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Showing posts from December, 2011

Genetics and Autism

I've been sitting on this report for a month or two while I did a bit more research on the original sources and similar studies. As regular readers of this blog know, I believe autism is better described as "autisms" and that likely contributors include de novo genetic complications (sometimes called pre-natal genetic copy variation). In these forms of autism, genes replication introduces errors. This is not the genetic of heredity, a common misconception when the term "genetic" is used to describe some forms of autism.

From CBS News:
Children with autism have distinct facial features
For the study - published in the Oct. 14 issue of Molecular Autism - researchers compared facial features in 64 boys with autism with faces of 41 typically developing boys, all 8-12 years old, with a 3-D camera system. After mapping out 17 points on faces, the researchers found significant differences between the two groups.  The study found children with autism had wider eyes, an…

Autism Website Converted, Updates to Follow

My autism research and speaking website is slowly coming back online after a minor glitch. While this doesn't directly affect the blog you are reading, it does affect a few people kind enough to link to my personal site.

Over the Christmas break, my wife and I upgraded our home computer systems and much of our software. The upgrades included Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and migrating our systems to the latest OS X 10.7 release. Overall, the process was uneventful. However, there was one small glitch: our personal websites were created in iWeb. For our business website, we have long used Dreamweaver (back to the earliest Macromedia versions), but iWeb was ideal for visually appealing sites for friends and family.

While I could have forced iWeb to continue working for us, we decided to migrate to RapidWeaver 5. The migration was relatively painless. I say relatively because moving to RapidWeaver did rearrange directories. Several websites linked to information on my personal autism pa…

Time Vortex

My wife tells me that I must exist within some sort of time vortex. When I estimate something will take an hour, it inevitably requires at least two. Yet, from my perspective, it seems only the anticipated hour has elapsed. I'll be working at my computer, certain a television show I planned to watch is about to start and my wife is left to explain that the show ended an hour ago. And that's nothing compared to my mornings.

No matter how early I wake and no matter how carefully I plan, most days require a two hour warm up period, at least. It is the rare morning when I am ready to work or leave the house before 9 a.m. — and far more likely that I won't start functioning normally before 10 a.m. When I do rush to leave early, I end up spending time feeling ill at work. No matter my intentions, my body rebels for two hours and I must submit to its terms.

Once I'm working, I lose track of time. What seem to be minutes are often hours, as I've already explained. That&#…

Distracted by Everything

I get distracted easily. While I prefer to think of it as a curious mind eager to learn, the truth is that I end up following tangents that consume hours.

I'll be reading something for work and encounter some little factoid that demands exploration. The next thing I know, an hour has been lost to reading about the history of Amish quilt designs. There's nothing too obscure or too mundane; every bit of information leads to a dozen more bits.

My wife and I share a passion for information and often watch History, Discovery, Science, and the other educational cable networks. While watching, I'll sit with my laptop and search for the sources they cite. My wife will do the same, especially while watching the Food Network.

It isn't a problem to follow tangents while watching television or reading for enjoyment. It is a problem when you can't resist the tangents while working. And… I can seldom resist.

The mix of Google Bookmarks, Safari's Reading List, and the wond…

Christmas Thoughts

To all our readers, we wish you all the best this Christmas.

We've had a quiet week and plan to have a quiet, relaxing Christmas Day at home with our little furry kids. I like simple Christmases, which are what we have had for several years now.

Living 2538 miles from "home" (according to Google Maps) means we don't have family gatherings to attend. There's no pressure to make the rounds from house to house. While I love my family, it's nice to have no pressure on us to be everywhere and see everyone over the two days of Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Also, we don't do parties or big social events. We attended one small gathering, and that was it. It wasn't easy for me, but it was at the home of two friends to whom we owe much. It was a nice gathering, with nice people. Plus, it was quiet. I like quiet.

We did make a few trips to local stores, a nearby mall, and into Ohio briefly for some craft supplies and other errands. The mall was surprisingly ni…

End of Semester Rush

I created a schedule for myself — technically my wife created it with/for me — so I would post to each of the blogs I either author or co-author on a weekly basis. But, this is that crunch time known as "finals" at universities. It's also the holiday season and several other things all at once.

I've read that everyone gets a bit stressed at the end of the year. We have Christmas, New Years, family gatherings, and there's the simple reflection on another year passing us by. The years seem to race on by as you get a bit older, too.

The schedule means I might not get the blogs updated as often as readers might enjoy. For that, I do apologize. It's nice to know people recognized I was offline here and elsewhere (Twitter, Facebook).

Grading will be a frenzy this coming weekend, so I might still be offline much of the time. I am hoping that after a year or two in the new post and in a new region I'll have adopted a better routine.

Also, someone asked me why I d…