Science and Nature

Some of the best science and nature related pieces I have recently come across.

INTRODUCTION

Having started the day with a science related squib I finish it with a full length post concerned with Science and Nature. As this is a post where all the text will be the same colour please not that links are in bold and underlined. Before proceeding here is a list of all of today’s previous posts:

PART ONE: A VARIETY OF SHARES

I am building up for big finish by dealing with everything else first in a single section. I am going to start with…

A REPORT FROM SUMOFUS.ORG

The campaign group sumofus.org have produced a definitive report to the effect that we do not need bee killing pesticides to feed the world. For detailed information on where we are with the fight to save bees please click on the graphic below:

sumofus.jpg

THUNDERCLAP: #GARDENS4NATURE

Yes another thunderclap for those of you who are on social media to support. Click on the screenshot below for more…

Gardens4Nature

THE EDEN PROJECT

The Eden Project in Cornwall, of which I have very fond memories, has just added to its laurels by winning VisitEngland’s award for Inclusive Tourism. Thus I have two links, each accompanied by a screenshot to share:

  1. The disabledgo blog piece detailing this latest success for the Eden Project.
    Eden Project VisitEngland award
  2. The Eden Project’s own website.

A LEGAL WAY PAST PAYWALLS

I am indebted to WEIT for this. It is an app that is free to download. For more details please visit the WEIT article on this:

PART 2: SOME FANTASTIC EVOLUTION MEMES

I found these on twitter by way of their creator, whose twitter name is Lord Cropes. Below is the particular meme which caught my attention:

EvolutioninAction

This is just one of 129 memes of this type that he has created, and you can view all of them by way of the website pinkheretic.com. Here is one more to further whet your appetite:

PART THREE: PHOTOGRAPHS

I finish with some of my own photographs:

Moorhen + chicks
An adult moorhen and two chicks
Moorhen and chicks
Adult and two chicks close together
Moorhen chick
Close up of a chick

DSCN6063DSCN6062DSCN6061

 

Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Spacecraft

A post about a special “Google Doodle” honoring the Cassini Spacecraft as it nears a spectacular death.

INTRODUCTION

This morning when I opened up my gmail I noticed an interesting little graphic in the bottom right corner of my screen. I followed up on it, and the results are below…

THE DOODLE

A full size version of the picture is below (formatted as a link to Google’s own piece):

Cassini Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn and its Rings!

MORE DETAIL COURTESY OF SPACE.COM

There is an article on space.com under the title “Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Probe’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn Dive“, and rather than reinvent the wheel I offer the screenshot below by way of introduction and to close this brief post:

Screenshot 2017-04-27 at 6.56.10 AM

Stuff

Lots of autism related links, some photographs, some science links, some public transport links and a bonus section revealing explosive news concerning Unite leadership challenger Gerard Coyne.

INTRODUCTION

I have many things to share today and some of my own photos to put up. I have a few science and nature type links to put up, a few public transport links, and first and foremost some important stuff about…

AUTISM

For this section of the post I am using #RedInstead of any other colour I might use. Links will appear in bold and underlined. 

My first link comes courtesy of Erin Human, and is titled “What is Ableism?” I am using the feature image of the post as the link.

My next link comes courtesy of ideas.ted.com and is titled “Autistic people are not failed versions of “normal.” They’re different, not less“. Please click on that title to read this important piece in full.

Next we come to a piece which will help to explain why this section is entirely in red, courtesy of AmericanBadassAdvocates, titled “#BOYCOTTAUTISMSPEAKS #REDINSTEAD | MEMES AND THINGS GALLERY FROM AROUND THE WEB”. Please click on the image below, selected from their gallery, to view the full post.

red-graphic-with-redinstead-and-autism-acceptance-graphic-nancy-jobes_660173

Following from this, the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has produced a post titled “ASAN Condemns White House Autism Proclamation” which title really speaks for itself, and serves as the link.

Followers of this site will need no introduction to thesilentwaveblog, featured here with not one but two fantastic posts:

  1. First of all, by way of a counterblast to one of the nastiest phrases used by those who insist on pathologizing autism comes this post, titled “Autism didn’t ‘steal’ me”. Click on the image below to read the piece:
  2. The second offering is titled “Asperger’s / autism, socializing, and respect”, and once again the link is by way of the image below:

Next, and penultimately, we have a newspaper article and a response. The article, published in the Merced Sun-Star under the title “Autism awareness brings dozens of Merced County families to Livingston” can be viewed by clicking the image below:

Two people in a potato sack race during Families With Autism on Sunday April 2, 2017, an event sponsored by the Carlos Vieira Foundation and 51Fifty Energy Drink. The event is for families with autism to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month.

AmericanBadassAdvocates founder Eve Hinson made a brilliant response to this article. A click on the screenshot of her comment below will take you to the blog post in which I first saw it.

