Autism, Work and Links

The launch of a new facebook page with NAS West Norfolk connections, a bit about yesterday at work and some very interesting links.

INTRODUCTION

For the benefit of new readers it is worth reminding people that I am both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic. Although the the National Autistic Society (NAS) has some paid staff at its London HQ branches are run by volunteers and branch money comes exclusively from fund-raising. This post therefore starts with some news from NAS West Norfolk that I consider worth sharing before continuing with a bit about yesterday at work which will include pictures and ending with some interesting links.

THE LAUNCH OF A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

NAS West Norfolk’s Sports Co-ordinator, Grant Cotton, creator of the Autism Awareness Cup, has created a new facebook page to link all his activities. It can be viewed by clicking the image below:

YESTERDAY AT JAMES AND SONS

Yesterday was devoted to imaging as many of those lots for the March auction that were not yet images as possible (a catalogue for this auction, taking place on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March, can be viewed here). Most of the imaging I was doing yesterday was of coin lots. Here some pictures…

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This is lot 248 – a seven image gallery for you to look at

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This is lot 249 – a four image gallery.

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From here until lot 124 we are looking at hi-res scans. Although I produced my usual three-image galleries for these coins with on exception I am sharing only the main image.

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The exception – this New Zealand florin from 1934, where I choose to show the close-ups as well.

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Lot 124 – the last of the scans
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Lot 108 – the packaging indicated that three of these coins were special, so I did close ups as well as the main images

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The close ups

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Lot 107 – this time the packaging suggested that two of the coins deserved special attention, so they got it.

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The close ups.

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Lot 222
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Lot 223. This horrible plastic tub did not have a lid, so I rehoused the lot in a nice wooden box with a fully functioning lid (I did a ‘meringue’ style test on it, turning it upside down with the coins inside, making sure that it was not too high above a flat, clear surface when I did so).
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Lot 224.

LINKS

Most of these links are science related, so to clear the decks I shall start with the exception. This comes courtesy of Skwawkbox, and is a devastating indictment of Theresa May and her ‘sweetheart deal’ with Surrey County Council. I agree with the Skwawkbox assessment that this should be considered as resignation matter. As another blogger, Mike Sivier, put it when commenting on this same issue: “a turd by any other name would smell as faecal and this one sgtinks of big fat lie”. To read the Skwawbox piece click here.

SCIENCE 1: FROM LIVESCIENCE

Two very different pieces from the same source here. The first deals with small things (specifically spiders), the second with something very large (a nebula).

  1. Wolf spiders having threesomes (yes, you read that right). Female wolf spiders are noted for eating their mates after copulation, and it may be that if two males tackle the same female there is more chance of one of them not being cannibalised. For the full story please click on the image below:
  2. This piece is about the discovery of a huge new nebula and the attendant mystery of what its light source might be. For the full story click on the image below:

SCIENCE 2: WEIT (WITH AN ASSIST FROM YOU TUBE)

It is no great secret that I am a huge fan both of Jerry Coyne’s books (Why Evolution is True and Faith Versus Fact) and of the associated blog, whyevolutionistrueThus I am delighted to share with you the fact that a video series on  chapter one of Why Evolution Is True is now being created. Episodes 1-3 are available to watch (and highly recommended by this blogger!), and according to WEIT’s own piece about the series there are two more episodes to come (yay!). I have embedded the videos below (they run in sequence) – enjoy!

Musical Keys

An illustrated account of yesterdays Musical Keys session at the Scout Hut, Beulah Street.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day for me and others associated with the NAS West Norfolk branch. Attendances were somewhat affected by the fact that an autism friendly event was also taking place at Norwich Castle. This post briefly covers the session I attended, from 4PM to 5PM (as usual there had been an earlier session for the younger ones).

