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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Some of the best science and nature related pieces I have recently come across.
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:
Yes another thunderclap for those of you who are on social media to support. Click on the screenshot below for more…
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:
Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.
An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well.
The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…
DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling.
The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…
A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…
Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subjectI said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough councilwebsite turned up the following information about who was standing:
In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.
Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland.
The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message“.
I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…
ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED
During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled.
Some stuff about Proptional Representation, some stuff about public transport, some stuff about “Save Trosa Nature” and some photographs.
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…
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 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:
The two images I am sharing point up the flaws of FPTP in two differing ways:
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.
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:
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, 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.
Some stuff about nature, with a sidelight on public transport. Links to several nature/ transport themed posts and many appropriately themed photos.
This is the first of several posts I will be putting up today. Two of the links I shall be sharing are to posts that have already appeared on this site as reblogs, but which I consider so important, that I am going to link to them again. There is also among my links a piece relating to public transport for which I make no apology, as transport policy can have a big impact on nature, whether positively or negatively depending on the nature of the policy. As usual plenty of my own pictures will feature as well.
TAKING THE LOCAL AUTHORITY TO TASK
Two pieces in this section:
Anna’s searching questions of her local authority as part of the ongoing campaign to save Trosa nature. For those who have not already seen the piece, please click on the magnificent infographic/ meme that Anna created based on a comment I made on one of her previous posts.
A cabal of Tories seeking to force through the building of an expensive and environmentally damaging incinerator is all too familiar to a West Norfolk resident. This time the dodgy dealing is going on in Gloucestershire and again it is a Tory controlled County Council that seeks to force through the building of the incinerator. The Skwawkbox have picked up on the story, for which I am very grateful, and I urge everyone who reads this to visit this post by clicking on the image below.
BADGER CULLS AND BIOSECURITY
This one appears on Chris Packham’swebsite, and consists of a brief introduction to a person by the name of Anna Dale, and then an essay by this same Anna Dale titled “Below-par biosecurity should mean no badger cull licence”. To read this detailed essay please click on the graphic below.
BUSES IN CRISIS
This comes to you courtesy of the Campaign for Better Transport. Contained within this worrying piece is a bit of good news – an infographic relating to the achievements of 2016. To read the full detail on the crisis with Britain’s buses please click on the shocking graph below.
PHOTOGRAPHS 1: WORK
In this, the first of two sections of this post devoted to my photographs, I share some nature and transport related pictures from yesterday and Thursday at work. The first of these is of an item in the March auction, which I therefore use as a link to our online catalogue, while all the rest are from lots in our April auction.
PHOTOGRAPHS 2: LEISURE
To end the post here some photos from in and around King’s Lynn…
More spring photographs following on my last post, likewise some appropriately themed music, some stuff about public transport, some autism related links and some other links.
This is a follow up to my previous post, but after the photographs I will be sharing a number of links as well. Here is some appropriately themed music once again – Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.
Immediatelty I had put up the previous post I set off on another walk. Although I did not manage to capture any more butterflies I did get plenty of splendid pictures.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE DAFTNESS OF BRITISH PUBLIC TRANSPORT
This too has some photographic content. I made passing mention of a daft situation involving public transport in Norfolk in my post“Network Autism”, and now I am following up on it.
Although the routes taken differ, the distance covered and the time taken to cover that distance are similar, and therefore so too is the fuel consumption of the bus. The First Eastern Counties X1 route is available almost the whole day, whereas the Stagecoach X29 route is more restricted timewise, with the first bus leaving King’s Lynn at 6:28AM and the last return bus leaving Norwich at 5:20PM (and the other way around the restriction is greater because the depot is in King’s Lynn.
This is the sort of nonsensical situation that can arise when public transport is in the hands of greedy profiteers rather than being publicly run and publicly accountable. There is no rational justification for the same journey costing twice as much by one route as by another like this.
For today this section divides into two subsections, starting with…
AUTISM RELATED STUFF
I start with a link to a post on Mamautistic, titled “Not an Excuse”. This post is liberally laced with links of its own that I recommend you to follow up. Click on the picture below to read it in full.
