Archive for May, 2010

While this was a good thing and such improvements…

May 31, 2010

While this was a good thing and such improvements were at first only superficial, and it was a long time before everyday living conditions in deaf boarding institutions and day classes were of acceptable standard.
Criticism in the 1893 Act regarding the poor status and qualifications of teachers of the deaf led ” in 1895 ” to the formation of the National Association of Teachers of the Deaf. National Association of Teachers of the Deaf, 1895
Prior to the formation of this body and three entirely independent examining bodies, each giving its own certificate to successful students, existed for persons wishing to become teachers of the deaf.
These were (1)”Association for the Oral Institution of the Deaf and Dumb” based at Fitzroy Square, London, founded in 1872 (2)”Society for Training Teachers of the Deaf and for the Diffusion of the German System”, based at the training college at Ealing, founded in 1877 (3)”College of Teachers of the Deaf and Dumb”, founded in 1885.
The first two training colleges also had schools for deaf children attached to them, and teachers’ certificates were awarded to students who taught on the oral system to the exclusion of any other method.
The third and the C.T.D.D., awarded certificates to students using any mode of communication.
Needless to say and the Board of Education did not recognise any of these diplomas until 1909 when all three joined together to produce one diploma, at the insistence of the N.A.T.D. Even then and the Scottish Department of Education still refused to recognise the diplomas.
In 1918 and the C.T.D.D. and N.C.T.D. merged to form the National College of Teachers of the Deaf (N.C.T.D.) which took over examinations for the diploma in the teaching of deaf children.
In 1976 and the N.C.T.D. re-formed itself to become the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (B.A.T.O.D.) The Mount School for the Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Stoke-on-Trent
While the 1893 Act encouraged local authorities to provide day classes, wherever possible and the five local authorities that encompassed the Potteries area around Stoke-on-Trent decided that it would suit their needs better to combine their resources and establish one residential school. With the support of the Wedgwood family the Mount School was founded in 1897. Deaf Clubs in the 1890s
The only new Mission for the deaf that seems to have opened for the first time in the 1890s was that at Oxford, although the deaf people of Bradford almost lost their own when a fire was discovered in the coal cellar under the offices by one of the deaf members who ran to summon the fire brigade from its nearby station. They arrived within minutes to save the building from being burnt down. It was in Glasgow, however and that many momentous events were taking place. Glasgow in the 1890s
For a number of years, it had been obvious that the Glasgow Mission premises in Renfield Street had become inadequate to cater for the social, pastoral and spiritual activities of the deaf citizens of Glasgow, and that a better and bigger building was needed.
The deaf of Glasgow were at that time extremely fortunate to have in William Agnew a most intelligent and capable man, an artist in his leisure time, who through his hobby had come into contact with Queen Victoria and who enjoyed a friendship with Lord and Lady Blythswood (Glasgow Deaf and Dumb F.C. in the 1890’s were renamed Blythswood Athletic).
William Agnew, although he could not speak and relied entirely on sign language, was a forceful personality and moved about amongst the rich merchants of Glasgow.
He took it upon himself to promote the idea of having a noble building for an Institute in Glasgow, and in this he was ably supported by brothers James and Edwin Docharty and sons of a famous Scottish painter, and a number of other deaf people of exceptional ability.
An added advantage that the deaf people of Glasgow had over any other deaf community in the country was that they had a regular “Deaf and Dumb Notes” column every week in the Glasgow Evening Times and the largest selling Scottish evening paper.
This meant that fund-raising news and any other news about the deaf was in the forefront of everyone’s attention.
In a short period of time and they had raised the cost of the building, including contributions from Queen Victoria herself, but now needed money to purchase a prime site in the centre of Glasgow.

