Michael Forbes Wilcox

Author's details

Name: Michael Forbes Wilcox
Date registered: October 8, 2010

Latest posts

  1. Look What I Got in the Mail — January 18, 2017
  2. Let’s See if I Can Tape This All Together — January 16, 2017
  3. Birds Did Not Evolve from Dinosaurs; They *Are* Dinosaurs — January 14, 2017
  4. What Do Plants See? — January 12, 2017
  5. Walking — December 4, 2016

Most commented posts

  1. Was Steve Jobs Autistic? — 33 comments
  2. My appearance on “Where We Live” on WNPR November 2, 2011 — 10 comments
  3. Is It Time to Abandon the DSM? — 9 comments
  4. Gaze Aversion: An Autistic Adaptation — 8 comments
  5. Is There An Autistic Personality? — 8 comments

Author's posts listings

Jan 18

Look What I Got in the Mail

I was 15 years old. My grandmother had sent me this notecard. I knew it was coming, because she had told me about it. “Someday,” she told me, “you will be very proud to have this.” I didn’t have to wait; I was proud of it from the moment she told me about it. I …

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Jan 16

Let’s See if I Can Tape This All Together

What do cupcakes and chocolate have in common? I guess that’s pretty obvious, but Scotch Tape? In September 2009 Scientific American devoted an entire issue to “Origins” and I’ve chosen three of my favorites to link together here. First up: cupcakes: where and when were they invented, and whence the name?   If you click …

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Jan 14

Birds Did Not Evolve from Dinosaurs; They *Are* Dinosaurs

The January 2017 issue of Scientific American contains a fascinating article (behind a paywall) on the evolution of birds. Using birds as an example, the author makes several interesting points about evolution. Some are quite specific to feathers and such; others are more general, such as Evolution has no foresight; it acts only on what …

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Jan 12

What Do Plants See?

The latest (January 2017) issue of Scientific American has a short blurb entitled “Veggies with Vision” that harks back to speculation and studies of over 100 years ago.   In 1907 Francis Darwin, Charles’s son, hypothesized that leaves have organs that are a combination of lens-like cells and light-sensitive cells.   For some reason, research …

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Dec 04

Walking

Following my comments, you will find an excerpt from an original essay, “Walking,” by Henry David Thoreau that appeared in The Atlantic in 1862; there is also a link at the end for those who want to read more. Henry David Thoreau was the proto-environmentalist. said Bill McKibben. Thoreau was also the one who, perhaps in a …

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Nov 08

#Pantsuit Nation

Today is Election Day. As the hashtags #Pantsuit and #Nation sweep the internet, I am reminded of a day many years ago when I made a momentous decision involving a pantsuit. I know, I know! Hard to imagine a pantsuit being involved in an earthshaking moment, but this one was. In the late 1960s, I …

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Oct 15

50th Anniversary

  On October 15, 1966, I was married for the first time. That day, like its counterpart 50 years later, was a bright sunny day in the Berkshires, with the autumn foliage on full display. When I think back on the next few years of my early twenties; a time of hope, and dreams of …

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Apr 23

Acceptance Is Belonging

A beautiful essay, written by my friend Amy Sequenzia, for Autism Acceptance Month. Autism Acceptance means more than love and understanding. It means belonging. Amy lived in Great Barrington for a time, and was very active in CATA. She has published a collection of poetry.

Apr 23

An underreported feature of planned changes in US currency

I am very pleased with the change of heart that places Tubman on the twenty and leaves Hamilton on the ten. Tucked away at the end of this article is another hugely important change, one that is long overdue. Many (if not most) currencies have different sizes for different denominations, enabling people with poor or …

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Apr 08

The demise of mirror neurons?

The latest (April 2016) issue of Scientific American contains an article that caught my eye. It is billed as “Cognitive Psychology” and subtitled “By honing ax-making skills while scanning their own brains, researchers are studying how cognition evolved.” This is clearly a very speculative venture, and the article (“Tales of a Stone Age Neuroscientist” available …

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