Musical Keys

An illustrated account of yesterdays Musical Keys session at the Scout Hut, Beulah Street.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day for me and others associated with the NAS West Norfolk branch. Attendances were somewhat affected by the fact that an autism friendly event was also taking place at Norwich Castle. This post briefly covers the session I attended, from 4PM to 5PM (as usual there had been an earlier session for the younger ones).

GETTING THERE

I left my flat a little earlier than usual, opting for the Bawsey Drain route. I was carrying a guitar with me to donate to the group always assuming that it could be restored to usable condition (it was a long time since it had last been used). I picked up a few pictures along the way…

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THE SESSION ITSELF

John who runs the sessions confirmed that he could make the guitar usable again (it would need new strings but was still capable of generating good sound). Once the session started I found myself using a computer program called Scratch to generate notes. Each note is assigned a numerical value by the program, and you the operator then assign each of these numerical values to a button on the keyboard…

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My screen once I had assigned one octave worth of notes to various keys – this works on the ‘click and drag’ principle – the orange tabs at the top describe events, and the purple tabs describe sounds.
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The full list of numerical note values.

The default instrument is a piano, but there is a range of some 25 instruments available – I eventually settled on clarinet as my instrument of choice. There are then a whole range of other options available, such as programming the cat to move while you are playing notes and even it draw lines as it moves. Here are a few more pictures.

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I very much enjoyed this session, and I think this makes an excellent addition to real instruments. Although it was dark by the time I walked back, just before leaving I spotted an eight-legged friend…

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I got three images of this spider…

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A Walk and Some Links

A walk in and around King’s Lynn and a number of interesting and important links.

INTRODUCTION

I am making the walk the centrepiece of this post, with some links either side of it, starting with some general links, and then following the walk with some science and nature themed links.

SOME GENERAL LINKS

First up, Heather Hastie has produced this post titled “Betsy Devos Doesn’t Inspire Confidence in the Future of US Education”

From The Mighty comes this piece, titled “17 Things Not to Say to People on the Autism Spectrum” 

Steve Rotheram has put out a call for Jeremy Hunt to end the NHS crisis. The link is here.

Courtesy of Disability News Service, here is an article about how one of  Britain’s biggest bus companies is attempting to weasel out of a supreme court discrimination ruling.

THE WALK

Yesterday was bright and sunny, so I went out for a walk. The sun was shining on to the Lower Purfleet, revealing that the surface still had a thin covering of ice…

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When posting about a walk in King’s Lynn I always like to showcase at least one of our historic buildings, and today I have this picture showing Hanse House and the Rathskeller with the towers of King’s Lynn Minster in the background:

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There was nothing else of note until I reached the Nar outfall, where I have often observed cormorants. This time there were no cormorants, but there was a small wading bird which I had not seen before and which consultation of my bird book suggested was a Common Sandpiper…

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I left the river by way of Hardings Pits, taking a couple of shots (one each way) at that moment.

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The view towards town
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The view away from town

Crossing the Nar on my towards the parkland I took a picture from the bridge…

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Passing through the Vancouver Garden I spied a squirrel. It eluded my first attempt to photograph it, but…

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I then decided to make it a long walk and headed for Lynn Sport, to then go back into town by way of Bawsey Drain. Along the way I got a shot of the railway station as seen from Tennyson Road level crossing…

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At Lynnsport I stopped to photograph a decorated signpost…

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The Bawsey Drain segment of the walk provided a number of pictures, including a raven and some moorhens…

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Unfortunately Bawsey Drain is used as a dumping ground by people who cannot be bothered to dispose of their rubbish properly.

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While walking a,long John Kennedy Road I took this picture of the back of St Nicholas’ Chapel…

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Right at the end of the walk I spotted a pied wagtail..