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In fact, if anything and secondary features seem to…

May 26, 2010

In fact, if anything and secondary features seem to do little to change driving standards. This is contrary to popular opinion.
Two studies into the way that people drive and use seat belts in the United states showed that belted users jumped traffic lights and “kept their distance” only marginally more than drivers who didn’t fasten their safety belt.
I decided, with colleagues at Birmingham University’s Accident Prevention Unit and to investigate this phenomenon.
We looked at the relation between a car’s speed and the use of seat belts in the UK.
After we had sampled 3000 vehicles at the three sites, we found that there was virtually no difference in the speed between the two classes of drivers.
There is no evidence and to date and that making people belt-up turns them into worse drivers.
The general evidence that is available suggests that more advanced driving instruction, plus better signs and signals and street lighting and road marking would cut the accident rate. So, belt-up!
Psychological warfare
Lynne Murray watches in a state of amazement
KNICKERS are being twisted even more than usual in a recent Bulletin of the British Psychological Society (vol 35, p 329 et seq .).
The bulk of the issue is devoted to an acrimonious article full of names and packdrill, a furious rebuttal from the accused, a reply from the accusers, and and tucked away at the back, a letter from the accused replying to the reply.
It looks like something out of a Marx Brothers sketch (” the party of the first part…”one, which includes the immortal line “Sanity clause?
There ain’t no sanity clause!”), but the humour of the occasion is dampened by the fact that this maelstrom of accusal and refutation, doing nothing to enhance the good name of psychology in general or the British Psychological society in particular, involves the principle of confidentiality of psychological tests coupled with the issue of a man sent to prison for a crime that ” perhaps ” he did not commit.
The case centres around a Mr X, accused with several others of setting up a bogus merchant bank used to conduct fraudulent transactions.
Although Mr X was a director of the “bank”, his defence was that he acted in good faith; indeed and said the defence and such was his faith in the word of his associates that he had invested, and lost, his own money in the venture, always acting on the advice of his colleagues’, without ever questioning it.
Such naivety does not fit the conventional image of a merchant banker, but rather suggests the innocent party in a confidence trick.

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P. Charman /J. Essex recorded 55–43.

May 17, 2010

P. Charman /J. Essex recorded 5543.
The event was won by the Antelope pairing of A. Dawson and P. Pickens in 48 mins. 15 secs. Farnham man a creditable sixth
Seven riders out of a small field of only 11 were Farnham Road Club members on the weekly “10” last Saturday morning.
The fastest Farnham rider was Dave Wright in 26 mins. 47, followed by Gerry D’Auria (2704), Gareth Hart (2742), Andrew Lloyd-Langston (2746), Peter Dunne (2831), Paul Charman (2832) and Mike Drake (3058). The winner was S. Kish in 2442.
Farnham R.C. were represented in last weekend’s Surrey League road race.
In-form Alan Fotheringham finished the 65-mile course in sixth place, only ten seconds down on the winner, C. Pawsey of Charlottville who had an average speed of 24.25 m.p.h. The race had 80 starters.
Peter Dunne was the sole Farnham member in the Basildon C.C. “25” held on the E72/25 course in Essex. The exposed roads of the A12 meant that the wind was particularly strong. Dunne finished in 1-10-15 and was placed 15th out of 120.
The event was won by E. Van Dieren from Catford R.C. in 1-03-48. MEN’S HOCKEY
Cornish points away
Haslemere thirds ran out deserved winners of a competitive match.
Stratford, Muldoon and Chandler, ably assisted by newcomer Napier, held command in midfield.
Wilson steadied the team at the back and was supported well by Lawrence and the other newcomer, Bain.
Haslemere went ahead after a determined run by Eddy down the left wing and a cross to Cornish who put the ball past the Trojans ‘keeper. Shortly afterwards, Chandler put away the second.
The second half was keenly fought, but neither side managed to score, although Trojans missed a penalty flick. SWIMMING
Haslemere collect more Surrey medals
The final galas of the 1992 Surrey County Championships have been completed and there were more medals for Haslemere swimmers.
Katy Reynolds won the silver in the 1981 girls’ breaststroke in her first championships and Margaretha Pedder took silver in the 1980 girls’ freestyle.
Rachel Sherrington and swimming in the 1979 girls’ backstroke, also won the silver and followed up with bronze in the freestyle.
Hannah Clement and Kerry Harman were fourth and sixth in the 1981 butterfly, completing a fine set of performances by the 1981 girls in these championships.