EHL

I bring this section to a conclusion by linking to a splendid listing of posts on theme of Autism Acceptance. The post, which you can red by clicking on its title, features a very positive mention of this blog. The title, which renders further comment superfluous, is “In 2017, Autism Awareness Is So Outdated: Demand Autism Acceptance Now“.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

I have decided to break things up a bit in this post by having my photographs in the middle between the Autism related links and the first of my other sets of links, so here they are:

DSCN5364DSCN5365DSCN5366DSCN5367DSCN5368DSCN5369DSCN5370DSCN5371DSCN5373DSCN5374DSCN5375DSCN5378DSCN5381DSCN5383DSCN5387DSCN5388

A COUPLE OF SCIENCE LINKS

Both of these links are to pieces about the same topic, and both come from livescience.com – discoveries of giant sized dinosaur footprints in Australia. The first link is to a piece titled “Photos: Dinosaur Tracks Reveal Australia’s ‘Jurassic Park‘”, and that title serves as the link.

The second link is to a more in depth article about this footprints, titled “Crikey! Refrigerator-Size Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Australia“. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT RELATED LINKS

These three links are all from an organisation I have only recently come across, called Transport For All. I present them as a set of bullet points:

BONUS (VIA SKWAWKBOX) – COYNEGATE

Originally I had not been going to include this, but a development that occurred while this post was under construction caused me to change my plans. First, a quick clarification: The “Coyne” of “Coynegate” is not the eminent evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne who remains a firm favourite of this blog, but the much less well known Gerard Coyne, right-wing challenger for the leadership of Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union.

Mr Coyne has run a dreadful campaign, and the only question would appear to be whether he will finish a distant second or suffer the humiliation of coming third behind left-wing challenger Ian Allinson. The incumbent, Len McCluskey, will retain his position by the proverbial country mile.

However as documented by The Skwawkbox blog, as well as running an appalling campaign, Mr Coyne has (with the assistance of high ranking Labour right-wingers) perpetrated a breach of the Data Protection Act on an enormous scale (involving comfortably enough people’s data for it to be considered a criminal breach, opening the way to a huge fine) and Unite, who might otherwise be considered for legal purposes a receiver of the illegally accessed data have today told him that he is on his own. 

I finish this section, and the post with links to the last two Skwawkbox pieces about this issue:

  1. From this morning, a post titled “BARRISTER: COYNE’S DPA RECKLESSNESS COULD COST HIM – AND UNITE – £MILLIONS”, accessible by clicking on the screenshot below, which introduces said barrister and the first two paragraphs of his opinion:
    barrister
  2. The even more explosive post that went up while this one was under construction, titled “EXCLUSIVE: UNITE WASHES ITS HANDS OF COYNE OVER #DPA BREACH”, accessible by clicking the image below:
    washing hands

These are merely the last two of a substantial number of posts that The Skwawkbox have done about this issue, and I urge you to read some or all of the others as well.

 

 

 

 

Super Sharing Saturday – Science and Nature

A science based post, with some work related pictures and a link to an online catalogue at the end.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in this series of sharing posts. Our theme in this one is nature, and while most of the pieces I am linking to are about the present, we being with a journey back to…

385 MILLION YEARS AGO

This was when our ancestors first moved from the sea to the land. The usual reckoning is that the key development that led to this happening was to do with limbs, which would seem to be common sense. However, according to this piece on astrobio.net, there is an alternative view now being proposed that the key development was actually to do with vision not limbs. As is now my custom I am using an image to link to the full article:

Now we move back to the present, and we start with a distressing story about…

RHINO POACHING

As wild rhino numbers continue to decline the poachers whose activities are most directly responsible for this decline are becoming more brazen. This story concerns a Rhino in a zoo which was shot for its horn. The saddest aspect of this story is that the wealthy Chinese who buy most rhino horns do so based on alleged properties of the substance that are entirely fictional – this is the same stuff that our own finger nails are made of, and no one would pay big money for those. As usual, the link is in the accompanying image.

LEMURS GET HIGH(COURTESY OF WEIT AND SPY IN THE WILD)

WEIT provide an introduction to the video, which you can read by clicking here. The video itself is embedded below for your delectation:

NEUTRINOS

We end with a look, courtesy of rationalisingtheuniverse, at the neutrino. We have an image to serve as a link again:

standard_model_of_elementary_particles-svg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here to finish are some of my photographs:

cataloguecover
The printed catalogue for the March auction is now ready. Clicking this image will take you to an online version
970
Appropriate for a science based post – a telescope (lot 970)

970-a

954
Lot 954 – a silver calling card holder
988-c
Commemorative coins and medallions are frequently to be found in our sales, commemorative soap bars less so!

988-b988

977-a
These last six images are of lots 977, 978 and 979 (obverse and then reverse of each of these pewter plates)

977-b978-a978-b979-a979-b

 

 

Super Sharing Saturday – Transport and the Environment

Some links relating to transport and the environment and some pictures.

 INTRODUCTION

As my first post of today indicated I have a lot of stuff to share, and I am breaking it into sections. In this post I deal with stuff that relates to transport and the environment (linked by the fact that how one handles the former can have huge effects on the latter). 

TRANSPORT

I start this subsection with two links from the…

CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER TRANSPORT 

The first of these links, to a piece titled “What is the chancellor’s plan for transport” provides some detail on what the recent spring budget offered in terms of transport. Please click on the Campaign for Better transport logo below to read this piece in full.

