Seriously disturbing

Leave a comment

Today I was at the DHS office, waiting to drop off some paperwork for my Medicaid stuff. A young, large black guy sat a chair away from me. I didn’t think anything of it, at first. I was reading the news on my phone, and enjoying watching a cute little girl be chased around by her father. The guy next to me never took his eyes off the girl, but she was being cute and there’s not much to do while waiting, so I didn’t think much of it.

A few minutes later, the guy started calling the little girl over, and reaching for her as she ran by. I just assumed he knew the couple, but I was wrong. The dad started giving him angry looks. A bit later, he overheard her name, so he started calling her over by her name. Next, he started asking her if she wanted to go outside and play. He finally asked the parents if he could take her outside, which was met with a definative “NO!”

At that point, I was called to the window, glad to be away from that guy. Was I sitting next to a pedophile?!


Leave a comment

This is a paper I wrote for one of my classes. I wanted to share it on here so everyone could read it. The attached image was taken by me. It’s a recreation of what Arthropleura may look like, taken at a local museum.

During the Carboniferous Period (about 360-300 million-years-ago), the Earth was quite a different place. Due to a massive abundance of conifer trees, the oxygen levels in the air were as much as 32.5% (the current levels are only about 21%). Thanks to this oxygen rich environment, arthropods, normally limited in size by a very poor breathing system, were able to grow to unprecedented levels of monstrosity. It’s quite normal to find fossils from this time period of dragonflies with close to three-foot wing-spans. While these dragonflies may have been the largest flying invertebrate ever to call Earth its home, it can’t hold a candle to a fossil known as Arthropleura, which may just be the largest land-dwelling arthropod of all time.
Few fossils of Arthropleura exist, and none are complete, but enough exists to clearly understand many of the basics about this creature. For example, it’s very simple to discern that Arthropleura belongs to the Subphylum Myriapoda. It has many body segments (as many as 30 have been estimated), and a pair of legs attached to each. Fossil tracks have been found in areas like Nova Scotia and Scotland that have the left and right feet as much as 19.7 inches apart. This measurement coupled with a fossil specimen measuring approximately three feet long have allowed an estimation that Arthropleura could grow to lengths of 6.6 feet (or more). From other fossils, we know that Arthropleura had “armored” plates on each segment, but further study has shown these plates to only be a few millimeters thick, showing that they were not used as armor, as an arthropod this large, in this time period, likely had no predators. Older interpretations of fossils showed a more round head, but it was more recently discovered that this was the first body segment, and the head was tucked underneath. The first pair of legs is tucked under the head and has been modified with fang-like pincers on the ends.

The general consensus in the paleontological world is that Arthropleura belongs to its own Class (Arthropleuridae), but is derived from primitive millipedes (Class Diplopoda). Often cited reasons for this connection are the shape of the body “armor,” the positioning of the head being tucked under the first body segment, and a fossil specimen found to have partially digested plant matter in its body cavity at the time of its death. All three of these arguments are quite weak, when examined in any detail.

The observation of body armor matching modern species of millipede is a fairly worthless statement, on the whole. The appearance of convergent evolution happens frequently in the fossil record, and in modern fauna. Even so, modern millipedes that possess plated armor have extremely thick exoskeletons, as much a 1.5mm on fairly small animals. Arthropleura’s “armor” was only a few millimeters thick, which when scaled up to the size of these animals, would be extremely thin, offering no protection at all.

The positioning of Arthropleura’s head appears to be a case of paleontologists looking for information to support their claims, rather than the present information forming a conclusion. On most fossils, the animal will not be preserved in its natural resting position; therefore, the fossil’s head positioning cannot be taken at face value. Upon my own examination of the fossils that involve Arthropleura’s head, I’ve noticed a very prominent feature of millipedes completely missing: on millipedes, the first body segment behind the head is enlarged to 2-4 times the length of the other segments. On Arthropleura, the first body segment matches the size of the other segments almost exactly (there will be slight variations as you progress down the body, of course). Minus this very pronounced feature, needed to curve a myriapod’s head into that placement, it seems the head is only placed there on the fossil due to the animal falling apart, or being crushed by substrate.