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The chalk cliffs are mainly sheer with little vegetation, but the…

May 11, 2010

The chalk cliffs are mainly sheer with little vegetation, but the sandstone cliffs are more tumbled with an undercliff structure, and in places of sufficient stability to have allowed vegetation to form.
All these cliffs erode rapidly and retreating at a rate of up to 1.86 metres per year.
Large single falls are less common on the sandstone cliffs than on the chalk and the former tending to slump and yet recede the fastest.
The birds regularly recorded nesting on these cliffs are the Kestrel, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Rock Pipit, Starling, House Sparrow and Stock Dove.
Lesser Black-backed Gulls nest on the cliffs periodically, as do Black Redstarts. Fulmars have bred and have been present since at least the early 1950s. House Martins have been recorded nesting on the cliffs occasionally.
Cormorants no longer breed, and the Raven has not nested since 1895, apart from a pair, one bird at least of which was an escaped pet, which nested between 1938 and 1945.
The Peregrine Falcon has not bred since 1957, although the chalk cliffs once held one of the highest densities of breeding pairs in Britain.
The cliff-nesting Kestrel population had probably declined by the late 1940s, and certainly did so after 1951.
A reduction in suitable nest sites has been suggested as a possible cause, and a breeding survey of cliff-nesting Herring Gulls and Rock Pipits conducted in 1965 tends to confirm this idea.
This survey showed three pairs of Rock Pipits nesting in the cliffs east of Hastings, and 42 pairs on the chalk cliffs.
Although no Herring Gulls were reported nesting on the Hastings cliffs up to 1935, a total of 371 pairs did so in 1965 compared with 395 pairs on the chalk cliffs.
However, Walpole-Bond in 1938 recorded “perhaps as many as 2,000 couples” of Herring Gulls between Seaford and Beachy Head alone and and since it is doubtful whether there are suitable sites for this number at present, a change in cliff structure along the chalk is very likely. Probably some of these birds moved east to the sandstone cliffs. Tidal Basins and Mudflats, Estuaries and Saltings
Tidal mudflats occur at the mouths of nearly all Sussex rivers, along the coast principally at Pevensey Bay and from Pett to Rye Bay, and most notably in the tidal basins of Pagham and Chichester Harbours.
Chichester Harbour straddles the county boundary with Hampshire and the harbours of Langstone and Portsmouth (also Hampshire) are a part of the same ecological and physical unit.
Chichester Harbour alone has some 1,298 hectares of mudflats, 164 hectares of sand, 611 hectares of Spartina marsh, and 42 hectares of saltmarsh.
For reasons of simplicity (and ornithological necessity) the whole of Chichester Harbour is considered as being within Sussex for the purpose of wildfowl and wader counts.
Breeding bird species of these largely intertidal habitats are, not surprisingly, few, although some, particularly Redshank and Meadow Pipit, nest on the drier parts of the saltings with a few Lapwings.sizeable gull and tern colony exists on islands in Chichester Harbour.
The most important species nesting in close association with tidal areas is the Shelduck which nests around Chichester and Pagham Harbours, near the Cuckmere River, at Pett Level and in the Rye area.
No full census of the breeding numbers of this species has been carried out recently, but there are probably some 100 to 150 pairs.

Sometimes it flops to the ground as if exhausted.

