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

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Autism Acceptance Revisited

A post sharing some of the best recent stuff about autism from the true experts – autistic people.

INTRODUCTION

As this is an Autism themed post and we are still in the month of April my text will all be in #RedInstead. Links will be in bold and underlined. 

AUTISM ACCEPTANCE

Autism acceptance is about people accepting us for who we are, focussing on the positives and on our abilities, not on our limitations (both perceived and actual, though the former are both much greater and much more important in terms of the effect on us). The Art of Autism recently put up and excellent post about this titled “THIS BEAUTY QUEEN’S MESSAGE IS AUTISM ACCEPTANCE“. I offer this screenshot as a tempter:

AOA

ABA THERAPY = CHILD ABUSE

ABA stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis, and is still recommended in certain circles. Those who were subjected to this as children and have subsequently written about it are unanimous in condemning it. It would appear based on this sample that the most frequent outcome of ABA therapy is that an autistic person ends up an autistic person with Post Traumatic Sress Disorder. I link to two very substantial pieces by a former practitioner of ABA who has learned the error of her former ways, with thanks to Rachel Rainey who put me on to these two pieces today. The pieces posted by madasbirdsblog are:

  1. The original mea culpa piece titled “I ABUSED CHILDREN FOR A LIVING
    MC
  2. A follow up piece provoked by a response defending ABA, titled “I ABUSED CHILDREN AND SO DO YOU: A RESPONSE TO AN ABA APOLOGIST“. This piece is very long (over 9,000 words) but I recommend you read it in full. My screenshot comes from just after the start of the post, and I hope muy reasons for this choice will be obvious:
    ABAdetailed.jpg

A NEW FIND WITH A
GREAT “WHAT IF?” PIECE

  1. This next piece was originally published in May 2016 but is still absolutely relevant. From a blog called autnot and titled “If the world was built for me” it does precisely what you might expect from the title. The screenshot below is from the end of it:

If.jpg

ERIN HUMAN’S ABLEISM SERIES

Regular visitors to this site will know that I have been greatly impressed by Erin Human’s series of posts focussing on ableism. I am delighted to share with you two new posts in this series:

  1. A piece titled “Is there a cure for ableism?” which tackles ways in which this scourge can be dealt with.
  2. Under the title “Ableism Therapies” a post which lists some important links:

‘AWARENESS’ IS NOT ENOUGH

Some of you may have noticed that unusually for a post of this nature I have yet to mention thesilentwaveblog. Fear not, I conclude the business part of this post with a link to a post titled “Awareness’ is not enough ~ Part 3: Talk is cheap.  Please take action“.

PHOTOGRAPHS

BRCHB1
Another railway themed horse brass. I will be doing a piece connected to this on my London transport themed website eventually. This first picture is formatted as a link to the website of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

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James and Sons April Auction

Giving an account of James and Sons’ April auction and (in the introduction) setting the scene for the rest of the day’s blogging activity.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first of several full length posts that I am intending to put up today (I have already produced a little squib relating to today’s special Google Doodle) and so before getting into the meat of it I take this opportunity to indicate what you can expect over the course of the rest of today: Science and Nature including an introduction to a fabulous series of memes about evolution, Autism and some political stuff.

THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE AUCTION

This auction was a three-day, 1,500 lot sale, taking place on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All three days took place at our shop in Fakenham. The first day stuff had to be brought down into the body of the shop on the Friday. 

DAY 1: LOTS 1-500

These lots consisted of coins, banknotes, bank related ephemera, coin first-day covers and militaria. This was a successful day, with the coins and the militaria doing particularly well. After consuming my sandwiches I then had to bring the stuff for Day 2 down into the shop ready for viewing in the morning. 

DAY 2: LOTS 501-1000

These lots consisted of stamps, postal history and first-day covers. This second day was always likely to be quiet, and indeed it was. However, here are some pictures of lot 856, which I acquired for £4…

856
The front of lot 856
856stamps
A close up of the six stamps
856-train
A close up of the big train
856reverse
The reverse of the envelope
856explanation
A c,lose up of the explanation.

The auction stage of the day was followed by the most exhausting heavy lifting of the period – day two stuff back upstairs, day three stuff downstairs. 

DAY 3: LOTS 1001-1500

The items under the hammer on day three were postcards, toys, Liebig picture cards, cigarette cards, ephemera, books, vinyls and various miscellaneous items. There was enough of interest going under the hammer to ensure a successful day, and indeed to ensure that the auction overall can be considered a success. This was followed by one last heavy lifting exercise – getting the stuff back upstairs so that the shop looked more like a shop once again. Our next auction, again taking place at our shop will be on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May. Here are some pictures I took yesterday morning to show what went under the hammer later that day:

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This cinema screen sized Charlie’s Angels poster (in the black plastic tube) was lot 1,401 and went unsold.