The most convincing evidence that Arthropleura was a descendent of diplopods was a small amount of plant matter found near one of the fossils. This was widely accepted for many years as proof that Arthropleura was herbivorous. A more recent discovery has shown that that association was made in error and the two fossils have nothing to do with one another. Any claims that Arthropleura has a known diet are, at this point, simply conjecture.

Upon study of Arthropleura’s fossil remains coupled with several articles on the subject, I’ve come to a firm conclusion that Arthropleura was much more closely related to centipedes (Class Chilopoda) than it was to millipedes (Class Diplopoda). I still believe that it deserves its own Class (Arthropleuridae), but the systematics of these animals need revision. Several features stand out to me as clearly chilopod features: antenna and head positioning, legs, skin thickness, and fangs.

One feature that leaps out at me immediately is the head of Arthropleura. While it is curled under the body in the fossils it exists in, as stated earlier, the first body segment above it is no longer than any of the other segments, thus giving insufficient ability for the neck to stay curved in a downward position. The head itself is flat and oval shaped. Also, the placement of the antenna are more forward-facing, and larger at the base. The connection points for the antenna are between the eyes, as opposed to slightly above them. Each of these features is distinctly chilopodian in nature.
Another trait that simply can’t be ignored is the number of legs that Arthropleura possessed and their placement. In Arthropleura, much like modern and primitive centipedes, each body segment has only one pair of legs (millipedes have two per segment). Aside from simply the number of legs, Arthropleura’s legs were placed outward, moving out from the body at 90°, then downward towards the ground. This is true of all known centipedes, but only about 5-10% of millipedes (the rest have legs that move out from the body at almost straight down from the body to the ground like brush bristles). These two key leg traits point strongly to chilopod roots.

As discussed earlier, the “armor” of Arthropleura was much to thin to give any protection at all. Instead, it likely acted much like the thin skin on centipedes: to allow water to diffuse easily in and out. With the extremely humid conditions during this time period, it’s not a large leap to think that Arthropleura was using this same survival strategy that modern centipedes in extremely humid climates use.
The most damning evidence that Arthropleura was of chilopod decent and not diplopod were its modified legs that contained fangs. This exact feature is present in all known centipedes, but not a single millipede. Both use a chemical defense mechanism, but millipedes are quite different. Millipedes release a cyanotoxin through pores near their legs along the entire length of their bodies. Centipedes do not possess this ability, but are able to inject strong venom through fangs that are a modified pair of legs on the first body segment behind the head.

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest answer is likely the correct one. As such, it makes much more sense for Arthropleura to evolve from an animal possessing so many traits it shares– namely an animal from Chilopoda– than it does to evolve from something that it shares very few traits with– an animal from Diplopoda– which would require it to evolve to be nearly identical to something unrelated.  Presented all the evidence, along with my expert knowledge on myriapods, I’d like to present that Arthropleuridae is best classified as a class of animals derived from Class Chilopoda.


1 Comment

People love to say that autistics have no ability to feel empathy. We do. I feel it often. NTs don’t. I see it daily.

For example: At school recently, the testing center made a mistake. They gave me the wrong Chemistry test. I was asked what number I needed to take, and I said I didn’t know, but it was the one dropped off that morning for me with my name on it. I was given the one for the week before, didn’t remember it, and wasted two hours on it. When I told them they gave me the wrong test, I expected to get something along the lines of “Oh no,” or “Sorry,” or even just “That sucks!” Instead, I got, “We just gave you whatever YOU asked for,” with no eye contact.

I’m the one with autism, here. I’ll be avoiding the eye contact, thanks.

I’ve developed a theory about this. Let me know if I sound crazy, here, but I do think I’m on to something.

Empathy is a myth. It simply doesn’t exist in most people. The reason most people will relate to others is that their experiences are so normal and routine that they’ve both experienced them. They only relate to it because it’s something that they’ve already done or been through. This is why NTs will not feel any empathy towards someone with autism.

People with autism usually do feel empathy towards everyone because we’re told so often that we don’t and that it’s bad, so we spend so much time dwelling on it that we learn to be hyper sensitive to the feelings of others. We may not know how not to offend someone, but we’ll feel like crap when we do. Empathy in us is a learned skill that we’re told to use.

So NTs only feel empathy because it’s a shared experience. Unless they learn to feel empathy, they won’t relate to those that are different than them (explaining hate-crimes, etc). Aspies (et all) feel empathy because they’re taught to feel embarrassed if they don’t.