CBT

The second piece from the Campaign for Better Transport is titled “show the love to transport”, which gives some detail about both the actual and potential threat posed to Britain’s transport system by climate change. Please click on the image below, which shows those London Underground stations under threat from flooding to read the article full. 

Image of tube map with green hearts to show stations at risk of flooding

To finish off the section, a link to the TFL “report it to stop it”page about unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport, which I have already posted about on my London transport themed website.

THE ENVIRONMENT

Three pieces in this little section as well, starting one from Sian Berry titled “Mayors Guidance Won’t Stop Estate Demolitions”. To read this excellent piece in full please click the image below:

Sian Berry with residents at Central Hill Estate

Next comes a piece from livescience.com titled “Carbon Dioxide is Warming the Planet (Here’s How)” which includes a short video, as well as the excellent text and the image below which I am using as the link.

My final piece in this section comes from the Guardian on how climate change battles are increasingly being fought and won in court. To read it click on the image below…

Campaigners outside South Africa’s Pretoria high court during the country’s first climate change lawsuit

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some pictures to finish…

1251
This is lot 1251 in our March auction (27th, 28th and 29th).
975
Lot 975, same auction (two images)

975-a

967
Lot 967, same auction
HH
Hanse House as viewed from the riverside.
HHplaque
The explanatory plaque.
Piedwagtail
A pied wagtail neatly framed by yellow painted lines.
Moon
The moon in an early evening sky (taken on Thursday).

 

Autism, Work and Links

The launch of a new facebook page with NAS West Norfolk connections, a bit about yesterday at work and some very interesting links.

INTRODUCTION

For the benefit of new readers it is worth reminding people that I am both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic. Although the the National Autistic Society (NAS) has some paid staff at its London HQ branches are run by volunteers and branch money comes exclusively from fund-raising. This post therefore starts with some news from NAS West Norfolk that I consider worth sharing before continuing with a bit about yesterday at work which will include pictures and ending with some interesting links.

THE LAUNCH OF A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

NAS West Norfolk’s Sports Co-ordinator, Grant Cotton, creator of the Autism Awareness Cup, has created a new facebook page to link all his activities. It can be viewed by clicking the image below:

YESTERDAY AT JAMES AND SONS

Yesterday was devoted to imaging as many of those lots for the March auction that were not yet images as possible (a catalogue for this auction, taking place on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March, can be viewed here). Most of the imaging I was doing yesterday was of coin lots. Here some pictures…

248-a
This is lot 248 – a seven image gallery for you to look at

248248-b248-c248-d248-e248-f

249
This is lot 249 – a four image gallery.

249-a249-b249-c

120
From here until lot 124 we are looking at hi-res scans. Although I produced my usual three-image galleries for these coins with on exception I am sharing only the main image.

119105

80
The exception – this New Zealand florin from 1934, where I choose to show the close-ups as well.

80-b80-a121122123

124
Lot 124 – the last of the scans
108
Lot 108 – the packaging indicated that three of these coins were special, so I did close ups as well as the main images

108-a108-b

108-c
The close ups

108-e108-d

107
Lot 107 – this time the packaging suggested that two of the coins deserved special attention, so they got it.

107-a107-b

107-c
The close ups.

107-e107-d

222
Lot 222
223
Lot 223. This horrible plastic tub did not have a lid, so I rehoused the lot in a nice wooden box with a fully functioning lid (I did a ‘meringue’ style test on it, turning it upside down with the coins inside, making sure that it was not too high above a flat, clear surface when I did so).
224
Lot 224.

LINKS

Most of these links are science related, so to clear the decks I shall start with the exception. This comes courtesy of Skwawkbox, and is a devastating indictment of Theresa May and her ‘sweetheart deal’ with Surrey County Council. I agree with the Skwawkbox assessment that this should be considered as resignation matter. As another blogger, Mike Sivier, put it when commenting on this same issue: “a turd by any other name would smell as faecal and this one sgtinks of big fat lie”. To read the Skwawbox piece click here.

SCIENCE 1: FROM LIVESCIENCE

Two very different pieces from the same source here. The first deals with small things (specifically spiders), the second with something very large (a nebula).

  1. Wolf spiders having threesomes (yes, you read that right). Female wolf spiders are noted for eating their mates after copulation, and it may be that if two males tackle the same female there is more chance of one of them not being cannibalised. For the full story please click on the image below:
  2. This piece is about the discovery of a huge new nebula and the attendant mystery of what its light source might be. For the full story click on the image below:

SCIENCE 2: WEIT (WITH AN ASSIST FROM YOU TUBE)

It is no great secret that I am a huge fan both of Jerry Coyne’s books (Why Evolution is True and Faith Versus Fact) and of the associated blog, whyevolutionistrueThus I am delighted to share with you the fact that a video series on  chapter one of Why Evolution Is True is now being created. Episodes 1-3 are available to watch (and highly recommended by this blogger!), and according to WEIT’s own piece about the series there are two more episodes to come (yay!). I have embedded the videos below (they run in sequence) – enjoy!