Electrodes and Esoteric Maps

An account of my latest visit to the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, with a mention of my website, http://www.londontu.be and plenty of photographs from today.

INTRODUCTION

Today I paid a visit to the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge to participate in a study entitled “VISUAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSES IN PEOPLE WITH ASC”. Just in case anyone failed to work it out, ASC is shorthand for Autistic Spectrum Conditions. If you have an ASC, can get to Cambridge, and would be interested in participating you could email Jan Freyberg for more details.

GETTING THERE

I decided, in keeping my usual rule for such situations, to take the earlier of two possible trains and be certain barring a major incident of being able to be there in time. I was therefore at Cambridge train station before nine, the train having run like clockwork on this occasion. I took a slightly longer than necessary route to the Autism Research Centre, getting some interesting photos along the way…

The first of four pictures from the Roman Catholic Church.
The first of four pictures from the Roman Catholic Church.

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Three pictures from this building, the Scott Polar Research Institute
Three pictures from this building, the Scott Polar Research Institute

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The first of four pictures from the Chemical Laboratories. This stonework reminded me of a Matthew Reilly novel - probably a Jack West adventure with Lily decoding the symbols.
The first of four pictures from the Chemical Laboratories. This stonework reminded me of a Matthew Reilly novel – probably a Jack West adventure with Lily decoding the symbols.
Following on from the previous caption, the next book in the Jack West series should feature the number four in its title!
Following on from the previous caption, the next book in the Jack West series should feature the number four in its title!

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The device on the left as you look at this picture could a be the framework for "The Machine" in the Jack West novels.
The device on the left as you look at this picture could a be the framework for “The Machine” in the Jack West novels.

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The river alongside Trumpington Road (the Autism Research Centre in based  in Douglas House, a.k.a 18 Trumpington Road) .
The river alongside Trumpington Road (the Autism Research Centre in based in Douglas House, a.k.a 18 Trumpington Road) .

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Ironwork on a bridge over the river.
Ironwork on a bridge over the river.

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THE STUDY

This study was monitoring electrical activity in the brain, which meant me wearing what was effectively a bathing cap with connections for 64 electrodes. After a preliminary which involved keeping the eyes open for a minute and then closed for a minute and repeating that process, the proper tests began. The first featured white and grey lines flashing across the centre of the screen while I kept my eye on a cross right at the heart of the screen. There was then a sequence of trials in which real pictures flashed up on the screen very fast, for a minute at a time. The final trial involved grey and white “gratings” once again, but this time the box in which they would appear had a solid black border.

There were also of course various bits of paperwork to fill out and sign.

Once I had finished everything, Jan showed be back into the main building and I headed to the exit, making a single stop en route due to something I had noticed on the way to the testing room…

WEBSITFODDER

On the way to the testing room I had noticed an intriguing poster, which on closer inspection was entitled “Tastes of London” and was a very interesting variation on the classic London Underground Map. I photographed it, and made it the centrepiece of this post on www.londontu.be.

HOMEWARD BOUND

The journey back was uneventful, save for a small delay between Littleport and Downham Market. I conclude withe the photographs from the return journey…

The first of two picttures showing some of Douglas  House's external decor.
The first of two picttures showing some of Douglas House’s external decor.

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A new development near the train station in Cambridge, still not complete.
A new development near the train station in Cambridge, still not complete.
Three pictures of silver plaques with ink faces on them that are set into the pavements at the bus station that adjoins Cambridge station.
Three pictures of silver plaques with ink faces on them that are set into the pavements at the bus station that adjoins Cambridge station.

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Two samles (this and the next of deocrations at the train station).
Two samles (this and the next of deocrations at the train station).

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Pictures taking through train windows are always difficult, but these last four all came out OK.
Pictures taking through train windows are always difficult, but these last four all came out OK.

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Autism Revisited

A sequel to the most popular post in this blog’s history, “Autism”.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post, which you may consider to be the official follow up to my most successful ever blog post, which was posted on Saturday under the title Autism.

