Cricket, Petitions and Photographs

Some thoughts about the early stages of the 2nd Ashes test at Lord’s, two petitions and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is mainly a sharing approach, but I have some comments about the test match that has finally gotten underway a day late as well.

BURNS CONTINUES TO ANSWER CRITICS

What should have been day 1 of the second Ashes test at Lord’s was yesterday washed away without the toss even taking place (such are the vagaries of English late summer weather!) but today we have action. Australia won the toss and decided to field (a decision on the borderline between confident and arrogant, based on attempting to bat only once in between two England innings). England a currently 112-3, Jason Roy having fallen to the third ball of the match, Joe Root having also fallen cheaply and Denly having done a “Vince” with a nicely made 30. Rory Burns is still there, currently 53 not out, with Buttler at the other end. This is an impressive follow-up to his first innings ton at Edgbaston after commentators had been unanimous in not thinking him worth persevering with. Having supported him all the way through since I first mentioned him when the Cook/ Jennings pairing was due to split due to continuous failings by the latter and impending (now confirmed) retirement by the former, I am especially pleased that he has picked an Ashes series to announced his arrival at this level (not quite on a par with the great opener who shares my surname, whose first four Ashes knocks were 59, 115, 176 and 127 – in two matches that England lost). Burns has just gone as I write this, but it is still a fine effort by him. England are now 116-4, and need a big partnership. Stokes has joined Buttler, with Bairstow, Woakes, Archer, Broad and Leach to come (I suspect that Leach, given his recent batting at Lord’s may get a promotion from his official no 11 slot, but we shall see). Only one team has ever come back from losing the first two matches to win a five match series, Don Bradmans 1936-7 Aussies, when the captain himself scored 270, 212 and 169 in those last three matches, so a collapse now would be doubly bad news (the 1894-5 Aussies levelled at 2-2 after losing the first two, but then Andrew Stoddart’s England rallied to win the decider and take the series).

PETITIONS

I have two petitions to share here:

1. A company called Adani are seeking to build a huge and very dirty coalmine near the Great Barrier Reef. Sum Of Us have a petition up and running about this atrocity and I urge you to sign and share it by clicking the screenshot below.

AIG

2. My second petition is open only to UK based signatories. The grouse shooting season, a source of shame to most of us Brits who do not participate in it, is underway, and a petition is running (and has already attracted over 40,000 signatures) to ban the practice. Please sign and share, clicking the screenshot below:

BDG

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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More shots from my favourite place for observing butterflies

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These last shots were taken before and after physio at Tapping House today.

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100 Cricketers – Second XI – The Remaining Specialist Batters

A continuation of my “100 cricketers series”, with links to three important petitions – if you are able please sign and share them.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my “100 cricketers” series, in which I deal with the remaining specialist batters from my second XI. My most recent post in the series dealt with the all-rounders so as to tie in with International Women’s Day. After the cricket part of the post there will be some photographs, and then some links to petitions that I am suffiiciently concerned about to share on this blog. The next post in this series will feature the bowlers from second XI and introduce the third XI in batting order.

SACHIN TENDULKAR

I first saw Sachin Tendulkar as a teenager in the 1990 series in England, in the course of which he racked up a century. He also took an amazing catch in that series, making a lot of ground before holding on to the chance. 

His amazing subsequent career is well documented. The greatest batter in the history of cricket, Sir Donald Bradman, publicly rated Tendulkar as being, along with Brian Lara, the best of the moderns, and also noted similarities between himself and Tendulkar, his attention having been drawn to them by Lady Bradman, while they were watching him on television.

At the moment Tendulkar is the only person to have scored 100 international hundreds. As a a testament to his longevity he also stands alone in having played 200 test matches. 463 ODI appearances and a T20 in addition mean that approximately four years of his life have been spent in international cricket action.

Although cross-era comparisons are generally invidious (Bradman’s colossal – 40 runs per innings – margin of superiority over the rest making him an exception) I feel sure that Tendulkar would have had had an outstanding record whatever era he had been born into and whichever kind of bowling he had had encountered.

ALLAN BORDER

An outstanding captain of Australia over many years, and a great left-handed batter whose career had two distinct portions.

