What a great week! I was nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award by the wonderful Thomas over as the equally wonderful Aspiblog.
I’m not nominating anyone this time around (I still pretty tired, and I haven’t been keeping up with everyone, and so I would hate to stress someone out with a nomination. This is possibly an unfounded anxiety, but hey, that’s my brain), but I got so excited when I saw the questions, that I knew I’d have to make a post just for them!
So, here are the questions and answers, I can’t put into words how much fun answering them. If that makes me a huge nerd, so be it!
1.If you could restore one place that exists only as an archaeological site to perfect condition what would it be?
I did a lot of research trying to make a decision here. My instincts would…
Some stuff about the ODI at the MCG, a neurodiversity quote, a mathematical puzzle and some photographs
After the horrors of the Ashes test series it makes a change to write about a winning performance from an England cricket team in Australia. I also have a few other things to share of course, including more of my photos.
RECORDS GALORE AT THE MCG
The pitch at the MCG for the first of five One Day Internationals (50 overs per side) was a vast improvement of the strip they had produced for the test match, and the players produced a match worthy of the occasion. England won the toss and chose to field. England;s improvement in this form of the game since their horror show at the 2015 World Cup has been such that even before they started batting an Australia tally of 304 seemed inadequate.
England got away to a quick start, although Jonny Bairstow did a ‘Vince’ – looking very impressive for 20-odd and then giving it away. Alex Hales also fell cheaply, but Joe Root came out and played excellently, while Jason Roy produced the major innings that England needed from one of their top order. When his score reached 124 Roy had an England ODI record for the MCG, and that soon became an all-comers MCG record, to match Cook’s all-comers test record score for the MCG. When he went from 171 to 175 Roy establish a new England ODI individual scoring record. His dismissal for 180, with 200 just a possibility was a disappointment but by then the result was not in doubt, and even the loss of a couple more wickets in the dying overs served only to reduce the final margin. England won by five wickets with seven deliveries to spare, and it was a much more conclusive victory than those figures suggest because three of the wickets came with the outcome already settled courtesy of Roy. Joe Root also deserves credit for his support role to Roy’s pyrotechnics, a selfless display that saw him finish just short of his own hundred when the winning runs were scored. The Test squad has a lengthy shopping list of new players needed (two openers given Cook’s age, at least one new batsman for the middle order, a couple of genuine quicks and a serious spinner at minimum), but the ODI squad is in splendid fettle.
A CLASSIC NEURODIVERSITY COMMENT
This comes courtesy of twitter:
Those of you who have read Alison’s response to my nominating her for a Blogger Recognition Award will have noticed that she specifically mentioned enjoying the puzzles that sometimes feature here. Here courtesy of the mathematical website brilliantis another:
The colony of muscovy ducks that I first saw in late 2017 are still in residence along a section of the Gaywood River that is close to where it enters The Walks en route to becoming the Millfleet, in which guise it flows into the Great Ouse…
First of all, I’d like to tell you all how pleased and surprised I am to have been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award by Thomas of Aspiblog! I always see people doing these, and now that I’ve been given the opportunity, I feel so included! One of my favorite parts of blogging is getting to participate in my community, and the fact that I’ve connected with enough people to be included in something like this, well, it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
What does Stim the Line mean anyway?
Stim the Line began as a compromise. My therapist, who is an autism specialist, get it into her head that I needed to write a book. She insisted that I was self aware, good at explaining things (especially to neurotypical people), and that people empathize with me. I pointed out that I’d never written anything, ever…
A mixed bag of a post, featuring autism, public transport, cricket and photography among others.
I have many things to share with you today about a variety of subjects. Read on and enjoy!
Earlier today I spotted a link on twitter to something posted on assistiveware called “5 Guidelines to Keep in Mind for Autism Acceptance Month”. I recommend you read it in full, and here to tempt you is guideline 3 in all it’s glory (this was the one the resonated most closely with me, though all 5 are on the money and very important:
Nothing about us without us.
It is not uncommon to see human interest stories about autism where parents, teachers, speech therapists, and even the school janitor all share their insights on an autistic person and what autism means for him or her. It often seems that the only person who doesn’t get a word in is the subject of the article! The problem here is that nobody is a mind-reader. I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced your parents making mistakes about your thoughts or opinions. Autism doesn’t change that.
Not every person with autism will be able to respond to interview questions. However, many who could are simply not asked. Others can speak or write, but struggle to answer questions in real time. For these people, simple accommodations like providing written interview questions ahead of time can make a huge difference!
Another common error is to assume that no autistic person will ever read an article about autism. Writers may say we are “unlike you and me,” or “just like you and me,” but only rarely are we included as part of the “us” that makes up the readership. The truth is, there is nowhere where you can safely assume that none of us are present. Autism is an extremely variable condition, where many different combinations of traits can all lead to the same diagnosis. Whatever your audience is, chances are at least a few of us are already in it.
I conclude this section with a brief mention for another twitter find, who also caught my attention by contributing something about autism, Walsingham Support, which happens to lead neatly on to my next section…
TWO NEW PIECES ON WWW.LONDONTU.BE
I had already decided that I was going to put up a post about Mile End on the website when I saw the tweet from Walsingham Support that piqued my interest in them. I noted their address, and guessed that this was a peg on which I might be able to hang a post about Totteridge & Whetstone, which hunch proved correct. Below are links, each accompanied by a picture, to the posts in question:
The West Indies completed a double in the World T20, the women having romped past the Aussies to take their title. The men’s match between the West Indies and England was a match of twists and turns, which looked like England had it when the West Indies need 19 from the last over. However, Carlos Brathwaite (Brath-ut if you want to pronounce that surname West Indies fashion) then hit four successive sixes off Ben Stokes to give the West Indies victory. I listened to the early stages of this match at my parent’s house after Sunday lunch, on the first day of the year that it was warm enough to sit outside, and while listening and reading a book (Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth”) I also took some…
A word of warning to those who suffer peculiar phobias, this set of photographs features ladybirds.
Pointers to the booking site for the Positive Autism Awareness Conference and a poster advertising the event.
I first made mention of this conference, organised by NAS West Norfolk, in this post, and have featured reminders about it in several other posts. However, I have two pieces of news that warrant a second whole post devoted to it.
We are now able to take bookings for this conference, which takes place on April 15th. The booking site can be accessed here (acknowledgements to Claire King of NAS West Norfolk for posting the link).
THE OFFICIAL POSTER
The other recent development in connection with this conference is that we now have an official National Autistic Society poster for the event. This is a version I have edited specifically for being viewed on a screen…
Thanks and acknowledgements to Rachel Meerwald and Karan McKerrow of NAS West Norfolk for various posts and links in connection with this poster. I have a full print size version of this poster saved on my computer as well, and will happily email people copies of that file.
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.
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
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.
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…
Pictures taken through the windows of moving trains are tough to get right, but these two worked out okay…
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…
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…
Next up was the Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory…
At the very point of turning onto Trumpington Road I passed Hobson’s Conduit…
This is the first major building on Trumpington Road itself, on the opposite side of ti to me…
A shot of the water alongside Trumpington Road…
I next passed the public entrance to Cambridge Botanic Gardens (the admission price convinced me to go no further than the gates)…
A little bit further along I passed a locked gate into the same establishment, with some red flowers growing next to it…
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…
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.
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: email@example.com about taking part in the study.
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…
On my way back to the street I took a shot of the front of the main building…
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…
I got a couple of shots en route to the platform as well…
On my way off the train at King’s Lynn I took the opportunity to capture this plaque on camera…
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.
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.
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
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…
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: