Monday Mixture

My 1,000th post on aspiblog, a typically eclectic mix of stuff – read, enjoy and please share!


As the title suggests this post contains a variety of different elements. There is another reason for choosing this title which will be revealed later.


With two scheduled days to go the 4th India vs England Test Match in Mumbai seemed to be headed for a high-scoring draw, but two things happened thereafter – India got right away, pushing their first innings total up to 631, and then England fell in a heap in their second innings – all out 195, beaten by an innings and 36.


This took place on Thursday at Frankie and Benny’s on the Hardwick Industrial Estate. Here are some pictures…


My chosen meal
Rachelf (sic!) showing true Christmas spirit.
Karan (branch chair) hold aloft her Poldark colouring book.
Santa reveals a little secret.
A chicken puppet – she owns some real chickens, currently confined to their run because of an avian flu alert.


Those familiar with my 2017 wall mounted calendars will recall that the Duke’s Head Hotel frontage featured as the April picture. Well, since then it has been done up – here are a couple of pictures…

The calendar picture
The Duke’s Head frontage as it looks today after being redone.


My title for this post “Monday Mixture” is apt given its nature, but I also chose this particular title because both parts thereof begin with the letter M, the Roman numeral for 1,000, and this is my 1,000th post on aspiblog.


My first link is to a petition on avaaz protesting against an Australian plan to put a toxic coal complex next to the Great Barrier Reef. Please click on the image below to sign and share the petition.

My next link, also contained within a picture is to a piece on whyevolutionistrue titled A Photobook of Biological Marvels and My Own Take on Them.


Rachael Swindon’s new blog continues to impress and amuse. Her target in this post, struck in the bullseye as usual for her, is hard right Tory MP for Witham, Priti Patel.

I started this links section with an environment related piece and I end it with another, courtesy of the Guardian, which provides this report of a study detailing how wind power is key to curbing greenhouse emissions – click the image below to read more…

Whitelee windfarm on Eaglesham Moor in Scotland is the UK’s largest onshore windfarm.

I end this post with some more of my own pictures…


Adverts and Imaging


The title section of this post refers to today’s activites at James and Sons, but I also have some important links and quality infographics to share. On the subject of sharing, I hope that some of you are encouraged to share this post.


Today was productive, but not as productive as it might have been due to the fact that my efforts on the imaging front were interrupted by the need to send a couple of very basic adverts to the Diss Express and the Bury Free Press respectively about collector’s fair. A copy of one of the ads is below and I will provide links to the original word documents for both…




A wide range of coins, stamps, postcards,
banknotes, militaria etc. for sale.


Please ask for David James

Tel: 01328 855003      Email:

Collectors Fair Diss CF


The imaging workload was nicely varied, featuring most kinds of item we sell save for militaria…


The coin lots I choose to share come in the form of high resolution scans…

52 68b 68a 68 67b 67a 67 60b 60a 60 57b 57a 57 56b 56a 56 53b 53a 53 52b 52a


The stamps were all in albums and hence required the use of the camera…

403 403a 403b 403c 405 405a


These items were also done with the camera, and apart from a few football programs I will sharing the full range. The items categorised as toys are actually as you will see collector’s models – not intended to be played with…

12 13 14 50 50a

This gazeteer is not in great nick but then it is over 250 years old
This gazeteer is not in great nick but then it is over 250 years old

348a 348b 348c
350 351 351a 352 354 354b 355 355a 356 356a


To end the section on today at work, some more scans, this time of postcards…

421 423 424 413 416


I do not have as many links as sometimes, but they are all very important, starting with…


This is a story about a self-indulgent rich bastard (I make no apologies for the strong language – I do not often resort to it) from Minnesota named Walter James Palmer and an African icon. The circumstances of this particular piece of “trophy hunting” – Mr Palmer apparently has a long history of such activities – have generated it vast international publicity. The lion was decoyed out of the protected area in which it lived by bait, shot with a crossbow and ultimately finished off with a rifle – all so a rich American could indulge his perverted sense of fun. I have two links for further information about the story:

1)This from avaaz

2)And this article in a newspaper not often cited by this blog – The Telegraph.


The campaign to prevent “Roosh V” from being allowed into Canada continues to gather momentum – here is the latest news.


Just a single link here, to the Voting Reform Declaration.


Two excellent pieces from the ever reliable Mike Sivier today, both on the subject of disability:

1)This one about the assessment system as orchestrated by the vile American company Unum.

2)This horror story about a case of discrimination by association – sacked for being a family member of a disabled person.


Autism Mom is a long standing supporter of this blog, and it was from her blog that I located the details of pucksandpuzzlepieces whose most recent post features tackling an assault course!


My first infographic comes with a link this article on Discover

Lizard Family Tree

Next, a return to the Telegraph – unlike the story which I am told was big and bold this correction was tiny and in the bottom corner of a page, so I am giving it a bit of extra exposure!

