Happy new year everyone. This post will give you a few hints as to what you can look forward to in 2018 on aspi.blog.
ASPI.BLOG STYLE GUIDE
Headings will generally be in a cycle that runs red/green’purple, although this is subject to variation in certain circumstances.
Body text will always be in black unless I am writing about autism, in which case I will use #RedInstead.
When sharing content from another site I will always link to the host site and the specific post and where possible will mention the author by name – such links will be a different colour from regular body text and will be both bold and underlined.
It will be a very rare post that does not congtain photographs.
LIKELY SUBJECTS FOR 2018
I will also probably find other things to blog about in 2018.
A COUPLE OF CLOSING QUESTIONS
Please feel free to use the comments to answer the questions below?
This little problem generated a surprising amount of controversy on brilliant – though it is not particularly difficult, and there were no real grounds for controversy:
I will reveal the solution tomorrow.
BIRD PICTURES FROM KINGS LYNN
We had a bit of sun in King’s Lynn today, but in consequence of it being December it was already virtually level with the horizon by 3PM. However, it being as pleasant as a December day in Blighty can be I did get out a couple of times, and augmented my stock of bird pictures along the way:
If you can think of anything to help the Neurodivergent Rebel expand this list please use the quote out above, which if you click on it will open up an email message addressed to her which you can then complete.
The second piece concerns the make up of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee – the detail contained in the title “EXCL: PRO-CORBYN ASLEF, FBU TO TAKE NEC SEATS” means that at least for the present, and for the very first time, the NEC will have a pro-Corbyn majority. Here is an ASLEF related picture:
The solution is 96% + 96% of 4%. 96% of 4 is (4 x 96)/100 = 3.84. 96 + 3.84 = 99.84, os the answer is that if the death rate in surviving species had been the same as the overall extinction rate then 99.84% of all living things would have died in that event.
For my next puzzle I turn once again to Brilliant and offer up the following:
Welcome to my fourth post about Marxism 2016 (see here, hereand here), focussing on Sunday. Like the previous post, this one will be formatted slightly differently from my usual Marxism posts, again because I wish to focus on two particular meetings.
GETTING THERE AND THE DAY’S PLAN
It being Sunday I was even more generous than usual in allowing for transport problems. In keeping with Sutcliffe’s Second Law of Travelling by Public Transport I therefore had my best journey of the week.
To help explain both my schedule for the day and the rest of this post here is the timetable for Sunday, with my choices marked…
What I am going to do now is write briefly about meetings 1,2 and 5 before covering the two disability meetings in a bit more detail.
MEETINGS 1, 2 AND 5
My first meeting, Kate Hurford on White supremacy and the creation of “race” – where does racism come from? took place in Clarke Hall, which is on level three of the institute. The speaker was not well but still managed to deliver a very good introduction after which there was a lively debate.
For the second meeting I had chosen Shahrar Ali on How left is green politics? Although I am grateful that both he and Natalie Bennett were speaking at this event, and regret that a timetable clash prevented me from hearing Natalie speak I felt that there were important questions not dealt with, such as the roles of greens in office in various parts of the world (like the Aussie green party doing deals with the Liberal National Party, that country’s equivalent of the Tories). However, this caveat aside I enjoyed this meeting, and have no regrets about attending.
I will be covering meetings 3 and 4 in the next section. Meeting 5, for which I had chosen religion was an interesting meeting.
TWO MEETINGS ABOUT DISABILITY
Both of these two meetings, the first a panel meeting and the second the official launch of Roddy Slorach’s book “A Very Capitalist Condition” were excellent and in their different ways inspiring.
The first meeting started with a number of speakers talking about what they are doing, and about various campaigns before then being opened up for discussion.
Roddy’s meeting (we have previously shared a platform at a public meeting in Norwich) began with him introducing ideas that are contained within his book, which I have since read and enjoyed.
I suffered a double frustration because I had carefully planned contributions for both meetings (there are as yet no meetings at Marxism focussing specifically on autism, although this year the Silberman book was on display – if anyone involved in the organisation the event is reading this please take this as a hint) and did not get to make either although I indicated clearly on both occasions.
AN OUTLINE OF THE UNMADE CONTRIBUTIONS
I had planned two different but linked contributions, each tailored to the specific meeting in question. For the first meeting, which focussed exclusively on campaigns My contribution would have covered the following:
A full introduction mentioning my role at NAS West Norfolk and the fact that I am #actuallyautistic and giving details of this blog
A skate through some of NAS West Norfolk’s activities including a brief mention of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference and the upcoming launch of adult activities and the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup.
Finishing with an account of the campaign around the Fermoy unit and our role in it, emphasisng that the Fermoy remains open.
