A Variety Post

A mixed bag of a post, featuring local politics, libraries, autism, science, nature and photography.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post in three parts. I am going to start by mentioning a local election that took place in my area today and in which I voted, then I will be mentioning an event that will be taking place at Gaywood Library (one of four such establishments in Norfolk that I visit at least semi-regularly) and I will finish up with some links to do with nature which will lead naturally to some of my photographs.

A FORCED BY-ELECTION

The election in which I voted today happened due to the laziness and arrogance of the incumbent councillor, who in spite of living just across the road from the Town Hall never attended meetings.

Four candidates were in the contest, in alphabetical order:

Rob Archer of the Green Party
Francis Bone of the Labour Party
Helen Russell-Johnson of the Liberal Democrats
Mike Taylor of the Conservative Party

In the ordinary course of events my inclination, especially given that the displaced councillor had been from the Labour Party would have been to vote for Mr Archer. However, the Liberal Democrat candidate happens to be my aunt. Therefore I voted for her.

I have started this post by covering this election for two reasons:

  1. I want to make it clear to the Liberal Democrats that I voted for my aunt IN SPITE of the fact that she was representing them not because of it.
  2. Also, just in  case Mr Archer happens to be reading this, I hope he will take it as both explanation and apology for not having voted for him on this occasion.

I conclude this section of the post with a picture of my Political Compass certificate (it is free and does not very long to answer the questions which are used to assign your score):

Political Compass Certificate

THE GAYWOOD LIBRARY EVENT

The event at Gaywood Library is a Business Evening at which I hope it will be possible to raise the subject of the Autism Hour, one of the National Autistic Society’s recent initiatives. I have already confirmed that I will be in attendance. Here are a couple of pictures to end this section:

Personalised SymbolPublic Libraries DisplayPL coinPL stamps

SOME NATURE PIECES

My nature links naturally divide into three segments, with a few photographs of my own forming a fourth. We will start with…

A NEW DINOSAUR FIND

This story courtesy of scienmag.com is about a dinosaur that has been named Albertavenator Curriei (“Currie’s Alberta Hunter”, named in honour of Canadian paleontologist Dr Philip J Currie). Below is a representation of this creature by Oliver Demuth:

IMAGE
Credit: Illustrated by Oliver Demuth. © Oliver Demuth

OPPOSITION TO TROPHY HUNTING

Stan Kroenke, current owner of Arsenal Football Club, has just launched a new TV channel devoted to blood sports. I have two links to share, and some words for Arsenal fans at the end:

  1. A Guardian piece titled “Trophy hunting is vile. Stan Kroenke’s TV channel must be banned” which gives full detail on this.
  2. A change.org petition aimed at the sponsors of Arsenal Football Club asking them to withdraw support and so help force Kroenke out, screenshot below:
    KroenkeOut

For ordinary Arsenal fans my suggestions are simple – boycott all home matches until Kroenke goes, and if you are a season ticket holder return your ticket and demand a full refund, making it clear that you will return if and only if Kroenke is no longer involved with the club.

MORE ON THE FIGHT TO PROTECT TROSA NATURE

This morning I reblogged Part 4 of Anna’s series of “Paradise on Earth” posts highlighting the wildlife that can be seen around Trosa and the Tureholm Peninsula. Since then she has added yet another post to that series, and I include links below:

  1. Part 4, concentrating on birds including the Osprey shown below.
  2. Part 5, also dedicated to birds. I have chosen as my sample image a Linnet.

Finally, to end this section, and the post as a whole we have some of…

SOME OF MY LOCAL NATURE THEMED PICTURES

Mother and childMoorhen3 CormorantsCormorantCormorants at waters edgeCormorants and gullsMoorhen in upper purfleet

Little Egret 1
I close this post by revisiting the Little Egret.

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).

 

 

 

 

Science and Nature

Some of the best science and nature related pieces I have recently come across.

INTRODUCTION

Having started the day with a science related squib I finish it with a full length post concerned with Science and Nature. As this is a post where all the text will be the same colour please not that links are in bold and underlined. Before proceeding here is a list of all of today’s previous posts:

PART ONE: A VARIETY OF SHARES

I am building up for big finish by dealing with everything else first in a single section. I am going to start with…

A REPORT FROM SUMOFUS.ORG

The campaign group sumofus.org have produced a definitive report to the effect that we do not need bee killing pesticides to feed the world. For detailed information on where we are with the fight to save bees please click on the graphic below:

sumofus.jpg

THUNDERCLAP: #GARDENS4NATURE

Yes another thunderclap for those of you who are on social media to support. Click on the screenshot below for more…

Gardens4Nature

THE EDEN PROJECT

The Eden Project in Cornwall, of which I have very fond memories, has just added to its laurels by winning VisitEngland’s award for Inclusive Tourism. Thus I have two links, each accompanied by a screenshot to share:

  1. The disabledgo blog piece detailing this latest success for the Eden Project.
    Eden Project VisitEngland award
  2. The Eden Project’s own website.

A LEGAL WAY PAST PAYWALLS

I am indebted to WEIT for this. It is an app that is free to download. For more details please visit the WEIT article on this:

PART 2: SOME FANTASTIC EVOLUTION MEMES

I found these on twitter by way of their creator, whose twitter name is Lord Cropes. Below is the particular meme which caught my attention:

EvolutioninAction

This is just one of 129 memes of this type that he has created, and you can view all of them by way of the website pinkheretic.com. Here is one more to further whet your appetite:

PART THREE: PHOTOGRAPHS

I finish with some of my own photographs:

Moorhen + chicks
An adult moorhen and two chicks
Moorhen and chicks
Adult and two chicks close together
Moorhen chick
Close up of a chick

DSCN6063DSCN6062DSCN6061

 

Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Spacecraft

A post about a special “Google Doodle” honoring the Cassini Spacecraft as it nears a spectacular death.