GETTING THERE

I left my flat a little earlier than usual, opting for the Bawsey Drain route. I was carrying a guitar with me to donate to the group always assuming that it could be restored to usable condition (it was a long time since it had last been used). I picked up a few pictures along the way…

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THE SESSION ITSELF

John who runs the sessions confirmed that he could make the guitar usable again (it would need new strings but was still capable of generating good sound). Once the session started I found myself using a computer program called Scratch to generate notes. Each note is assigned a numerical value by the program, and you the operator then assign each of these numerical values to a button on the keyboard…

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My screen once I had assigned one octave worth of notes to various keys – this works on the ‘click and drag’ principle – the orange tabs at the top describe events, and the purple tabs describe sounds.
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The full list of numerical note values.

The default instrument is a piano, but there is a range of some 25 instruments available – I eventually settled on clarinet as my instrument of choice. There are then a whole range of other options available, such as programming the cat to move while you are playing notes and even it draw lines as it moves. Here are a few more pictures.

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I very much enjoyed this session, and I think this makes an excellent addition to real instruments. Although it was dark by the time I walked back, just before leaving I spotted an eight-legged friend…

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I got three images of this spider…

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Chris Packham and the Foxhunters

An account with links to the three source pieces of the vile abuse of Chris Packham by the pro-hunting lobby and his dignified response to it.

INTRODUCTION

I live with Asperger’s Syndrome, have previously had mental health issues including depression and am a nature lover. Chris Packham presents nature programs on TV, has Asperger’s Syndrome and has had mental health problems. Mr Packham has recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression, and this is where the story starts…

A TWEET AND RETWEET

Yesterday morning Hunting Solutions put out the following tweet, quoted in his own piece immediately after it had happened by Miles King on anewnatureblog:

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This tweet was retweeted by Nicholas Soames, a politician whose own party leader has spoken of the need to end the stigma attached to mental health. As Miles King points out, given the hysterical reaction to Naz Shah having liked an offensive facebook post before she became an MP, you might think that this could cause more trouble for the party concerned. When Miles King challenged Soames about the retweet, rather than attempting to defend himself Soames blocked King. Please follow the link I provided near the top of this section and read that post in full before proceeding.

PACKHAM’S OWN RESPONSE

Chris Packham provided what was in the circumstances a remarkably restrained response in the form of an interview that was published on Huffington Post, which I urge you to read in full.

THE FOLLOW UP THIS MORNING

Miles King on anewnatureblog returned to the fray this morning because Hunting Solutions had provided a response of sorts. As this image, taken from the Miles King piece, which I urge to read in full shows it was exactly what we might expect from these people:

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This is classic victim blaming of the sort that Tories specialize in. I will conclude this section with my own comments on Miles King’s posts which I once more urge you to read in full:

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and who has experience of depression I am in no doubt that the both the original tweet and Soames’ retweet were bang out of order, and in the continuing absence of an apology there is no doubt to give these people the benefit of. The use of the word “nutjob” in the context Mr Packham having recently gone public about his Asperger’s and depression is reminiscent of the the prolonged series of smears that functioned (thankfully and deservedly very badly) as Zac Goldsmith’s London Mayoral campaign.

And Miles’ response to that comment:

thanks Thomas – a good analogy. The hunting community, feeling threatened, are resorting to a smear campaign against high profile people like Chris Packham.

My comment on the second post:

Excellent follow up piece. I would take your reasoning re the comments about foxhunting being psychopathic a small step further and say that for true equivalence between the remarks Packham would have to labelled not just foxhunters as a group (which as you point out he did not) but an individual named foxhunter as a psychopath. As for the ‘if he hadn’t criticised us we would not have said it’ “defense”, that is simply another example of a favourite tactic of these kind of people – victim blaming.

I conclude this post with some photos…

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An eight-legged friend

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Gibraltar £1
I noticed something about this £1 coin that caused me to examine it closely – just as well I did, as it is Gibraltarian and would probably not have been accepted by the bus driver!
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Close up of the reverse
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Close up of the obverse

 

 

Summer is Here and Other Stuff

A mention of politics, cricket and summer being here. Some good photographs as well.

