Politics, Nature and Autism

A mix of politics, nature and autism.

INTRODUCTION

This is a collection of interesting things I have seen on the internet recently. They are grouped broadly in three categories, the second of which includes a few pictures I took today.

POLITICS

I start this section with an important open letter from Make Votes Matter. Below is a screenshot of the beginning of the letter. This is formatted as a link so that you can add your name to the open letter should you wish to:

Open Letter

My only link in this section, which forms a natural segue to the nature section, is to a thunderclap organised by Team4Nature and tagged #VoteForHopeVoteForChange. Below is a screenshot which also functions as a link:

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NATURE

I am going to start this section with another thunderclap, before sharing a couple of recent posts from Anna that caught my attention and finally ending this section with some of my own photographs. 

THUNDERCLAP: 30 DAYS WILD

This one has been launched by The Wildlife Trusts and the screenshot below links to it:

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ANNA’S POSTS

The first of the two recent posts from Anna that I am sharing is titled “Which Future Do You Wanna Give The Next Generation?“. This post contains both Swedish and English text, and is in particular focused on the campaign to Save Trosa Nature. Here is Anna’s picture from that post:

The second post from Anna is titled “Old Tjikko” and starts by introducing us to the world’s oldest tree (9,500 years old since you ask). It concludes with a marvellous tree infographic which is reproduced below:

Time now for some…

PHOTOGRAPHS

These were all taken today…

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Other than moving the tree pic to the top of the pile (see the end of the previous section for clarification) these are in the order in which they were taken (tree pic was no 6 originally).

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This one is a bit blurry because it was taken very quickly.

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AUTISM

I saw this article on www.independent.co.uk today and knew I would have to share it. It is titled “People with autism can hear more than most – which can be a strength and a challenge“, and the content lives up to the title, more of it being devoted to pointing up the strength than the challenge. I offer both a screenshotted quote and a picture by way of aperitif:

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I end this post with yet another reference to the rainbow coloured infinity symbol that Laina at thesilentwaveblog introduced me and many others to. The version below is an envisaged centrepiece for the front cover of the 2018 Calendar (see this post for more on my calendars) and features my name in white text incorporated into the symbol and the addresses of this blog and my London transport themed website in each loop:

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Autism and Ableism

Some thoughts on autism and ableism, and some links relating to the same, topped off with some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I have a few links to share, and of course some photos will be included, but this post starts with some of my own thoughts before I start sharing links. I have decided that all of my own text in this post will be #RedInstead as it is themed so much around Autism. Links will be underlined and in bold, and any images from other blogs will also serve as links to the posts from which they were taken (these blogs will also have a text link). 

THE LINK BETWEEN AUTISM & ABLEISM

I am #ActuallyAutistic and have experienced mental health issues over the years. Do I consider myself disabled? The short answer to that question is no. However I do consider that the way in which neurotypical society views my condition (please note condition, not disorder) does disable me. To give just one example of this, 74% of all autistic adults in the UK, my country, are unemployed, and that percentage rises to 85% when underemployment is factored in. I am in the 26% who are actually in paid employment but not the 15%. These statistics are shameful ones (if they differ significantly in your part of the world feel free to comment further). They are based on the pathologizing of autism and indeed a more general societal pathologizing of difference. Anyone who has seen at work can confirm that I am more than capable of being a useful employee (indeed I cannot be considered as other than essential to my current employer).

Therefore, although I do not identify myself as disabled as I do identify myself as sharing some of the problems experienced by people with disabilities. 

ABLEISM

I start the sharing sections of this post with the latest in Erin Human’s series of posts about ableism. The piece is titledWhat causes ableism?”, and I offer you the infographic/ meme which heads it as an aperitif:

Next, courtesy of disabledgo comes what can only be described as a ‘good news with a massive asterisk’ story. West Yorkshire Police have confirmed that they are willing to launch criminal investigations into bus drivers who refuse to allow wheelchair bound passengers on to their vehicles without good cause. The massive asterisk of course is twofold: the fact that this has to be rated a good news story at all rather than being standard, and following on from that the fact that other police forces do not as yet appear to have made the same commitment. The full piece appears under the title “Police force pledges to investigate bus drivers who ignore access laws” and I urge you to read it in full.