1 Comment

I won’t post any names here, as no one has done anything wrong. I want to state that from the get-go. These are just observations from my perspective. I’m not mad, by any means. I’m just a tad frustrated right now.

I’m disabled and in college. As such, I need accommodations– more than I’d prefer to have, honestly. I’m in the disability services office at least once a week, and sometimes much more. I know everyone in that office (which is a big deal for an aspie), and they know me.

One of my favorite people there is A (remember, no names). A seemed to be the intermediary for everyone in the office. A booked appointments for B, C, and D. A organized all the paperwork about the students. A talked with all the students who would come in. A proctored tests for students that needed things the testing center couldn’t provide. A did a phenomenal job and was always positive and calm, but almost everyone in the office treated A like crap (from what I witnessed) and blamed A for anything that went wrong (A’s fault or not). A did all of this for very, very little pay (as A told me when we went out for lunch once). A week ago, A quit working for my college, and went back to an old job that paid better with much less work. I can understand that choice completely.

The department still hasn’t replaced A, and I think they’re starting to realize that they took A for granted. Things really aren’t the same.

This semester, I’m taking a class on Music Appreciation. I need 6 Humanities credits, and it seemed nice and relaxed being a musician with a lifetime of training and experience. I was right, and I love the class. I’ve learned a few neat things I didn’t know ahead of time, and otherwise it’s been very easy. No studying or note taking needed. The tests are a different issue, though. Part of each test requires me to listen to 30 second clips of songs and identify the composer and the title. I’m only allowed to hear each one once. Due to that last caveat, I cannot just be given a CD player in the test center to test at my own leisure. I have to go to Disability Services and have my exam proctored there.

My first music test went swimmingly. A proctored it, and I was done in about ten minutes. We didn’t schedule the test, but I was able to walk in and take it because no one was busy. For my second test, it was proctored by B, as A wasn’t in for the day. B didn’t know where the test was, or what to do. It took a lot of effort to get it started, and a lot of stress on my part. This one was scheduled, so they knew to expect me.

Today, I went to take my third test. A has been gone for a week or two, at this point. I scheduled my test with B for 11AM, as I expected my Chemistry lab to last until 10AM and it would give me some time to cool down in between. My Chem lab was over at 8:30AM, though, so I decided to go get the test over with. At 9AM (after calming down from the lab), I went to the office and found it empty. No one was in any office or at any of the desks. I checked the white board used to mark when people are in or out and saw lots of the people listed as out until Monday. B (the person I scheduled my test with) was listed as planning to be in from 9-12 only. After several minutes, E showed up. E was shocked I was there to test at all, today. E did one of the things I hate where E would stare me in the eyes with a giant smile, trying to elicit some response out of me that I don’t understand, rather than answering a direct question. This is why I try to avoid E at all costs. E told me that F now does all the proctoring, but was at a meeting, then needed to be in another class. I’d need to speak to F about my test, but E had no idea when F would be back. I mentioned that I made the appointment with B and was expecting B to proctor. I was told that it was with F now, as B took the day off (making me wonder what the 9-12 only thing was about, even though it was past 9). I think I made it clear that I was frustrated by the situation, but I decided to sit outside the office and see if F was coming back.

At about 9:30, another teacher stopped by to pick up a test that was proctored in the department yesterday. E was still the only person in the office, and the teacher had to stand and wait a few minutes before being addressed. E couldn’t find the test and tried to tell the teacher to come back and ask for F later that day. He said he couldn’t come back by, and he needed to grade the test to give the student their grade in the class since today was the last day available to drop. After watching E struggle for ten minutes to try and find the test for this teacher and failing, I gave up on taking my test today.

Before leaving, I stopped by the testing center and told them the situation. The director agreed that without A, it’s hard to do tests in disability services, so he’d let me take my tests with them for the rest of the semester and we’d work something out on Monday. I told my teacher about this as I was leaving, and he was incredibly shocked, it seemed.

Being disabled, my life is already harder than other people’s lives are. I spend more time at school than my fellow students because I have to do all my tests and quizzes outside of class hours. Not being able to take a test on the day I planned to take it really throws off my day, and my whole week. This is extremely frustrating for me.

