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August 16, 2005

And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street

Do things seen quickly while driving matter? With the abundance of billboards and bumper stickers, obviously some people believe so. Two very interesting articles, both from LifeSite.com seem to back-up that idea.

Apparently erotic billboards can make one momentarily blind.

Research by US psychologists from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and from Yale University in Connecticut, have found that the sight of erotic images on billboard advertising can cause a brief moment of blindness that may constitute a traffic hazard. The study shows that some personality types are affected more than others and the moment of blindness is short, but could constitute a hazard while driving.

Volunteers were shown a rapid-fire series of images such as landscapes and architectural scenes, interspersed with violent or erotic images. When the erotic images were placed close together, the phenomenon, known as “emotion-induced blindness” was recorded more frequently.

“We observed that people failed to detect visual images that appeared one-fifth of a second after emotional images, whereas they can detect those images with little problem after neutral images,” said David Zald who headed the study.

“It appears to happen involuntarily,” said Zald. “The stimulus captures attention and once allocated to that particular stimulus, no other stimuli can get through.” The blindness typically lasted several tenths of a second. That brief moment could be crucial in heavy urban traffic which invariably features multiple advertisements involving sexually explicit images.

But on a more positive note...

Pro-lifers Dave and Mary Labun came out of the house to their parked car to find a handwritten note on the windshield thanking them for their “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart” bumper sticker.

The note reads as follows:

Hello,
     This might be very weird, but I wanted to thank you. I’m not sure what you believe in, but I’m a strong believer in God, and right now I am 17 and pregnant. And on my way to school one day, I was really wondering what to do – I was really thinking about abortion, because I was scared.
     As that thought came to mind, I walked past your car, and happened to look over and saw your bumper sticker, “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.”
     My heart dropped. I believe God was talking to me, through that sticker, and I also believe I will never think about it again. I’m going to keep my baby, and I’m not that scared any more.
     Thank you so much for helping me make the best choice of my life,
     God bless
      – a very happy Mother-To-Be.

A scan of the original note can be seen here.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 16, 2005 09:36 AM

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