AUTISM

There are a total of four links in this section, with the opener and closer both courtesy of thesilentwaveblog. The opening link is titled “Yeah I’m walking for autism“, and it is her response to yet another campaign to raise funds for purposes that are quite clearly at variance with the actual needs of autistic people. She also her explains how she uses walking. I urge to you to read the full piece, and present the picture that heads it for your further edification.

Some of you may recall that I recently reblogged two posts titled respectively Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure; This Autistic Person Couldn’t Care Less and Autistics Against Autism Speaks | A Civil Rights Movement – Share & Reblog Version. Well the story being told in different ways in those two posts has moved forward with a new post from boycottautismspeaks titled “Autism Speaks Hurts. Real People Speaking.” I offer you this header graphic by way of further inducement…

My penultimate link is to a post on No Stereotypes Here titled “Words are Words“, and taking the form of an open letter to the organisation targetted in the graphic above. I present this site’s header image below.

No Stereotypes Here - Neurodiversity activist blog

My final link is to thesilentwaveblog’s most recent offering, which tackles the subject of eye contact, under the title ‘“Look me in the eye.” (No.)‘, and below is the image which heads it.

Now it is time to conclude this post with some…

PHOTOGRAPHS

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England Settle One Day International Series Against West Indies

INTRODUCTION

England, having won the opening match of the three match series on Friday could ensure a series victory by winning again yesterday. What follows is my account of how they did this. Cricinfo’s account can be viewed here.

WEST INDIES POOR WITH THE BAT

I missed most of the West Indies innings, but caught the closing overs. Some decent bowling from England and very ordinary batting from the West Indies at that stage meant that with a total of 250-260 (which on that pitch would have been respectable) having looked possible the West Indies ended up with a mere 225, which should not have been much of challenge for England…

A GLIMPSE OF THE 1990s

Sam Billings fell without a run on the board, but then Jason Roy and Joe Root settled in. At 87-1 with Roy having just reached his 50 England looked in full control. At that point Roy was out playing a bad shot, which seemed to trigger a time machine that transported as back to the 1990s. The England middle order simply disintegrated, that high water mark of 87-1 transmuting to 124-6, at which point the West Indies were looking like favourites.

Then, came a reminder that this was 2017 and not a revisit to the 1990s, as Chris Woakes demonstrated his continuing improvement, albeit with some assistance from the Wesr Indies fielders who dropped two absolute sitters. With the imperturbable Root in the anchor role, Woakes’ aggressive 68 not out saw England home with four wickets and an over and a half to spare (Root was 90 not out at the other end). 

Here is a photographic commemoration of the England middle order yesterday…

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For the uninitiated a score of 0 in cricket is referred to as a duck. And 1990s England really were as bad as all that.

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE
PLAYER OF THE MATCH AWARD

Predictably enough the Player of the Match award yesterday went to Root for his 90 not out. However, while this decision is understandable I consider it incorrect. Although Chris Woakes was wicketless from his eight overs they only went for 26 runs (a rate of just over three an over compared to West Indies overall 4.5), which in conjunction with his 68 not out when England had got themselves into a big hole, should have secured him the award.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of today’s photographs for you:

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The recent repaired section of King’s Lynn library
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The frontage of King’s Lynn library.
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Greyfriars tower.
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St Nicholas from Chapel Court
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Another view of St Nicholas
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The Custom House from King Street

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The Red Mount Chapel through the trees.

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Artwork commemorating the voyages of Captain George Vancouver, New Conduit Street

Pictures and Petitions

A couple of important petitions, a couple of interesting links and some photographs taken in and around King’s Lynn – enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

I have two important petitions to share with you, a couple of other links and some new photos to share.