This is my life. :)

My Life Got Flipped, Turned Upside Down


Yeah. I went there.


The past two weeks of my life have been hell. I honestly don’t know how I’m still getting by. In just the past two weeks:

  • One of my two best friends suddenly stopped talking to me. Everything went from normal to angry very suddenly, leaving me quite confused. Looking back, I can now see that he was dropping hints for a while, but (no surprise), I didn’t pick them up. I hope things go back to normal, soon.
  • My other best friend almost died, it sounds like. It’s hard to get information, as she’s been in the hospital. She’s not answering her phone (since she needs to rest), and her boyfriend updated her Facebook page with just a small bit of info. I can totally understand why she’s out of touch, and I hope she gets better soon.
  • School just got ten times harder for me. I spent a lot of energy making a new friend this semester, which I normally avoid doing. She and I were study partners in my Chemistry I class, and lab partners. We worked really well together, and were planning to take two more classes together next semester. Yesterday, she unexpectedly dropped out of college for personal reasons (they don’t sound like her fault). It’s too late in the semester to find a new partner, nor do I have the energy to do so. I also don’t like working with people I don’t know in lab, but I’m too physically disabled to work alone (my teacher did give me the option since he knew the circumstances). Lab, today, wasn’t the most fun. I got paired with the exchange student no one else wanted to work with. He’s smart and  nice, but has a very poor grasp of English and a thick accent. I have trouble with light accents, so I felt horrible making him repeat himself so many times. I ended up doing 80-90% of the work today, anyway.
  • The big one: Rachel dropped it on me just before bed last night (causing me to not sleep). I won’t get into the details, but we’re not moving to Texas, and I won’t be attending A&M. Not for my BS, anyway. I have to take all the plans I had, and connections I made, and throw them out and start over. I owe her one, since she moved out here with me four years ago, so I can justify that. It’s just so difficult for me to change plans I thought were so solid and worked out. I hate uncertainty and that’s all I’m filled with right now.


I could really use someone to talk to right now, but my two best friends can’t/won’t talk to me, and Rachel is working tons of overtime at work and not around much.


How have I not just given up, again? I’ve done it for less than this.

AT&T’s Disability Plan and Unhelpful Staff

1 Comment


As most of you know, I have an iPhone and love it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the best relationship with AT&T.


In an effort to save money, My fiancee and I went to a lower rate plan (450 minute family plan and limited text messages). The phone rep for AT&T said that based on our monthly usage, that would be fine for us. I don’t know what they were looking at, because we went over on minutes the first month.


A second call, and the phone rep insisted that I take the unlimited voice plan and it would only be $10 more than what we were paying. Because I was rushed and didn’t get to process what was being said, I agreed. It was $60 more, once the first bill showed up.


Another call, and this rep talked me into an 1100 minute plan, as we could pick five numbers to call for free. It reduced the bill, but not by much. This is where I drew the line.


When I got my iPhone, thanks to a letter from my doctor, I qualified for a disability plan: Text and Data only for $50 a month, all unlimited. I decided to go back to this, then drop my girlfriend’s plan down to 450 minutes and unlimited texts (she only uses ~30 minutes a month, but texts a lot). Since the regular phone reps cannot handle disability plans, they had to send it off to another department which would back-date it– I wouldn’t get a quote about the price due to that. The next two months, they screwed up the bill, so I had no idea what the charge was.


During this time, I tried a few things out for discounted phone service. I only call three people, for the most part. All three are long distance.

  • A home phone with long distance would have been $45 a month, so that was out.
  • I tried Skype, which worked out to $8.99 a month. The price was right, but the service was extremely spotty.
  • I was recently turned on to TTY service, so I’ve been using that to call businesses and keep my stress levels down (it works WONDERFULLY!). It’s just too impersonal for the three people I actually want to call.
  • I went back to AT&T to price my options and was talked into a Go Phone ($2 for unlimited use each day it’s used). It worked out to about $15 a month.


Yesterday, I received a correct bill from AT&T, finally. By switching to a disability plan, or cell phone bills went down a grand total of $10 a month. I was actually spending $5 more a month for a plan with no voice service, and a cheap-ass cell phone that charged me for a day if someone would let the voicemail pick up! Needless to say, I was pretty pissed off.


