Vaccines do not lead to autism

Soooo… I had a big argument with a friend a couple of weeks back… it started as a conversation and quickly devolved into stern looks and accusations from both sides that the other was out and out crazy.

I was challenged to go and look into the sources that immunisations are actually bad for our kids and that people shouldn’t be forced to have their children injected with ‘unknown’ chemicals just because someone else said it should happen.

The subject of an increase in autism came up, as it does, so I went away and I looked further into it, thinking I already had a good grounding in the science of it.

I think anyone who would believe autism is caused by vaccines need to consider a few things.

  1. More kids are being diagnosed with autism because the autism spectrum has been massively broadened… we now have an “autism spectrum” you can find children on it. Those with mild autism might never have previously been officially diagnosed with it, they weren’t part of the stat they now are. Disorders like Aspergers have been folded into the autism spectrum and are no longer a separate statistic.
  2. We are exposed to between 300,000 and 500,000 more chemicals than our grandparents were. They are active and present in our bodies and a very high number of them pass through the placenta and into our babies. We do not know the effects of many of these chemicals with regard to longterm effects or their impact on foetal development.
  3. BPA has an impact on featal development and the development of young children, but is still not a banned substance in Australia or the US, while industry has been forced to largely stop its use from public outcry it is likely still present in the plastic lining of canned foods and other plastics that interact with our foods.
  4. One of those 300,000 to 500,000 chemicals is atrazine, a herbicide used widely on food products we eat every day. The body processes it as an oestrogen in both males and females and has an impact on our sex organs and the health of our off-spring. It has even been shown to have generational impact, meaning if your grandmother was exposed to it, but your mother was not, it will still affect your development as it lives on in your mother regardless of her lack of exposure.
    These are just a few of the many, many, many facts that show that we can’t know definitely what may be contributing to the development of Autism. We also have to consider that reporting is more common these days… in the past it wasn’t unheard of for a family to hide a ‘defective’ child from public life. They may have been placed in a sanatorium, effectively removing them from public view.
    We are now more exposed to differently-abled people than we have before… and that’s a good thing… it also makes it seem that a condition that was just as prevalent in the past is more-so because we are more aware of it as it is around us rather than locked away from view.

I’d ask that the “vaccine === autism” folk take time to seriously consider their thinking. I’d hate to live in a world where children are dying from preventable diseases but I do. Partly because there are some we still don’t have effective vaccines for but mostly because people are making silly decisions without considering the facts and the extended danger at which they are putting their own children and other children.

Also if you’re on this bandwagon consider all the other chemicals to which you’re exposing yourself, your children and your yet to be born children. Many of our everyday products from cleaners, herbicides, makeup, hairsprays etc all contain chemicals that can enter our systems in multiple ways and many of them remain to be passed on to our offspring.

Minifig Studio

To beat the summer heat, we’ve moved our computer desks to our lounge room, which is spacious enough for this set up, and that means we have a whole room to function as a makeshift studio. I’ve set up a little diorama-type stage that I can swap out backdrops on to shoot my minifigs. Maybe the plan is to one day shoot real people in there, but it’s not THAT big of a room. We might need a studio to do this.

So anyway, here are a few of the latest minifigs to join the massive pool of the ones I’ve shot so far.

Freddy the Wiener Guy
Freddy the Weiner Guy

Freddy the Weiner Guy

Zelac the Alien Trooper
Zelac the Alien Trooper


Kimiko Nakamura – Kimono Girl
Kimiko Nakamura - Kimono Girl

Yash and his snake Rushil
Yash and his snake Rushil

Lemurs on the loose

Well not really, but at Melbourne Zoo you can go into the Lemur enclosure and come very up close and personal with them as they roam around among the humans.

It’s always hit and miss, sometimes you get there and the little guys (and they are all male) are sleeping, but you can come back 40 minutes later and they’re jumping from the trees and running about your feet.

Today it seems we got there just as they were waking, some were on the move, others basking in the sun, others still sleeping, yet to stir.

I love it when people are concentrating on a lemur and they are oblivious to the fact that there’s one right at their feet, or crossing the bridge right behind them.

One disappointing moment happened when a person wanted to have their photo taken with a lemur perching at the edge of the bridge, they clearly felt it wasn’t facing an optimal way and used their foot (not in a subtle way) to try and get the lemur to move. I yelled, two zoo keepers yelled and yet the person was non-plussed, clearly didn’t think what they did was wrong. As there was a language barrier it was hard to convey, but others in their group who clearly spoke english didn’t do anything to chastise their compatriot. It was a sad moment for humanity when there should be a clear and basic understanding that we’re in an environment where these animals develop a trust for the humans around them, only to have it defiled with a flick of a foot.

Of course, in the end the person didn’t get their photo, the lemur didn’t appreciate having a foot connect with its backside and it runaway.

These little guys are beautiful creatures, I appreciate the time we get to share with them.


Kelly and Micheal’s Wedding

David’s cousin Micheal* was married yesterday. We went along as guests but of course we couldn’t help but take our cameras along.

Originally I was a little weirded out by the New Year’s Day wedding giving it meant we couldn’t have a big one on new years night, but then I guess we probably wouldn’t have anyway, but turns out that New Year’s Day is the anniversary of their meeting, 10 years ago yesterday.