WHEN BEING AUTISTIC GIVES ME AN ADVANTAGE

Yes – there are situations where having an autistic spectrum condition gives me a positive advantage (or so I see it anyway).

  1. Having a very logical mind goes with the condition, and this works in my favour in several situations, including at the bridge table and in some situations at work. For example, when I am scanning lots of small items I place the packaging organised in the order in which the images will appear on the screen (and if you are scanning a dozen separate items in one go this is very useful). Also, this ultra-logical mindset comes in very useful when working on computers and indeed when (as I have done on a volunteer basis) helping others to learn how to work effectively on a computer.
  2. My skill at mental arithmetic, which also relates directly to the condition. If I wish to ensure that, for example, a grocery shop does not exceed a certain limit that I have in mind I can tot up the bill as I pick out items and guarantee to be close.
  3. Problem solving – precisely because a number of situations are problematic for me that would not be so for a neurotypical person my problem solving skills get more practice than the neurotypical persons.
Just one image in this post - one of my more recent cormorant pictures.
Just one image in this post – one of my more recent cormorant pictures.

SOME AUTISM RELATED LINKS

A couple of links here that relate to my subject matter:

  • First, courtesy of autismgazette, a piece about autistic people giving unusual answers to creative questions.
  • My other link, courtesy of scienceblogs, and therefore reflective of one of my biggest interests, about a victory in the war against quackery. Even if the treatment that has earned the person pushing it a jail sentence was not cruel, invasive and abusive (and in fact it is all three, in spades) it would still be bogus. Indeed, as those who read the original post to which this one is a sequel will be well aware I believe that it is based on an idea that is itself bogus – namely that autism should be regarded in the light of a disease and that therefore a cure should be sought.

AFTERWORD

I hope you have all enjoyed this, my second full-length essay in writing about autism from the viewpoint of an autistic person, and that some at least of you will share it.

Autism

This autistic person’s view of autism and autistic spectrum conditions, leavened with a few photos.

INTRODUCTION

This post is by way of a public response to two blog posts that I have recently encountered. I am writing this because in twitter speak I am #actuallyautistic.

TWO IMPORTANT BLOG POSTS

The post that first planted the germ of an idea for this piece in my mind was published by Autism Mom under the title “Sometimes I don’t know what to think”. In it she mentions being at an autism related event and hearing someone talk about “curing” their son’s autism.

The other post that helped to spark this was published this morning on parents.com under the title “15 things I tell my friends when they’re facing an autism diagnosis”. As a sample of what to expect I offer two paragraphs (they are not contiguous in the actual piece)…

Be wary of “cures” and “recovery.”
One of the first books I read about autism was a “recovery narrative.” It was well-wrttien, but what it told me was that if I just worked hard enough, poured enough money into chasing a cure, and found the right combo of supplements and therapies, my son would get over his autism. It’s a destructive mindset to have, and it caused me and my child heaps of stress. Autism is a neurology, it’s a different way the brain is wired. You can’t recover from neurology, and a more productive focus for everyone is helping your child become his or her best self.

and

Don’t get bogged down in the debates in the autism community.
There are a lot of camps in the autism community. Some people want cures, other blame vaccines, and others demonize autism. Autism self-advocates are changing perceptions of the disorder through their advocacy. People will tell you to cut gluten, try cod liver oil, and the fights can grow nasty. I align with certain views, and I try to live those. But I tell my friends to keep the focus on their child as they wade through all the extra noise in the autism community. I also always recommend that parents new to a diagnosis read what writers with autism are saying as a way to navigate some of this debate.

A BRIEF PICTORIAL INTERLUDE

Here are a few of my recent photographs from in and around King’s Lynn

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DISEASE OR DISORDER?: A FALSE DICHOTOMY

The common usage of the phrase Autistic Spectrum Disorder can lead to a suggestion that Autism can be treated like a disease and thence to talk of “cures”. Therefore save for the single sentence I have just written I used Autism or Autistic Spectrum Condition. In each case, although I have emphasised the words that I change in the phrase the key word of the whole phrase is “spectrum”, which implies, correctly, a broad range of attributes.

