It is my birthday, and this year the number is the same as the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
There are a total of forty-two eyes in a standard deck of playing cards – three two-eyed kings, one one-eyed king, all four queens are two-eyed, and two two-eyed and two one-eyed jacks makes a total of 21, which needs to be doubled as the faces appear twice on each card.
There are 42 spots on a pair of standard dice – 21 on each.
The great game of cricket has a code of 42 laws governing it. Law 42 governs fair and unfair play. The most important phrase in this law is: “the umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play“.
Adams is not the only famous writer to have used the number 42 – Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll was responsible for the following:
The original Alice in Wonderland had 42 illustrations
“All persons more than a mile high to leave the court” was Rule 42.
The Baker in The Hunting of the Snark had 42 boxes
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:
A post sharing some of the best recent stuff about autism from the true experts – autistic people.
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 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:
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 Raineywho put me on to these two pieces today. The pieces posted by madasbirdsblog are:
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:
A NEW FIND WITH A
GREAT “WHAT IF?” PIECE
This next piece was originally published in May 2016 but is still absolutely relevant. From a blog called autnotand 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:
ERIN HUMAN’S ABLEISM SERIES
Regular visitors to this site will know that I have been greatly impressed by Erin Human’sseries of posts focussing on ableism. I am delighted to share with you two new posts in this series:
Some thoughts on autism and ableism, and some links relating to the same, topped off with some photographs.
I have a few links to share, and of course some photos will be included, but this post starts with some of my own thoughts before I start sharing links. I have decided that all of my own text in this post will be #RedInstead as it is themed so much around Autism. Links will be underlined and in bold, and any images from other blogs will also serve as links to the posts from which they were taken (these blogs will also have a text link).
THE LINK BETWEEN AUTISM & ABLEISM
I am #ActuallyAutistic and have experienced mental health issues over the years. Do I consider myself disabled? The short answer to that question is no. However I do consider that the way in which neurotypical society views my condition (please note condition, not disorder) does disable me. To give just one example of this, 74% of all autistic adults in the UK, my country, are unemployed, and that percentage rises to 85% when underemployment is factored in. I am in the 26% who are actually in paid employment but not the 15%. These statistics are shameful ones (if they differ significantly in your part of the world feel free to comment further). They are based on the pathologizing of autism and indeed a more general societal pathologizing of difference. Anyone who has seen at work can confirm that I am more than capable of being a useful employee (indeed I cannot be considered as other than essential to my current employer).
Therefore, although I do not identify myself as disabled as I do identify myself as sharing some of the problems experienced by people with disabilities.
I start the sharing sections of this post with the latest in Erin Human’s series of posts about ableism. The piece is titled “What causes ableism?”, and I offer you the infographic/ meme which heads it as an aperitif:
Next, courtesy ofdisabledgo comes what can only be described as a ‘good news with a massive asterisk’ story. West Yorkshire Police have confirmed that they are willing to launch criminal investigations into bus drivers who refuse to allow wheelchair bound passengers on to their vehicles without good cause. The massive asterisk of course is twofold: the fact that this has to be rated a good news story at all rather than being standard, and following on from that the fact that other police forces do not as yet appear to have made the same commitment. The full piece appears under the title “Police force pledges to investigate bus drivers who ignore access laws” and I urge you to read it in full.
There are a total of four links in this section, with the opener and closer both courtesy of thesilentwaveblog. The opening link is titled “Yeah I’m walking for autism“, and it is her response to yet another campaign to raise funds for purposes that are quite clearly at variance with the actual needs of autistic people. She also her explains how she uses walking. I urge to you to read the full piece, and present the picture that heads it for your further edification.
My penultimate link is to a post on No Stereotypes Here titled “Words are Words“, and taking the form of an open letter to the organisation targetted in the graphic above. I present this site’s header image below.
My final link is to thesilentwaveblog’s most recent offering, which tackles the subject of eye contact, under the title ‘“Look me in the eye.” (No.)‘, and below is the image which heads it.
