Category Archives: Uncategorized

Navigating Love and Autism

Navigating Love and Autism (NY Times)

Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students living in Greenfield, Mass., discuss how aspergers/autism affects their lives and relationship.

There’s Never a Justification for Bullying

I posted a reference on G+ to an article about a Michigan anti-bullying law (named after a boy who committed suicide) where republicans effectively provide a loophole if the abuse happens on the basis of “genuine moral or religious conviction”. The text is:

“This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian.”

One comment approached the issue by questioning the definition of bullying and tying their position to their religious beliefs, and that’s prompted me to post this blog entry. I reckon the definition of bullying is fairly clear and simple. I phrase it something like this:

Bullying is ongoing psychological, verbal and physical abuse against a person and their environment and property.

I didn’t look that up anywhere, it’s just loosely based on my own experience. I think this sums it up concisely, but feel free to comment with improvements!

Even if you don’t agree with people being gay, or atheist, or you reckon reds look funny, or whatever, I’d urge anyone to think long and hard before being in favour of laws like the Michigan one – you’re as different as the next person, and one day you’ll become the victim yourself.

Unlikely? Let’s look forward a bit: considering the current Christian fundamentalist extremism in the US, I consider it quite likely that at some point there’ll be a backlash and Christians will find themselves persecuted – let’s please have laws in place that protect them then as well as other people now. So even on a purely selfish level, you don’t want to gamble on this.

Someone’s right to expression and beliefs have nothing to do with it. We simply don’t want people (kids or adults!) persecuted in their school, work, sport, home or social environment whether they’re black, gay, use a wheelchair, wear glasses, have red hair, are socially awkward, believe in a god or faeries, or in fact happen to not believe in something someone else does believe in.

What’s the point of being different if we can’t live together?

R U OK day

Put-Down Humour

while it may provide a cheap thrill in the short term rastreamento correios It’s a Wrap The Dressing Gown Inspired Coat

One of my favorite comfort foods is homemade soup etech partsAnalysts Split On Gap’s New CEO

8 Common Myths About Dehydration

The Right Lazy

You know how you sometimes feel lazy, plus guilty about same?

But when you think about it, I reckon some “lazy” is more than ok… why not optimise some things for convenience, saving time/energy for other things? That’s worthwhile. Example:

  • I bake my own bread because it tastes better, my daughter loves it, it doesn’t contain any nasty additives, and as a nice sideline it actually works out much cheaper with more nutrition.
  • I use a breadmaker, because I really can’t be stuffed doing all the kneading. Happily lazy there.
  • I don’t use bread mix, because putting ingredients in the bread pan takes only a few minutes anyway. The biggest effort is actually cleaning the bread pan afterward so no difference there. I big jars with a few types of flour, a box with various seeds and grains and such that I add to some breads, linseed in the fridge, and dried yeast in the freezer. Easy-as.

Keep on moving

I know when I’m feeling down because this little part of my brain starts questioning why I’m doing anything.  Why go out and visit friends when I don’t really feel like it?  Why do any exercise when I feel tired?  Why get all dressed up to go to work?  Why get up at all?  Why…

Once I recognise this symptom it’s often difficult to fight.  I have a somewhat philosophical nature and I like asking those big questions of “what is the right thing to do” and “where should we be going”.  It’s easy to get a kind of choice paralysis when asking these questions, and if one is definitely staring down the barrel of a big question – should I disagree with someone I love, should I say something against a person that everyone else agrees with, should I complain about someone else’s misplaced generosity – then it can be really difficult to feel like you can move on.  And that’s when you start questioning why you should get out of bed.

It took me a while to feel like I could just ignore some of those questions and move on.  But I finally realised that I couldn’t let everything stall just because I can’t answer a question for which, almost by definition, there is no ‘right’ answer.  By getting on with the things we do every day – eating, doing the chores, getting out, exercising – we actually give our brains space to process some of those hard questions.  And in the process we almost invariably get some more input that adds valuable information.

By getting up and getting on with things, we are not stalling or putting off the question.  We are adding to our perception and improving our ability to choose.  Stalling is lying in bed doing nothing.  And sometimes things will solve themselves naturally without our intervention.  Most importantly, we keep to our comfortable routines, we keep on the move for new opportunities, and we don’t lose the energy and momentum to tackle life’s problems.

We sometimes need to walk around the problem and look at it from another angle, and we can only do that if we keep moving.

Healthy eating (unprocessed foods)

The following is from BBC News site: Depression link to processed food

After accounting for factors such as gender, age, education, physical activity, smoking habits and chronic diseases, they found a significant difference in future depression risk with the different diets.

Those who ate the most whole foods had a 26% lower risk of future depression than those who at the least whole foods.

By contrast people with a diet high in processed food had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate very few processed foods.

Not really surprising (to me, anyway) but interesting to see some research on this. And the difference is quite significant.

MASH & Hawkeye

Yea, as in the classic TV show with Alan Alda. Of course there’s reruns (again) and I’ve let my MythTV box record some. My favourite characters have always been Hawkeye and Col.Potter. Smart, funny, cynical, way with words.

Col.Potter was in WWI and WWII before Korea where MASH is situated, he’s seen it all before… but Hawkeye, he’s really just like that as a coping mechanism, isn’t he. I used to think he was cool, but with a bit more maturity I see that his attitude has to be seen in the context of the situation and definitely not as a general example of how to be.

Obvious, perhaps, but at the time a lesson for me anyhow. I too have used cynicism (and sarcasm) as a copying mechanism, particularly when I’m tired, stressed, sick, or (even worse!) any combination thereof. I try to catch myself now and consciously work to not behave like an ass in those situations. Hawkeye gets away with it, but I live in the real world…

If you want BlueHackers stickers…

We’re seeing a lot requests for the stickers, which is great – we’re happy to post some, but we do need to optimise things a bit otherwise the logistics (and cost) won’t be practical. So here’s the deal for the currently remaining roll of approx 500 stickers.

If you are active for a local user group, conference or company, and want a sticker for yourself as well as some to hand out at your next meeting or just among your colleagues, send us an email at l i f e (at) b l u e h a c k e r s (dot) o r g with a brief note on what group/company/conference it is, your address of course, and how many stickers you need.

I think numbers of up to a couple of dozen are practical at this stage. Remember, we’ll be printing more stickers anyway so this is just to get things going and spread the word further. We’ll gather the emails and do a mailout about once a week, and of course we’ll reply to let you know when they’ve been posted, and how many you get. Okidoki?

By the way, if you’re on Facebook you can also join the BlueHackers cause, again to help make the issue more visible.