A Little Bit of Many Things

A mixed bag of stuff – hope you enjoy it.

INTRODUCTION

Much of this post will be sharing finds from elsewhere, but there will also be some pictures of my own. I will be starting with politics,  moving from there on to transport, then some science and finishing up with some stuff about autism. Other than in this introduction most of the text will be coloured, and links as usual will be in bold and underlined. 

POLITICS

There is a particular reason why I am mixing red and green in this section and priveleging green by having it come first. The Greens have pulled out of a number of seats in the upcoming general election to make Labour’s task easier. These seats include at least one held by a current cabinet minister. I urge Labour to reciprocate by at the very least not fielding a candidate in Brighton Pavilion (the only seat currently held by the Greens), and preferably also by leaving a clear field for them on the Isle of Wight, and in a few other seats that the Greens are particularly targetting. In my own constituency of Northwest Norfolk Labour is the only party with a chance of unseating the Tory, and I will thankfully be able to vote Labour with a smile as they have very sensibly reselected the excellent Jo Rust as their candidate. My first two shares are both about Labour’s plans to deal with tax avoidance. The two pieces in question are:

I conclude this section with a reference to Labour’s manifesto, now in the public domain. I have read the document in full and urge you to do likewise by clicking here. As both an aperitif and a lead-in to the next section of this post I reproduce the transport section:

Labtrans

TRANSPORT

A brief section, containing two important links. The first, from the Campaign for Better Transport is titled “Improving air quality: buses are key to success and details precisely how serious an issue air pollution is in the UK and how buses can help solve this.  The second piece I am sharing in this section comes from livescience.com and has the self-explanatory title “New Battery Could Power Electric Cars 620 Miles on Single Charge“.  Below is a picture of the battery taken from that article.

 

An illustration that shows how the new electric battery is stacked like a ream of paper.

Credit: Fraunhofer IKTS. 

SCIENCE

I have three recent finds to share, all courtesy of the Guardian. The first of these another link in the chain of whale evolution, published under the headline “36m-year-old fossil discovery is missing link in whale evolution, say researchers“. Here is the picture:

Two Mystacodon selenensis individuals diving down to catch eagle rays along the seafloor of a shallow cove off the coast of present-day Peru.

From water creatures we move to ancestors of flying creatures, with this piece titled Dinosaur tail trapped in amber offers insights into feather evolution” again accompanied by an excellent picture, reproduced below:

Having covered water creatures and the ancestors of air creatures we finish with land creatures, and the largest fossilized footprints ever discovered, with a diameter of 1.7 metres. These dinosaur footprints are located near Broome in northwestern Australia, a place I visited in 2006. The largest creatures living there these days are crocodiles which at an absolute peak might grow to a body length of six metres. The article is titled
World’s largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia” and accompanied by some good pictures, one of which I reproduce below.

The prints indicate enormous animals that were probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip.

The prints indicate enormous animals that were probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip. Photograph: Damian Kelly/University of Queensland/EPA

AUTISM

I have several pieces to share in this section, starting with two from americanbadassadvocates as follows:

My next share is from visualvox and has the self-explanatory title “Done with that autism spectrum “disorder” business

I finish this section with a link to piece from thesilentwaveblog. There is another very recent post from this same blog that will be featuring in the post I shall be producing for my birthday. As a clue I will tell you that due to the particular number it will be I am calling this birthday the “Douglas Adams Birthday”. Today’s link is to a post titled
Asperger’s / autism and microaggression” with the picture reproduced below:

PHOTOGRAPHS

Just a few photographs today, mostly of items going under the hammer at James and Sons next auction (full catalogue available here):

359
Lot 359 – five images.

359-a359-b359-c359-d

1134
Various cigarette card lots, all in the 1100s

1133113211311149118911061191119011961193

DSCN6542
A 2016 £2 coin, commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, the first I had ever handled (taken just before I handed over as part of a bus fare).

 

 

 

 

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

DSCN6063DSCN6062DSCN6061

 

Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Spacecraft

A post about a special “Google Doodle” honoring the Cassini Spacecraft as it nears a spectacular death.

INTRODUCTION

This morning when I opened up my gmail I noticed an interesting little graphic in the bottom right corner of my screen. I followed up on it, and the results are below…

THE DOODLE

A full size version of the picture is below (formatted as a link to Google’s own piece):

Cassini Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn and its Rings!

