Thursday, 31 January 2008


Jeremy Paxman has recently spoken out about men’s underwear
"Like very large numbers of men in this country, I have always bought my socks and pants in Marks and Sparks.
"I've noticed that something very troubling has happened. There's no other way to put this. Their pants no longer provide adequate support.

As a single mum I have to buy Cs pants. I have progressed on from buying Thomas the tank engine ones, but there are so many different sorts to choose from, and being a girl...i dont know what I should be buying!

Any suggestions welcome



Mmmmm but maybe not!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Looks can be deceiving

Some of the images displayed below are masterpieces of abstract art, created by great artists. The rest were painted by an ape. Can you tell which is which?

How do you think you did?

Monday, 28 January 2008

Light sensitivity

Light sensitivity can cause many people problems.

Photosensitive epilepsy is the name given to epilepsy in which all, or almost all, seizures are provoked by flashing or flickering light, or some shapes or patterns. Both natural and artificial light may trigger seizures. Many people think that everybody with epilepsy is photosensitive, but in fact only five in every hundred people with epilepsy are.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of winter depression that affects an estimated half a million people every winter.
It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter.
For many people SAD is a serious illness.

Migraine sufferers may experience hypersensitivity to light and sound.
Light sensory overload in autism is well documented
Three possible effects
• Direct hypersensitivity to light
• Over-stimulation from interplay of light in space
• Effect of changes in lit environment on contextual understanding & memory

C is certainly affected by light. He loves watching reflected light on surfaces, he can get totally absorbed in them. Some places he cant go in as the light really upsets him, usually the Fluorescent sort.

Am meeting C at hospital today as they are going to make a custom made helmet for him for his headbanging. As you can imagine hospitals are not his favorite place and the lighting doesn't help. Maybe i should ask them if they can design one with mounted shades!

I cant imagine how they are going to get near his head.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

The power of chocolate

Did you know there was waste chocolate?! Not only that but it ends up as landfill!

So 2 young men decided to put this waste chocolate to use.

Two British adventurers set off on an expedition to west Africa in a lorry powered by biodiesel made from waste chocolate.
The pair are took 2,000 litres of bio-diesel made from 4,000kg of chocolate misshapes, the equivalent of 80,000 chocolate bars, to fuel their adventure.

Recent studies have suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may possess certain beneficial effects on human health. Well if it can power a truck....

The two Brits behind this stunt are, of course, trying to bring attention to biodiesel, a renewable resource that generates lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels.
However some charities are complaining about wasting food as biofuels when there are people starving in the world.

Did you know:

Chocolate is one of the most popular foods around and is highly unlikely to ever go out of fashion.

The word 'Chocolate' comes from the Aztec word, 'cacahuatl' or ‘xocolatl’. This means 'bitter water'.

The Mayans and Aztecs believed that the Cocoa Beans originated from Paradise and would bring wisdom and power to anyone consuming them.

The Aztecs mixed Chocolate with Chilies, Cornmeal, and Hallucinogenic Mushrooms!

Saturday, 26 January 2008


The lovely Crystal Jigsaw has tagged with a meme on 5 Household maintenance tips. And as my household revolves round autism I thought I would give tips on relieving stress in an autistic house.

1. Know your subject. By now im sure I have could have gained degrees in Psychology, Psychiatry, Law, Nutrition, Anatomy to name but a few oh and of course autism.
Knowledge is power. (As its usually the professionals that give me the most stress!)

2. A good friend is essential to let of steam to.
An understanding friend is better than a therapist; and cheaper too!
3. Look in to alternative therapies not only for your child but yourself as well.
I.e. I looked into colour therapy not only for Cs bedroom but for mine to so I have a relaxing safe haven to escape to. Aromatherapy doesn’t seem to calm C, but it sure helps me!

4. Remember some things do get better.
You will become more expert in cleaning up food, poo etc without batting an eye lid. You will let more stares and comments from the public go over your head. And you will become more adept in to managing and avoiding melt downs.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

5. Have easy access to Chocolate and coffee, or your vice of choice.
Treat yourself.

Im sure these tips would stand well in any house! Any other suggestions?