After trying to call AT&T’s call center with TTY service, I was disconnected six times (by AT&T). I guess they didn’t want their average call time to go up from it. Not exactly disability friendly, AT&T. I gave up on the call center, and went to one of their local stores. The person there was able to get us on a family plan with shared unlimited texts (saving $10 a month), and a 700 minute plan with free mobile-to-mobile calls ($10 more a month), breaking even. Why couldn’t this be done originally?!


In the end, while AT&T may have a disability plan that’s great for someone who’s on a plan by themselves, it’s an absolute joke for those in a family. It saves no money, in the end, and feels like a spit in the face from a major corporation.



I found a thread over on today, and it really made my day. This is the post that started it:


I work In a retail store as a Electronics clerk. A friend that I have known since Kindergarten works there as well pushing shopping carts. He had a tragic automobile accident several years back and is now mentally disabled.

Anyway today I was standing near the main entrance and he approached me and started asking about the LED tv’s. We talked for a minute before a customer approached us and got right in my friends face and said “There are no more shopping carts out there, You need to get more!” She talked to him sternly as if disciplining a toddler. (She could clearly see his was special and seemed to thrive on telling him how to his job)

I was getting a little angry and was about to put her in place, and explain to her that He deals with carts in the rear exit where there’s less traffic. It isn’t safe for him out in the main entrance.

But before I could say a word He calmly replied “your concern has been noted and I dont Give a Fuck”

Greatest thing he has ever said.


This wasn’t the only awesome post. Here’s several of the follow up comments, all of them being incredibly awesome.

I was friends with a girl with Down syndrome, and her family would speak in english (she spoke only Spanish) around her, when they didn’t want her to know what they were saying. So, the first time I met her family and they started doing this, she leaned towards me and explained, in Spanish: They are talking about me, and they think I don’t know. They are funny like that. Ignore them.


Years ago when I was a reporter I did a story about a social services program that was putting mentally challenged people in the work force to perform menial jobs. This particular person was being trained to bag groceries and he was very good at it. One store customer however, did not want him to bag her groceries. When she left, the man asked his trainer why the woman didn’t want him to bag her groceries. The trainer replied, “Some people are more handicapped than you are.”


Haha I was at Canada’s Wonderland and a guy was in a wheelchair by the front gates. I overheard woman say “cool chair can I take a look?” or something along those lines. The dude in the wheelchair responded AND I QUOTE ” Only if you show me your left breast”. I fucking died of laughter


The way Americans, nay people, treat the “disabled” is an odd thing. On the one hand, I would argue Americans as a whole treat those with disabilities very well compared to most of the world; you would be horrified to learn how many countries treat them. For example, in S. Korea there is a huge problem with re-training seeing eye dogs, because children love to throw rocks at them (the dogs). The blind in said country also have pretty much no social mobility beyond being a masseuse.

That being said, it is difficult annoying living with a visible handicap. It’s a mix of getting treated like a small child and people getting pissy when you ask a simple question. If I walk into a restraunt without having memorized the menu ahead of time, then I don’t know what to expect. I usually ask a simple question, “Do you have [item],” or “how much is [item]?”

These types of questions are often met with disdain. Most people point at the menu and say “We got what we got.” At this point, I have to re-phrase with the qualifying statement, “I can’t see very well, so can you please just tell me?”. Now, this is all simply to get some food at a restaurant. This, also, is usually met with further disdain because I’m taking time out of their day.

On the other hand, some people are insightful enough to notice I can’t see well. In my case, I have some visual cues (e.g. crossed eyes) or they pick up because I’m squinting, etc. The reaction in this instance is usually a lot better. The only thing is it’s somewhat hurtful to my pride being an arrogant son of a bitch. They always, always get that tone. You know, that tone people use when they’re talking to a baby. It’s humiliating, but you know they mean well. They talk slower, softer, and start explaining the most basic things to you (e.g. you have to get a lid and straw for your drink, etc).

When somebody treats me like a normal human being while still accommodating the simple questions I ask, it is so rare that I will remember it for the rest of the day if not forever.

I could go into a tirade about expectations, false deferment of fault, and a bunch of other boring stuff. I dunno, I’m not that special, but I could probably do more if people wanted an AMA legally blind person or something.