INTRODUCTION

This morning when I opened up my gmail I noticed an interesting little graphic in the bottom right corner of my screen. I followed up on it, and the results are below…

THE DOODLE

A full size version of the picture is below (formatted as a link to Google’s own piece):

Cassini Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn and its Rings!

MORE DETAIL COURTESY OF SPACE.COM

There is an article on space.com under the title “Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Probe’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn Dive“, and rather than reinvent the wheel I offer the screenshot below by way of introduction and to close this brief post:

Screenshot 2017-04-27 at 6.56.10 AM

Stuff

Lots of autism related links, some photographs, some science links, some public transport links and a bonus section revealing explosive news concerning Unite leadership challenger Gerard Coyne.

INTRODUCTION

I have many things to share today and some of my own photos to put up. I have a few science and nature type links to put up, a few public transport links, and first and foremost some important stuff about…

AUTISM

For this section of the post I am using #RedInstead of any other colour I might use. Links will appear in bold and underlined. 

My first link comes courtesy of Erin Human, and is titled “What is Ableism?” I am using the feature image of the post as the link.

My next link comes courtesy of ideas.ted.com and is titled “Autistic people are not failed versions of “normal.” They’re different, not less“. Please click on that title to read this important piece in full.

Next we come to a piece which will help to explain why this section is entirely in red, courtesy of AmericanBadassAdvocates, titled “#BOYCOTTAUTISMSPEAKS #REDINSTEAD | MEMES AND THINGS GALLERY FROM AROUND THE WEB”. Please click on the image below, selected from their gallery, to view the full post.

red-graphic-with-redinstead-and-autism-acceptance-graphic-nancy-jobes_660173

Following from this, the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has produced a post titled “ASAN Condemns White House Autism Proclamation” which title really speaks for itself, and serves as the link.

Followers of this site will need no introduction to thesilentwaveblog, featured here with not one but two fantastic posts:

  1. First of all, by way of a counterblast to one of the nastiest phrases used by those who insist on pathologizing autism comes this post, titled “Autism didn’t ‘steal’ me”. Click on the image below to read the piece:
  2. The second offering is titled “Asperger’s / autism, socializing, and respect”, and once again the link is by way of the image below:

Next, and penultimately, we have a newspaper article and a response. The article, published in the Merced Sun-Star under the title “Autism awareness brings dozens of Merced County families to Livingston” can be viewed by clicking the image below:

Two people in a potato sack race during Families With Autism on Sunday April 2, 2017, an event sponsored by the Carlos Vieira Foundation and 51Fifty Energy Drink. The event is for families with autism to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month.

AmericanBadassAdvocates founder Eve Hinson made a brilliant response to this article. A click on the screenshot of her comment below will take you to the blog post in which I first saw it.

EHL

I bring this section to a conclusion by linking to a splendid listing of posts on theme of Autism Acceptance. The post, which you can red by clicking on its title, features a very positive mention of this blog. The title, which renders further comment superfluous, is “In 2017, Autism Awareness Is So Outdated: Demand Autism Acceptance Now“.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

I have decided to break things up a bit in this post by having my photographs in the middle between the Autism related links and the first of my other sets of links, so here they are:

DSCN5364DSCN5365DSCN5366DSCN5367DSCN5368DSCN5369DSCN5370DSCN5371DSCN5373DSCN5374DSCN5375DSCN5378DSCN5381DSCN5383DSCN5387DSCN5388

A COUPLE OF SCIENCE LINKS

Both of these links are to pieces about the same topic, and both come from livescience.com – discoveries of giant sized dinosaur footprints in Australia. The first link is to a piece titled “Photos: Dinosaur Tracks Reveal Australia’s ‘Jurassic Park‘”, and that title serves as the link.

The second link is to a more in depth article about this footprints, titled “Crikey! Refrigerator-Size Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Australia“. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT RELATED LINKS

These three links are all from an organisation I have only recently come across, called Transport For All. I present them as a set of bullet points:

BONUS (VIA SKWAWKBOX) – COYNEGATE

Originally I had not been going to include this, but a development that occurred while this post was under construction caused me to change my plans. First, a quick clarification: The “Coyne” of “Coynegate” is not the eminent evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne who remains a firm favourite of this blog, but the much less well known Gerard Coyne, right-wing challenger for the leadership of Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union.

Mr Coyne has run a dreadful campaign, and the only question would appear to be whether he will finish a distant second or suffer the humiliation of coming third behind left-wing challenger Ian Allinson. The incumbent, Len McCluskey, will retain his position by the proverbial country mile.

However as documented by The Skwawkbox blog, as well as running an appalling campaign, Mr Coyne has (with the assistance of high ranking Labour right-wingers) perpetrated a breach of the Data Protection Act on an enormous scale (involving comfortably enough people’s data for it to be considered a criminal breach, opening the way to a huge fine) and Unite, who might otherwise be considered for legal purposes a receiver of the illegally accessed data have today told him that he is on his own. 

I finish this section, and the post with links to the last two Skwawkbox pieces about this issue:

  1. From this morning, a post titled “BARRISTER: COYNE’S DPA RECKLESSNESS COULD COST HIM – AND UNITE – £MILLIONS”, accessible by clicking on the screenshot below, which introduces said barrister and the first two paragraphs of his opinion:
    barrister
  2. The even more explosive post that went up while this one was under construction, titled “EXCLUSIVE: UNITE WASHES ITS HANDS OF COYNE OVER #DPA BREACH”, accessible by clicking the image below:
    washing hands

These are merely the last two of a substantial number of posts that The Skwawkbox have done about this issue, and I urge you to read some or all of the others as well.