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:

voteforchange

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:

30dayswild

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:

quote

adam-mandela-walden.jpg

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:

Personalised symbol-page-0

 

Saturday Spectacular

Some stuff about Proptional Representation, some stuff about public transport, some stuff about “Save Trosa Nature” and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

In this post I am going to be sharing stuff relating to three topics, and also displaying some of my own photographs. The weather here is so spectacular at present that not only am I creating this post while sitting outside, I am wearing a t-shirt. I shall move on to my first set of shares, which are themed around…

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

The First Past the Post (FPTP) method of deciding elections has had its day. It works reasonably well when two parties hoover up almost all the votes (though even then, as in 1951 when the Labour party got more votes than any party ever in any British General Election still ended up in opposition because of how those votes were distributed), but when the two biggest parties as is now the case in Britain command just 65% of the vote between them it is an epic fail, with barely more than a third of the votes cast being enough on occasions to hand one party a “majority”. I have two images, both found by way of twitter, and a link to share with you.

THE ARTICLE

The article to which I link is in the Guelph Mercury, and takes the form of a blistering opening letter to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau criticisng him for going back on his election commitment to electoral reform (Canada is one of only two democracies besides Britain which still uses FPTP – the other being the one that is so dysfunctional that Mr “Grab ’em by the pussy” was able to secure the top job).  To read this piece in full please click on the image below, which is taken from it:

Trudeau

The two images I am sharing point up the flaws of FPTP in two differing ways:

fptpfailFPTPbad

If anyone wishes to bring up the 2o11 referendum on voting reform thinking to use that to make a point, I suggest you think again: the sole alternative that was on offer then was very nearly as flawed as FPTP – AV IS NOT PR.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

I have a number of items to share here, some bad, some good. I will start with my journey to work yesterday morning. At 8:43AM (cutting it close, but manageable if no further time is wasted), a bus pulled into bay C at King’s Lynn bus station bearing the legend Fakenham X29. After it had disgorged a handful of passengers the driver told us we had to wait, and then a manager told him he had to take the bus into the parking slots in the centre of the bus station as it was being replaced with a single decker. For the run between King’s Lynn and Fakenham this would be adequate, but at Fakenham this bus becomes the 9:35 to Norwich, and single-decker is guaranteed to mean standees on that section of the route as that bus is the first of the morning on which old folk travel free. The end result of this was that it was just after 8:50AM when the bus actually got underway. As you will be seeing later, there was an incident on my return journey of a different kind.

A London Underground Worker Has Been Sacked For Helping a Pregnant Colleague Who Was Being Assaulted – Courtesy of Evolve Politics – 

This story, headlined as above on EvolvePolitics and ‘pressed’ by me on to my London Transport themed website is shocking in many different ways. Firstly, even without the actual evidence, which is pretty damning of London Underground bosses, in the event of an incident between staff and passengers the default position should be to side with staff. Secondly, London Underground claims to have a ‘zero-tolerance’ attitude to attacks on its staff. Thirdly, I consider the arrogant refusal of London Underground bosses even to contemplate the possibility that they might be in error to be very disturbing. On my way home from work yesterday, before I saw this piece, I witnessed a piece of unpleasantness on the bus in which I was travelling. I will summarize this incident in bullet point form:

  • Due to weight of traffic, rather than attempt to pull into the stopping zone outside the train station the driver stopped just before the station to let people off.
  • Just after he had started moving again and went past the station a passenger who had wanted to get off at the station and had failed to notice the stop started having a go at the driver about him not stopping.
  • The passenger continued this for the rest of the journey to the bus station. 

To make matters worse, the drop-off point at the bus station is only about 200m from the train station anyway. While I have been known to write in uncompromising terms to the offices of public transport companies I never target the staff who are actually attempting to deliver the service. This incident I have referred to is trivial compared to the one at the heart of the EvolvePolitics piece, which I link to, by way of the image below.

Having just referred you to one excellent source of political stories I now turn to another for a rather pleasanter story…

Part of Britain’s Railways Was Just Taken Into Public Ownership – Brought to you by The Canary

Kerry-Anne Mendoza’s magnificent creation, The Canary, has come up trumps again, with this story about a tiny part of our rail infrastructure (titled as per the first part of this section heading) coming back into public ownership in 2018. Obviously, it is a very small step in the right direction – towards a fully publicly owned and publicly accountable transport system – but it is a step in that direction nonetheless. To read the story in full please click on the image below:

Part of Britain’s railways was just taken into public ownership

I will end the public transport part of this post with…

A Trip Down Memory Lane Courtesy of Time Out

This is a fantastic photo archive showing the history of public transport in London since 1863 (when the world’s first underground railway line, then called the Metropolitan Railway, commenced operations). It has already featured on my London transport themed website. To view these pictures in their full glory please click on the one below which I have selected to act as the link.