An Autistic Spectrum Condition is neither a disorder nor a disease – having one makes us different not lesser, or in some way incomplete. This is, if you like, my take home message to neurotypicals: learn to see beyond the condition we have and to appreciate the things we can do, rather than making the things the we cannot into impassable obstacles.

As I hope I have made crystal clear, I believe that any talk of a “cure” for autism is fundamentally misguided. I for one can say with no shadow of a doubt that even if some wonder drug was devised that had the power to make me neurotypical I WOULD REFUSE TO TAKE IT.

I end with a request to any and all of you who make it this far: please share this piece.

Autism Related Meeting in Norwich

An account of an autism related meeting in Norwich, loads of links, some quality dragon pictures, some infographics and some other pictures.

INTRODUCTION

Although this post is based around my attending a meeting to do with Autism at the Charing Cross Centre in Norwich I have lots of other stuff to share as well, in the form of photos, infographics from various sources and a plentiful supply of links.

THE MEETING

The purpose of the meeting was to contribute towards a wide scale report on improving Mental Health services across the board. The speaker, who has been travelling around the country listening to ideas from people emphasized that one of the things his report would contain was a statement that it must be shared with contributors.

One of the (many) disastrous things that has been happening over the last few years has been a removal of investment from preventative care in favour of crisis management.

One of the commissioners for the Norfolk and Suffolk PCT actually told the manager of Asperger East Anglia that she should tell staff “to stop working with people after three months”, which demonstrates a scandalous lack of understanding of Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

As the only person in attendance to be actually autistic rather than either a professional working in the field or a parent/ carer of someone with an Autistic Spectrum Condition I made several contributions.

The final report should be complete by the start of October, and if we have not heard anything by the start of November we have been given a green light to contact Jane Sayer at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

HERE BE DRAGONS: A PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

I have already dedicated a whole blog post to the dragons that can be seen in and around Norwich at the moment, but yesterday I was in parts of Norwich not covered in that post, so I have some more dragons for you…

The first four pictures are of McFly, who sits just outside the City Hall
The first four pictures are of McFly, who sits just outside the City Hall

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An educational dragon "The rise and demise of the dinosaurs"
An educational dragon “The rise and demise of the dinosaurs”

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This is Mr Wing, who resides just outside The Forum
This is Mr Wing, who resides just outside The Forum

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"Dragofly", one of two full size dragons (plus a clutch of babies) to be found inside The Forum
“Dragofly”, one of two full size dragons (plus a clutch of babies) to be found inside The Forum

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Luda, the other dragon to found inside the forum.
Luda, the other dragon to found inside the forum.

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GoGo King Tut, the Egyptian dragon
GoGo King Tut, the Egyptian dragon

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Norwich Twilight, looking out over the marketplace.
Norwich Twilight, looking out over the marketplace.
Morgan, in one of the streets that feeds into the marketplace.
Morgan, in one of the streets that feeds into the marketplace.

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"Eye Spy Cecil", near Castle Mall.
“Eye Spy Cecil”, near Castle Mall.

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Skipper, in the arcade.
Skipper, in the arcade.

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Double Decker, Castle Meadow.
Double Decker, Castle Meadow.

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I did not get this one's name, but s/he guards the castle itself
I did not get this one’s name, but s/he guards the castle itself

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LINKS

My first two links are both related and come courtesy of Dr Marquis Grant. They are both to do with a survey for autistic people:

1)A blog post advertising the survey

2)A link to the survey itself

THREE IMPORTANT PETITIONS

.Firstly, two links relating to the campaign to get Jason Rezaians released:

1)The current state of play according to petition hosts change.org

2)An article about this campaign in the Washington Post.