RENATIONALISE THE RAILWAYS!

For my first offering I turn to the campaign group We Own It, and their petition calling for Britain’s railways to be publicly owned and controlled. Click on the screenshot below to visit and sign this petition.

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AN ANTI-FRACKING PETITION

The latest area to be targeted by fracking companies is Derbyshire. Click on the image below to visit and sign the petition against this:

PHOTOGRAPHS 1:

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A COUPLE OF LINKS

Autism Mom’s most recent post is entitled “Words My Son Can Use” and is a  very interesting read.

Welfare Weekly have produced a list of the 10 worst excuses produced by employers caught failing to pay the minimum wage which you can read here.

PHOTOGRAPHS 2

We finish with a few more pictures, these ones taken this morning:

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Musical Keys MKII

A brief account of the resumption of Musical Keys sessions for NAS West Norfolk.

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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Exploring Lulea -The Morning

The latest in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. I briefly interrupted the sequence of posts to respond to photographic challenge from a fellow blogger, but now the action returns to Lulea on the Gulf of Bothnia where I left it last time.

ENABLING PROPER EXPLORATION

Having had a decent night’s sleep and having a clear head I was able to plan this day, unlike its predecessor, to best effect. After checking out of the hotel my first port of call was the station to ask about stowing a bag there (my smaller bag contained stuff that I was determined to keep with me at all times). An enquiry elicited the information that the station building closed at 5PM, which meant that I could stow my heavier bag safely until then, after which the only practical option would be to await the arrival of the overnight train out on the platform. This still gave me plenty of time for a detailed exploration of the town.

THE START OF THE EXPLORATION

My heavier bag safely stowed I set off to the main shopping area to purchase food for the day from a supermarket I had identified the previous day. This done I then left the shopping area heading into an area of parkland. Even before entering the parkland I had added three photos to my burgeoning collection:

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An interesting frontage.
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A close-up of the device in the upper centre of this first picture.

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THE PARKLAND

Entering the parkland I was delighted to find that it was far more extensive than the first view had suggested. Here are some pictures from the first part of the walk through the parkland…

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Polar bear sculptures like these can be seen all around Lulea – this set is unusual for their being so many all in a line.

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The second part of the walk through the parkland area, which took me to the waterside, where I stayed for a considerable time featured this…

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The last point of interest before getting to the waterside was the County Governor’s Residence:

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THE WATERFRONT

Then I was at the water-front, and after a brief diversion heading towards maritime Lulea. Here are pictures  from the first part of the waterside section of my explorations:

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The ducks swimming around this model lighthouse make it obvious that though close this is not actually the sea.

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My final set of pictures ends with a pointer to the next post in this series…

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I had not previously seen seats like this (and have not seen any equivalent since then)

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This is the seat I sat on to eat my lunch.

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The subjects of this picture will also be the subjects of my next post in this series.

An NAS West Norfolk Coffee Morning

An account of a coffee morning organised by NAS West Norfolk, some photos and some important links. I draw your particular attention to the levitycropscience crowdfunding issue.

INTRODUCTION

As well as my title piece I have some photos from the King’s Lynn area to share, some important links and a platinum quality infographic.

A MUCH ANTICIPATED COFFEE MORNING

Having received more than one email from my friends at NAS (National Autistic Society) West Norfolk about this coffee morning I was hoping for a decent event. From my perspective the rest of the story involves three elements..

THE WALK THERE

With the event due to start at 10AM I set off from my small town centre flat at 9:15AM and headed for the Scout Hut on Beaulah Street by way of Bawsey Drain and Lynn Sport. It was grey and uninspiring, but there was the odd photo worthy moment…

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I don't all that often include pictures of ducks, but this was a particularly fine specimen and there was not much else to command attention at the time.
I don’t all that often include pictures of ducks, but this was a particularly fine specimen and there was not much else to command attention at the time.