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NATURE THEMED LINKS

The first link in this section is to a piece that appeared as part of WEIT’s Hili Dialogue series. The star of the series is a cat, the eponymous Hili, also known as the Princess of Poland. Hili has a staff of two, Andrej and Malgorzata and graciously permits a dog named Cyrus to share in this. The pieces always feature something about that particular date, and apparently yesterday was Penguin Awareness Day. While I do not object to a day being designated Penguin Awareness Day, surely we should be aware of them and the rest of the natural world every day. To read the piece in full, click on the graphic below which is extracted from it:

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This leads neatly on to two recent pieces from Anna, the first of which is titled “This can never be wrong”, the ‘this’  being taking care of our planet. The other piece from Anna that I am sharing here is about the Save Trosa Nature campaign.

Rationalising the Universe’s latest offering is about Newton’s Laws of Motion.

WEIT get another mention, for this piece about a new species of moth which has been named after Donald Trump.

I started the ‘general links’ section of this post with a piece by Heather Hastie. I now finish the piece with another piece, the title of which, “Huge Crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica Grows” is sufficient introduction. I ‘pressed’ a link to this yesterday, but it is so important that I choose to share it again.

 

 

 

Nature, Music and a Few Other Things

A good news story about nature from the village of Balcombe, West Sussex, a King’s Lynn walk, some stuff about music and a few other things.

INTRODUCTION

This post incorporates a King’s Lynn walk but also features plenty of other stuff.

NATURE

This morning I reblogged a post by Anna about the folk of Trosa and their continuing fight to preserve their nature from greedy road builders. I start this section of the post with:

GOOD NEWS FROM WEST SUSSEX

The small village of Balcombe, West Sussex (and having done a walk in that part of the country some years back I can confirm that it is indeed small) was targeted not so long ago by fracking villains Cuadrilla. Not only have they beaten back the frackers, they are on the way to becoming a solar-powered village. Please watch the video below for more:

This is what new developments for the 21st century should look like – big new roads are so last century!

A KING’S LYNN WALK

Although it was not terribly inviting outside I went for a walk this afternoon, taking in the Great Ouse, our river. Here are a few pictures:

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At this point I saw a rare visitor to King’s Lynn –

A GREY HERON

Here is a picture taken looking across the Great Ouse, and the page of my bird book that gives info about the Grey Heron:

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After the Grey Heron there were no more exceptional sights but a few more photo-worthy moments:

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MUSIC

As part of today’s Hili Dialogue, Grania at WEIT mentioned that among those born on this day (happy birthday Ayaan Hirsi Ali) were Leopold Mozart (father of the more famous Mozart) and Fanny Mendelssohn (older sister of Felix) and linked to this video of a performance of Leopold’s Toy Symphony, which I offer you below:

Also, last Saturday was a Musical Keys session, and I have a few photos from there:

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A keyboard that enables the player to produce the sounds of other isntruments. The coloured patches stuck to various keys come in to play when Kirsten held up a sheet to indicate which colour one should focus on – although I was on a guitar by then and was using my left thumb to press on a coloured patch, shortening that string.
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This instrument, here held for me my Kirsten, one the people who runs the Musical Keys sessions is filled with beads and played by being upended, held until all the beads have fallen and then upended again for as long as you care to.

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I played the red guitar.

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WHAT IS NORMAL?

I found this infographic on twitter and had to share it – I think it is splendid:

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HONEST AND DISHONEST PHOTO EDITING

I have shown you some examples of honestly edited photos already in this post. What follows focusses on dishonestly edited photos. Two “newspapers” whose names I refuse to give, one owned by the fourth Viscount Rothermere and on which the good folk of Liverpool refuse to buy, produced photographs purporting to show Jeremy Corbyn dancing towards the Cenotaph yesterday (Remembrance Sunday). To do this their photo editors had cropped out from their original picture the 92 year-old WWII veteran who Mr Corbyn was accompanying and who hotly denies any suggestion that he was dancing:

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Two incisive infographics juxtaposed
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the individual infographics.