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These Liebig’s were being sold as albums rather than as sheets, and three of the five found buyers.

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Shouldn’t Every Day Be “Earth Day”?

A post for “Earth Day”, which argues that every day should be Earth Day. Read, enjoy and please share.

INTRODUCTION

Today is “Earth Day”, and it is all well and good to name it so, but the truth is that we should by now be capable of realising that every day should be considered to be Earth Day. This post is therefore dedicated to “Earth Day” but also to realising the inadequacy of “Earth Day”. There is a parallel here with the various “Autism Awareness” days, weeks and months (yes there is one of each) and their unfitness for purpose which I written about elsewhere. All of my own text in this post will be in green because it is about nature. Links where they appear will be in bold and underlined. 

INTRODUCTION TO “EARTH DAY” COURTESY OF LIVESCIENCE.COM

Four days ago I came across this excellent post about the development of “Earth Day” on livescience.com. It is simply titled “Earth Day: Facts & History“, and it is an excellent read. The screenshot below will serve as an aperitif:

EDLS.jpg

A MESSAGE FROM SWEDEN

Five days ago Anna put a post sharing a poster created by one of her friends under the title “Power listen to the voice of nature“. Anna’s message in that post is simple and compelling. Below is her friend’s poster which inspired it:

Poster by Margareta Arnedotter Jansson

A THUNDERCLAP

This one is for those of you who are on any of facebook, twitter and/ or tumblr. I have shared it before, and on its final day I do so once again. It is titled “Birds Join Bees this Earth Day“, and focuses on the damage pesticides are doing to pollinators. 

EDT.jpg

A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY

I consider this to be an excellent idea. Once again this is something that I have shared previously, and with eleven days to go until the deadline on this petition I do so again, considering it perfect subject matter for “Earth Day”. Please sign and share if you are UK citizens and have not already done so – let’s use today to get this past 10,000 signatures!

NHGCSE.jpg

THE NETHERLANDS STEAM AHEAD WITH TRAINS POWERED BY GREEN ENERGY

ALL trains in The Netherlands are now powered by wind generated (i.e renewable) electricity. For more and a video (also embedded below) please click here

http://mashable.com/videos/embed?video=fVb3VZiI&player=offsite&player=offsiteNote also that in strong contrast to every British public transport project I can remember this was completed not just in time but a whole year ahead of schedule.

CYCLISTS NOW HAVE THEIR OWN VERSION OF THE ‘BECK MAP’

Since he gained permission from his employers to unveil it to a wider public in 1931 Henry C Beck’s schematic diagram of the London Underground network, known colloquially as the “Beck Map” has taken the world by storm and become the template for public transport maps across the globe. Now, in it’s home city a Beck style map has been produced for the benefits of cyclists. There is a detailed article about this on indy100.com featuring this map, which is reproduced below for your benefit:

londoncyclemap-revised2017v1.4-011-0.jpg

EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY

We need to appreciate nature and the Earth every day of our lives. One day per year is most emphatically not enough. We also need to remember to very important things:

1. There is no “Planet B” at this moment – if we turn this planet into somewhere completely inhospitable to Homo sapiens we have nowhere else to go.

2. Following on from that first point we need to always bear in mind that we need Earth more than Earth needs us.

To finish this post, save for a few of my own photographs I turn again to Anna, and a piece of artwork I have shared before which she created based on comment that I made on one of her blog posts:

Nature Meme

starlings.jpg

967
These pictures of items that will be going under the hammer on the 22nd,, 23rd and 24th of May at James and Sons.

970

941
I travelled on this railway in my childhood, too many years ago to mention.

941-a941-b941-c941-d972972-a972-b972-c986986-a986-b986-c978

978-a
This picture, reminding us of where we and everything else on earth comes from seems an appropriate one to end the post.

Cricket, Music and Local Elections

Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

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. 

CRICKET

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. 

MUSIC

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…

MUSICAL KEYS

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…

Kirsten
Kirsten, one of the two people from Musical Keys who run these sessions, at a very impressive looking keyboard.

MK1MK2MK3MK4MK5MK6MK7

MK8
I shall be adding some mathematics to the mix in two weeks time.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subject I 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 council website turned up the following information about who was standing:

candidates

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. 

WALES

In Llanbadarn Fawr ward, Powys, the Labour Party candidate is none other than Mike Sivier of Vox Political, a fact which he announced in a post titled “Vote for Mike in the local elections!

– Vox Political’s Mike Sivier is standing as a Labour Party candidate for Powys County Council’s Llanbadarn Fawr ward – and there’s more to him than a nice smile [Image: Mike Sivier].

