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I love trees, do you?

Wise words from Anna – King’s Lynn politicians take note!

I don’t get why the politicians in my municipality Trosa keeps erase our forests. They think building houses is top priority. They don’t care for the climate changes at all. They keep b…

Source: I love trees, do you?

Written by thomassutcliffe

May 28, 2016 at 7:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Grab Bag

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INTRODUCTION

This post is about a mixture of things from the last few days, hence the title.

CHAMPIONSHIPS AND CONTRIVANCES REVSITED

Some of you may remember that I put this post up on Thursday, with Somerset having secured an emphatic win in their game and Middlesex and Yorkshire going head to head in theirs. Sadly, when I checked what was going on on Friday afternoon, Lyth and Lees (the two opening batsmen, neither with any sort of status as bowlers) were purveying out-and-out filth for Yorkshire to help Middlesex set an agreed target. Yorkshire paid for accepting such an arrangement when their batting subsequently collapsed handing the title to Middlesex. Sadly, Somerset were innocent victims of this scam by Middlesex and Yorkshire, being robbed of would have been their first ever county championship not by good cricket but by dirty back room dealings.

BEES AND PARKS

This refers to two important issues that came up this weekend. Firstly, Greenpeace have exposed Bayer and Syngenta as having covered up evidence that their products were hugely damaging to bees. Greenpeace’s release can be viewed here, and here is a copy of their accompanying picture:

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The parks part of the title of this section refers to an effort by 38 Degrees to secure better protection for our parklands. Living in King’s Lynn at this time gives this a particular resonance for me, so:

Britain’s parks are at risk. There’s no legal responsibility to look after them and squeezed budgets mean our local green spaces – from playgrounds, to the park you relax in on your lunch break – don’t have the money they need. We could end up being forced to pay to use our parks – or lose them altogether. 

A group of MPs are looking into the crisis right now. They’re thinking of making protecting parks a legal requirement, and they’ll advise the government on what to do. A huge petition, signed by all of us, will prove how much we love our parks. It could convince the MPs to come up with a water-tight plan for protecting them. 

Can you sign the petition now and demand that looking after our parks is made a legal requirement by the government? It only takes 30 seconds to add your name:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-parks

Here are some pictures of my own, including a few from King’s Lynn’s own parkland areas:

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LABOUR LEADERSHIP ELECTION 

I will let these beautiful infographics culled from twitter do the talking for me on this one:

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SOME AUTISM RELATED STUFF

As NAS West Norfolk Branch Secretary and as someone who is #ActuallyAutistic I am always glad to share really excellent autism related content, and I have two absolute gems for you:

Finally to end this section, as regular readers will know one of the activities I am involved in via NAS West Norfolk is Musical Keys, and this is an advert they have recently produced:

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THE FINISHING TOUCHES

One of my favourite blogs is that of singer Charlotte Hoather, who has just started at the Royal College of Music in London. Her post about her first week there can be viewed here.

To end this post I give you a series of pictures starring a snail…

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This is the original picture that I took.

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This is cropped but not otherwise edited.

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This is the snail after my normal editing routine.

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This is a colour-boosted version.

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This version has the contrast enhanced.

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Finally, this version has had the colour boosted and the contrast enhanced.

 

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Championships and Contrivances

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INTRODUCTION

Somerset are within touching distance of their first ever County Cricket Championship, but the situation is complicated by the fact that their only two rivals are in direct opposition.

THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

Courtesy of cricinfo, here is the situation in the key matches:

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The situation is that a draw in the Middlesex v Yorkshire game is not enough for either side – the five points they would each gain from that would still leave them adrift of Somerset. Tomorrow is the last day of the match, which means that time constraints are well and truly in play. Clearly, with a draw rendered worthless by the situation both sides will do all in their power to win the game, which leads given time limitations to the question of just what would be acceptable in the way of a third innings declaration by Middlesex. It is possible that Yorkshire could win the match in the most satisfactory way, by taking the remaining eight Middlesex wickets early enough to give themselves an easy fourth innings target. For Middlesex the question would be how much risk could they take in setting a target bearing in mind that they have to have a legitimate chance of taking 10 wickets to do so?

ACCEPTABLE VS UNACCEPTABLE

Given that Middlesex are still 39 runs behind, unless Yorkshire deliberately concede runs to hasten a declaration (which would certainly cause raised eyebrows in Taunton) it is unlikely that Middlesex would be in a position to consider a declaration much before teatime. My own rough and ready view is that if come the tea break tomorrow Middlesex have a lead of somewhere in the region of 170 that in the circumstances would be an acceptable risk – Yorkshire would have to go for the target, and an asking rate of approximately 5.5 an over with no fielding restrictions would introduce enough risks that Middlesex could hope for the 10 wickets they need. A declaration giving Yorkshire 120 or so to chase in that final session would definitely (albeit actuated by very different motives) be verging on ‘Cronje’ territory, and almost regardless of when it was made, a declaration giving a target of under 100 should be considered as out and out match fixing.

Although I have indicated previously that as an underdog supporter I would like to see Somerset win, the key thing here is that any victory for Middlesex or Yorkshire should be seen to have been won out on the field, and not in the dressing rooms.