This one was my favorite:

Some years ago I was in a sandwich shop in Philly. Their was a handicapped guy working there… no idea what his condition was specifically, some sort of retardation/slowness. Anyways people were super shitty to him, including the workers there. I would have been nice to him anyways but I was extra nice to him on account of the assholes he had to deal with and may or may not have called the especially bitchy cashier that yelled at him a cunt bag. Anyways, not the point of the story.

The point of the story is a few minutes later as my friend and I are eating, the retarded guy ambles over and brings us this pile of cookies and other desserts from the restaurant:

“These are for you! On the house!”

“On the house? Does your boss know they are on the house?”

“The best part about being retarded is nobody pays any attention to you.”

“Indeed. You sir are more clever than you let on.”

“Stop by anytime and call Melissa a cunt bag. Have a nice day!”


My little bro has a mental disability, but he is a freakin genius like this sometimes. Best story…

I took him to the video store to hire a movie, he only had $2. He starts loading himself up with videos, popcorn, lollies, etc – I stop him and patiently explain that he only has $2 and can’t afford all of this stuff, that he can only afford one movie. He just gives me a knowing smile, grabs a bottle of Coke from the fridge, and walks up to the counter with his armload of stuff.

The lady at the counter rings it all up, and tells him the price, he starts slowly getting out the few coins he had and puts them on the counter, then looks up with his best (ridiculously exaggerated) hopeful “is this enough? I’m disabled” face. She pauses for a moment… then takes the $2, hands him the bag and wishes him a good evening.

After standing there stunned for a moment, I walk outside and he’s grinning from ear to ear. Knew what he was doing the whole time.

EDIT: To everyone who’s on my bro’s case for this, a little perspective: he’s a sweet and generous guy who is extensively involved in community and charity work, he works hard in a cafe for fuck all wages but saves up all year to buy my kids awesome xmas presents (and they adore him). He’s been bullied and pushed around his whole life by us “normal” people – his school teacher once hit him so hard it ruptured his bowel – but he rises above it and is unfailingly friendly and kind and helps everyone out (and often gets taken advantage of by “normal” people because of his kindness). The video store in question? He spent a shitload of money there every week hiring his favourite movies, this one incident didn’t send them out of business, and he’s not a serial offender, just a larrikin sometimes. So yeah, have a knock if you want, but odds are he’s a better person than you could ever hope to be.


I had a friend who was hit by a car and completely disabled physically yet had all of his mental capacity. It was bad because he could barely speak and it was very hard to understand him yet, deep inside his mind was clear as ever. He was in college as well and did very well.

anyhow, people (especially girls) would come up and talk to him loudly and slowly like morons and talk to him like he was a child. Ill never forget one girl in particular who even after I explained it to her (I was standing right next to him) kept talking like that to him. So I finally said hey man i’m really sorry I think she’s just retarded. which horrified her and cracked him up.


My wife is a special ed teacher and spent many years teaching and administering at a school for children with autism. She could home with some of the most hilarious stories of working with kids that were not only facing difficulty with language and communicating but also with social cues and what is expected in typical behavior. So sometimes a kid would say something that in sped terms is phenomenal, like expressing an interest or a complex response…but it might also be totally inappropriate for a child to say to a teacher… But would have been perfectly appropriate for two irreverent friends.

Example : trying to get a nonverbal kid to explain why he doesn’t want to play outside. He responds, in a complete sentence, to your question, and effectively answers your question. For this kid, that’s epic, make a big note, put it in their file, send a happy letter home. But the response was, “Because it is fucking cold out.”


and the kicker is, the curse word is even used right. So, my wife would have to praise the kid while at the same time explaining that isn’t the language he should use… Even though she’s thinking, “damn right, it’s fucking cold. Lets do a puzzle.”


I was at the DMV the other day and there was a man leaving as I was waiting he only had one leg and as he was going to the door he had his hands full. A lady asked him if he could use a hand (with the door) he replied “No, I could use a foot!” Lol


There are two guys with down syndrome who catch the same bus as me in the morning and may I just say, if I’m really depressed or in a bad mood they never fail to cheer me up.

They high five me when I walk past them and do ridiculously funny shit like start cheering on a passenger for no reason, hands in the air and chanting, without practice, at the same time. They never fail to make me laugh and I just love them.

Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.