A petition that I have referred to several times previously in this blog is Fiona Paddon’s petition calling on the NHS to provide free tests from Group B Strep, which now has over 180,000 signatures. The next step is to pile on the pressure bby writing to MPs, to which end I have two links for you…

1)The site for locating MPs to write to.

2)A short cut for those of you who are like me) in Mr Bellingham’s constituency.

Finally in this subsection, a petition calling for the mayor of London to get dangerous lorries off the roads (so far this year lorries are responsible for the deaths of eight cyclists in the capital).

BLOGS AND BLOG POSTS

In this subsection are links to the some of the best blogs and blogposts I have found recently…

First up, Caroline Lucas standing up for the welfare state.

Next, the website and blog of one of my recent twitter followers, Mr Nobody:

1)Website

2)Blog

A recent wordpress acquaintance is fargaregardsanna whose offerings include this on the work of Max Tegmark.

Having just mentioned the extraordinary Max Tegmark, this seemed a natural place to mention a book devoted to the strangest aspects of science, which it so happens that I read on the bus to Norwich yesterday.
Having just mentioned the extraordinary Max Tegmark, this seemed a natural place to mention a book devoted to the strangest aspects of science, which it so happens that I read on the bus to Norwich yesterday.

Faraday’s Candle are regular producers of marvellous science and nature related stuff, and this piece on The Arches National Park is comfortably up to their usual high standard.

INFOGRAPHICS

Four infographics to share today. First, by way of Abby Tomlinson on twitter this on abstaining in the face of oppression:

AT on Labour

Next up, this on Austerity:

Austerity

This on energy is probably the most important of the four:

Energy

Finally, this on the Great Gathering for Voting Reform:

GGVR

AFTERWORD AND SOME FINAL PHOTOS

I hope that you enjoy this blog post as much as I have enjoyed creating it, and that some at least of you will be inspired to share it. I finish with some non-dragon related photos from Norwich…

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Study Title: Attention and Perception in Autism Spectrum Conditions

A personal account of taking part in a study at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge,, accompanied by photographs, with some interesting and important links and some more photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The main body of this post is a personal account of my involvement in the study whose title I have used for the whole post, run as so often at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. I also have a variety of links and a few photos that are not directly connected with the title piece but which I wish to share. I hope you will all enjoy this post and that you will take the opportunity of sharing it.

ATTENTION AND PERCEPTION IN AUTISM SPECTRUM CONDITIONS

THE PRELIMINARIES

i found out about this study just five days ago, and made contact with the person conducting it. A brief exchange of emails concluded with an arrangement for me to attend at 11AM today. As part of the preparation I had to answer various questions and solve  various puzzles online.

GETTING THERE

An scheduled start of 11AM meant getting the 8:57 from King’s Lynn, and to make sure that I got my travel expenses reimbursed I carefully got a receipt. It was shortly after getting on to the platform that I brought the camera into action for the first time of the day…

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Pictures taken through the windows of moving trains are tough to get right, but these two worked out okay…

"A goods train: the shame of it" Gordon the Big Engine in the Rev W Awdry series
“A goods train: the shame of it” Gordon the Big Engine in the Rev W Awdry series
I could get a clear shot of the whole of Ely Cathedral, but this shows the main tower and the octagonal construction designed by a 14th century Prior known only and uninformatively as Alan of Norwich.
I could not get a clear shot of the whole of Ely Cathedral, but this shows the main tower and the octagonal construction designed by a 14th century Prior known only and uninformatively as Alan of Norwich.

