I saw an advertisement today that was promoting a talk by an autism expert, a man who has an autistic son. A few days ago I saw a link to the website of an autism expert who is a psychologist and researcher. Last week I saw a short video explaining autism made by an autism expert who teaches about autism at a University. The week before I saw series of infographics made by an autism expert who is an author and counsellor to autistic people.
Each time I saw these things, I wondered what it was about the people who are such experts on autism that actually made them experts. So today I’d like to discuss: who is an autism expert and why are they experts?
I’d like to start by thinking about what makes a person an expert on a subject- any subject- just generally speaking.
An account of the first day-night test match on English soil, with some photographs at the end.
Welcome to this account of the first test match in the series between England and the West Indies, which should still be going on but actually finished on Saturday.
THE FIRST DAY-NIGHT
TEST MATCH IN ENGLAND
One of the test matches in Australia later this year (the second of the series at Adelaide) is going to be a day-night test match, featuring sessions played under floodlights, and as part of that pink balls (as opposed to the usual red). England not fancying this being their first experience of the format decided to schedule a day-nighter at home beforehand. The problems with this decision are:
England because of the long twilight periods when neither natural nor artifical light are really good is not a suitable place for the day-night format.
The current West Indies side can hardly be considered to pose a challenge of anything like the magnitude of that of the Aussies in their own backyard.
THE MATCH ITSELF
England lost debutant opener Mark Stoneman and number three Tom Westley (also recently elevated to this level) early on, but then Alastair Cook and Joe Root put the bowling in perpsective with a huge and largely untroubled third-wicket stand. Root just pipped his predecessor as captain to the hundred mark. When Root was out for 136, Dawid Malan joined Cook and they took England through to the close of day 1. On Day 2, England lost a few wickets, including eventually that of Cook for 243 – this last triggering a declaration with the score at 514-8. Rain intervened with the West Indies 44-1.
On Day 3 the West Indies had a horror start, largely thanks to James Anderson, with 44-1 rapidly becoming 47-4. Although Jermaine Blackwood showed some spirit with a rapid 79 wickets continued to tumble and the West Indies first innings ended on 168 from 47 overs. While many captains have become cautious about enforcing the follow-on in recent years this was one occasion when any captain declining to do so would surely have deserved to be presented a white feather and their P45. Joe Root duly sent the West Indies in again. Early in the West Indies second innings there was some speculation about whether England would take the extra half-hour to finish the job, but it soon became clear that the West Indies would not be batting long enough for the question to arise. Once again resistance was conspicuous by its absence, and the West Indies were all out for 137 in their second innings, this time from 45.4 overs. The most noteworthy feature of this innings was Stuart Broad moving ahead of Ian Botham to number two (behind Anderson) on the all-time England test wicket takers list.
England had won by an innings and 209 runs with a couple of hours of possible playing time remaining on day 3 (taking the rain that shortened day 2 into account this was effectively a victory in half a test-match worth of playing time).
While I hope to see Stoneman, Westley and Malan get some big runs in the two remaining tests I do not think that performances against these West Indians will count for anything down under, and nor for reasons already outlined can I really consider this dreadful mismatch any sort of preparation for Adelaide in November. On this occasion it may actually be genuinely the case that Geoffrey Boycott’s mum would have scored runs and/ or taken wickets such was the feebleness of the opposition (for the uninitiated, based on his comments as expert summariser Geoffrey’s mum would appear have a batting record to compare with Don Bradman and a bowling record not dissimilar to that of S F Barnes!).
Most of all, in the remaining two matches of this series I would like to see the West Indies show a bit of heart and spirit, and at least make England work for the victories, as they signally failed to do at Edgbaston. Anyone who had booked seats for the fourth and fifth days is highly unfortunate – the refunds policy covers bad weather but not one side playing bad cricket.
What we saw in this match was a proficient, professional outfit dealing severely with opposition who were not remotely in the same class – well done England, but in a few months you will be facing much tougher opposition.
A scorecard of the match can be viewed here, and if you so wish you can explore from there to read more about this match.
We end with a regular feature – some of my pictures:
An eyewitness statement regarding a fire that I regard as highly likely to have been the result of arson, although accident is a possibility.
I am putting this post up as a witness statement regarding an incident that happened somewhere in the region of one hour ago.
I went out for a walk, to take some photos and do some thinking. I set out across the upper Purfleet, on to King Street and thence via the Tuesday Market Place and St Nicholas Chapel to the start of the footpath that runs alongside Bawsey Drain as far as Lynnsport. My initial plan was to cross a bridge that leads into a field, head via Kettlewell Lane to the train station, then through the parkland to Seven Sisters, down past the South Gate and across the Nar to hit the Great Ouse by way of Harding’s Pits and thence back into town along the river. However, I was approaching this bridge when I saw white smoke rising from the field on the other side of the river. A cyclist approaching the bridge from that side was there before me and phoned the fire brigade, who sent people out to deal with it. When the fire engines arrived a few moments later I waited on the bridge while the cyclist went to meet them and guide them to the spot.
The fire was only a small one, though very close to the bridge and to the footpath leading away from the bridge, and fortunately had not yet spread, although the smoke had noticeably thickened by the time the fire brigade got there. They were able to deal with it quickly and easily, and apart from a small blackened patch of burned vegetation there was no lasting damage.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF THIS FIRE
Sadly Bawsey Drain is treated as an all-purpose dumping ground by those who live alongside it, so there are two possible causes, both human in origin, given in order of where my personal suspicions based on observation lie:
1)Arson – a fire started deliberately by some person or persons who neither thought nor cared about the possible consequences of their actions.
