Archive for ‘diary’

May 23, 2016

If you are using California data to claim an autism epidemic, you’re doing it wrong. Or:The great anti-epidemic of intellectual disability in California.

by eirenehogan

This is an excellent post about the so-called ‘autism epidemic’ and how the increase in autism numbers is probably due to an equivalent decrease in the numbers of intellectually disabled (ID), ie, those formerly diagnosed as ID are now diagnosed as autistic. As the understanding of these conditions increases then the various conditions which cause an ‘intellectual disability’ is being teased out, hence the ID diagnosis will decrease but the other conditions will increase. In reality it is still the same number of people, they are just put into different criteria.

Left Brain Right Brain

If you’ve been reading about autism online, you have almost certainly read that autism “rates” are on the rise. But what if I told you that here in California intellectual disability has been dropping for over 20 years?

For many years the mainstay of the “autism is an epidemic” idea was the California Department of Developmental Services data. The CDDS keeps track of how many Californians are getting support under a number of specific disability categories. These data are publicly available (although not as easily available in the past), which makes them an easy source of data.

It’s easy to take a cursory look at the CDDS data and think “these are official data. Look at how much autism has increased!” Or claim “the CDDS only serves “severe” autism, there’s no way they were missed in the past.” You can even find a few publications to cite to back up…

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February 19, 2016

Why ‘I was only joking,’ isn’t good enough

by eirenehogan

‘I was only joking.’  Is that an acceptable explanation for an offensive prejudicial jibe at someone?i was only joking

 

Presumably you say it because you feel upset that the other person thinks you are a bigot and you feel you aren’t.  But instead of examining your own language and ideas, trying to understand their perspective, and learning something from the incident, you reject their comments and views and emotions.

 

You think your feelings are more important than theirs.  You then tell them how they should feel, that they should not be upset and that you should be allowed to say offensive things to them.

 

You are acting like you are the one in control and you are controlling the other’s actions, feelings and thoughts.  You are acting like a bigot.

 

Instead you should listen to the other person, realise you made a mistake in saying the comment. Yu should try and see it from their point of view. Even if you felt it was a joke, they did not.  If any joke upsets someone, then they are fully entitled to feeling that emotion.  If any comment upsets someone, then there must be something in that comment that is upsetting, whether you had intended it to be or not.

 

You are the one who has made the mistake.  You should acknowledge your mistake and apologise.  If you feel you are not a bigot, then do not say things that others may interpret as prejudicial.

January 12, 2016

My journey with David Bowie

by eirenehogan

I was about 13 years old, in 2nd form at high school.  I lived in a small town lost in the ziggy_stardustmiddle of NSW, Australia, lost in the early 70s.  I’d spent some time listening to the Best of the Bee Gees and some Johnny Farnham.  I could remember back to 1970 and the Beatles breaking up.  I sort of knew it was the end of an era.  I had enjoyed Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, but didn’t get inspired by a stubby balding bespeckled piano player.

 

Then my best friend told me about an intriguing song called ‘Space Oddity’.  It was a re-release apparently, of a song from 1969 or 70, back in the walking on the moon era.  Apparently the same guy had a song sitting low on the Australian charts, called ‘Starman’.

 

I was also buying American teenage magazines, full of pictures of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.  Boring!  A small black and white photo with a paragraph or two spoke of this David Bowie and his Starman.

 

So what the heck, I gave him a try.  Bought ‘Space Oddity’, and ‘Starman’.  50c for a single.  I really liked the ‘Starman’ song.  You would be lucky if you ever heard that on a radio station in country NSW in 1973.  And there was no such thing as ‘Countdown’.

 

I then branched out and spent my pocket money on the album that ‘Starman’ came from.  Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.  It was like stepping into a parallel universe.  Another world opened up to me that I have never escaped from. I became a total Ziggy and David Bowie fanatic.  I lived and breathed him.

 

By the time he had finished with his Ziggy era and moved on to Berlin and Heroes, I had branched out to many other artists.  I didn’t ever really take up the music from his later personas, (although I think ‘Heroes’ is one of the greatest songs ever) but I will always cherish my teen years with my David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust obsession.

 

And the result of it?  I not only developed a love of good quality rock music, and a love of creativity, but an awareness of gay liberation and transgender issues.  Sure, it was the era, but David Bowie certainly opened up the doors to an awareness that gender and sexuality can be very fluid, and with that comes a wider understanding that people do not fit into preconceived little boxes according to the narrow views promoted by our commercial world.  People are varied and have a great variety of needs and desires that often take a lot of exploration to understand.

 

Thank you David Bowie for all you have given me.

May 12, 2015

Death of bushranger Ben Hall. 5 May 1865.

by eirenehogan

Every 100 Years - Timeline of Centenaries

Death of bushranger Ben Hall.  5 May 1865.

BenHallPainting

Ben Hall is probably the 2nd most famous bushranger in Australia after Ned Kelly.  He was active during the gold rush of New South Wales in the early 1860s.  This was the region where I grew up, one hundred years later.

Ben Hall was the son of a convict and had a small selection of land in central New South Wales before gold was discovered.  When gold was discovered there was enormous social upheavel and that included pressure on the local farmers to give up land.  Ben Hall got mixed up with the famous professional bushranger, Frank Gardiner, who is believed to have engineered the Eurgowra Gold Escort Coach Robbery.  Frank Gardiner was convicted ultimately, but did his time them emigrated to the US and lived out his life there.

Ben Hall claimed he was not involved, although he did know Frank Gardiner.  He was…

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April 30, 2015

Party to End all Parties – 1999

by eirenehogan

I was singing along with the Prince song, 1999, (or rather, dancing along to it) when I thought about just how long ago that was now, 1999 I mean.  Of course the song itself is much older, released in 1982.  And it certainly reflects that as well, with its images of destruction and that they will all, ‘die any day’.  The song is resplendent with the post-nuke themes of the Cold War II – that is, the Cold War restarted by Ronald Ray-gun and all his Star Wars rhetoric.

But the real 1999 was not like that at all. It was post Cold War; the Berlin Wall was well and truly gone, as was the Soviet Union itself.  Rather than fears of world destruction – apart from the usual doomsday predictions that accompanies all major changes in dates – most people were feeling pretty confident about the future.  The recessions of the 80s were over, 9/11 hadn’t happened so there was no paranoia over middle eastern terrorists, and the Tea Party and modern christian fundamentalists hadn’t got control of the politicians.  There was the environment issue, but we still had some naive hope that the world might actually try and DO something about that.

We were starting a new millenium and there was a lot of hope for a bright and peaceful future.

That is my memory of the feelings of the party to end all parties, turn of the century.

I wonder what others remember about 1999 and the beginning of 2000.

Shirley Strachen from Skyhooks, singing, I am hoping, ‘Party to end all Parties.

April 22, 2015

On this day 100 years ago … or more.

by eirenehogan
ANNIVERSARIES OF EVENTS 100 YEARS AGO OR MORE …
1915 April 25 Anzac landing, Gallipoli. World War I
1215 June 15 signing of Magna Carta, King John of England.
(Julian Calendar.
It  would be June 8 by Gregorian Calendar)
1815 June 18 Battle of Waterloo, against Napoleon
1415 October 25 Battle of Agincourt, the 100 Years War (England and France)
(St Crispins Day)
(Julian Calendar.
It would be October 16 by the Gregorian calendar)

 

April 22, 2015

History of Calendars

by eirenehogan

Here’s a great link for my interest (no, not obsession!) with calendars.

History of Calendars

March 31, 2015

And the Most Excellent History of English Podcast is…

by eirenehogan

Cary's Blog

…The History of English Podcast. Before you snicker at the obviousness of the name, note that it’s not just the first podcast about the history of the English language, as far as I know it’s the only one. Of course, neither being first nor being the only is a guarantee of being good. However, I am here to assure it is an excellent podcast.

History-of-English-Podcast6 The History of English Podcast: available via iTunes, RSS and direct download.

Before I get to the excellent parts, let me dispense with the only two things that might turn off some people – although I personally appreciate them both. First, the host, Kevin Stroud, does repeat some key points. In the reviews of this podcast on iTunes a few people disliked this, finding it tedious at times. I appreciate it though, since it helps me remember the points.

Second, it’s in (deliciously) excruciating detail. He starts…

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January 9, 2015

Bi-centenary year – 2015. Battle of Waterloo

by eirenehogan

Bi-centenary year – 2015. Battle of Waterloo.

December 20, 2013

Yuletide – Pagan Carol – Joy to the World

by eirenehogan

Yuletide – Pagan Carol – Joy to the World.

Historia Incognita

A No.1 Historical Detective Agency : Researching and Writing Forgotten Histories

The Postgrad Chronicles

Medieval History from Alfred the Great to The Battle of Castillon

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