I now tag anyone and everyone who wants to be tagged! And obviously like me you can put your own spin on it.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Its in the bag!

Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

Good news, China has ruled that on June 1 shops will be banned from handing out free bags, citing the environmental damage that they cause. It said: “Plastic shopping bags, due to reasons such as excessive use and inefficient recycling,have caused serious waste of energy and resources and environmental pollution.”
China, which produces many of the world’s plastic bags, already has to refine five million tonnes of crude oil a year just to keep pace with the demand for plastics used in packaging at home.
In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.

Recycled bags ideas;
Juice cartons bags.
Hemp bags/ sari
Recycled laptop bags - made from bits of old boat
Recycled fire hoses and recycled truck tarps, inner tubes, seat belts.
You can always make a bra...!
And hereare 2 lovely British craft web sites Devon Crafts and Pipany
Hope you are doing your bit?
Mother of Shrek is green!!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Whats ever next?

Maybe not to far away your children will be reading books like these with thier pierced eye glassess!

And us grown ups will be playing with this Virtual cable.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Only the moon howls

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." ~Vincent Van Gogh
"There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls." ~George Carlin, Brain Droppings
The Moon has had a place in many world mythologies. To the Romans, the Moon was the goddess Luna. The Greeks referred to the Moon goddess as Selene, and the Egyptians worshiped the Moon as Isis.
Over the course of a month, the Moon appears to grow ('wax') and shrink ('wane').
In fact, ever since prehistoric times, the phases of the Moon have been used a basis for calendars and time measurement. This is how we get the length of our month – the time that passes from one full Moon to the next.

There's something about a full moon that conjures up spooky images of werewolves, insane axe-wielding murderers and other odd and unexplainable behaviours. Everything from horror films to Halloween cards has capitalized on this phenomenon, making it almost commonplace in our minds. But does the moon really affect human behaviour, or does this notion only exist in our imaginations?
Psychiatrist Arnold Lieber, theorized that since humans are composed mostly of water (like the earth), our bodies might have "biological tides" that influence our emotions.
Many hospital workers seem to notice that when the moon is full, there are more admissions for everything from births to violent crimes.
But, when put to the test, no link was found between births and the lunar cycle.
The studies are not consistent. For every positive study, there is a negative study.
Indeed, it does appear that many studies contradict each other. An English study, for instance, found that your odds of being bitten by an animal were twice as high on full-moon nights. Another similar study, in Australia, found no relationship whatsoever between dog bites and the full moon.

Is it possible that we, as a culture, like the idea of a mysterious moon-related power, and are pushing the myth forward because we want to "When something unusual happens and there is a full moon, people might notice the moon and assign blame”
Another explanation, lies in media coverage.
"Journalists pay too much attention to finding sensational news or news that will support interesting results
There is good reason to believe that people's personalities do change around the time of the full moon, not because of any astronomical force, but because it creates the optimum lighting conditions for feeling carefree and mischievous."
What do you think?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Phobias - whats yours?

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." FDR

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear." H.P. Lovecraft

A phobia is an intense fear of a situation or an object. It severely restricts your life, and may force you to take extreme measures to avoid whatever triggers it. A phobia is known as an anxiety disorder (like obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks), which means it centres on our natural reaction to fear. Anxiety is about fear, and we all get anxious at some time. It's a natural reaction in all of us, and keeps us safe.

People can develop a phobia about any object, whether animate or inanimate, and about any situation. They can be roughly divided into different types: specific phobias (about any animal, flying or germs); specific situations ( the dark, heights, enclosed spaces, being alone or falling); social phobia (about meeting, speaking to or eating in front of other people), and illness (about heart trouble, cancer or losing a limb). Most people with phobias suffer from one or other of those mentioned. Agoraphobia (a fear of being away from home) is probably the most common phobia, and particularly affects women.