2)Accidental but very stupid and selfish human action (e.g someone tossing a cigarette that they imagined to be out but was not onto the vegetation, thereby starting the fire).
SOME PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FIRE
As well as this written account I have some pictures:
FOOTNOTE: SPECIES IN THIS AREA
Although I only edited those photos between the first and last fire shot, I captured two of the butterfly species that along with various birds live in this area regularly. I have also seen rabbits, hares and small deer in that location on previous occasions. This fire potentially endangered all these as well as the plants it had already started to burn. Here are some Butterfly pics from that area, taken today, to end with:
This is an example of why Erin Human is a firm favourite of mine. This post has wonderful title: “Diversity is Beautiful“. Below is a screenshot of the feature infographic. I urge all of you to visit the original and read the accompanying text.
NAS WEST NORFOLK OFFICIAL POST ABOUT THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY
Our vice-chair Rachel Meerwald with some input from the rest of the committee created a post for our website about this event, which you can see here. Below is a screenshot of the end of the piece (my reasons for choosing this section will be instantly apparent!).
I am planning a major blog post for tomorrow morning, but there are a couple of things I wish to share now.
HERITAGE OPEN DAY
Heritage Open Day 2017 is on Sunday September 10, and as usual many King’s Lynn buildings will be opening their doors for the occasion. This year I will be among the volunteers. I will be stewarding at 11-13 King Street between 12 and 2PM. Here are a few pictures of the place taken today:
A WARNING FROM AMERICA
There is an online magazine called Autism Parenting Magazine. Amy Sequenzia, a very well known autistic person and autism advocate has had a very bad experience with them recently, as has one of her friends. I found out about this from americanbadassactivists, who put up a post linking to Amy’s original, which appears on the Autism Women’s Network. As someone who is both autistic and heavily involved witha charity that helps autistic people I am shocked by the attitudes and behaviour of the people who run this online magazine. Below, in screenshot form, is some of the detail from Amy’s piece:
A POSITIVE ENDING AND PHOTOGRAPHS
I always like to end my posts with pictures, but before I do here is a link to something much more positive than the last piece I linked to. This piece, from Science Whysis titled “We Are Family” and it ends with a wonderful quote from Maya Angelou: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
A personal account of NAS West Norfolk’s 10th anniversary celebration garden party.
Yesterday saw the celebration of NAS West Norfolk’s tenth anniversary. We had a garden party in a quite magnificent garden in Castle Acre which we had been very generously allowed to use for the occasion. Here as a reminder is the poster we used to advertise the event:
MY ROLE IN THE CELEBRATIONS
As branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk I was involved in running the event – I helped to set things up at the start and with the clear up at the end. As an autistic person I was also delighted to take part in the event in between times.
These gardens are truly amazing – this is where the original fortified village that adjoins the castle was located, and at one point there is a steeply sloped bank that leads down to a section of the old town moat. There are some amazing plants and grasses in these gardens, some excellent garden sculptures, a pond with ducks of various breeds and dragonflies around it, many fowl which run free and a swimming pool the excellence of which I can personally vouch for having spent an hour there. Near the pond is a summerhouse which was our designated Quiet Area (an absolute necessity at events for autistic people, or if you want autistic people being comfortable attending your event). There was also a house that was open to the public in which cakes (some baked by our wonderful hosts and some by members of our group), raffle prizes and such were set up.
The hosts had provided a few games for us, and one of our members brought along a swingball set as well.
Once the set up had been accomplished there was plenty of time to enjoy the day, and it went excellently. For me the magnificent setting was one half of a superb equation, the other being autistic people enjoying themselves without worrying what anyone else was thinking because everyone present had some sort of connection to autism, and therefore some degree of understanding. Everyone present was at least at the ‘Understanding’ stage of the Awareness-Understanding-Acceptance-Appreciation line. I was regularly taking photographs except for the hour I spent in the swimming pool and we had a photographer from Your Local Paper present as well. The raffle prizes were presented by the Mayor of King’s Lynn.
The answer to a problem incliuded in yesterday’s post Monday Miscellany.
You may remember that in yesterday’s post titled “Monday Miscellany” I included one of the problems I had solvced on the mathematical website Brilliant – this post presents the solution and also clears up a side issue raised on that website by disgruntled folk who had got it wrong.
Here is the problem again from yesterday:
The answer is True. The formula for (x+1)^2 is X^2 + 2X + 1, and every odd number greater than 1 could serve as the 2X+1 part of that equation.
THE SIDE ISSUE
Some people on Brilliant cavilled at this because there are some Primitive Pythagorean Triples whose smallest term is even (8,15, 17, 20,21,29 and 65,72,97 were all mentioned, although none of the complainers mentioned 12,35,37, 60,91,109 or 696,697,985). The question did not state that the triple of which the odd number is the lowest term was the lowest triple to feature that number, and indeed if one looks carefully at the triangles presented as part of the problem one can see clearly that the odd number is allowed to be in another triple where it is not the lowest term:
Note that the number 5 features twice (ringed in the diagram above, once as the largest term in a triple and once as the smallest).
Thus that 15 features in 8,15,17 does not invalidate the claim of the question since it is the smallest term in 15, 112, 113. All the other odd numbers mentioned in triples of which they are not the smallest member likewise feature in triples in which they are the smallest member, the biggest being 985, 485112, 485113.