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Gaywood & The Rookery

An account of a walk that took in Gaywood & The Rookery. Also some mentions of autism related matters to top and tail the post.

INTRODUCTION

Those of you who read my post on Wednesday about preparing for the Positive Autism Awareness Conference that NAS West Norfolk are having on April 15th will recall that I noted the entrance sign to Gaywood & The Rookery. Today I got back there for a proper look…

GETTING THERE

I followed the same route as I had on Wednesday, but this time with no time constraints. I caught a glimpse of a Muntjac (thank you Helen for the ID) but this one proved too elusive for me to photograph, although I did see a few things worth photographing…

GAYWOOD & THE ROOKERY

I ventured in, and was delighted by the place. I will let the photos tell the story of this amazing little piece of woodland that is within walking distance of the centre of Norfolk’s third largest town…

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HOMEWARD BOUND

I had left Gaywood & The Rookery by a different path from the one I entered it by, and now headed home by a different route, save for a very short stretch of path to the bridge over the railway, and thence through the Hardwick Estate, and ultimately on this occasion back to the town centre by way of the river (I could also have gone by way of the cemetery and the parklands).

AUTISM AWARENESS

A bit disconnected from the rest of this post I know, but I have an infographic to share to remind everyone that April 2nd – 8th 2016 is World Autism Awareness Week (courtesy of patienttalk.org)

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A Grand Finale for the 65th King’s Lynn Festival

An account of the grand finale of the 65th King’s Lynn Festival, some splendid pictures from in and around King’s Lynn, a plethora of important links and some cool infographics.

INTRODUCTION

Hello and welcome to all who read this, old and new followers alike. As well as my title piece I have some excellent photos from in and around King’s Lynn, some very important links and a few infographics to share. I hope that some of you will be inspired to share this post in its turn.

A FINAL FLOURISH

Last night’s concert at the Corn Exchange, which brought the curtain down on the 65th King’s Lynn Festival was an unexpected pleasure in two ways. First of all, we had not (my mother and I) originally been going to attend it, but then at a previous concert a family friend had two tickets for this one that she could not use, so we ended up with them. The second sense in which it was an unexpected pleasure was that the star attraction of the evening was pianist Freddie Kempf and I am not the world’s greatest fan of piano music, so I had been a little concerned as to how the evening would go.

The stage pre-performance (obviously no pics once the evening was under  way!)
The stage pre-performance (obviously no pics once the evening was under way!)

I need not have worried – the Flanders Symphony Orchestra were quite magnificent, and at no point save in sections which were supposed to be solo did the piano (on which Mr Kempf delivered a spectacular performance) drown out the rest of the  orchestra.

All in all, this was an excellent way for a great festival to end. I have mentioned before in this blog that King’s Lynn as a town is good at public festivities, and it really showed with this festival.

A PICTORIAL INTERLUDE

Before moving on to the links section, here are some pictures from in and around King’s Lynn…

A huge black backed gull at close range.
A huge black backed gull at close range.

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A close up of the frontage of the new visitor's centre at King's Lynn bus station.
A close up of the frontage of the new visitor’s centre at King’s Lynn bus station.

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The new seating areas between the bus station shelter and the Lynn Museum
The new seating areas between the bus station shelter and the Lynn Museum

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Two boats moored at the jetty yesterday, this one, Blue Bird 2, which I had not seen before, and Kalyptos, a regular visitor.
Two boats moored at the jetty yesterday, this one, Blue Bird 2, which I had not seen before, and Kalyptos, a regular visitor.

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This year's blackberry harvest is going to be super massive if these bushes in Hardings Pits are anything to go on.
This year’s blackberry harvest is going to be super massive if these bushes in Hardings Pits are anything to go on.

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An albino duck
An albino duck

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One brave duckling spurned to wooden walkway down into the water!
One brave duckling spurned to wooden walkway down into the water!