My remaining links in this section are to posts on thesilentwaveblog.First up is a post titled “Asperger’s / autism may not be a disability only (but we *do* need to treat it like one)”. Please click on the image below to read this post, which is detailed and well reasoned, in full.
Next comes a post with the title “When an “official” Asperger’s / autism diagnosis is just a formality”. This one is is super-detailed but very well worth the read. Once again, there is an image that I can use as the link.
Finally, to end this subsection, although I reblogged the magnificent ‘put the boot on the other foot’ type post “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality: a handbook on the rest of the world for Asperger’s / autistic people” earlier today it is so good that I feel another plug is in order, so if you have not already read it please click on the image below to rectify the omission.
I start this section with a horrifying story from The Canaryabout how some girls in Britain in 2017 are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products. Click the image below to read this piece.
My last two links go together – not only are both to pieces on Skwawkbox, both are to pieces about Tory election fraud:
The first one is titled “#TORYELECTIONFRAUD JUSTICE REQUIRES FULL RECKONING, NOT #MCKINLAY AS SACRIFICIAL LAMB” – as usual I am using an image as the actual link.
The second piece deals with a ‘tactic’ that the Tories are using as a supposed form of defence, and is titled “TORY ‘NO INTENT’ #ELECTIONFRAUD CONFIDENCE IS A NON-STARTER. HERE’S WHY”. Click the image below to read the piece.
Preparations for tomorrow, photographs from in and around King’s Lynn and pointing up a couple of things brought to my attention by DPAC
The links I am sharing in this post are to do with disability rights. I am also going to be setting the stage in this post for the main thrust of tomorrow’s blogging, which is where the autism part of the title comes in.
I will be attending an event in Dereham tomorrow morning which has been organised jointly by Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands. Dereham has been chosen as a location because we are dealing with a large area, and King’s Lynn to Norwich is too long a journey for most to consider acceptable (and even more so in reverse). Along with everything else, I have been making preparations for that.
GETTING THERE AND BACK
I have mad arrangements with someone who lives in Watlington and will be travelling by car to be given a lift. In order to avoid the necessity of the driver coming into the middle of King’s Lynn at what would be a busy time we have arranged to meet in the car park of the Gatehouse pub. It being fine outside I was up for a walk anyway, so I started by walking the best route between my house and the car park in question. Those familiar with this blog will not need to be told that in aspiblog terms when talking about walking routes “best” and “shortest” are not necessarily synonymous, and my chosen route is not by any means the shortest. However I class at as the “best” walking route because it minimises the amount of time I spend close to busy roads.
I set off at 13:31 (I needed to time this first section) and headed over the bridge across the upper Purfleet, across King Street, and down to mouth of the lower Purfleet, where I crossed the other pedestrian bridge to walk along the bank of the Great Ouse as far as Millfleet, from where I took the path around old Boal Quay to the Nar Outfall, and briefly rejoined the riverbank until I reached the path through Hardings Pits to Hardings Way, which I followed to its end near the South Lynn Baptist Church, where I crossed the road it joins, crossed the Nar and walked along to the South Gates roundabout, where one more road crossing took me to the edge of the car park which tomorrow morning will be my destination. Having recorded that I had got to the car park at 14:02, and hence been underway for 31 minutes I continued my walk by way of the cemetery, The Walks, Lynnsport and finally back into town by way of Bawsey Drain.
When I got back I found a facebook message awaiting me telling me that the ETA for my lift at the car park tomorrow was 9:20 – 9:30, so factoring in the timings for today and reckoning that if anyone has to wait it should be me I am planning on leaving my flat at approximately 8:40AM tomorrow.
Here are some of the pictures I took while out walking (including some in the first section which I was timing – where I go my camera goes).
A DPAC DUO
Disabled People Against Cuts have put out two very important pieces today. First, they draw our attention to a day of action against the vicious barbarism known as “Benefit Sanctions” organised by UNITE Community for March 30th. Please read this piece in full by by clicking on the image of an anti-sanction badge (from that post) below:
The second piece from DPAC relates the upcoming mayoral elections in Manchester. The Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People has developed a Disability Manifesto. This manifesto has been sent to all the mayoral candidates, and for those of you who use social media, a thunderclap has been launched to oput further pressure on the candidates to sign up to this manifesto.