INTRODUCTION

I have various things to cover, and of course pictures to share. I will work up to the pictures, covering everything else first…

LOCAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS

The only vote I was able to take part in was for Norfolk Police & Crime Commissioner, and although disappointed that it went the way of the Tory (by a small margin from Labour) I was pleased to see the incumbent, Mr Bett, finish a humiliating fourth.

THE LONDON MAYORAL ELECTIONS

The news from these was nearly all good. Sadiq Khan won with a record vote for any candidate in any London Mayoral election. This has probably had the added beneficial effect of ensuring that no further campaigns will be conducted under the malign influence of Sir Lizard of Oz (yes, even as the latest effort to be besmirched by his dirty pawprints was unravelling in spectacular fashion Mr Cameron was orchestrating a knighthood for him) aka Linton Crosby. Sian Berry was rewarded for the excellence of her own campaign with third place, a record vote for a Green candidate and election to the Greater London Assembly along with Caroline Russell, while Shahrar Ali just missed out on becoming a third Green GLA member.

THE OVERALL PICTURE

In the first set of elections since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader his party won 47% of the council seats contested while also succeeding in in two mayoral elections (Bristol as well as London) and two by-elections. For comparison during the first set of elections contested after the election as leader of Anthony B Liar Labout won 46% of the council seats contested, while in those days there were no mayoral elections.

CRICKET

The English cricket season is well under way, with some heavy scoring going on all over the country. May 9th 1895 was the day on which W G Grace played his first first class innings of that season, and just 21 days later he reached 1,000 runs for the season, the first time that feat had been achieved in May (the strict 1,000 in May has since been emulated only by Wally Hammond and Charlie Hallows, although Tom Hayward, Don Bradman (twice), Bill Edrich, Glenn Turner and Graeme Hick all reached 1,000 for the English season before June, having played some innings in April).

SUMMER IS HERE

After a somewhat patchy spring, summer appears to have started early. For the second straight day I am in shorts and t-shirt. Here are some summery photographs to end the post (in tiled mosic form – click on an individual to view at full size)…

Website Sorted

INTRODUCTION

As well as the title piece, I have some good pictures from in and around King’s Lynn to share. These date from Monday, when I attended an NAS West Norfolk coffee morning.

HOME PAGE CLEAN

I have modified the home page on www.londontu.be so that the original stuff that came with the Hathor Theme that I selected is no longer on show, replaced with my own stuff.

PICTURES

With a bit of moisture to highlight the silk, Monday was an excellent today for photographing spiders webs – and King’s Lynn  rivals Mirkwood for quantity of spider webs if not for size or scariness of occupants thereof…

This was the first of many - and only just outside my door.
This was the first of many – and only just outside my door.
Partway down the first of two flights of stairs between my flat and the street.
Partway down the first of two flights of stairs between my flat and the street.
The remaining webs were all alongside Bawsey drain.
The remaining webs were all alongside Bawsey drain.

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Neither were the birds at all put off by the weather…

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A Bloggers Bazaar

I will be starting as usual by sharing some important links, before moving on to some other stuff…

LINKS

To start with, a reminder that the autistic community is still awaiting an apology from Katie Hopkins. On this topic, a prominent supporter of our campaign is Lucy Hawking, daughter of Stephen and mother of an autistic child – check out this piece.

Next comes some information about bumble bees.

My penultimate link is to a list of demands to the next government on behalf of disabled people.

Last of all, courtesy of the Anti-bulliying Alliance comes a suggested anti-bullying charter for use in schools.

PICTORIAL INTERLUDE

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Close up of a swimming cormorant.
Close up of a swimming cormorant.

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MIDDLESEX SECOND INNINGS WOES

Middlesex demonstrated in their match against Durham that batting again rather than enforcing the follow-on is no guarantee against a disastrous collapse. Middlesex reached their eventual 2nd innings total of 83 only because Tim Murtagh, batting at no 11 and suffering with a hamstring strain top scored. Chris Rushworth and John Hastings each took five wickets in this remarkable display.

I was sitting outside listening to the commentary on this and periodically enhancing my collection of photos…

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My best aeroplane shot yet...
My best aeroplane shot yet…
...with this one a decent second
…with this one a decent second

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