AT THE EVENT

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who had shown up – in total there were 14 of us present. One of the others, who I had not previously met, noticed the fact that i had a camera and had snapped off a few pictures, so I provided her with details of my blog, twitter account and email address, which she gratefully accepted, along with the explanation that all my best pictures are on the blog.

One of the two posters on the wall of the upstairs meeting room at the Scout Hut.
One of the two posters on the wall of the upstairs meeting room at the Scout Hut.

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Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I felt that this was a good start to what is intended to be a series of such mornings (and Karan, who organised the event, mentioned having people come to give talks in the future, which I also approve of).

The other wall poster - might be though of as 'zooming out' from the subject matter of the first.
The other wall poster – might be though of as ‘zooming out’ from the subject matter of the first.

THE WALK BACK

For the walk back I completed the circle by going via KES (King Edward VII Academy) and the train station. The only picture worth sharing that I was able to get was on the way out, heading down the stairs.

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I look forward to more events like this in the future!

SOME LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHS

Yesterday was a sunny day, and I got some fine photos, the best of which I now share…

My first four pictures related to classic local landmark, Greyfriars Tower, with two information boards...
My first four pictures related to classic local landmark, Greyfriars Tower, with two information boards…

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This up-tower shot...
This up-tower shot…
...And this external shot, taken from next to the the projector that displays a light show on the walls of the tower.
…And this external shot, taken from next to the the projector that displays a light show on the walls of the tower.
The next five pictures are of a remarkably coloured butterfly that was just near the Greyfriars Tower, in the Peace Garden.
The next five pictures are of a remarkably coloured butterfly that was just near the Greyfriars Tower, in the Peace Garden.

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A westering sun reflected off the Great Ouse yesterday evening.
A westering sun reflected off the Great Ouse yesterday evening.

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King's Lynn landmark no 1 - the Custom House
King’s Lynn landmark no 1 – the Custom House

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With two local landmarks pictured above this an opportunity to draw your attention to Heritage Open Day, this coming Sunday, when no fewer than 57 places of interest in King’s Lynn will be open to the public, some for the only time of the year.

LINKS

Cosmos Up address the question of why Pluto is no longer classed as a planet.

From secularism.org.uk comes this piece about a Norfolk council doing the right thing (yes ir does happen occasionally!)

Charlotte Hoather has produced a wonderful post, laden with lovely pictures, under the title “Charlotte’s Secret Garden“.

POLITICAL LINKS

dwpexamination feature with this piece about the British government surveilling kids as young as three years old for signs of extremism (yep you read that right – three years old!)

Tax Research UK have produced this piece whose title says it all: “11,000 People Die In The UK Each Year Because George Osborne Is Obsessed With Closing The Deficit

From the Joseph Rowntree Foundation via The Guardian comes this piece about how budget changes will hit single parents hardest.

Currently running on thepetitionsite is among others this “call for a full scale investigation into years of abuse by the DWP“.

I have previously mentioned that the UK is currently being investigated by the UN for human rights abuses because of the way the Scameron government treats disabled people. Courtesy of samedifference I can now tell you that there are no fewer than 41 issues that prompted this and provide this link (already widely shared on twitter).

This piece from politicalsift takes on the arguments about Corbyn and electability.

From cultureandpolitics comes this reminder that “I was only obeying orders” is not a recognised defence these days.

A LINK AND AN ADVANCE NOTIFICATION

While I have been producing this blog post I have received information about a crowd-funding campaign to support an autistic crop scientist, about which I shall be producing a full post sometime soon. For the moment, to prepare you, here is a link to levitycropscience.

A PLATINUM INFOGRAPHIC

This, from politicsbeginner comes this superb infographic about Kim Davis:

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A FINAL WORD

I hope you have all enjoyed this post. I end with a request: please share widely. Even if you choose not to share the whole post, please share at the minimum the stuff about levitycropscience.