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:
Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.
A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.
THOUGHTS ON NATURE
My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…
A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY
A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.
My next major link is to a…
To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclapplease do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.
Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported.
Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blognamed after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:
It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…
My 1,100th post on aspiblog – features some fun around the number 1,100, a number of links to autism related stuff and some photographs. Read, enjoy and please share!.
Yes folks, this is my 1100th post on aspiblog. I will start with a section on the number 1100, provide a number of autism related links and include some of my own photographs.
1,100 = 2 * 2 * 5 * 5 *11.
An ammunition store that contained 20 complete pyramids of cannon-balls each with a base side length of 5 cannonballs would contain a total of 1100 cannonballs:
(1 + 4 +9 + 16 +25) = 55, 55 * 20 = 1,100.
These same cannon balls could also have been stacked in five tetrahedrons each with a base side length of 10.
(1 + 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 + 28 + 36 + 45 + 55)= 220, 220 * 5 = 1,100
However, it was standard to stack cannon balls in pyramids, and also a the single cannon ball on top of a stack 10 cannonballs high might be rather difficult to reach.
Another option on the pyramidal theme would be a single truncated pyramid with base side length 15 cannonballs, and the top layer of the pyramid having a side length of 64 (225 + 196 + 169 + 144 + 121 + 100 + 81 + 64 = 1,100.
As a teaser what is the minimum base size length needed to stack 1,100 cannonballs in a single truncated tetrahedron, and what if you restrict yourself by insisting that each layer must be a perfect triangle?
AUTISM RELATED LINKS
This section is devoted to autism related stuff, so the text, including links which will be in bold and underlined, is all in #RedInstead. My first link comes from the blog aliensfromplanetautismunder the title “What Autism Acceptance Means” Below is a screenshot of the start of the post:
Bookings are now open for the second running of the Autism Awareness Cup six-a-side football tournament, which takes place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th (and it is free btw). If you are able to come along please click on the graphic below to book:
ANSWERS TO TEASER
The second part of the teaser was a trick question – there is no combination of consecutive triangle numbers that adds up to 1,100, therefore a perfect truncated tetrahedron is not possible. The first part of the answer is that you can make a truncated tetrahedron of 1084 cannon balls from a base with side length 18 up to side length 7, but there are then only 16 balls left for the next layer which is therefore incomplete.
Politics and nature combine to form one YUGE blog post!
In my part of the world there are local elections happening on May 4th, so I thought I would use some thoughts about them as the starting point for this blog. I will go on from that to sharing various interesting and important stuff, and of course there will be some of my own photographs.
Although my polling card is safely in my possession I have yet to receive any communication from any of the candidates, and can therefore talk only in general terms. I will definitely be voting. Since I became of voting age more years ago than I care to reveal I have only once failed to vote in an election I was entitled to vote in, and that was in the first election for Norfolk Police Commissioner. I will not be voting for any right wing parties or individual candidates. After their massive betrayal of those who voted for them (myself one of them) in 2010 the Liberal Democrats have much ground to make up and at this moment the odds against me putting my cross in that particular box are of the “write your own ticket” variety. While it is possible that I will be impressed by someone standing as an Independent candidate it is not very likely. This leaves me looking at two options:
Labour – if the candidate is of the right type and not someone who will use their entire campaign to bash their party’s twice elected leader I may be induced to vote for them.
Green – this party stands for many of the things that I believe in, and I am not going to hold the entire party to account for a mistake made by one of its co-leaders (Jonathan Bartley endorsing “light it up blue”, which readers of this blog will realise is an absolute guarantee of an entry in my bad books). If they can find a candidate with the qualities shown by Sian Berryin her campaign for London Mayor and subsequently in her work as a Greater London Assembly member I will certainly by influenced in this direction.
I will probably be voting Green because I see the way forward as being in a red/green partnership, and I think the Green side of that partnership needs strengthening. Also, a Green vote has the merit of being a vote cast unequivocally in favour of Proportional Representation.