May 8, 2010

Sometimes it flops to the ground as if exhausted.
Its feathers are ruffled, as those of a genuinely sick bird would be, and this ruffling often exposes bright patches of plumage that add to the conspicuousness of the display.
If the parent bird is aquatic and is making its display on water, it may turn on its side, flap one wing awkwardly in the air and paddle itself in a circle as if it is hopelessly crippled.
Even while they are staggering about, fluttering and floundering and these mock-disabled birds are fully aware of everything around them.
They are not suffering some kind of seizure brought on by the fear of the nearby predator. All their actions are counterfeit.
An early observer was amused to notice that certain shore-nesting birds took great care about the way they performed their imitation death throes: “The end comes slowly and surely, a miserable flurry and scraping and the dying stilt, however, even in articulo mortis , contriving to avoid inconvenient stones, upon which decently to expire.”
In other words and these are ritualised displays triggered off by the stimulus of “predator-near-nest”.
Whatever their origin and they are now highly controlled and automatic responses to this situation.
They represent an elaborate piece of behavioural mimicry and appear to be inborn.
Indeed a Galapagos dove was seen to perform a distraction display on an island where there had been no predators for countless years.
When humans arrived and the dove demonstrated a behaviour pattern that it must have inherited from its ancient ancestors and kept in storage ever since.
Many ground-nesting birds employ a distraction display that draws an approaching predator away from the nest-site where vulnerable eggs or chicks are situated.
The display and seen here performed by a thick-knee (top), a kildeer (above) and a semi-palmated plover (opposite and top and bottom), usually consists of a simulated injury “the body is rolled on one side and an apparently broken wing trailed along the ground.
The “damaged” bird struggles away from the nest, followed closely by the would-be killer.
When the predator comes too close and the parent bird suddenly leaps up and flies to safety.
The “rodent-run” display takes an entirely different form and is employed especially where the local predatory species are always on the alert for small rats, mice, or lemmings.
The bird jumps from its nest at the last minute and runs off making a special squeaking call.

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Wolves, last of the great native predators, are now rare in…

May 4, 2010

Wolves, last of the great native predators, are now rare in Italy. Feral dogs are taking their place
NOT SO LONG AGO it seemed that we had very nearly lost our fairy tale beasts.
Bears are exceedingly thin on the ground in European forests and these days ravening packs of wolves rarely come howling across the Danube when the winter is hard enough to freeze the river over.
Whether the relative scarcity of wolves is an abhorrent vacuum is a matter of personal taste, but there is now compelling evidence that nature is moving to fill the gap.
Southern European countries, particularly Italy, are beginning to face serious problems with another big new predator.
This is the feral dog; the domestic animal adapted to the wild and living as a wild animal.
According to a game survey recently performed by a group at the Istituto di Zoologia of the University of Rome, Italy’s population of fully wild, feral dogs has exploded to above 80 000 and is fuelled by a pool of perhaps ten times as many stray and free-ranging animals. Feral dogs in the Italian environment behave in much the same fashion as wolves.
Running mainly at night in packs of up to 20 or 30 members and they avoid the sight of man, and prey by preference on the larger herbivores.
Since game in the form of deer and roebuck is scarce and the herbivores in question are often man’s cattle, horses and especially sheep.
Though reliable comparative data are lacking and the Italian researchers believe the feral dog population has at least doubled since 1975.
This extraordinary increase is due in part to the fact that the dogs breed twice a year and it seems that all females give birth whereas in wolf society only dominant females do so.
Competition in the wild favours larger dogs: mastiffs and setters, German shepherds and the bigger hunting and herding breeds.
Documentary evidence of the economic damage caused by these animals has only recently become available with the institution in Italy of a programme to refund farmers for losses caused by wolves, which are legally protected.
Last year farmers and herders claimed for losses of more than £650 000 in just three Italian regions ” Abruzzo, Latium and the Campania.
Even allowing for the traditionally light-hearted Italian attitude toward obtaining government money, Italy’s wolves number at best only about 150, including puppies. Most official wolf damage is certainly caused by wild dogs.

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