MORE DETAIL COURTESY OF SPACE.COM

There is an article on space.com under the title “Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Probe’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn Dive“, and rather than reinvent the wheel I offer the screenshot below by way of introduction and to close this brief post:

Screenshot 2017-04-27 at 6.56.10 AM

Stuff

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.

INTRODUCTION

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…

AUTISM

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.

My next link comes courtesy of ideas.ted.com and is titled “Autistic people are not failed versions of “normal.” They’re different, not less“. Please click on that title to read this important piece in full.

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.

red-graphic-with-redinstead-and-autism-acceptance-graphic-nancy-jobes_660173

Following from this, the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has produced a post titled “ASAN Condemns White House Autism Proclamation” which title really speaks for itself, and serves as the link.

Followers of this site will need no introduction to thesilentwaveblog, featured here with not one but two fantastic posts:

  1. 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:
  2. 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:

Two people in a potato sack race during Families With Autism on Sunday April 2, 2017, an event sponsored by the Carlos Vieira Foundation and 51Fifty Energy Drink. The event is for families with autism to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month.

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.

EHL

I bring this section to a conclusion by linking to a splendid listing of posts on theme of Autism Acceptance. The post, which you can red by clicking on its title, features a very positive mention of this blog. The title, which renders further comment superfluous, is “In 2017, Autism Awareness Is So Outdated: Demand Autism Acceptance Now“.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

I have decided to break things up a bit in this post by having my photographs in the middle between the Autism related links and the first of my other sets of links, so here they are:

DSCN5364DSCN5365DSCN5366DSCN5367DSCN5368DSCN5369DSCN5370DSCN5371DSCN5373DSCN5374DSCN5375DSCN5378DSCN5381DSCN5383DSCN5387DSCN5388

A COUPLE OF SCIENCE LINKS

Both of these links are to pieces about the same topic, and both come from livescience.com – discoveries of giant sized dinosaur footprints in Australia. The first link is to a piece titled “Photos: Dinosaur Tracks Reveal Australia’s ‘Jurassic Park‘”, and that title serves as the link.

The second link is to a more in depth article about this footprints, titled “Crikey! Refrigerator-Size Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Australia“. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT RELATED LINKS

These three links are all from an organisation I have only recently come across, called Transport For All. I present them as a set of bullet points:

BONUS (VIA SKWAWKBOX) – COYNEGATE

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 Skwawkbox blog, 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:

  1. 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:
    barrister
  2. 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:
    washing hands

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.

 

 

 

 

Some Thoughts on Autism

A post about autism featuring some of my thoughts, a petition that I urge you all to sign and share, some highlights from other blogs by autistic people and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The origins of this post lie in a quote from a post on includedbygrace which I include here as a combined screenshot and link to the original.

Angela

Since seeing that I have seen several posts on autistic blogs that I wish to share with you, come across a petition that is so important that I feel I must share it and ask my followers to sign and share it as well. Also, the imminent approach of April has prompted me to think once again about…

AUTISM AWARENESS, UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE

I am more than a little ambivalent about ‘autism awareness month’, and my misgivings are twofold:

  1. To be worth anything awareness must be the most basic of starting points, and needs to lead on towards understanding and ultimately acceptance (see the quote from includedbygrace in the introduction). 
  2. If you consider autism during ‘autism awareness month’ and not for the rest of the year that is simply not good enough. Autistic Spectrum Conditions affect those who have them every day of every month.

This leads on the role of…

AUTISM CHARITIES/ ORGANISATIONS

As someone who is both #actuallyautistic and involved in the running of a local branch of an autism charity I am obviously supportive of some of these organisations. However I am very firm in saying that such charities or organisations must be dedicated to improving the lives of autistic people, and that they should make conscious efforts to include #actuallyautistic people in the running of the organisation. 

There is one very large organisation based across the Atlantic from me which I shall not name (both because I am not a fan of naming and shaming, and also because I do not wish to give them any more publicity) who promote themselves as an autism charity but are in actuality nothing of the kind. They did fairly recently amend their homepage to remove from it references to seeking a cure for autism, but it did not require much scrutiny for it to be obvious that this was not a leopard changing its spots but a leopard trying to con people into believing that it had changed its spots.

