Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The bulldozer pointed straight down, into the wreckage of the house. Somehow, Cubby had gotten the machine moving, run it into the building, pushed the structure over, and then fallen fifteen feet into the wreckage of the basement. The only thing that stopped the big Cat was the fact that the tracks now spun helplessly, against the concrete foundation walls.
"Dad," Cubby shouted!! "Get me out of here!!"
Luckily, he'd been wearing the seat belt.
RAISING CUBBY. Parenting at its very best. Coming to a bookstore near you in FIVE MORE WEEKS. Be ready!!
On sale March 12, 2013
Posted by John Elder Robison at 9:45 PM
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Posted by John Elder Robison at 1:08 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Hopeful as that sounds - be cautioned! Any of us can suffer setbacks at any time. Successful as I seem, life circumstances could change for me in an instant, and I too could find myself crippled by the same autism that makes me seem exceptional today. The past does not always predict the future, and even though I say we generally get better, there can still be setbacks.
The takeaway from that: Any of us may need supports at any time of life. Even people like me - seemingly independent and successful.
Another takeaway: If my life is a guide, it suggests smart people will fool the testers, while remaining autistic. Using myself as an example, no reasonable psychologist would suggest I should be evaluated for autism if I appeared in his office for depression, marriage counseling, whatever. Yet when I participate in autism studies and am screened by blind evaluators, I come up on the spectrum every time.
And more importantly - when I am tested in some of these cutting edge studies that look for patterns of autism in brain imaging, plasticity, or other "hard" parameters . . . I am in the same autistic group. So my adaptation gets visibly better while the internal differences seem to remain the same.
In my case all the science says I am autistic as always, but it shows less and less the older and wiser I get. My guess is the kids in this study were more mildly affected than me and are examples of the same thing. I have no way to be certain, of course, but that's my suspicion. That's in no way a criticism of the study; just an opinion from a middle aged autistic with some experience of the science.
In the final analysis, I choose to stand by my own phrase: many of us emerge from disability as we get older. Whether we emerge in whole, in part, or whether we go back and forth depends on many things including life circumstances and where we ourselves start out. I've said that for years. While the phrase popularized by this study - outgrowing autism - sounds hopeful, I do not in my heart believe it's real. Looking like everyone else is not the same as outgrowing autism - even when tests don't show disability at that moment.
Posted by John Elder Robison at 3:26 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
National Institutes of Health
Conference Call Access
USA/Canada Phone Number: 888-603-9709
Access code: 7857464
Ms. Lina Perez
Office of Autism Research Coordination
National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, NSC
Rockville, MD 20852
Posted by John Elder Robison at 11:14 AM
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Many people have written about the look, feel and quality of Leica cameras and lenses. There's no denying they are beautifully made, top quality products. The fact that there is an active market trading Leica items from the 1950s, 60's and 70's is testament to their longevity, and collectibility. That, however, is something for others to write about. I'm interested in image making ability, and final image quality.
The Leica image captures a larger context, and a sense of place. You can see it's a college gymnasium, and you can sense the crowd. None of that is present in the closeup, powerful as it may be in its own way.
As I said, each has its place. I create both kinds of images, depending on my mood and goals.
The high performance SLR excels at capturing the moment, under any conditions. The rangefinder encourages careful, deliberate picture taking.
Weight and bulk excepted, some might say you could do the same things by using an SLR in manual mode. And indeed you could, for the most part. But people don't do that. When they buy a camera with automation, they use it. People do not buy automatic transmission cars to shift them manually, and cameras are the same.
With an SLR, one must take special steps to use it as a manual camera, where with a rangefinder it's the only way to shoot. The simpler tool forces the photographer to think, in ways a modern SLR does not. If you're shooting news, you probably don't want that as much as speed, performance, and reliability. But if you're shooting fine art . . . . that is the place of the Leica today.
By taking away the automation yet retaining such extraordinarily good image making capabilities the Leica forces you to become a better photographer. When your Leica images are less than tack sharp, overexposed, or clipped at one end of the other . . . there is no machine to blame. Just you. If you master a Leica you will take better photos with any camera. I guarantee it.
If I were looking to walk out into the desert, or to the top of a mountain, and photograph the landscape, there is no better camera I could carry than an M8, M9, or MP. If I wanted to capture birds or wildlife I'd make a different choice but for the scenery itself the Leica cannot be beat.
I also use the Leica to create action images (like the basketball shot above) that have a more classic, period feel to them. It's hard to put in words, but that b&w Leica shot certainly stands apart from any other photos of that particular game. In a world where so much looks the same, there's a lot to be said for that.
A farmhouse in the snow
John Sebastian of the Lovin Spoonful sings "Do You Believe In Magic?"
Radio City by night.
And remember - it's not a camera or a picture - but my third book Raising Cubby is coming, March 12, 2013. Be ready.
John Elder Robison
Posted by John Elder Robison at 9:30 PM