The ceremony was held in their backyard, Owen was their gorgeous ring bearer and he did an admirable job. I was grateful that while their celebrant HAS to read the definition of marriage under Australian law as being between one man and one woman, the couple opted to include an additional statement about their support for marriage equality.

We ended up getting home about 1:40am, it was in Sale after all, so 3 hours there, 3 back.

Here are a few of the many photos I took on the day, you can see them all on my Flickr account.

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding
Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

*Not a misspelling, that’s how you spell Micheal’s name

Welcome to the future

2015 his begun, no ifs or buts about it. We have a wedding to attend today in Sale, the south east of Victoria, because of this we went to bed nice an early on New Year’s Eve. But sure enough, at midnight a nutty neighbour decided to do the illegal and set off some fireworks in their front yard. Result is a couple of dogs barking like the world was ending and waking up the whole house. We let them come into our room and they eventually settled and we got some sleep done.

Not doing resolutions this year. I never really do them, though you will find some ‘resolution’ posts here going back aways, some of them setting goals that weren’t really achieved. So no firm resolutions, but once my birthday rolls around at the end of the month I’ll be looking at making some changes. Just little ones. This birth year, I’ll eat less meat, try to be a better citizen of the world, see more of the world and take a lot more photographs.

Sure health and fitness is a big one, I’ll be 41 at the end of the month, in the primetime for major health problems going forward so I’ll be looking to minimise those concerns.

Other than that, we’ll take 2015 as we’ve taken every year that has come before it… as she comes. Bring it on father time and let’s see what the future holds.

Music In My Head

Last night was our camera club Christmas dinner, it was great to see so many members there enjoying a meal and enjoying each others’ company.

David and I got to Altona nice and early, coming straight from work, so we took in the kite surfers and had a walk along the beach. I only had my 50mm lens on my camera so what I could shoot was kind of limited, it’s not the best for capturing kite surfing.

I had Danbo with me, so we took a shot at the beach on some of the rocks. I’m happy with how it turned out. Shot at f2.8, you can see the tiny slither that was the field of focus I had to play with.


So anyway, I’ve mentioned in the past about the scenes I see in my head when I close my eyes… kind of like there’s a mini-movie playing on the back of my eyelids. Well I always knew that I also hear sounds and can occasionally smell the environment, the music was never more obvious as it was last night, but more so because at one point it stopped and there was absolute silence. It was weird and has never happened before. The scene was quite dark, not much to see and maybe that just added to the fall of silence.

Mirrors and Glass

This weekend, we made a couple of acquisitions. First up was a new lens, an early Christmas present. The Canon 50mm, f1.2L lens, it’s a dream.

We went to Digital Camera Warehouse to look at the FujiFilm X100T, a great little camera that’s great for street photography and just as a camera to have in your bag that won’t take up too much room. I wanted one, I wanted one pretty bad, but, on seeing the 50mm in the flesh and looking at it through the camera it made me want it more.

It also made more sense to get this fine lens to add to my kit rather than another camera.

The FujiFilm X100T in Black or Silver
Bill and Jo

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

We’ve been hunting for a mirror for our new house pretty much since we moved in. We knew where we wanted to put it, but we weren’t sure of the style we wanted. We ummed and we erred right up to the point it was put in our car and we paid for it.

Sue wanted us to buy us a housewarming gift and has been on at us to pick a mirror since forever. And we finally did.

I really like it, it’s placement is great. We love it.

We got it from Mirror Mirror in Collingwood, we brought it home and we mounted it.


VicVotes and Breakfast

We have a new king, well a new Premier at least, Daniel Andrews. Long live the new regime, if you consider 4 years a long time. For the first time in Victorian history the Liberal Party has only served 1 term before we ousted them from state government leadership. The federal government will tell you their politics had nothing to do with the Victorian defeat, but they’re stupid like that.

Sure it’s not just federal politics that had a hand in their demise, but they are the same party, they operate with the same values and on they have pretty much shown throughout their rule that just like their federal counterparts, our state government was more interested in the favours they could do their friends in business than operating the state for the people.

We do need more of a focus on public transport and less on big roads, we need more focus on the people and less on established big business.

So we now have a Labor lead state, let’s hope the win doesn’t go to their head, they have a lot of work to do and really 4 years isn’t a lot of time to do it. They will be supported by at least 1 Greens seat, perhaps more as the votes continue to be counted.


I’ve been looking for something to have for breakfast that is quick and easy and doesn’t involve bread or sugar-laced cereal. I think I’ve found it.

Last Thursday we attended a Thermomix cooking night. They call it a class, but really it’s more of a demonstration of the machine while they prepare and cook recipes readily found in the cookbooks that come with your machine. I admit, I’m not a big user of our machine, David uses it mostly, but when the presenters showed us CADA I knew I was on a winner for breakfast.

CADA is Coconut, Almonds, Dates and Apple. Topped with yoghurt it makes a delicious healthy breakfast. The recipe is pretty easy: A handful of each of the coconut, almonds and dates, put them in the Thermomix with a quartered apple and pulse until it’s at your preferred consistency. Top with yoghurt and Bob’s your uncle, as they say.

The photos below are my first attempt, and I was making it for two, next time I’ll do two things differently. First of all I’ll pulse the dates and almonds alone before adding the apple and coconut. And if making for two, I’ll add another half an apple.

CADA is what's for breakfast
CADA is what's for breakfast
CADA is what's for breakfast