Autism, Elections, Cricket

Some thoughts on Autism, Elections and Cricket, a couple of interesting links and plenty of photographs.

INTRODUCTIONS

I have some excellent stuff on Autism to share, and it is no great secret that a General Election is looming here in Britain, and nor would it be a surprise to anyone that I have something about cricket to fit in.

AUTISM THREADS FROM TWITTER

I have two and a bit threads relating to autism to share with you. In all cases this is #ActuallyAutistic people talking about autism – I always prefer primary sources. First of all, “20 things you need to know about autism if you are not autistic“, by Pete Wharmby:

PW1

Next up, Sara Gibbs lists some things not to say to someone who has just told you they are autistic:

 

SG

Finally for this section the first 17 posts in another thread from Pete Wharmby on the subject of diagnosis:

PW2

That concludes this section of the post.

ELECTION THOUGHTS

Some time in the not too distant future there is going to be a general election. Boris Johnson, the lame duck Prime Minister, sees a general election as the only way out of the hole he is currently in, while the main opposition party, Labour, are also ready for one, as soon they have guaranteed the election period cannot be used as a means of forcing a no deal Brexit through. In my constituency the decision for anyone opposed to the Tories is a very straightforward one – only two parties in this constituency have a share of the vote even worth thinking about, the Tories who hold the seat, and Labour who polled 15,000 votes last time round. Support for the Greens is increasing in this area, as it should, and as shown by Michael De Whalley being elected a local councillor, but constituency wide they are building from too small a base, and would be well advised to sit this one out, leaving the field clear for Labour.

In Scotland the SNP will clean up everywhere – the callous disregard shown for that country by the UK’s current misgovernment has all but ensured that Scotland will be an independent country before too long (and good luck to them – were it not for the necessity of travelling to and from Cambridge for some years to come I might well be looking at flats in Fort William or Inverness with a view to moving north post indepndence, and were I a Scot I would undoubtedly be voting SNP). Northern Ireland for different reasons is also an exception, but in England and Wales I would recommend that Labour and the Green Party operate as follows:

  1. Labour do not stand in Caroline Lucas’ seat, nor in any seat where the Greens came second last time round.
  2. The Greens do not stand in Labour held seats or in seats where Labour were second last time round.

Post election, in the event that the combination of Labour, Greens and SNP have enough seats to form a government (at least until Indyref 2 has been organised – which will be the SNPs condition for assisting) Labour should also offer cabinet places to people from these parties (e.g Caroline Lucas being put in charge of environmental policy, someone from the SNP getting the position of Secretary of State for Scotland etc.). Additionally, abolishing the outdated and flawed FPTP voting system should be high on the agenda.

My advice to people in England and Wales who want rid of the Tories is look at who in your area has more support out of Labour and Green (and possibly Plaid in Wales) and vote for that party. It is important to maximize the chances of turfing the Tories out by not giving them any opportunity to capture seats against a split opposition.

A COUPLE OF EXCELLENT VITALITY BLAST SIGNINGS FOR SURREY

One of the claims advanced on behalf of The Hundred, aka “Harrison’s Harebrained Have a Hit” (acknowledgements to The Full Toss blog for that excellent alternative name) is that it has attracted top overseas players, a claim that The Full Toss put to the sword here. There are two parts to exploding this claim: firstly no Indian players at all are involved in the new competition, and secondly that counties are in any case capable of attracting overseas players of real quality, which leads to Surrey’s recent overseas signings for next years Vitality Blast (T20) competition. Darcy Short has been the leading run scorer in the last two seasons of the Mens BBL (Australia’s T20 competition), and is a fine signing for Surrey. Pakistan’s young legspinning all-rounder Shadab Khan is if anything an even more impressive signing than Short. At 21 he already has 117 international wickets to his name, and being a legspinner he nicely complements Surrey’s existing slow bowling talent (Freddie Van Den Bergh, SLA, and Amar Virdi, OS), and his batting talent means that Surrey if so minded could certainly select all three, thereby giving themselves three spinners of differing types.

TWO LINKS AND SOME PICTURES

Greta Thunberg, the autistic teenager who has become the face of the international movement against climate change, has been honoured by having a new species named after her. Click on the picture below to read the full article about this on the Natural History Museum’s website:

New species of beetle named after Greta Thunberg

In a Darwin Award worthy piece of karma, a US hunter got himself killed by a deer he thought he had shot dead. Click on the picture below to visit the BBC website’s article about this:

Stock image of a whitetailed deer buck in the US

Now for my usual sign off…

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A Little Bit of Many Things

A mixed bag of stuff – hope you enjoy it.

INTRODUCTION

Much of this post will be sharing finds from elsewhere, but there will also be some pictures of my own. I will be starting with politics,  moving from there on to transport, then some science and finishing up with some stuff about autism. Other than in this introduction most of the text will be coloured, and links as usual will be in bold and underlined. 

POLITICS

There is a particular reason why I am mixing red and green in this section and priveleging green by having it come first. The Greens have pulled out of a number of seats in the upcoming general election to make Labour’s task easier. These seats include at least one held by a current cabinet minister. I urge Labour to reciprocate by at the very least not fielding a candidate in Brighton Pavilion (the only seat currently held by the Greens), and preferably also by leaving a clear field for them on the Isle of Wight, and in a few other seats that the Greens are particularly targetting. In my own constituency of Northwest Norfolk Labour is the only party with a chance of unseating the Tory, and I will thankfully be able to vote Labour with a smile as they have very sensibly reselected the excellent Jo Rust as their candidate. My first two shares are both about Labour’s plans to deal with tax avoidance. The two pieces in question are:

I conclude this section with a reference to Labour’s manifesto, now in the public domain. I have read the document in full and urge you to do likewise by clicking here. As both an aperitif and a lead-in to the next section of this post I reproduce the transport section:

Labtrans

TRANSPORT

A brief section, containing two important links. The first, from the Campaign for Better Transport is titled “Improving air quality: buses are key to success and details precisely how serious an issue air pollution is in the UK and how buses can help solve this.  The second piece I am sharing in this section comes from livescience.com and has the self-explanatory title “New Battery Could Power Electric Cars 620 Miles on Single Charge“.  Below is a picture of the battery taken from that article.

 

An illustration that shows how the new electric battery is stacked like a ream of paper.

Credit: Fraunhofer IKTS. 

SCIENCE

I have three recent finds to share, all courtesy of the Guardian. The first of these another link in the chain of whale evolution, published under the headline “36m-year-old fossil discovery is missing link in whale evolution, say researchers“. Here is the picture:

Two Mystacodon selenensis individuals diving down to catch eagle rays along the seafloor of a shallow cove off the coast of present-day Peru.

From water creatures we move to ancestors of flying creatures, with this piece titled Dinosaur tail trapped in amber offers insights into feather evolution” again accompanied by an excellent picture, reproduced below:

Having covered water creatures and the ancestors of air creatures we finish with land creatures, and the largest fossilized footprints ever discovered, with a diameter of 1.7 metres. These dinosaur footprints are located near Broome in northwestern Australia, a place I visited in 2006. The largest creatures living there these days are crocodiles which at an absolute peak might grow to a body length of six metres. The article is titled
World’s largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia” and accompanied by some good pictures, one of which I reproduce below.

The prints indicate enormous animals that were probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip.

