’re like the spawns of satan and they sting people and kill my trees
Nevermind they’re called “Woolly Aphids” and they’re literal fairies
I feel bad for calling them evil now they’re so frickin cute
Two Simon Fraser University psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors’ perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders.
This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction.
The Journal of Neuroscience has just published a paper about the discovery by John McDonald, an associate professor of psychology and his doctoral student John Gaspar, who made the discovery during his master’s thesis research.
This is the first study to reveal our brains rely on an active suppression mechanism to avoid being distracted by salient irrelevant information when we want to focus on a particular item or task.
McDonald, a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and other scientists first discovered the existence of the specific neural index of suppression in his lab in 2009. But, until now, little was known about how it helps us ignore visual distractions.
“This is an important discovery for neuroscientists and psychologists because most contemporary ideas of attention highlight brain processes that are involved in picking out relevant objects from the visual field. It’s like finding Waldo in a Where’s Waldo illustration,” says Gaspar, the study’s lead author.
“Our results show clearly that this is only one part of the equation and that active suppression of the irrelevant objects is another important part.”
Given the proliferation of distracting consumer devices in our technology-driven, fast-paced society, the psychologists say their discovery could help scientists and health care professionals better treat individuals with distraction-related attentional deficits.
“Distraction is a leading cause of injury and death in driving and other high-stakes environments,” notes McDonald, the study’s senior author. “There are individual differences in the ability to deal with distraction. New electronic products are designed to grab attention. Suppressing such signals takes effort, and sometimes people can’t seem to do it.
“Moreover, disorders associated with attention deficits, such as ADHD and schizophrenia, may turn out to be due to difficulties in suppressing irrelevant objects rather than difficulty selecting relevant ones.”
The researchers are now turning their attention to understanding how we deal with distraction. They’re looking at when and why we can’t suppress potentially distracting objects, whether some of us are better at doing so and why that is the case.
“There’s evidence that attentional abilities decline with age and that women are better than men at certain visual attentional tasks,” says Gaspar, the study’s first author.
The study was based on three experiments in which 47 students performed an attention-demanding visual search task. Their mean age was 21. The researchers studied their neural processes related to attention, distraction and suppression by recording electrical brain signals from sensors embedded in a cap they wore.
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kindness is cooler than being a jerk. i like kind people way more than i like people who are butts, even though probably people who are butts have their own reasons for being a butt and it’s not like anyone is a butt 24/7 like sometimes you’re just off, yanno? sometimes i have been a butt. i am often a butt. where was i going with this. idk
#i eternally endeavour to be more like luke skywalker lmao #superman is way more inspirational to me than batman #and the thing is i think it’s just as meaningful to tell stories about people who do the right thing #even when it’s the hard thing to do as it is meaningful to tell stories about people who struggle #to do the right thing or to recognize what the right thing is to do #sometimes you’re gonna struggle and sometimes you’re gonna fall short of what you could be #but you keep trying. even though it’s hard. you keep trying
i hate it when people equate being kind with being boring - kindness is hard, it requires emotional work and energy even when it’s relatively easy, and it’s often not easy at all
being kind =/= being nice; niceness has its uses, but being nice has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with delicate social balancing. niceness is about not rocking the boat, smoothing things over, niceness can be brutal in its determination to sweep past inconveniences; you can be unjust and unfair and still manage a veneer of “niceness”; nice does not require kind, or vice versa
(I’ve met plenty of people who wouldn’t lift a finger to help you if you needed it but they observed all the social niceties when stepping aside, and it was somehow excusable that they were unkind at the core because they were nice about it; conversely I know people who are blunt and caustic who would help, every time, people who might not manage nice but would always, always try to be kind)
kindness requires exertion of the heart and soul, kindness will fucking cost you (and you might willingly pay, but there’s still a price, it doesn’t come easy or free), and that is really fucking difficult, why do people undersell it?
i’m not talking about flashy movie battles against supervillains, either; i’m talking about the cumulative effect of all the little things, the hundred small conscientious ways in which people take up stewardship and accountability for their communities, the quiet unglamorous tasks to minister unto others
i am so sick of our cultural obsession with brooding self-absorbed jerks; they’re not clever or cute and those stories don’t do shit for me, they don’t give me hope or strength or help, they just make me want to give up and not bother
but people who keep trying, who want to be as good as they know how (even if they sometimes suck at it), they give me hope
they’re fighting, too, but it’s not brooding antihero nihilism; it’s so much more interesting than that
kindness in the face of all the bad things is a giant glowing fuck you, it’s defiance in the darkness, it means looking at all the bullshit in the world and still deciding to love wholly and generously and ferociously
that stubborn furious struggle is so fucking fascinating
IT IS PUNK TO BE KIND
A letter from Edward, Prince of Wales (Later Edward VIII) to his first mistress, Freda Dudley Ward.
The two - who’s relationship lasted five years - met during an air raid in London, in 1918.
Buckhouse [Buckingham Palace] S.W.
12th May 1919.
My darling beloved little Fredie,
Bless you for your two sweet little letters which have made me so so happy. Particularly the last one saying that you are arriving back this evening & suggesting that I shld [should] look in after the opera. Oh! No I couldn’t possibly do such a common thing as that - - - - !!!!
Sweetheart, how can you say “or shall we wait till Tues”? Of course I must come & am so so overjoyed at the thought of seeing my own precious darling little girl again so soon. I ought to be able to get round about 12:00 & I’ll let myself in as I’ve still got the key!! It’s so so divine of you wanting your little David to come & you just can’t think how happy you’ve made him, beloved one & how much it makes him love & adore you.
[Writing across the top of the letter]
All all my great love & more baisers [kisses] than I’m capable of sending my very own darling beloved precious little Fredie. Bless you!!
Your devoted and adoring petit amoureuse [lover], David.
* I can’t make out the words marked with [??], can anyone else see what they are? Feel free to add them if you can.
This may be of particular interest to anyone who saw the Downton Abbey Christmas Special.
Well I know why you couldn’t make out those two words: they’re in French. I do believe English nobility has a long habit of using a bit of fashionable French… (France and the UK have a long love/hate affair…)
The first word is: “More baisers than I’m capable of sending”
(baisers means “kisses”)
The second one, well, looks like Edward didn’t master French 100% but looks like he wrote
"your devoted and adoring petit amoureuse David”
(amoureuse is the feminine form of the word “lover”. William should have referred to himself in the masculine form, amoureux. Oh well, that’s a common error. Like many English speakers, Edward might have had a little trouble with words that have a grammatical gender, since that concept doesn’t exist in English. He did use the proper, masculine form for petit though (petite would be the feminine form))
They got the various Niagara falls mistaken : the zoomed photo shows the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (on, you guessed it, the American side), and the zoomed out photo is the Horseshoe waterfall (Canadian side)…