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Another species of crow uses tools

A very interesting post about crows and tool use from whyevolutionistrue.

Here is an interesting diagram from later in the post…

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Why Evolution Is True

The definition of “tool use” in animals is a bit controversial, depending as it does on whether the object is modified before it’s used as a tool. In its list of animal tool use, Wikpedia gives a widely-used definition proposed by Shumaker, Walkup, and Beck in their 2011 book Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals:

“The external employment of an unattached or manipulable attached environmental object to alter more efficiently the form, position, or condition of another object, another organism, or the user itself, when the user holds and directly manipulates the tool during or prior to use and is responsible for the proper and effective orientation of the tool.”

And, according to the Wiki article, tools use is seen in 33 families of birds, including these (I have a video for each example):

View original post 1,300 more words

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Cormorants and Calendars

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INTRODUCTION

This post combines showing some new pictures with being the official announcement that I shall be repeating last year’s experiment of producing calendars as Christmas presents.

CORMORANTS

I decided once I had completed my online NAS branch officer’s training this morning that I would go for a walk, and I was delighted to see the structure I call ‘Cormorant Platform’ was very busy…

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The first of the cormorant images – this one shows precisely why I call it ‘Cormorant Platform – notwithstanding the three Caspian gulls also on there, it is the cormorants (five on this occasion) who stand out.

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Just before leaving the river I got this picture of a cormorant in flight.

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A couple of moorhens to finish with…

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CALENDARS

The calendars will be large, month to page, each month decorated with a picture. Learning from last year I will be aiming to have no borders, and certainly no patterned borders, just pictures taking up the whole available space. This is very much a work in progress, but here are the pictures I have so far picked out as being good enough (feel free to add your own suggestions of pictures you particularly enjoyed when I first posted them in the comments sections, although remember that I am limited to 13 pictures (front cover plus 12 months):

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This picture showing the two Inlandsbanan trains together is earmarked for the front cover

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I will use one of these two ducking pictures

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Likewise, I will use one these two butterfly pictures.

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This photo, from the Stockholm Archipelago, will be July’s

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This picture was actually taken in January.

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This picture might get the nod for August

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This is nailed on for April, since it was in that month that the Positive Autism Awareness Conference was held at this establishment.

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This is provisionally September’s picture.

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 19, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Debra Muzikar Interviews Steve Silberman for The Art of Autism.

I urge you all to follow the link below and read this fascinating interview in full…

STEVE SILBERMAN INTERVIEWED FOR ‘THE ART OF AUTISM’

 

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Musical Keys MKII

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INTRODUCTION

Yesterday saw the resumption of Musical Keys sessions for people with Autism in the King’s Lynn area. The sessions will now take place fortnightly at the Scout Hut on Beulah Street (youngsters 3PM to 4PM, older people 4PM to 5PM). The sessions are now being run by two new people, John and Kirsty.

FIRST SESSION BACK

The biggest change other than in personnel was the absence of i-pads – we were using real instruments, with the focus being on percussion…

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You can see here five drums that need to lifted above ground level to be played, one box which you sit on to play, generating sound by hitting the front, a wooden instrument that like the drums needs to be lifted to be played and a second wooden instrument (partially concealed), which comes with its own striking implements.

Once we had made our selections it was time to start playing, initially to instructions.

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The side of the drum I chose.

After a while I was introduced to a new instrument, a wooden frog with a hollow centre, which comes with a wooden striking instrument.

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Later still I switched drums to one of the larger ones…

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With this larger drum I could position the frog in the centre and vary the sound according to whether I struck the frog or the drum.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the session. John said that if anyone indicated that they wanted a particular instrument to be available they would try to make it happen.

SOME NEW PHOTOS

With one exception these pictures are all from today, from walks at each end of the day…

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This poster was on display at the Scout Hut yesterday.

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Moorhens in the Purfleet.

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These last three pictures are from this evening.

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Written by thomassutcliffe

September 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Southern’s rail plans will breach Equality Act, says disabled access expert | DisabledGo News and Blog

More trouble for #SouthernFail. They should lose their franchise forthwith, either being run direct by the government or being put under the umbrella of TFL…

Plans by an under-fire rail company to change the way it staffs its trains will lead to “unacceptable” and repeated breaches of the Equality Act by denying disabled passengers the support they need to travel, it has been claimed. Southern – which operates train services across parts of south London and southern England – is planning to replace conductors with “on board supervisors” (OBSs), whose job will not include stepping onto the platform at stations. Campaigners fear that introducing these supervisors will mean that disabled passengers who need assistance on platforms at unstaffed stations could be left stranded and unable to board their train. Southern is also planning to allow OBS trains to operate with only a driver in “exceptional circumstances” – which is likely to make travel even harder for disabled people – and has also admitted that two-fifths of its trains are already driver only operated (DOO). Southern is embroiled in a long-running industrial action over its plans to

Source: Southern’s rail plans will breach Equality Act, says disabled access expert | DisabledGo News and Blog

Written by thomassutcliffe

September 17, 2016 at 5:12 pm