Today, Mike has put up another post about his candidacy under the title “Shadow cabinet minister is right – local elections are about CANDIDATES, not Corbyn“.

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

Towards Indyref2…

PHOTOGRAPHS

I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…

15thCGHBb1BlackbirdcloseupBlackbird and flowerDSCN6005Mh1MinsterHB

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. 

Sharing

Some thoughts on sharing, provoked initially by the Gorsuch plagiarism case as reported by whyevolutionistrue and given the final push when I saw a post on everydayaspie.wordpress.com and reblogged it.

INTRODUCTION

I first started thinking about this post yesterday, and then a few minutes ago something else  occurred that prompted me to actually create it. 

A TALE OF TWO POSTS

Yesterday I read on whyevolutionistrue about an accusation of plagiarism against the US Supreme Court’s most recent appointee, Justice Gorsuch. That post makes it very obvious indeed that Mr Gorsuch is indeed guilty, and to an extent that would have earned any student an automatic zero for cheating. 

The second post, the one the actually got me started writing this post, comes from everydayaspie.wordpress.com, and those of you who follow this site should already have seen it by way of this. If you have not yet seen this post, titled “What if the Tables Were Turned and This was an Autistic Workplace?” I urge you to do so. 

The first post I have mentioned in this section shows Gorsuch seeing something he appreciated and making use of it an unacceptable fashion that gave no credit at all to the person who had actually done the work. My reaction to the second demonstrated one (there are several) example of the…

ACCEPTABLE WAYS OF USING
CONTENT CREATED BY OTHERS

I reblogged the post, with the addition of a line of my own explaining where I had found it. However, because the real work had been done by the original blogger, I then opened the editing screen and made two small but important alterations (as well as a few others not relevant to this post):

  1. I made my mention of the site from which I had reblogged it into a link.
  2. Because all credit or otherwise that might be due to the post belongs rightfully to its creator I turned off the comments section on my reblog.

If the post in which you are using content from elsewhere also contains significant work of your own, then it makes sense to keep the comments section open.

There is one golden rule when using content from other sources in a piece of your own: always give full credit to the original creator. Thus when I am sharing multiple pieces in the course of one post my own usual approach is to link to the source website of each piece the first time I mention it by name, and link to each piece individually. Also, if boosting the appearance of my own post by using pictures or screenshots from the other site I format them as links. This is especially important with screenshots, as they are not automatically attributed to the site to whom you are linking. 

It is nice if someone is impressed enough by your stuff to want to share it, but to put it very mildly it takes some of the gloss off if they omit to mention where they got it from (btw I have direct experience of this – when the Lynn News printed a report on the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup every word of that report had also appeared in my blog post about it, which had peen published some days previously, and no credit was accorded to me).

PHOTOGRAPHS

These pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons May aujction (22nd, 23rd and 24th of May, all three days at our own premises in central Fakenham):

499
Lot 499
499-a
Both sides of the brooch
499-b
The front of the brooch.
499-c
The back of the reverse (not the markings at the bottom). The reflections are unavoidable when taking a close up of an object this tiny and this shiny.
500
Lot 500 – a lot that required many images
500-a
both faces of the medals in one shot
500-b
Closer ups of each face of the medals

500-c

500-d
The back the middle medal, showing the naming.
500-e
The three images I took to show the markings on the rim of this medal combined to form one…
500-f
…and the individuals

500-g500-h

500-i
Finally, completing the gallery for his lot, a close up of the cap badge.

The Dean Forest Railway

A post hung on a horse brass. This post enables you to follow the trail of the internet explorations that this item inspired me to carry out.

INTRODUCTION

I have recently been given this horse brass:

DSCN5996

A combination of my knowledge of geography, the name of the railway company at the top of the brass and the fact that the locomotive depicted is a Great Western Railway one told me that this railway was located in the county of my birth – Gloucestershire. This was sufficient for me to look further…

THE DEAN FOREST RAILWAY TODAY

Today the Dean Forest Railway is a heritage railway, but through tickets valid on it can be bought on ordinary railways. They have a website which looks very detailed to me.

It would seem that if you are based anywhere close to west Gloucestershire this railway can offer you an excellent day out. 

MORE ABOUT THE
DEAN FOREST RAILWAY

There is a very detailed Wikipedia entry about this railway, which started its railway existence (it was a tramway before then) as the Severn and Wye Valley Railway in 1868, and entered its current phase of existence in 1971. 

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THE HORSE BRASS FULL GALLERY

Here are the photographs I have of this item, ending with a picture of it in its current place:

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The whole thing.
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Close up of the title.
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Close up of the inscription on the locomotive
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The whole locomotive.
DFRHB
In its new niche – my hot water tank is behind this door btw..