The prints indicate enormous animals that were probably around 5.3 to 5.5 metres at the hip. Photograph: Damian Kelly/University of Queensland/EPA

AUTISM

I have several pieces to share in this section, starting with two from americanbadassadvocates as follows:

My next share is from visualvox and has the self-explanatory title “Done with that autism spectrum “disorder” business

I finish this section with a link to piece from thesilentwaveblog. There is another very recent post from this same blog that will be featuring in the post I shall be producing for my birthday. As a clue I will tell you that due to the particular number it will be I am calling this birthday the “Douglas Adams Birthday”. Today’s link is to a post titled
Asperger’s / autism and microaggression” with the picture reproduced below:

PHOTOGRAPHS

Just a few photographs today, mostly of items going under the hammer at James and Sons next auction (full catalogue available here):

359
Lot 359 – five images.

359-a359-b359-c359-d

1134
Various cigarette card lots, all in the 1100s

1133113211311149118911061191119011961193

DSCN6542
A 2016 £2 coin, commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, the first I had ever handled (taken just before I handed over as part of a bus fare).

 

 

 

 

Aspiblog Election Special

Some thoughts about the upcoming General Election, which was confirmed as happening while this post weas being created.

INTRODUCTION

Parliament has voted by 522 to 13 to accept Theresa May’s call for a snap General Election, which will take place on June 8th….

SETTING THE SCENE

This morning Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK put up a post titled “General Election Thoughts” most of which I am in agreement with. Here is a screenshot of the start to that post:

In the comments section a certain Howard Reed cited Paul Mason’s five point policy plan, which is as follows:

1/ If Theresa May calls an election today, a progressive alliance can beat the Tory hard Brexit plan. Here’s how…

2/ We set up an independent website to show how tactical voting can beat the Tories and grassroots cross party alliance promotes this

3/ Labour has to guarantee Scotland a) right to remain in Single Market b) second referendum

4/ Labour should offer *today* Caroline Lucas to be in shadow cabinet, form Green/Red alliance, stand down 1x further candidate for Greens

5/ Libdems need to decide: with the progressive forces of Britain or in a perpetual flip flop with the Tories. You have 15 minutes.

The first two of the five points are scene setters, and very uncontentious. Point 3 is the one that the Labour Party, or at least some elements thereof, will find hardest to accept, but SNP support will only be forthcoming if it is honoured. 

The fourth point is obvious, and those who remember my Fantasy Cabinet, a response to this piece on Tax Research UK, will realise that I am 100% in favour. For the fifth point, the ball is in the Lib Dems’ court. One mistake can be forgiven, especially given some of the comments May has made in calling for this election. However, precisely in view of those comments, a second decision in the space of seven years to throw in their lot with the Tories would put them utterly beyond the pale. 

SOME FURTHER LINKS

In addition to the Tax Research UK piece that inspired this I have read a number of other cracking pieces about this upcoming election.

CLOSING THOUGHTS (& PHOTOGRAPHS)

In my own constituency there is only one party with the support to have even the proverbial “cats chance in hell” of unseating the Tory who bar the years 1997-2001 has held the seat since 1983, so my General Election vote is already decided. Something else that this snap election has done is demonstrate once again that FPTP is a relic from the past that needs replacing asap. My final words in this post (other than picture captions) take the form of a social media hashtag:

#MakeJuneTheEndOfMay

New £1 (in circulation since March 27th, but this was the first I have seen, last night) – obverse

New £1 – reverse

New £1 – both faces

Comparison pic – new £1 and Britain’s only other dodecagonal coin, the brass threepenny.

General Election and Other Stuff

As is now usual with my posts I will be starting with some links for you to follow before moving on to the main meat.

LINKS

http://blog.autism-mom.com/2015/03/the-one-thing/

https://twitter.com/LabourEoin/status/581869391802982401/photo/1

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ending-foodbank-britain-labours-5-point-5394101

https://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/university-a-free-not-a-safe-space/

https://dankeeling1.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/our-unfair-society-and-cavemen/

https://a6er.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/tories-may-not-reveal-details-of-12bn-welfare-cuts-until-after-election-politics-the-guardian/

https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/current-benefit-sanctions-policy-is-bonkers-says-workfare-industrys-top-spokesperson/ A devastating indictment of the current benefit sanctions policy.