Torygraph exposed

Finally to end this post two excellent infographics relating to the Conservative Party…

Tory Bastards selfservativespuc

Marxism 2015 8: Disability and Resistance After the Election

A very brief account of the meeting on disability and resistance at Marxism 2015, some links and a classic infographic courtesy of Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff.


Welcome to the latest in my series of posts about Marxism 2015, the five-day political festival in central London organised by the Socialist Workers Party. For this post I will be dealing exclusively with the first meeting after lunch on Sunday. After the main body of the post I have some links to share.


A platform full of excellent speakers, some great stories and a packed out meeting room make for good vibes. The room used, Nunn Hall, had been reconfigured to suit this particular meeting, with an area cleared for wheelchair users, and a team of people set up to provide DSL.

The platform before the meeting
The platform before the meeting
DSL provision in place.
DSL provision in place.
All set for the meeting.
All set for the meeting.

It is in the context of this meeting, and the stories of protest contained therein that I choose to make my first mention of October 4th in Manchester, when we will be protesting outside the Tory conference and this protest should be built as big as possible.


I am finishing this brief post with a few links, one of them accompanied by an infographic.

My first link is a facebook page about the horror that is TTIP.

My second and third links are both related to environmental issues:

1)From avaaz this call to protect our oceans from the rapacity of big mining companies.

2)From rawstory more about the consequences of fracking (see also my previous blog post).

Ending this post with a bang, this link and infographic courtesy of Jo Stevens, Labour MP for Cardiff.

It is not often that I use a picture that is not my own as a feature image, but this time I am.
It is not often that I use a picture that is not my own as a feature image, but this time I am.

Operation Catch Up


As well as my title piece I have some photos which connect to that and some cracking links to share with you. Read, enjoy and please share…


The combination of two auctions happening in the space of four days and a degree of failure on the organsiation front has made things somewhat hectic of late. However, after a full day imaging for our June auction today, I believe that we will be able to give our online viewers a week to look at the items that will be going under the hammer, which did not look likely at one point. Today’s imaging has been very varied, including some lovely Hornby toys (Hornby for the uninitiated are THE name when it comes to railway themed toys and models). There were also some decent stamp lots and some interesting militaria. To end this section here are some pictorial highlights…

277 277a 283 283a 294 503 503a 506 506a 512 512a 519 594 594a 596 596a 600 618 622 623 623a 623b 641 658 658a 664 665 685 764 764a 767 767a 794


Here as promised are those links, starting with a fistful on the subject of…


My first three links are all related to the same organisation:

1)Atheist Republic home

2)Atheist Republic blogs

3)Atheist Republic’s brief explanation of atheism.

Patheos, so often a source of good material have done it again, this time with a piece about Christian extremist opposition to higher education.


A single link, being given a subsection to itself. This is a petition being run by Avaaz to ensure that the South African government does the right thing and takes the opportunity to arrest and incarcerate former Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir


An unusual juxtaposition, but both my science related pieces are concerned with planets, and there is a very well known piece of music called The Planets, so I considered it acceptable on this occasion. The music related link is to a piece by Charlotte Hoather about Madama Butterfly, in a production of which she will soon be appearing. My two planets themed pieces both come from Cosmos Up:

1)Juxtaposition of Jupiter and Venus

2)A possible preponderance of Neptune sized planets in our galaxy.


Three more links, starting with this from Jayne Linney.

Stop Homophobia have collected some superb responses to hate mail.

Last but most definitely not least is this piece from network autism about gender dysphoria and autism.

Summer Arrives


As well as my title piece I have a variety of links, some infographics and some photos of my own to share…


We are enjoying the best weather of the year so far – yesterday was an authentic shorts and t-shirt day and today looks like following suit. On Saturday, which was prevented from rivalling yesterday only by persistent strong winds, Leicestershire played a one-day match (50 overs per side) against New Zealand. When New Zealand were 153-5 it looked like being a decent contest, but then Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi smashed extremely rapid centuries to boost to the total to a daunting 374-5. Leicestershire were never in the hunt, and in the end only just got the margin of defeat down below 200 runs.

Yesterday, Leicestershire were straight back in action, against Surrey in the county championship, and although the turn around was not so dramatic, they again let a good start get away from them, as Tom Curran swiped 60 from number 9 in the order for Surrey. Leciestershire regained some of the ground they had surrendered when, Surrey having finally been dismissed, their openers then saw things through to the close without mishap.


The first infographic (of a total of four) that I choose to share is this one on domestic violence:


Infographics two and three both concern the case of Stephanie Bottrill, just one of the idiotic delusional sociopath’s (IDS for short) many victims…

Stephanie Bottrill

Steohanie Bottrill 2

To end this little section a bit of humour concerning the Republicans…



My first link is to a story from the Newark Advertiser featuring yet another example of DWP cruelty.

Next comes an announcement of a victory – the preservation of London’s only floating bookstore.

My next link comes with a couple of pictures, and is brought to you courtesy of Cosmos Up and features the Hubble telescope.

