A Couple of Important Nature Links

Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.


A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.


My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…


A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.

My next major link is to a…


To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclap please do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.


Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported. 


Miles King over at anewnatureblog has today produced a splendid piece titled “Time to rename Defra the Ministry of Agriculture and Fieldsports” in which he reveals the extent to which our government is failing in its duties as regards the environment. Below is a screenshot of the section of the post dealing with the downright dishonourable Andrea Leadsom by way of introduction.


Now it is time for…


Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blog named after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:

It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…


This wonderful creation was formed around words that were originally submitted by me as a comment on one of her blog posts.
Nature Meme


birdmootcorvidscysbbirdmootDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5763DSCN5771Goose1ducklngs x 5Goose2gull on jettyHGSquirrelStarling in grassbirdmootcorvidscysbDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5762DSCN5763DSCN5771DSCN5772ducklngs x 5Goose1Goose2gull on jettySquirrelHGStarling in grass

Charity of the Year, Shares and Photos

Poiinters to three posts I found today, some photographs and an important local vote.


This post will share some stuff I have recently been impressed by, and showcase some of my phographs, but it starts with a request…


This is for people based in or close to King’s Lynn. We are on of the nominees for the King’s Lynn town centre store. Look up Sainsbury’s Charity of the Year on the web, make sure that you are looking at the nominees for the King’s Lynn  town centre store and vote for NAS West Norfolk. Results qwill be announced on July 11th (potentially making three successive huge days for us – official launch of adult events on July 9th, Autism Awareness Cup on July 10th and the final result of this vote on July 11th).


My first link is to a piece on the EU Referendum on Vox Political, which makes use of two The Sun front pages, one from today and one from 1989 to make its point. In the original piece, which can be viewed here, the two front pages are one above the other, but I present them here side by side, with today’s on the left as you look at it:


My second offering is also in the same theme – a rather more detailed analysis of why we should be voting to remain in nine days time, courtesy of anewnatureblog.

My this and final offering in this section comes from atheist republic, and is a highly amusing counter to arguments of the “Pascal’s Wager” type. To read this piece click here.



Herring Gull mugshot – this one may be guilty of the heinous crime of killing a duckling (at least one of King’s Lynn’s herring gulls is)


Anna recently put up a post with a snail as its centrepiece.




Chris Packham and the Foxhunters

An account with links to the three source pieces of the vile abuse of Chris Packham by the pro-hunting lobby and his dignified response to it.


I live with Asperger’s Syndrome, have previously had mental health issues including depression and am a nature lover. Chris Packham presents nature programs on TV, has Asperger’s Syndrome and has had mental health problems. Mr Packham has recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression, and this is where the story starts…


Yesterday morning Hunting Solutions put out the following tweet, quoted in his own piece immediately after it had happened by Miles King on anewnatureblog:

hunting solutions

This tweet was retweeted by Nicholas Soames, a politician whose own party leader has spoken of the need to end the stigma attached to mental health. As Miles King points out, given the hysterical reaction to Naz Shah having liked an offensive facebook post before she became an MP, you might think that this could cause more trouble for the party concerned. When Miles King challenged Soames about the retweet, rather than attempting to defend himself Soames blocked King. Please follow the link I provided near the top of this section and read that post in full before proceeding.


Chris Packham provided what was in the circumstances a remarkably restrained response in the form of an interview that was published on Huffington Post, which I urge you to read in full.


Miles King on anewnatureblog returned to the fray this morning because Hunting Solutions had provided a response of sorts. As this image, taken from the Miles King piece, which I urge to read in full shows it was exactly what we might expect from these people:


This is classic victim blaming of the sort that Tories specialize in. I will conclude this section with my own comments on Miles King’s posts which I once more urge you to read in full:

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and who has experience of depression I am in no doubt that the both the original tweet and Soames’ retweet were bang out of order, and in the continuing absence of an apology there is no doubt to give these people the benefit of. The use of the word “nutjob” in the context Mr Packham having recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression is reminiscent of the the prolonged series of smears that functioned (thankfully and deservedly very badly) as Zac Goldsmith’s London Mayoral campaign.

And Miles’ response to that comment:

thanks Thomas – a good analogy. The hunting community, feeling threatened, are resorting to a smear campaign against high profile people like Chris Packham.

My comment on the second post:

Excellent follow up piece. I would take your reasoning re the comments about foxhunting being psychopathic a small step further and say that for true equivalence between the remarks Packham would have to labelled not just foxhunters as a group (which as you point out he did not) but an individual named foxhunter as a psychopath. As for the ‘if he hadn’t criticised us we would not have said it’ “defense”, that is simply another example of a favourite tactic of these kind of people – victim blaming.

I conclude this post with some photos…


An eight-legged friend


Gibraltar £1
I noticed something about this £1 coin that caused me to examine it closely – just as well I did, as it is Gibraltarian and would probably not have been accepted by the bus driver!
Close up of the reverse
Close up of the obverse



People Need Nature website is up and running

A new development from Miles King, creator of anewnatureblogI recommend that you visit this site and subscribe to the newsletter as I already have.

I’m delighted to say that the new People Need Nature website is now up and running. You can read about what People Need Nature is, what we are planning to do, and why we think it’…

Source: People Need Nature website is up and running

A Grab Bag

A pot-pourri of a post, featuring my website, mental health, public transport, a new find in the blogging world (for me), human evolution and a few pictures.


I have spent a good part of today working on my website, www.londontu.be, and I also have some pictures that I have not previously shared, plus a few other things.


I have recently created three new posts that I choose to share here:



Mind, the mental health charity, have produced this about the Mental Health Task Force:



On Monday evening, Musical Keys had another session for autistic people. As well as my usual i-pad generated strings (cello only on this occasion), the session ended with something new – generating sounds by constructing lines on the i-pad screen for balls to bounce off (for those with long memories the approach is bit like reverse “bat and ball”). Here some photos relating to that event:


To give credit where it is definitely due, it was a post by Mike Sivier at Vox Political that introduced me to anewnatureblog, which I am now following. The particular post that Mike shared and that I followed up on was this one. I subsequently also read this one. I highly recommend this blog.


It was also courtesy of Mike that I found the Guardian piece that led to my discovery of the better transport campaign. One thing they are doing is producing maps which show how transport services across the UK are being endangered. Just one example: in Norfolk, where I live the county council’s transport budget was £4m in 2010 and £2.67m in 2015 – a cut of 33% in five years (and as a regular user I defy anyone to suggest that Norfolk’s transport provision is not in need of improvement!).


This little GIF, which WEIT picked up via twitter, started life in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV series. I have two links for you:

  1. The original post in which I saw this GIF
  2. The GIF on its own.