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/single-parent-attend-the-jobcentre-and-get-referred-to-social-services-as-a-troubled-family-new-trial-at-ashton-jobcentre/ Britain;s worst jobcentre strikes again.

http://edgeofhumanity.com/2015/01/28/faces-africa/

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/03/leaflet-claims-former-tory-minister-is-a-socialist-chloe-smith/ Tory desperation in the fine city of Norwich.

https://notesfromthenorth75.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/uk-general-election-2015-from-dissolution-onwards/

http://charlottehoatherblog.com/2015/03/29/interview-with-george-todica-pianist A singer interviews a pianist…

http://blog.autism-mom.com/2015/03/there-if-he-needs-it/

http://autisticeyes.com/?p=1085

http://autisticeyes.com/?p=1078

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukips-energy-spokesman-an-idiot-after-urging-people-to-turn-all-their-lights-on-for-earth-hour-10142008.html Just another example of UKIP at their hilarious worst.

http://autism.ehoow.net/?p=115

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-Friend-to-Some-One-Who-Has-Asperger%27s-Syndrome

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/katie-hopkins-reported-to-the-police-for-race-hatred-by-labour-mp-simon-danczuk-after-tweet-about-pakistani-men-10142833.html?dkdk A legendary troll getting her come-uppance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/29/lgbt-wellness-march-27_n_6959078.html

http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/Norfolk-great-sights.aspx Some quality images of Norfolk here.

http://www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/ A campaign website.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-southwark-woods The petition to save Southwark Woods.

http://www.scoop.it/t/autism-by-autism-daily-newscast

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/cameron-and-miliband-should-have-faith-in-their-bolder-policies-10142312.html The Independent on the election.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/03/30/election-choice-isnt-as-stark-as-david-cameron-wants-you-to-think/ Vox Political on the election.

http://wfdrc.tumblr.com/ The online hub of a campaign to save a vital resource for disabled people in the Waltham Forest area.

The first set of pics from today…

Mike Rosen's name on the cover of a book is generally good sign, and this book is even better than that suggests.
Mike Rosen’s name on the cover of a book is generally good sign, and this book is even better than that suggests.

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GENERAL ELECTION 2015

While I thoroughly understand and respect those who wish to vote for a left-wing alternative to labour, I urge care. By voting for a small left-wing organisation you may just end up helping the tories. In my own constituency I am faced with only two remotely palatable choices, labour or green. The fact that labour have selected an excellent candidate in Jo Rust, and the fact the only time this seat has been occupied by anyone other than Henry Bellingham since 1983 was between 1997 and 2001 when labour held it have been sufficient to sway me. I will vote labour and I will do so with a song in my heart, and I want to see a huge turnout at the ballot-boxes in King’s Lynn because that is how we will do our part to ensure that we are not saddled with another five years of Cameron and his cronies.

Here in plain text is my personal voting history in general elections…

MY GENERAL ELECTION VOTING HISTORY

  • 1997: Labour and celebrated long and hard as the government that had been in power all my conscious life was finally booted out.
  • 2001: Socialist Alliance – I was in a rock-solid labour seat at the time and could afford to vote to the left by way of protest.
  • 2005: Respect – see above
  • 2010: Liberal Democrats – my worst ever mistake in a general election, but at the time it seemed sensible. The labour candidate who had been parachuted in from Leicester then torpedoed his own credibility with a speed to rival that of a Ukipper and the only other possibility to unseat the sitting Tory was the one I voted for. Five years of betrayals later I can say with certainty that I will NEVER make that mistake again.
  • 2015: Labour – with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. We have an excellent candidate in Jo Rust, labour took this seat in 1997 (the only period since 1983 when the MP has been other than Henry Bellingham) and can therefore do so again.

Having reached this stage you deserve some more pictures…

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Another vote that will be settled on May 7th - that for Britain's national bird. Here is my candidate.
Another vote that will be settled on May 7th – that for Britain’s national bird. Here is my candidate.

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