Arriving in Cambridge I decided to take a longer route than usual to the Autism Research Centre, heading towards town as far as this church…

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Turning on to the link road that connects to the town end of Trumpington Road I passed the Scott Polar Research Institute, named in honour of Robert Falcon Scott, one of the most famous runners up in history. Scott also gave his name to an itinerant cricket team some of whose deeds are chronicled in Penguins Stopped Play by Harry Thompson and Rain Men by Marcus Berkmann. Although I could not get a shot of the whole building without crossing to the wrong side of a busy road I did get these shots…

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Next up was the Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory…

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At the very point of turning onto Trumpington Road I passed Hobson’s Conduit…

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This is the first major building on Trumpington Road itself, on the opposite side of ti to me…

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A shot of the water alongside Trumpington Road…

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I next passed the public entrance to Cambridge Botanic Gardens (the admission price convinced me to go no further than the gates)…

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A little bit further along I passed a locked gate into the same establishment, with some red flowers growing next to it…

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The last shot I got before arriving at the Autism Research Centre was of this dragon fly (or similar), which although quite large was moving exceedingly fast, hence why I got only the one usable shot…

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AT THE AUTISM RESEARCH CENTRE

I arrived at the centre at about 10:40, and did not have to wait too long for Owen Parsons, who was conducting the study, to put in an appearance. After the usual preliminaries of form signing and checking the experiment itself ran in three parts…

MIND YOUR TS AND LS

For this test one had eight seconds in total to view an intermittent display of red and blue letters, most of which were Ls but one of which was a T. The task was to identify which colour the T was and click the appropriate button to record that identification. A wrong identification, or wrong button pressed, or being timed out generated a horrible beep.

IDENTIFYING DUPLICATION

For this part of the process one was required to press the space bar each time the same image was shown twice consecutvely. The images were all of full scenes, but shown at thumbnail size. Again, a misidentification or a failure to identify within the time limit generated a beep. There was then a second part to this section, involving familiarity. One was shown sequences of three images and asked to identify the set that looked more familiar. The pictures were similar in nature and size to those previously shown, but some were definitely new.

WHICH BOX WAS THAT X IN?

For this third and final part of the experiment, there were four boxes in which an X could appear. When it appeared one had to identify the box as follows: X for leftmost, Z for left-centre, N for right-centre, M for rightmost. Thus, the duration of this section of the experiment was spent with the index and middle fingers of each hand poised over the keys in question. There was then a second subsection, involving pattern identification and made more complicated by two factors:

1)Obviously enough, not knowing about this in advance I was not especially looking for a pattern in the first stage of the process.

2)The pattern was not adhered to at all times (about 15% of the time, the X appeared in a box it was not ‘supposed’ to).

All in all, I quite enjoyed performing these tests, and would say that it is a worthwhile study. If you are aged 18-45, have been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and can get to Cambridge, contact Owen Parsons: oep20@cam.ac.uk about taking part in the study.

GETTING BACK

There was a small delay getting back to the main building from the place where the study had been set up as Owen initially came out without his swipe card, during which I snared this shot…

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On my way back to the street I took a shot of the front of the main building…

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I opted for the short route back to the station,along Brooklands Avenue and past the new bus interchange to approach the train station from that angle. I got these shots in the course of that walk…

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I got a couple of shots en route to the platform as well…

A worthy effort to represent all of Britain's railways on one map.
A worthy effort to represent all of Britain’s railways on one map.
A somewhat loose definition of London & the Southeast!
A somewhat loose definition of London & the Southeast!

On my way off the train at King’s Lynn I took the opportunity to capture this plaque on camera…

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LINKS

As regular readers of this blog or those who follow me on twitter will be well aware I regularly sign and share petitions, and my first link is to a piece from Huffington Post detailing the success of one such, concerning the Henry family.

My next link is to Mike Sivier of Vox Political on the subject of a possible Greek default.

Next up is this about the effect of London on social housing.

Then we have this on the origins of turtles.

WELCOME TO A NEW FOLLOWER

The next two links both relate to autism, and indeed to the website of a recent follower of mine:

1)The main website, ambitiousautismambassador

2)A particular impressive post taking on stereotyping.

AN IMPORTANT PETITION

My final link is to a petition on change.org protesting against a planned European law that will mean the end of photography as we know it – PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!!

A FEW FINAL PICTURES

While my right to do so remains I am sharing these photos…

Stand E, on the occasion I first used it, Tuesday AM
Stand E, on the occasion I first used it, Tuesday AM
The new electronic displays now at every stand.
The new electronic displays now at every stand.
Vancouver and the Custom House
Vancouver and the Custom House
I realised before using it as part of my bus fare that this 50p was of a style I had not previously seen.
I realised before using it as part of my bus fare that this 50p was of a style I had not previously seen.
A close up of the detailed board at Stand E
A close up of the detailed board at Stand E

A Visit to the Autism Research Centre

INTRODUCTION

I have a good haul of photographs from today, and some interesting links to share with you, as well as the main story…

ELECTRODES AND FLICKERING IMAGES

Being signed up to the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge’s email alerts I get a lot of details of studies into Autistic Spectrum Conditions for which they need volunteers and being passionate about reducing the ignorance about Autistic Spectrum Conditions that continues to bedevil our world I nearly always agree to take part.

This particular project was to do with responses to visual stimulation and required me to visit Cambridge. My appointment had been arranged for 11AM today, carefully avoiding any clash with work commitments…

GETTING THERE

The train journey from King’s Lynn to Cambridge takes almost exactly an hour, which given that they leave King’s Lynn just before the hour strikes meant that I had to be on the 8:57AM. Arriving at the station in King’s Lynn in very good time, and purchasing my ticket without undue difficulty I was able to take some photos at the recently restored station…

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This blackbird clearly isn't conversant with passenger safety advice!
This blackbird clearly isn’t conversant with passenger safety advice!

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The train approaching.
The train approaching.
This map is inside the train doors - I took the pic en route to finding a seat.
This map is inside the train doors – I took the pic en route to finding a seat.

The train journey was uneventful and (mirabile dictu) ran exactly according to schedule. Although it is far from straightforward to get good photos through a train window one or two of my attempts are worth sharing…

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Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral
Boats at Ely
Boats at Ely
At Cambridge, witnessing a service run by Abellio arriving (almost certainly late given their reputation)
At Cambridge, witnessing a service run by Abellio arriving (almost certainly late given their reputation)
The operating company that runs service between London and King's Lynn - no connection to the Great Northern Railway of old which ran services out of London Euston.
The operating company that runs service between London and King’s Lynn – no connection to the Great Northern Railway of old which ran services out of London Euston.

From the station, it was a walk through past the bus stops and on to Brooklands Avenue, which goes straight through to Trumpington Road, picking up some more photos en route…

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Cambridge and its environs are served by an excellent local bus system.
Cambridge and its environs are served by an excellent local bus system.

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AT THE AUTISM RESEARCH CENTRE

Having dallied sufficiently that I would not be crazily early I rang on the doorbell of Douglas House 15 minutes in advance of my appointment time, signed in as requested and waited. It turned out the researcher who should have been conducting the experiments was not around that day, so someone else took charge of me. The preliminaries (paperwork) attended to, it was time to set me up for the tests. This involved me donning an electrode cap (effectively a swimming hat with points for attaching electrodes), each electrode point being filled with a conducting gel before the electrodes could be attached, and then the electrodes being attached. A second set of electrodes were attached around the eyes . The purpose of this get up was to monitor electrical activity in my brain while I responded to various visual stimuli.

Everything, be it lines or proper pictures, was flickering so that I only got fleeting glimpses. There was one set of exercises that involved proper pictures, one that involved viewing arrows and then clicking a button as soon as white box appeared on the screen, and several involving flickering lines.

At the end I was quite relieved when the wires were all detached and I was able to wash the gel (which is water soluble) out of my hair and take my leave.