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Some entertainment in central King's Lynn yesterday lunchtme.
Some entertainment in central King’s Lynn yesterday lunchtme.
"Of course the comfy chair is for me - I'm a cat"
“Of course the comfy chair is for me – I’m a cat”

LINKS

I am going to start with coverage of various petitions that are running at the moment.

PETITIONS

Within this subsection I am dividing things up yet further for reasons that I hope will become obvious.

TWO PETITIONS THAT RELATE TO WOMEN’S RIGHTS ISSUES

First in this little section, an update on the petition to get the Canadian authorities to deny “Roosh V” entry to their country, as we in Britain denied entry to Julien Blanc:

1)The current state of play on the petition itself.

2)A Canadian news piece relating to the above.

Second, the petition calling on Theresa May to establish a legal exclusionary zone around abortion clinics, again with two links:

1)The petition itself.

2)Simultaneously introducing what is to me a new blog, extremecrochet, and pointing you to an excellent piece, posted on that blog, that connects to the above petition.

NEWS ON THE GROUP B STREP PETITION

I am giving this a section to itself because as well as two links to share, I have some news of my own. Namely, that having responded to a call to write my MP I have received a response from Mr Bellingham indicating his willingness to support the Early Day Motion that relates to this petition. The links I have to share are as follows:

1)The petition itself

2)An article in yesterday’s Mirror that relates to this petition.

ONE FINAL PETITION

My last petition calls on David Cameron to remove Jeremy Hunt from his position on account of his offensive and out of touch comments about NHS workers.

POLITICS

First up in this section, a piece detailing some truly outrageous expense claims on the part of the Downright Dishonourable John Bercow. For the full details you will have to read the piece, but the single most outrageous claim was for £130 for a journey of 0.8 miles in each direction (i.e. 25 minutes walking time for both journeys combined given that Bercow is an able bodied man).

Next up, Vox Political’s latest post about the perfidies of the politician that site calls the Gentleman Ranker in honour of his previous military career.

Ending this section, a splendid piece from Tax Research UK.

SCIENCE

Cosmos Up have provided an excellent piece about the most earthlike exoplanet yet discovered:

1)Is there life on Kepler 452b…

2)A link to an infographic about potential homes of life discovered since 2009.

AUTISM

Last and in the chief place amongst my links I have two that relate to autism, both of which I got on to by way of twitter:

1)Details of a historic judgement from France.

2)This piece from autismclassroomblog.

INFOGRAPHICS

I have three infographics  and some more of my own photos with which to conclude the post…

A very revealing pie chart.
A very revealing pie chart.

Habitable Worlds Labour Movement

These last four pics are all of the King's Lynn Minster light show
These last four pics are all of the King’s Lynn Minster light show

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England Out of the Cricket World Cup

A personal view of England’s exit from the Cricket World Cup

The match between England and Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval has just ended, with James Anderson being clean bowled to give Bangladesh victory by 15 runs. This means that Bangladesh are in the quarter-finals, and irrespective of what they do in their last game against Afghanistan England are heading home at the first possible opportunity. Buttler’s aggressive 65 kept the match alive longer than the England team as a whole deserved. The dismissal of Chris Jordan, run out when his bat was over the line but in the air, summed up England’s failings in a nutshell.

This is England’s worst ever showing in a cricket world cup – although morally speaking 1996 when England progressed into the quarter-finals only by virtue of unconvincing victories over Holland and the United Arab Emirates was on a par.

To Bangladesh, and especially Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim who batted so beautifully, the former racking up Bangladesh’s first ever world cup century my heartiest congratulations. To England: it is time to face facts – you are not even a passable one day side – never mind a good one.

For the rest, I hope that Ireland can conjure up one more good result against either India or Pakistan to ensure their progress to the quarter-finals. I think that todays result is a good one for cricket as a whole – it nails for good and all the notion that the quarter-final line ups could be predicted from the start of the tournament.

I have some pictures from yesterday to share…

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I have some pictures from yesterday to share..