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:
Setting the scene for Autism Acceptance Month, explaining why the original title, Autism Awareness Month is no longer acceptable. Numerous links and photographs.
This post is by way of setting the stage for April, which starts tomorrow after all. As well as my own stuff this contains links from other autism related sources. The title of the post begs a question…
WHY NOT AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH?
There are two parts to the answer to this question:
The original title is tainted by its associations. A very large organisation which I shall not name (think blue jigsaw pieces though) which presents itself as an autism charity but should be treated as a hate group uses this name. Although I am separated from this organisation by the width of the Atlantic Ocean I am a thoroughgoing internationalist and therefore stand in solidarity with autistic folk across the pond and refuse to use the tainted title.
Even aside from being tainted the title is not fit for purpose. Awareness by itself means precisely nothing. I have created a simple graphic showing how things needs to progress from the basic starting point of awareness:
It is from that final goal of acceptance that the alternative title, coined across the Atlantic for reasons I have already stated, and gratefully adopted by me, comes. I have chosen white text against a purple background for my graphic because purple is the colour used by the National Autistic Society (NAS), and I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk.
SOME AUTISM RELATED LINKS
I start with this section with a link to a very detailed listing of blogs by people who are #actuallyautistic. To view this valuable resource in full please click on the screenshot below:
Next up is a piece from Eclectic Autistic titled“Wrong Model, Wrong Research”. This piece attacks what the author calls our society pathologizing difference and I recommend that you read it, which you can do by clicking on the title above.
Next we come to a good news story from the Irish Times.Shannon Airport has become the first airport in the world to open a sensory room for the benefit of autistic passengers. For the full story click on the graphic below which is taken from it.
We now come to a special subsection of this sharing section of the post…
A SILENTWAVE SMORGASBORD
The silentwaveblog has played a major role in inspiring this post, with one post in particular, the last of the three I shall be sharing, virtually setting the creation of this post in motion.
This piece, titled “The Double Edged Sword of Labels in the Autistic World”, is quite simply the best analysis of the rights and wrongs of labelling that I have ever come across. It also ends with a splendid vision of a future that may just be within reach. To read in full please click on the image below.
Next we have “The problem with the OWN channel’s ‘For Peete’s Sake’ reality show“, which is an excellent critique of a newly launched TV show. This show may (being charitable) have been created with the intention of being part of the solution but it is quite clear from silentwave’s analysis that poor/ absent research plus maybe a bit of laziness has turned it into part of the problem. Click on the image below to read in full.
The post that I regard as having pushed the starter button for this one was put up the day before yesterday and is titled “Update, March 29: what I’ve been doing lately & Autism Awareness Month“. I posted a comment in response to it when I first saw it, and the enthusiastic response from silentwave to that comment prompted to me to expand on it here. To read it in full please click on the graphic below.
THE FINAL SHARE: A VIDEO
This video, called Amazing Things Happen, has already been viewed almost 2.5 million times. Having seen it on facebook I offer youthis link. Below is Amazing Things Happen’s own description of the video:
An introduction to autism that aims to raise awareness among young non-autistic audiences, to stimulate understanding and tolerance in future generations.
It is intended to be viewed, discussed and shared widely by anyone but especially teachers and parents.
PHOTOGRAPHS: A MEETING OF TWO SPECIAL INTERESTS
Regular followers of this blog will be well aware that I always like to include some of my own photographs somewhere in my posts. Since this post is by way of being an introduction to Autism Acceptance Month I decided to theme this section created from one of my special interests, photography, around another, railwayana. You will note the use of the phrase “special interest” in preference to “obsession”, with the latter having negative connotations. Similarly it is preferable to refer to Autistic Spectrum Conditions rather than Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Here are those pictures…
I end this piece with another showing of the graphic that appeared in the introduction and then a final message:
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.
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.
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:
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).
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.
Here I am linking to a post on elephantsneverforgetsite, and I am using a screenshot of the end of the post as the link.
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:
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.
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.