For Roddy’s meeting I would again have given a full introduction before going on to cover:
The envisaged but not yet fully realized sequence of: Awareness – Understanding – Acceptance.
Emphasised that autism is a condition not a disorder – it is not a malfunctiion, it is a different operating system .
Might have produced the line ‘nothing about us without us’
Planned to finish by emphasising that different is not a synonym for lesser.
I finish this section by re-emphasising that these were two excellent meetings.
THE LAST EVENING
I stayed fairly late after the end of the final meeting, and was delighted to make the acquaintance of several people involved in disability activism during this period.
The paperback edition of Faith Versus Fact will be available on May 17, and it will have a fancy gold band on the cover instead of the drabbish band (which was supposed to be shiny gold) that was on the hardcover. It’s about fifteen bucks in the U.S., and you can preorder it from Amazon, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and, as always, the audio version is available from several of those places or from iTunes.
Pre-orders are best for promoting the book, of course, but I’ll be chuffed whenever you buy it. And, as always, if you encounter me in person, I’ll be glad to sign it (or WEIT) for you.
A mention of yesterday;s ODI, leading to an account of a controversial dismissal and some stories about other controversial dismissals. Some good pictures. Finally, some interesting and important links.
As well as my title piece I have some links and some photographs to share.
AUSTRALIAN VICTORY MARRED BY CONTROVERSIAL DISMISSAL
Let me start by saying straight that the dismissal in question had no effect on the outcome of the match – Australia were already in control by then and thoroughly deserved their victory. England one the toss, put Australia in, and Australia ran up 309 from the 49 overs that the match was reduced to.
OBSTRUCTING THE FIELD
Ben Stokes was given out to one cricket’s most obscure modes of dismissal: Obstructing the Field. He deflected with his hand a ball that would have hit his stumps and run him out. I quote from my copy of The Laws of Cricket the paragraph explaining the relevant law:
1. Out Obstructing the field
Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs the or distracts the opposing side by word or action. It shall be regarded as obstruction if either batsman wilfully, and without the consent of the fielding side, strikes the ball with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, after the ball has touched a fielder.
The emphases in the body text of the above quote are mine – in the space of time that it took for the incident to occur it is hard to see how Stokes could have wilfully obstructed the field – and also the hand that struck the ball was not holding the bat and is therefore specifically exempted by the above. Steven Smith, the Australian captain earned few friends by allowing the appeal and dismissal to stand, and even fewer by the arrogant, unthinking post-match interview in which he refused to even countenance the possibility that he might have been wrong.
Of course controversies are nothing new when it comes to clashes between crickets oldest international foes – the first great controversy over a dismissal in an England – Australia match was the one in 1882 that led to the creation of the Ashes, when W.G.Grace ran out Sammy Jones after the latter had left his crease to pat down a divot. Fred Spofforth was particularly incensed, and proceeded to vent his anger by running through the England second innings to win the match. The first post World War II Ashes match featured very controversial moment when Bradman, then on 28 and having looked very unconvincing, sent a ball shoulder-high to Jack Ikin at second slip, and was given not out after England initially thought they had no need to appeal (normally for a high and clear catch you don’t). England’s captain Walter Hammond gave Bradman a pithy summary of his thoughts, saying “A fine bloody way to start a series”. Bradman went on to 187 and Australia to an innings victory. Other more recent cases of controversy include the Dyson run out that was not given at Sydney in the 1982-83 series (when the batsman was so far out of his ground that he was not even in the frame when the wicket was broken), the Wayne Phillips dismissal at Edgbaston in 1985 that ended all hope of Australia saving that match (caught by Gower after he had chopped a ball on to Allan Lamb’s boot and it rebounded up and across to the skipper) and the Ponting dismissal at Trent Bridge in 2005 and that worthy’s subsequent verbal firework display.
I have quite a few links to share today, and they divide into three sections…
I begin with a link to what is in actuality a report of a theft committed brazenly and in broad daylight by a Jobcentre security guard. Having read the post, from samedifference, I have already stated in their comments section the “security guard” who thought it was alright ro behave in this manner needs to be arrested and charged. If I was handling the case, I would run him down to the Police Station, and tell him that either he yields up the phone so that I can be returned to its owner or he goes to court and when he is convicted, as on such ironclad evidence he would have to be, a custodial sentence will be called for. PLEASE READ AND SHARE THE FULL POST
Next courtesy of the Mirror comes this about David Cameron coming under pressure to abolish the bedroom tax, even from his own side. This piece contains a poll asking readers whether the bedroom tax should be abolished, and when I voted the records showed 92% had got the answer right and only 8% had clicked the no button!