For the first decade of his long international career Australia were a struggling outfit. He started in the 1978-9 Ashes series, won 5-1 by Mike Brearley’s England, and it was not until their unexpected triumph in the 1987-8 World Cup that things really started going right for Australia. In these circumstances Border was very often battling to save his side from defeat, and many of his innings were through sheer force of circumstance defensive in nature, batting as long as possible.

In the latter years of his career when he was finally in charge of a strong, confident side he showed that given the opportunity he had plenty of strokes and was willing to play them – in all of his last three Ashes series (1989, won 4-0 by Australia and would have been 6-0 but for major rain interruptions in the other two matches, 1990-1 and 1993 he batted in attacking fashion at every opportunity).

Of the four long-serving Australian captains of my lifetime I rate Border a very clear first – looking at their records in this specific role we have:

  • Allan Border – took over a weak, struggling side that had little idea of how to win, and left for his successor a side who were by then acknowledged as the best in the world.
  • Mark Taylor – took over from Border and maintained Australia’s position at the top of the cricket world.
  • Steve Waugh – taking over the captaincy of a team who were already acknowledged as champions he made them even better, a highlight of his term of office being a record run of 16 consecutive test match victories.
  • Ricky Ponting – in his first few years in charge he won a lot of matches with the remnants of the great Australian side of the previous era, but he lost three Ashes series out of four, including one on home soil in which his team were three times defeated by innings margins. 

In this XI, where the batting is overall exceedingly attacking in nature, Border is the person who in the event of bad start could dig the team out of a hole, while at the same time if the innings is going well he would be perfectly capable of stepping on the accelerator. His presence also means that there is a left-hander in the middle order, valuable from the point of view of giving the bowling side a different challenge. Finally, although not by any means a major part of his game his occasional slow left-arm did once win his country a test match against the West Indies (11 wickets in the match, including 7-46 in the first innings), and his safe hands (156 catches pouched in the course of his 156 test matches) would also be useful.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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A pair of mallards whose Sunday morning walk took them past my front window – you can just see the tail feathers of the female as she heads into the lavender.
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The male, keeping an eye on his companion.

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A couple of close-ups of the female as she emerges.

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PETITIONS

First up, a petition on 38 Degrees produced by the Grenfell survivors, calling on the government to make our housing system work for tenants. As someone who has recently moved into social housing through force of circumstance this is particularly important to me. To sign and share please click on the screenshot below.

Grenfell petition

My final two petitions are both on the official UK Government petition site, meaning that only UK citizens are allowed to sign. The first is a call for increased funding for Children’s Mental Health. If you are able and willing to sign and share please click the screenshot below:

Childrens Mental Health

Last and by no means least is a petition calling for police officers to be given mandatory autism training, something that I as an autistic person consider to be very important. Again, please click the screenshot below to sign and share.

police autism training

Standing Up For Nature

Sharing a number of nature themed campaigns.

INTRODUCTION

My twitter feed today has had many links to campaigns relating to nature, so I have decided to share the featured campaigns here as well. First to set the scene here is…

AN OPEN LETTER TO LEADERS

I shared this when Anna first posted it but it deserves further exposure, and ties in beautifully to the theme of this post (nb all screenshots in this post are formatted as links – click on them to visit the originals). 

NATURE THEMED CAMPAIGNS

  1. Protect Crayford Marshes:
    Save Crayford Marshes

2. Save the trees at Roath Mill and Roath Brook Gardens:
Save Roath Brook Wood

3. Save our Forests:

Save Our Foests

4.Call for an immediate ban on South Africa’s trade in lion body parts:
Ban trade in lion parts

5. Save Gwent Levels:
Stop M4 expansion

6. Save Arundel’s Countryside from Bypass Ruin. This one is a crowdfunder, but since I do not have money to give I am settling for giving it wider exposure:
Stop the Arundel bypass

7. Last but by no means least comes a call to ban the vile practice of trophy hunting:
Ban Trophy Hunting

Hat tip: @team4nature twitter account.

Come On Aldi, Show Some Tree-spect

A petition, a Thunderclap, a message to Aldi, some photographs, and a couple of little snippets.

INTRODUCTION

Although there will be a couple of minor items tacked on that the end, this post is mainly devoted to a thunderclap and a petition, both regarding an area of woodland that adjoins a Nature Reserve and is under threat from plans by supermarket chain Aldi. 