Arches Cluster Hubble

My next link is to a blog I have only just come across which looks both interesting and important, by someone called Eve Thomas – the post that caught my attention being this one.

This story from the Humphrey Cushion blog shows Nadine Dorries in an even poorer light than usual.

From Avaaz comes this petition against TTIP, which I urge you all to sign and share.

That is all my general links, but I also have a couple that I have given their own subsection, which relate to…


The first of the two links in this section is a blog that I had not previously come across, mylifemyautism, run by Dr Marquis Grant who I came across on twitter.

From a new find to an old favourite, my final link is to this post from Autism Mom.


Just before ending this post with some pictures, I thank everyone who has read this post, hope you have all enjoyed it and that you will be encouraged to share it. The first two pictures relate to a Cosmos Up story concerning the possibility of microbial life on Mars, while the rest are mine, all taken yesterday…

Mars Methanogens

DSCN7052 DSCN7054 DSCN7055 DSCN7056 DSCN7057 DSCN7058 DSCN7059 DSCN7061 DSCN7062 DSCN7063 DSCN7065 DSCN7066 DSCN7067

Important Items to Share


This post is going to be made up entirely of Links and Infographics (I have a lot of important and interesting stuff to share).



Tax Research UK in spite of the uninspiring sounding name is often a source of good stuff, and today I provide links to two of their recent stories:

1)The need to eliminate competition from the NHS.

2)A piece about electoral reform, which connects to…

2a)This blog post from the Electoral Reform Society.


My first piece in this section comes courtesy of Patheos, and just before highlighting the link I wish (as someone who is a very strong supporter of theirs) to criticise them for publishing under their banner a piece by Russell Shaw in which he has the nerve to claim the American Christians are being persecuted. The piece to which I include a link concerns the use in science classrooms in Louisiana of a book that has no place there.

My next three pieces are linked, both being concerned with countering environmental damage:

1) Faraday’s Candle on bees.

2) Oxfam on dumping coal into the dustbin of history.

3) An Avaaz petition about climate change.


A devastating comparison of the difference between actual inflation and rail fare inflation since 1994.
A devastating comparison of the difference between actual inflation and rail fare inflation since 1994.
This is our feature image.
This is our feature image.


This is my final set of links, starting with this piece from Jayne Linney. Huffington Post, a regular source of good stuff, provide this piece from Laura Roche. Although I am not an ebay user, and therefore not able to take direct action, I was of course thoroughly disgusted to come across this from Vox Political about disability hate products being sold via that site, and I urge those of you who do use ebay to complain loud and clear as VP suggest. This blogpost from Natalie Leal provides some shocking detail about deaths related to DWP sanctions. Finally, to end this section, a post from Autism Mom, which features Alan Turing.


I hope that you have all enjoyed this post, and that you have followed up some or all of the links I have shared. I encourage people to share any or all of this post.

An Important Petition and A Great Blog Post

This going to be a very brief post, but there are two things that I feel I must share with you.

Philip Morris, the tobacco giants, have launched a lawsuit against the Uruguayan government in an attempt to overthrow that country’s anti-smoking legislation. There is a petition up and running gaining support for Uruguay in this case, courtesy of the campaigning organisation Avaaz. Please sign and share widely.

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The second thing I wish to draw your attention to is one of the best posts I have ever read regarding Autism. It uses a series of films which I have never actually watched to make its point. This post comes from Autism Mom.

A magpie on a branch of the same tree.
A magpie on a branch of the same tree.
Gulls perched on a severely pollarded tree.
Gulls perched on a severely pollarded tree.

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If you enjoyed this post please take the opportunity to share it widely.

The meeting of the Nar and Ouse under a Walter Dexter sky.
The meeting of the Nar and Ouse under a Walter Dexter sky.

A Frantic Day’s Imaging

Before getting to the main meat of my post, as usual I have some links to share with you. So…

LINKS This is a VERY IMPORTANT petition. Rumours have reached Mike Sivier that some of the unscrupulous bosses who use zero hours contracts have been threatening those on such contracts with dismissal if they dare to vote for anyone other than the conservatives. If these rumours are true, they are prima facie evidence of criminal activity. This is the website to visit if you suspect someone on electoral fraud. Mike Sivier acts as a conduit to… This very interesting post from a professional economist. only this is a very important petition, signing it will also help to clog up IDS’s email inbox! Hot off the press – more bad news for the Tories re yesterday’s infamous letter.

Before moving on to today at work here are some pictures that will feature in the printed catalogues…

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This one, unusualyy is not 100% my work - it is my photography but my colleague Andrew's editing.
This one, unusualyy is not 100% my work – it is my photography but my colleague Andrew’s editing.

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A combination of factors made today a bit of a tough day, but at the end of it I had accomplished a good deal, and had imaged some very interesting items. By the end of tomorrow the imaging for April’s auction should be complete. Meantime, here is a selection of interesting images from today…

?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????As I was inserting these pictures, I got details of a small victory for the Living Wage Campaign, more info at: