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Wow!

It's the moment at the end when it zooms out that's mindblowing.

My undergrad project was an implementation of Life storing only the live cells. This was computationaly complex (aka I never quite got it to work).

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I forgot to mention it before heading North, but BBC R4 just re-ran their radio play version of Iain M Bank's The State of the Art, which is a pretty good adaption and well worth listening to if you're a fan. It's available here until the 20th (though I'm not sure if that link will work for non-UK users).
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Two interesting pieces by Kameron Hurley:

The first is on the economics of using Patreon as a creator and to fund your creative works, which I thought was a really interesting analysis. (Note that I think I got there from someone's post here, but I can't figure out whose, it's that kind of day).

The second is actually linked from the first, but it's almost a throwaway line and leads to quite a good article she wrote for the Atlantic that really lays out the anti-diversity agenda of the puppies.


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Should interest one or two people here: NHS Treats Transgender People as Second Class Citizens

ETA another (rather more positive) Trans-focussed story in the Guardian today:

Church of England to consider transgender naming ceremony



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For non-Brits fortunate enough never to have encountered her, Katie Hopkins is a former contestant on <i>The Apprentice</i> who has gone on to build a career based on attacking whichever minority group she thinks she can get away with in the most outrageous way possible, and has found her natural home at Murdoch's 'The Sun'. Past exploits include suggesting the wife of Labour Leader Ed Miliband should have her head stuck in a gas oven (doubly egregious as Miliband is of Jewish extraction), attacking the Scottish nurse who caught Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, attacks on people with dementia, and describing migrants as cockroaches and applauding the drownings in the Mediterranean. Her most recent attack labelled Labour Ed Miliband as looking like he was 'on the Spectrum' while doing a live-tweet of one of the leader's debates, and it's clear she didn't mean that in any sort of positive way. "ED STOP LOOKING AT US. You are weird. Look at people not a machine. Try and act off the spectrum"

But here's a rather good response from Lucy Hawking, daughter of Stephen Hawking and whose son has autism:

Dear Katie Hopkins. Stop making life harder for disabled people


I'm not sure I agree with her line about occasionally needing to apologise if her son stares, as I don't feel disability related behaviours need apologising for, but otherwise she nails it, Hopkins is an unpleasant flashback to the attitudes of the 70s.

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First off an excellent post a friend came across: Please Stop Saying “Don’t Let Your Disabilities Define You!”: An Open Letter to Almost Everyone I absolutely agree with the sentiment here, my disability is a huge part of my identity, telling a disabled person not to let them their disabilities define them is no different to 'I don't think of you as black' or similar language towards other minorities, so why do people think it's okay, or, worse, inspirational, to say it about disability?

Now a couple by me - and I have two more in draft, plus two more I probably need to write, you would almost think there was an election on. Scarily one of the things I need to write will need me to work out what UKIP's disability policy is, does anyone know which pub Farage left the beermat in?

Election 2015 - Quick, Get the Crips Out of the Attic...Esther 'they get better' McVey, the former Ministed for Disabled People, has produced an election leaflet showing her standing next to a bunch of disabled people from the learning disabilty charity People First England. Unfortunately she didn't ask their permission, and none of them support her (and one of them lives in McVey's constituency, so woke up to find a leaflet shoved through her door token-cripping her by someone she despises). As Kaliya's pretty sharp at this stuff, she turned it into an expectation that McVey will rush out an Easy Read version of the leaflet, while emphasising that the charity supports no party.

Tory Cuts: As Bad as we Feared This picks up on yesterday's BBC story leaking the details of the £12Bn in cuts the Tories refused to detail in this week's budget. As expected they're almost completely targetted at disabled people, with 40% of Carer's Allowance Recipients to lose it at a stroke (people are pointing out Carers are estimated to save the country at least £57Bn, so that's saving £1Bn by adding £23Bn to the care bill - genius), while contributory ESA and JSA will be means tested, effectively abolishing them, and Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance will be taxed (never mind that some people already have 100% of these deducted for care).

Kate Green, Labour's Shadow Minister for Disabled People on Labour’s commitment to disabled people I'm fairly vocal in the comments, and not in a positive way. Labour need to admit they have a credibility problem with disabled people after being the architects of ESA and the WCA (which they are insistent they will keep). their relationship with Unum, and their shabby treatment of their own disability taskforce barely a year ago.


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Mental health treatment in the Job Centre – what could possibly go wrong?