I conclude this section by re-emphasing that awareness is not a final goal, it is merely the starting point on the following path:

AWARENESS – UNDERSTANDING – ACCEPTANCE

SOME AUTISM RELATED SHARES

I am now moving to sharing some other stuff I have found, starting with…

A VERY IMPORTANT PETITION – HARRY’S LAW

This petition, calling for an urgently needed change in the guidelines used at hospitals when dealing with autistic children, to be known as Harry’s Law, contains a video as well as a lot of explanatory text. I shall embed the video below the screenshot that I am using as a link. I urge all of you to read the text, watch the video and sign and share the petition. 

Harry's Law

UNASHAMED

Here I am linking to a post on elephantsneverforgetsite, and I am using a screenshot of the end of the post as the link.

elephantsneverforget

THE SILENT WAVE

It is hardly news by now that I am a big fan of thesilentwaveblog, and there have been several excellent posts from that quarter of late. We start with a post titled “Conformity does *not* make life “less difficult” for Asperger’s / autistic people”, which I link to by way of the splendid picture that heads it.

My next share from this splendid blog is a collection of autism related online quizzes. I sampled one of these quizzes, and may check out others in due course. The language used to convey the implications of your result is not always well chosen. I was told at the end of the one I did that I almost certainly “suffer from an Autistic Spectrum Disorder”. No – I have an Autistic Spectrum Condition – what I suffer from is the attitudes of people like whoever deemed that an appropriate form of words. Once again, I use an excellent graphic from the original as the link.

My third link from this source is to an excellent post about being diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition in adulthood. The title of the post is “Relief and grief ~ the reality of adult Asperger’s / autism discovery”. It must be stated that of the two emotions referred to in the title of this post relief comes first in more ways than one – it is the more significant, the more constructive, and certainly in my own case was very much the dominant one. Once again I am able to link by way of a headline picture:

I complete both the silentwave tribute and the sharing section of this post my once again pointing readers of this blog to the marvellous “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality: a handbook on the rest of the world for Asperger’s / autistic people” which you can visit by clicking the link below:

SOME PHOTOGRAPHS

I end this post with a few of my own photographs, which in terms of what is relevant to this post the following in common:

  • All were taken by an autistic person (me), and
  • All feature one of that autistic person’s special interests.
967-a
All of these pictures are in fact close-ups of parts of lots that will be going under the hammer in April, and the special interests to which they relate are public transport, science and nature. All of the lots that these images relate to are numbered between 968 and 985.

 

976-a976-b982-a983-a983-b983-c

984-a
As one of my favourite science blogs says “It’s an amazing world of science…let’s go exploring!” You could start by clicking this image to visit them.

985-a

 

Super Sharing Saturday – Science and Nature

A science based post, with some work related pictures and a link to an online catalogue at the end.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in this series of sharing posts. Our theme in this one is nature, and while most of the pieces I am linking to are about the present, we being with a journey back to…

385 MILLION YEARS AGO

This was when our ancestors first moved from the sea to the land. The usual reckoning is that the key development that led to this happening was to do with limbs, which would seem to be common sense. However, according to this piece on astrobio.net, there is an alternative view now being proposed that the key development was actually to do with vision not limbs. As is now my custom I am using an image to link to the full article:

Now we move back to the present, and we start with a distressing story about…

RHINO POACHING

As wild rhino numbers continue to decline the poachers whose activities are most directly responsible for this decline are becoming more brazen. This story concerns a Rhino in a zoo which was shot for its horn. The saddest aspect of this story is that the wealthy Chinese who buy most rhino horns do so based on alleged properties of the substance that are entirely fictional – this is the same stuff that our own finger nails are made of, and no one would pay big money for those. As usual, the link is in the accompanying image.

LEMURS GET HIGH(COURTESY OF WEIT AND SPY IN THE WILD)

WEIT provide an introduction to the video, which you can read by clicking here. The video itself is embedded below for your delectation:

NEUTRINOS

We end with a look, courtesy of rationalisingtheuniverse, at the neutrino. We have an image to serve as a link again:

standard_model_of_elementary_particles-svg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here to finish are some of my photographs:

cataloguecover
The printed catalogue for the March auction is now ready. Clicking this image will take you to an online version
970
Appropriate for a science based post – a telescope (lot 970)

970-a

954
Lot 954 – a silver calling card holder
988-c
Commemorative coins and medallions are frequently to be found in our sales, commemorative soap bars less so!

988-b988

977-a
These last six images are of lots 977, 978 and 979 (obverse and then reverse of each of these pewter plates)

977-b978-a978-b979-a979-b