After this start it is time for some…
I start with a piece by Richard Murphy titled “Time For a New Political Party?”, in which he looks at a suggestion originally made by Richard Dawkins in a piece in the New Statesman. While I would say that the launch of a new political party should be delayed until FPTP is replaced with PR (under FPTP the Tories have a built-in advantage that would only be strengthened by the addition of a new party) I believe that Professor Murphy is pretty well on the money with his suggestions about this new party. Please click on the screenshot below to access this post, and if so inclined add your voice to those commenting on it:
Next, from the Skwawkbox comes the most recent piece on the story I have dubbed Coynegate – the massive breaches of the Data Protection Act by right wing candidate for Unite general secretary Gerard Coyne. To read this story, titled “EXCLUSIVE: COYNE TELLS BBC HIS LABOUR DATA USE ‘CONCLUDED’. IT ISN’T.” please click on the image below:
My next link is to the homepage of the We Own It Campaign’s website. To find out for yourself what they are all about click on the screenshot below:
The focus, including my photographs is about to shift to Nature (note to my many fellow autistic bloggers although you do not feature in this post I have some of your finest stuff bookmarked for use in the very near future), and the turning point is a campaign against the large scale felling of trees in and around Sheffield. I have two links in connection with this. First, for the benefit of those of you who use social media, a Thunderclap, which you can boost by adding your own connections on facebook, twitter and tumblr. I link to it by way of the screenshot below:
The second link on this subject is to the page that lists all the campaigns in and around Sheffield that are now grouped under the umbrella of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG). I link by way of a screenshot once again:
The last piece of shared content for today before moving towards my photographs comes to you from Sweden, and has a section to itself:
ANNA INTRODUCES EMMELINA
Anna is a Swedish blogger who needs to no further introduction to readers of this blog. As for Emmelina, that will have to wait for the moment. Yesterday Anna put up a post about a very curious little creature she had photographed on her door, which she called “Who’s This?”I thought that the little creature was a stick insect, but the reveal when it came today was far more interesting. It turns out that the creature is actually a moth that resembles a stick insect. Here is a link to the piece in which Anna reveals the identity of the creature. Finally, revealing the Emmelina part of the title, here is Wikipedia on Emmelina Monodactyla.
To end the post here are some of my own photographs…
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.
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…
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.
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.
Followers of this site will need no introduction to thesilentwaveblog, featured here with not one but two fantastic posts:
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:
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:
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.
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 Skwawkboxblog, 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:
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:
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:
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.
As Autism Acceptance/ Appreciation Month gets underway I share some of the best autism related pieces of the moment, some thoughts of my own and some photographs.
I have a number of autism related links to share. Some of you will notice that the heading of this section of the blog is a different colour from usual. One of the links I shall be sharing gives more detail on this. For the moment suffice it to say that for the month of April save when it features in photographs the colour blue will not feature in this blog. As for the second half of this post’s title, I refer you to my last post, accessible by way of the graphic below:
TOO MUCH INFORMATION
Last year the National Autistic Society released a video entitled Too Much Information. This year they have produced a second, which has already had approximately a million views. As I cannot embed this particular video I link to it by way of the screenshot below and this link to the original.
We start with a post titled “Autism Science to Watch Out For”, which you can visit by clicking the screenshot below.
My second selection from this site, titled “An Open Letter from an Autistic Child in Meltdown, Written by an Autistic Adult Who Still Melts Down From Time to Time” does precisely what it says on the tin. Again the link is by way of a screenshot:
This brings this section to a close because although I have a couple more links to share they are on the same theme and I have chosen to give them a section to themselves…
LOOKING AHEAD –
ACCEPTANCE TO APPRECIATION
Autism Acceptance Month is a better title than the old title for this month. Some however, and I fully sympathise with their reasoning, consider that even this is inadequate, and have introduced another title, Autism Appreciation Month. This appeals greatly to me, as an extension of the principle by which the title Autism Acceptance Month was arrived at. I have two superb posts to link to which between them make a good case for Autism Appreciation Month:
Eclectic Autistic, whose post titled “Autism Appreciation” appeared not long after my own post of yesterday. Click on the screenshot below to read this excellent post in full:
Finally, no post of this nature would be complete without something from thesilentwaveblog. This post, titled “#RedInstead ~ Autism Acceptance / Appreciation Month” both fills out the case for Autism Appreciation Month, and provides some detail as to why I am not using blue in the text sections of this blog during April, and why with blue ruled out I made red the first colour to appear. To read it in full please click on the picture below.
SOME FINAL WORDS
At some point in the near future I will be putting up a general sharing post, and a post about public transport specifically. Also, this afternoon I will be attending a Musical Keys session, and I will take plenty of photographs there for sharing – this session will definitely feature in a blog post as well. I have no doubt that I will also find plenty more excellent autism related posts to share. My final words before the photo section are these:
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.