This picture is headed as follows in the piece: Metropolitan Railway Guard Eva Carver. Mrs Carver can be seen dressed in uniform holding a lamp and flag by a staircase at Hammersmith Underground station, Metropolitan and Great Western Railways.

SAVE TROSA NATURE

I have links here to a recent blog post on this subject and to a nature website with strong connections to the subject matter of this section, and also to end this section and segue into the photos that end this post with a link to a post on facebook. 

The Blog Post

I reblogged this post when I first saw it, and now I am sharing it again. As with many of Anna’s nature themed posts this one features the meme she created based on some words I posted as a comment, and it is that that I use as the link.

The Website

The website, linked to in the blog post above, is called artportalen is about the species you can find in Sweden. To take a look at this site for yourself click on the image below:

The Segue Link

The facebook post to which I am linking contains a picture of an Apollo butterfly, a species which I observed on an island in the outer reaches of the Stockholm Archipelago but never on the mainland. The area around Trosa apparently is home to this rare species. To view this post and the picture featured there please click on the photograph below, which is my own.

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PHOTOGRAPHS

Finally to end this post:

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These photos start and finish with butterflies.

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Saturday Shares

Sharing the best stuff I have found on the internet lately, and some of my own pictures.

INTRODUCTION

No – I’m not getting into financial writing! This title refers to the fact that this post is largely devoted to sharing interesting stuff I have found recently, with some pictures, mainly from work.

I STAND WITH HARRY – UPDATE

The latest stage of this campaign to get Brentwood County Hugh School to confront and deal with their bullying problem, a campaign being run by veteran anti-bullying campaigner and autism advocate Kevin Healey, is calling for people to post pictures of themselves holding an “I Stand With Harry” poster. For the record this is the one I posted:

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MAKE VOTES MATTER

The “Make Votes Matter” campaign have launched a thunderclap as the latest stage of their efforts to get the antiquated and defective FPTP system under which British general elections are fought.

SEA WORLD PETITION

Another long standing campaign entering a new phase. The new development is a map to which you can add your presence:

A NEW INTERACTIVE MAP

I have already posted a couple of links about this on my London transport themed website, but this is so good that I am posting about it here as well:

  • The Time Out piece that set me wise to this
  • The two links posted on my website (here and here)
  • To check out the tool (I caught it out once – when although it correctly had me change at Stockwell to the Victoria line for a journey between Tooting Bec and Great Portland Street it then had me change at King;’s Cross to the Circle/ Hammersmith and City/ Metropolitan, instead of alighting at Warren Street, strolling round the corner to Euston Square and travelling one stop west – a net gain of three stops with little time difference in the interchanges) click the screenshot below:
    tubermap

OTHER LINKS

These are individual links that defy any sort of grouping:

PICTURES

As already stated, most of my pictures are from work on Thursday and yesterday.

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Lot 1 in James and Sons auction that will take place on November 30th.

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Lot 154
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Lot 293

3030-a30-b3737-a37-b3838-a38-b4040-a40-b4545-b6767-a67-b67-c7272-a72-b112112-a

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Lot 596
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Finishing appropriately given the nature of the post with an image of a pin badge that I spotted on twitter. The design is a phylogenetic tree btw.

The Calendars are Here, PR and Last Chance to Join a Mighty Thunderclap

INTRODUCTION

Three little things for you….

THE “GET NATURE ON THE NEWS” THUNDERCLAP – ONE DAY TO GO

This thunderclap currently has 1944 supporters with a total social reach of approximately 12.5 million. If you would like to support it and have an account with any of facebook, twitter on tumblr (you can, as I have with my facebook and twitter accounts support it with two accounts if you have them) please click on the screen grab below…

thunderclap

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

Here in the UK we are lumbered with an antiquated voting system that has enabled a party with the votes of 24% of the electorate to form a ‘majority’ government. For this reason Make Votes Matter have put up a petition on the official government petitions website (which means it is only open to UK citizens to sign). To view and sign the petition click the screen grab below.

pr

As you can see, when I screen grabbed the above image there were just over 9,000 signatures. There are now almost 14,000 and growing.

THE CALENDARS ARE HERE!

The photographic wall calendars that I have created for next year are now in my possession. I am delighted with how they have come out.

calendar-reduced

A NEW PHOTO

Once I had picked up the calendars this morning I had time to kill before catching the bus, but not enough to warrant a return to the flat, so i took a little loop through The Walks, where I got this picture…

moorhen-reduced