People with phobias try to avoid what they are afraid of. If they cannot, they may experience
Panic and fear
Rapid heartbeat
Shortness of breath
A strong desire to get away

Some unusual examples;
Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
Barophobia- Fear of gravity.
Chronophobia- Fear of time.
Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks
Didaskaleinophobia- Fear of going to school.
Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.
Geliophobia- Fear of laughter
Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers.
Pentheraphobia- Fear of mother-in-law.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words!!
Thaasophobia- Fear of sitting.
Venustraphobia- Fear of beautiful women.

Some people can trace their phobia back to their childhood and to a certain frightening event, which may have caused a panic attack at the time. But it's not always so clear to someone where their phobia comes from.
There are almost as many phobias as there are things and situations.

Have you a phobia?

Monday, 21 January 2008

We all use sign language

Did you know that the custom of knocking on wood to ward off bad luck originates in the belief some cultures have about the spirits that surround us?

Forming a circle with the thumb and index finger touching and other fingers point up (meaning OK): In Brazil, it is an obscene gesture.

We all use gestures all the time (but so be careful when travelling abroad as they might not mean the same thing!)

Sign language is not universal, there are many different forms. Here in the UK we mainly use British Sign language and Makton. Even though gestures have been around for centuries, sign language has not be around that long.

I use basic Makaton with C just to reinforce single words, a whole sentence is too much for him. When C was young I bought him a Nursery Makaton video which was a great hit and he wore out 3 tapes!!

The “in thing” here is to take your baby/toddler to baby signing classes. My sister took me to a class with my young nephew so I could see what it was all about! I will refrain from passing comment!!!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

The art of dust!

A good excuse for not cleaning your car!

But on the other hand - just think how many dust mites are on these cars!

42,000 Dust Mites can live in only one ounce of dust.

It is estimated that you breathe in 2 heaping teaspoons of air particles per day, including dust, much of which happens while you sleep on your mattress.

Dust Mites find their main food sources of food are human dead skin flakes.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Body language

This follows on from my post about Facial expressions.

Did you know that words are only 7% of your communication? Tone of voice is 38% and the other 55% of our communication is body language.
Most peoples body language is a bit different. Some body language might represent learned behaviours, while some of it might also be cultural (a thumbs up means different things in various parts of the world).

Body language is important, and if your words say one thing but your body says another, the person you are speaking to is more likely to believe the message your body is communicating. Very important if going on a first date! Things to look for;

Positioning of body relative to other people and things
Shape of whole body
Movement of limbs, head and fingers
Micro-movement of muscles
Skin colour and texture
Voice pitch
Texture of voice tone
Speed of speaking
Bodily smells (eg. pheromones)

Personality and status are also given away by;
Dress, including style, tidiness, coordination.
Personal adornments, from jewellery to watches and badges.
Office and desk space at work, including size and type of computer, chair, etc.
Items owned, from cameras to cars to houses.

Here are some things for you to think about.
Its also used a lot when playing games like Poker.

Most of us read all these cues without even realising. Many autistic people find this difficult. So they appear to respond inappropriately to others' emotions. This does not mean they don’t have feelings, of course they do!

We all get it wrong sometimes!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Is sleep the new sex?

Apparenlty sleep is the new sex, Sleep is something everyone needs and wants .We have to have it, and we have trouble getting it these days. And increasingly people are paying a lot of money for relief.

Experts agree that 8.5 hours is the optimal amount of sleep each night. However, a third of adults in Britain regularly sleep 5 hours or less and between 30 and 40 percent report sleep disorders. The lack of sleep is blamed on problems with mental health, weight gain and high blood pressure to name but a few.
More people are having children later in life and with global working hours demanding more of our time, a night of uninterrupted sleep has become more of a luxury.
Sleep deprivation takes both a physical and financial toll. Research shows sleep is catching up with diet and exercise in terms of influencing overall health
Not getting enough sleep has led to higher annual health-care costs and billions in lost productivity.
Sleeping-pill prescriptions are up by 60 percent since 2000.
Some doctors worry about significant side effects of sleeping pills, including next-day "hangovers," sleepwalking, amnesia and addiction.
There are also plenty of sleep-aid gadgets on the market, ranging from sound-soothing machines. Do these devices really work?
Is sleep the new sex – or has is always been?