Although the gel feels cold when it first makes contact with you, and when all the electrodes are fitted to it the cap weighs quite a bit I feel that this set of experiments are no great imposition. If you are 18 or over, have an Autistic Spectrum Condition, feel that you could undergo this and are able to get to Cambridge you could send an email to: Sarah Kaarina Crockford” <skc48@medschl.cam.ac.uk>

GETTING BACK

A combination of the fact that I finished at the Autism Research Centre at 12:15 and that I wasted no time getting back to the station meant that I was able to catch the 12:35 train back to King’s Lynn, and was sat down to a late lunch at 2PM. A last couple of photos…

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LINKS

Just a handful of links for you this time. Firstly, Jayne Linney on the possibility of a National Disability Union. Next Cosmos Up, a reliable source of good stuff on “exiled stars”. My final two links both concern the Great Barrier Reef (surely would feature prominently on anyone’s list of seven natural wonders of the world), one a petition that I urge you to sign and share and one page giving some extra information.

SHARING

i hope that you all enjoyed this post and that you will share it widely. Many thanks.

KP Brilliant, ECB Rubbish

INTRODUCTION

I am going to start with the part of the blog that has given this post its title, before sharing some links and other stuff.

KP BRILLIANT, ECB RUBBISH

I had hoped that the appointment of Andrew Strauss as director would lead to some better decisions being taken. Sadly, that hope has been almost instantly dashed. Kevin Peter Pietersen, playing county cricket for Surrey in a bid to win back his England place, produced the sixth highest score in county championship history, 355 not out, against Leciestershire at the Oval. The last 200 or thereabouts of these runs were scored in the company of numbers 10 and 11 in the Surrey batting order. Surely then, having demonstrated that he still has the appetite and commitment to play big innings in the long form of the game it was time for the ECB to bring him back into the fold.

Instead Mr Strauss effectively slammed the door in Pietersen’s face citing issues of trust. In 30 years of being an avid cricket fan (and therefore including the dark days of the late 1980s and most of the 1990s) I have rarely if ever seen a pettier, more short-sighted decision  Listening to the second day of this match (later today I will tune in for what is left) I was simply amazed by the quality of the batting. During the afternoon and evening sessions I was reminded of the line that Jemmy Shaw is alleged to have uttered when called up for another spell against an apparently immovable WG “Noa point boolin’ good uns now, it’s joost a case of ah puts where ah pleases an’ ‘ee puts it where ‘ee pleases”.

When after work yesterday I read the accounts of what had happened at the ECB I could barely believe it. If England, having turned their backs, apparently for good, on Kevin Pietersen do anything less this summer than beat both New Zealand and Australia then it is my belief that Strauss as the author of the final decision against Pietersen must go. It is after all, without a shadow of a doubt, the bowlers for those two countries who will be happiest about this announcement.

LINKS

While the Pietersen decision covered above rankles, it is as nothing compared to a decision that Charlton Athletic FC may be about to make. In the continuing absence of rules regarding the signing of convicted criminals, this football club may be about sign someone who was part of a gang that raped a 14 year-old girl. If, like me, you consider this an utter outrage,, here is a link to a petition for you to sign and share.

My second link is to another very important petition, this time against the repeal of the Human Rights Act.

My final link in the mini-section, before a pictorial interlude, is a to an interesting post from Faraday’s Candle

PICTORIAL INTERLUDE

The first two pictures you will see here are not mine, but come from other sources, however, I also have some of my own after that…

This, courtesy of the Mental Health Foundation is a very important infographic.
This, courtesy of the Mental Health Foundation is a very important infographic.
This diagram comes courtesy of Tax Research UK: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/05/10/venn-diagrams-for-our-times-the-new-political-landscape/
This diagram comes courtesy of Tax Research UK: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/05/10/venn-diagrams-for-our-times-the-new-political-landscape/

DSCN5126 DSCN5127 DSCN5137

AUTISM RELATED MATTERS

I am finishing this post with a few things that relate to autism, as I am on the autistic spectrum, and take a close interest in such matters. First of all, a call to keep the pressure on Katie Hopkins to apologise to the autistic community. Then I have two blog posts relating to autism to share with you:

1) A piece on parents of autistic children from Huffington Post.

2) A piece from a blog that I only discovered (via twitter) this morning, autisticglobetrotting.

I encourage everyone to share any or all of this blog post as widely as possible. I have one final message for those who have stayed with me to the end:

TY3