SAVE QUESLETT TREES

There are two parts to this, starting with…

A THUNDERCLAP

To participate in the Thunderclap you need to be on facebook and/or twitter and/or tumblr. Below is a screenshot formatted as a link:

ATC

Linked to the Thunderclap is a petition, a screenshot of which appears below, again formatted as a link.

QTP

The main business of this post ends with…

A MESSAGE TO ALDI (AND PLANNING AUTHORITIES)

I feel very strongly that Aldi should accept the initial negative decision, especially given how many supermarkets (including two other Aldis) are located close to this area already. I am a fairly regular customer of Aldi stores in my own part of the world, but that may not remain the case if Aldi do not reconsider their stance over this. I conclude with some advice for all involved in this decision to consider, tendered in the form of a picture created by Anna from a comment I posted on her blog:

Nature Meme.jpg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of my recent photographs, before I finish off with a couple of minor items. 

Black backed gullsBird gatheringBird gathering IIelusive squirrelBird gathering IIISquirrelSmall waderBirds in treeBirds on a wallbird laden treeCormorant MDCLXVICormorant MDCLXVIISea BirdsWest Lynn ChurchCormorant and gullsRedshankThree gull specieslesser black backed gullsBlack headed gullHerring gullSmall bird in valley

A COUPLE OF NUGGETS

The last few days have seen two numbers come up for me:

  • 300 – the number of successive days on which I have solved at least one of brilliant’s problems – here is one of them for you:
    triprob
  • 900 – my Lumosity Performance Index has just exceeded this value (after this morning’s workout it now stands at 917. Below, concluding this post is first the breakdown of my LPI, and second a little puzzle for you:
    LPI

    Ebbinghaus
    Solutions will be in a future post.

 

Autism Events II: Norwich part 2

The second in my series of posts about Autism events I have attended recently.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this second in my series of posts about recent Autism events that I have attended. The opening piece can be seen hereBefore moving on to the main body of the post I include a petition from today. It was posted on change.org, and the screenshot below contains details and functions as a link:

DallasBpetition

THE STORY SO FAR

During the first post in this series I set out what the series was going to be about, put up a mini-time line of the days covered and started my coverage of the Autism Anglia Information Sharing Event, reaching the end of Sian Hutchings’ talk. This post takes us up to the end of that event. Here are a few pictures from that event:

Cupola
This cupola caught my attention.
Research stand
One of the stalls I visited – we had a very positive little discussion
Elephant 1
This elephant is a legacy from what was once a Norwich display of the creatures.

Elephant 2

NADV
Scope and NAS West Norfolk are working together on various projects, and this wristband is a product of one of them (there is also a matching key fob and small button badge). The message, conveyed simply and powerfully is “NOT ALL DISABILITIES ARE VISIBLE”

SESSION 3: ACTIVATE

Just in case anyone was wondering this has nothing to do with the vile Tory offshoot of the same name (an organisation of such vileness that it is known in certain circles as “Active Hate”). This Activate is a very different organisation, devoted to helping vulnerable people. Here are a couple of pictures:

ActivatePSR

This was a very interesting session and I went to lunch in good spirits. The lunch was excellent – decent sandwiches, crisps and a drink. Then I had one more session to attend.

SESSION 4: AMANDA HIND

Amanda Hind’s session, on Puberty, Sex and Relationships Education and Autistic Girls, was packed full of interesting and important stuff. Before letting my photographs take over, I will say that she is an autistic mother of two autistic children (it was actually her son’s diagnosis that prompted her to investigate on her own behalf) and that she is a fantastic speaker. At her request I am only displaying a handful of  the slides…

Stage 2
The Stage 2 Auditorium, Norwich Theatre Royal
Hexagonal array of bulbs
Using the zoom lens to capture the hexagonal array of bulbs in the overhead lights
Amanda Hind
The title slide.
About Me
The first three slides of the title slide cover the ‘back story’

diagnosisdaughter's diagnosis

Amanda speaking
Amanda Hind speaking

Autistic girlsPeer PressureSoc skills

FINAL ACT – FEEDBACK

One of the things contained in the packs we were each given on arrival at the venue was a feedback form. I filled mine in after this last talk, and suffice to say it was all positive. As I was staying in Norwich for an evening meeting I then decamped to the Millennium Library, very close to the theatre, to unwind for a bit, and prepare myself for the evening. All in all this was a very positive experience, and I left the event in a very good (if tired) frame of mind.