It really doesn’t matter how much your neighbour or your mother got. For the individual, as long as you are getting enough, you’ll be alright!

Do you get enough? I know i dont!!

Monday, 14 January 2008

The art of nose blowing!

Nose blowing.
Jen mentioned nose blowing and I have see this around a few blog as for many autistic children this is a tricky art to learn.
If you don’t have an autistic child you may want to skip the next paragraph and see if you have the correct nasal etiquette below.
C at the tender age of 19 has not mastered it. Over the years he has done all manner of things like using me as a tissue, not to mention his clothes the furniture etc. Nose picking he has down to a fine art. But blowing still eludes him. (He also cant blow out of his mouth. Which apparently is the first step to blowing throw ones nose!) He has recently found if he shakes his head vigorously that….well I will let you visualise that one.

Apparently Most children are developmentally able to learn to blow their noses by around age 2 — some even earlier. Of course, whether or not your child is interested at that point is another matter.

As I don’t have any autistic nose blowing advice I thought I would hand this one over to you………….

For the rest of you out there did you know about;

Nasal Etiquette - A short guide to nose manners.
You should keep your nose clear of debris at all times. It is terribly impolite to wander around sniffing all the time. Worse, if your sinuses become blocked, you will be unable to breathe while eating or kissing and may embarrass yourself and any others that may be with you. Blockage can also cause sinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection.
When blowing your nose--in order to remain polite--please make certain that you use a tissue handkerchief, or bandanna. Blow gently into the tissue while holding one nostril closed, or while alternating nostrils. Do not hold one nostril closed with a finger and blow out into space until your sinus is clear. This is called harking and is considered in terrible taste. It is very rude to leave things from your nose for others to step on. Also, inserting your finger into a nostril at any time is considered rude. For those of you who think you are alone when driving in traffic and feel that would be a good time to go for a dig: We can see you! You know who you are
Proper use of the tissue is important. Fold your tissue carefully after blowing your nose, be sure to wipe away any mucous that may have collected around your nostrils. Also, be certain to look in the mirror after doing this. Nothing is more repellent than seeing someone return from the bathroom with a glistening green friend freshly planted on their upper lip, stuck in a moustache or beard, or worse yet, dangling from an errant nose hair. Remove all traces of your activity before appearing before people.
There are some people who constantly scratch or rub at the base of their nose to dislodge dried nose particles. They think they are clever and look like they are scratching an itch and that others are oblivious to their semi passive nose picking. To those of you who do this: We know what you are doing! Do you think we're totally ignorant?
Nose appearance
Nose hairs are, in all cases, unsightly blemishes on an otherwise pleasant nose. You should keep your hairs trimmed so as not to make others uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is: If you can see them, so can everyone else.
It is considered highly improper to use your nose as a spoon rack. Some people enjoy sticking spoons to their noses in restaurants. What they do not typically know is that there are roving bands of spoon thieves in various parts of the world, and if one happens to steal the spoon your nose is attached to you will spend the remainder of your life with two hideous holes in the front of your face. If you wish to continue to have a nose with which to be polite, please ceases this activity before it's too late!
Important: If you have a large nose, please do not get it pierced. This will only accentuate the size of your nose and make you look clownish. If this still does not deter you, be certain to get lots of other facial piercing and tattoos in order to offset your enormous nose.
Using your nose to hum is quite acceptable, in most circumstances. It is generally considered impolite, however, to hum while you have a cold. You might drip and soil your clothing.
Breathing through your nose is always considered polite. Breathing through your mouth all the time makes you look oafish and leaves you open to drooling. Drool is, unfortunately, outside the scope of this node.
In general use your best judgement. If you are doing something with your nose that would offend you if you saw someone else doing it, you should probably alter your behaviour.
So now you knows!