Pretty good summary from a friend of mine. I'd make a couple of additional points, that it could drive people away from seeking help anywhere, not just at the Job Centre, and that it may be actively stigmatising with JCP staff (I saw a story of one screaming at someone with learning disabilities just this week), G4S (or whoever) security staff - who have such a fine record on this kind of thing, and fellow claimants.

I'd ask how Nick Clegg and the Lib-Dems could get this so wrong, but Nick Clegg....

Osborne’s budget silence on disability ‘is ominous’

Most things about Osbourne are pretty ominous, but there's about £12bn of undeclared cuts in the budget and you just know who the target will be if they're re-elected.

Labour’s commitment to disabled people

Labour's Kate Green on what Labour will do for disabled people. Unfortunately it comprehensively fails to address the real issues and we don't actually trust Labour's attitude towards disabled people, for reasons I discuss in the comments. And then of course there was the monumental faux pas by Rachel Reeves, Green's boss, earlier in the week, which let her real attitude to benefit claimants shine through. Disabled people's reactions here: Anger after Reeves tells benefit claimants: ‘Labour is not for you'

Meanwhile it turns out that not only is the Minister for Disabled People's constituency office still inaccessible (this has been a story since before Christmas, so clearly fixing it is a priority with him), but his staff are using an unsafe ramp to try and get around the issue. Harper stays silent over his “totally unacceptable” office access measures

And in hate-crime, the law continues to fail to enforce Disability Hate Crime legislation: Trio who ‘avoided hate crime sentence for second time’ show law ‘is a joke’

*Headdesk*







davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
TW For a couple of related stories about suicides )
And completely unrelated, but as I happen to have the post window open - All female PLAAF aerobatic team to perform abroad for first time. On the one hand good that the Chinese AF is open to it, but OTOH they aren't exactly normalising women pilots through this.

(Hmm, given the furore over a female 'Ghostbusters cast', just picturing the reaction to 'Top Gun' with the genders reversed)

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Article in New Scientist discussing a researcher seriously proposing to conduct a head transplant within the next couple of years (with a proposal to deal with the severed spinal cord so the patient isn't left a quad). My immediate reaction was to think of Niven's Gil 'the ARM' Hamilton, and all the issues he faced with organleggers, in particularly the brain-transplanted crime-boss in The Defenceless Dead. I'm not certain the criminal justice system is ready for this...
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50 Shades of Social Feminism

This is brilliant (like most of Laurie Penny's work), though I can see why it isn't in one of her normal venues like New Statesman.
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Ooh, shiny! 

Time-lapse as ESA preps its IXV lifting body for tomorrow's flight from Kourou atop a Vega launcher  https://t.co/MdzPKzMv5n ;
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I've just been catching up with a bunch of disability-related stuff I've missed over the past couple of months.

Sadly that started with the news that activist and disability journalist/writer Lucy Glennon (aka @LucyTweeting) died this morning. I didn't know her well, but we had chatted online a few times. Best tribute is the tweet from a couple of the Guardian journos with a link to her articles. What's particularly poignant is that the first story is about the fear disabled people face of being falsely accused of benefit fraud (been there, done that) and @DWPPressOffice chose this morning to start urging people to shop anyone they suspect of benefit fraud. The last article talks about Lucy's own disability, the little understood (and intermittently derided by DWP as 'blisters') epidermolysis bullosa.

DPAC are challenging Labour to confirm that they will save the Independent Living Fund if they are elected - we've been getting very mixed messages from them: The battle for independent living and political hypocrisy

Meanwhile the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, has been urging shops and sports venues to ensure they're accessible, as improving accessibility is “a no-brainer', only, whoops, his own constituency office is inaccessible: ’Hypocrite’ Harper hides from questions over office access and Minister hides truth over office access

And, whoops, so is that of Lib Dem Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson: Second minister shamed over inaccessible constituency office

And, double whoops, so is that of Harper's boss, IDS, Iain Duncan Smith facing ‘hypocrisy’ claims over inaccessible office (Oh, hang on, it's IDS, hypocrisy is positively expected).

A couple of linked blogs on disability and sickness and the Social Model Sickness and the Social Model of Disability
Misrepresentations of Chronic Illness and Disability

And finally a piece from a leading HR type wondering why there is a shortfall of 2 million people when it comes to disability employment, that manages to avoid even a single mention of discrimination *headdesk* The Business Case for Diversity in Recruitment (with comment by yours truly pointing this out - we'll see if that stays there)

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David Gillon

May 2017

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