Midweek Medley II

A mixed bag of bits and pieces from around the net and some of my own stuff, including photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Yes folks it is time for sharing post, including some of my own photographs. I have a lot of interesting stuff to share, starting with…

AN ANNIVERSARY OF SHAME

The bodytext of this section is in #RedInstead because it relates to Autism. To be exact, today marks 20 years since Andrew Wakefield published his “research” indicating a link between autism and vaccines. One impact his decision to go straight to the press without having his “research” peer reviewed first (it was badly flawed, and that is being kind) had was to cause measles to become a significant factor in parts of the UK as parents declined to have their children vaccinated. There can be no comparison between autism (a neurological DIFFERENCE – and don’t forget that different is not a synonym for lesser) and measles (a dangerous illness). However, in the minds of some parents, fear of autism has been sufficient to prevent them from vaccinating. Mr Wakefield has since decamped to the US (Texas to be exact), and he has just weighed in on an election in his new home, supporting the challenger against the current incumbent, republican Sarah Davis, who has supported vaccines. I am not USian, nor based in the area where this election is taking place, but if there is anything that could induce to me to vote for a republican it would the likes of Wakefield urging a vote for their opponent.

I end this section with some links:

SOME OTHER SHARES FROM THE WEB

I start with a link to a piece by John Jonasson of The Photo Bloggers, titled “En dag med uttrarna – A day with the otters” – as an aperitif here is a picture showing two of the creatures:

Having just celebrated nature with the above link, here from closer to home, is a link to a petition by the Green Party calling for a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century. Please sign and share.

I finish this mini section back here in Norfolk, bringing up a topic close to my heart. Stagecoach are closing their King’s Lynn depot on April 30th (a king sized betrayal of Norfolk Green, the company they bought to get that depot) and will not be running any Norfolk routes thereafter. This leaves Konect, Lynx Buses, First, Sanders Coach Services and West Norfolk Community Transport to pick up the pieces. Our bus routes are very important to us, not least since thanks to Dr Beeching our county has no train routes to speak of. Thus I bring you a 38 Degrees petition calling on the council to work with these companies to ensure that the Coasthopper service (under threat of being entirely shut down) keeps running. Please sign and share the petition, via the screenshot below:

coasthopper

AUTISM RELATED SHARES

Autistic Bill of Rights.pub

There have been two posts created by people responding to my Sunshine Blogger Award nominations. Anna’s response which handles the entire brief is also titled “Sunshine Blogger Award” and is an excellent effort. I have already reblogged stimtheline’s Sunshine Blogger Questions“, which does a magnificent job of answering my questions, and I share it once again now. 

The Autism Women’s Network have recently produced a piece titled “Is Autism Speaks a Hate Group?” (spoiler: the answer is yes).

I end with a link to the petition to save the Morley House Respite Unit, which now has just over 3,200 signatures – please sign and share!

A MEETING

This meeting will be taking place in Norwich on the evening of March 8th (I will be in Norwich that day on behalf of NAS West Norfolk and will stay on for the meeting):

Norwich Trans liberation 2018 A6 cmyk

A TEASER

This is not too difficult IMO, from my regular source, brilliant.org:

the cube

PHOTOGRAPHS

These are all from Monday:

BriggsSun on waterCormorantsCormorantCormorants and gullsNeck StretchflappingGreat OuseCormoranr vignettedMoorhenfemale blackbirdMoon 1Moon 2CMsCM x 5CM brownCM x 3CM whiteCM black

 

Monday Medley III

Some technical tips prompted by a post on Yarnandpencil, a wide variety of shares from around the web, including a new facebook page and a petition, a solution to a teaser and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I have various things to share with you, and some new pictures to post. I am going to start with…

BLOGGING HINTS: HOW TO REBLOG WITHOUT A REBLOG BUTTON

This section was prompted by a post put up by Tracy at Yarn and Pencil this morning titled “More WP problems“, and has developed from a comment I posted there. One of the problems she raised there was the ‘disappearing reblog button’ that others have commented on. 

