Panic Viruses, Surgeon Generals, Fungus Fairs, Grants, & Tsunamis

Busy week. Damn. See that title?

I know the iPad2 came out today. And I'm excited, we're all excited. Camera = instant icons and social stories, can you imagine? But we're going to wait a week to get one -- assuming they're still available. Neither Leelo nor I like crowds or waiting in lines, and that bests any must-have factor.

Update: iPad 2 shipping in two to three weeks (Engadget) [Pooooop!]

Seth Mnookin came to town in support of his crucial vaccine misinformation guidebook The Panic Virus (note: it was a self-organized tour). On Monday, he had a fine conversation with KQED Forum's Michael Krasny about the media's botched handling of the Wakefield debacle, and another with Steve Silberman (anti-vaccine commenters have roosted, you might want to leave a pro-evidence comment) on how autism parents' need for support and the elusiveness of autism causation answers can lead families to false beliefs and harmful actions -- including immunization choices that undermine public health.

Mr. Mnookin also came to Science Cafe, where Jennyalice, Liz Ditz, and I got to meet him in person. I was impressed -- he was not only a great speaker, but radiates kindness coupled with a Heinlein's Fair Witness-like dedication to evidence and information-gathering. That's a combination I wish more reporters would grok.

On Wednesday, Seymour's team's Fungus Fair piece went live -- and for those keeping score, that was indeed the mushroom indoctrination experience that led to our family's Mushroom Frenzy. Have a look, and please leave a comment on KQED Quest's own site to let Seymour's team know what you think.

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Thursday (yesterday) the ASF notified me that I won an Autism Science Foundation IMFAR travel grant. A big honor. I hope to do the award justice. More info:
The Autism Science Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, today announced the recipients of its IMFAR Stakeholder Travel grants. ASF will make 11 awards of up to $1000 to be used to cover expenses related to attending the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Diego in May 2011. After the conference, grant recipients will be expected to share what they’ve learned with families in their local communities and/or online.

This year’s recipients are:
  • Geraldine Bliss—Parent
  • Matthew Carey—Parent
  • Shannon Des Roches Rosa—Parent
  • Mark Fornefeld—Self Identified Individual with Autism
  • Abby Hare—Graduate Student
  • Erin Lopes—Parent
  • Molly McGrath—Self Identified Individual with Autism/MIT Media Lab
  • Brianna Miller—Special Ed Teacher, Newark Public Schools
  • Sharman Ober-Reynolds—Parent/Senior Research Coordinator,SARRC
  • Megan O’Boyle—Parent
  • Max Rolison—Undergraduate Student
IMFAR is an annual scientific meeting, convened each spring, to promote exchange and dissemination of the latest scientific findings in autism research and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for autism spectrum disorders. IMFAR is the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).
Yesterday I also spent the entire day speaking about iPads (natch) and listening to the other speakers -- fabulous speakers -- at the UCSF Developmental Disabities conference. Speakers that included Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. Adding to the goodness: I got to spend the day with lovely Laura Shumaker, who got me the speaker gig. I learned so much that my brain shuts down each time I try to recap. But I will force my brain to give up the goods this Monday, for a TPGA post.

Today -- Friday -- we are all worried about and horrified by the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. My cousin and his family, all residents, are fine, but so many are not. Here are some helpful links, including today's coincidental TPGA post on why IEPs should be part of emergency planning:
    Wouldn't change anything, as usual -- but I hope next week is more placid for all of us.


    1. I've read some of your ipad posts and have been won over. We'd love to get an ipad1 for our little boy (we'd of course love the new one, but that's out of the question right now). Any chance you want to sell your old ipad? :)

    2. Hi Christy! I know that the HollyRod foundation would like to recycle iPads, and I suspect that in a month or less, eBay will be glutted with them. :)

    3. Congratulations on your award! That is awesome. I keep telling my husband he's going to buy me an ipad for my birthday but he is less enthused.


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