The process for reblogging when there is no reblog button is:

  1. Start a new post as though you were going to create something of your own. 
  2. Link to the site on which you found the piece you intend to share and of course to the piece itself (use the actual title of the piece for this).
  3. Select a paragraph and/or an image from the original to serve as an ‘appetiser’ (making sure to differentiate the text from your own and/or to ensure that the image is clearly identified as the other person’s work)
  4. If you are using a whole post just to link to one piece turn the comments of on your post – you want to people to visit the original and post any comments they might have there. This last point leads me on to…

A QUICK GUIDE TO TURNING OFF COMMENTS

If your window when creating a post looks like mine, then on the right as you look is a panel of tabs as follows:

MO

Open the ‘More Options’ tab, as indicated by the red arrow above, and you will see…

Comments Allowed

…Down near the bottom are two check boxes and you want to uncheck the top one of the two where it says “Allow Comments”. Instead of two ticks, shown above, you want it to look like:

Comments Not Allowed

OTHER POSTS FROM HERE AND THERE

I am going to open this section with a couple of links about neurodiversity. To set the scene, a post from Neurocosmopolitanism titled “Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions“. As an ‘appetiser’ I offer you this section on the Neurodiversity Paradigm:

1.) Neurodiversity is a natural and valuable form of human diversity.

2.) The idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain or mind, or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning, is a culturally constructed fiction, no more valid (and no more conducive to a healthy society or to the overall well-being of humanity) than the idea that there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture.

3.) The social dynamics that manifest in regard to neurodiversity are similar to the social dynamics that manifest in regard to other forms of human diversity (e.g., diversity of ethnicity, gender, or culture). These dynamics include the dynamics of social power inequalities, and also the dynamics by which diversity, when embraced, acts as a source of creative potential.

This leads on to an article from Harvard Business Review titled “Neurodiversity as a Competitiuve Advantage“. I give you the opening two paragraphs:

Meet John. He’s a wizard at data analytics. His combination of mathematical ability and software development skill is highly unusual. His CV features two master’s degrees, both with honors. An obvious guy for a tech company to scoop up, right?

Until recently, no. Before John ran across a firm that had begun experimenting with alternative approaches to talent, he was unemployed for more than two years. Other companies he had talked with badly needed the skills he possessed. But he couldn’t make it through the hiring process.

My next offering comes from the Neurodivergent Rebel and is titled “The Problem with Autism“. This time I provide the closing words of the piece:

If the narrative around autism changed to one of true acceptance and kindness, would things be different? If we show people how to believe in themselves, will it make it easier for them to succeed?

The problem with autism isn’t autism. It’s society’s attitude that autism is wrong.

Then we come to a piece on to aspie or not to aspie titled “To Autism With Love“, from which I give you the conclusion:

In fact, my dear, dear friend, Autism, I love you.

And I am grateful for who you have made me. And that you are there for me when I need you. 

Let’s start our journey again, and this time I promise, I’ll try my best to understand what you need from me. Take my hand and let’s tackle the world together. 

But please do try and understand what I have to give. That I have limits. 

And, dear kind, confusing, Autism, remember this: I love you. 

No matter what. Always, forever and a day. 

Sincerely,

An aspie.

This next link is for those of you who use social media. Libby, who tweets as @LibbyAutism, has expanded her social media profile by creating a facebook page called Liberty – living with autism. Please visit and like the page if you can.

Finally, to end this section, a reminder about the petition on 38 Degrees to save the Respite Unit at Morley House. This petiton, screenshotted below, is now on just over 3,000 signatures, and I urge you all to help us increase that number:

MHP

SOLUTION TO SATURDAY’S TEASER

Here is the problem I set you on Saturday:

7

Here is the answer, followed by a published solution:

7Csol

This is Stephen Mellor’s highly admired solution:

SMellorsol

PHOTOGRAPHS

Well done those of you who have made it to this point! We end, as usual, with some recent photographs:

Fungus
We start with a fungus
Flowers III
Then we have three flower pictures

Flowers IIFlowers I

Blackbird CLXI
Then we are on birds.

Blackbird IIblackbirdCrowsgull CLXgulls

House Sparrow
Both this pictyure and the next feature a House Sparrow – a common bird, but not always easy to photograph because it is very small.

House Sparrow IIMoorhen CLX

Swimming Cormorant X
We end with two pictures of swimming cormorants.

Swimming Cormorant XI