Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nature Is Cruel, But We Don't Have To Be

Please, please, please, put Temple Grandin on your Must See list!

The HBO movie Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes, won seven Emmy Awards in 2010.  It is now available on DVD.  The movie is clever and heartfelt and is one of the best movies I've seen this year.  The performances, large and small, were spot on.  Danes became Grandin; if you close your eyes I'm not sure you could tell them apart.  I look forward to watching it again.

I first encountered Temple Grandin, Ph.D., when she was interviewed on NPR in 2006. She said her visual thinking let her experience the world as a cow does.  This caused her to develop evidence-based animal handling systems in which livestock experience much less stress.  Ironically, her explanation of how animals perceive the world has made me a better hunter.

Dr. Grandin is an outspoken champion of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She invented the "hug machine" which is used to comfort and calm hypersensitive persons.  Grandin is a prolific author, penning a variety of books including The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's and Thinking In Pictures: My Life With Autism.  She gave a funny and poignant talk at TED 2010 where she said she felt right at home with many of the attendees who seemed to be operating somewhere on the autism spectrum.

And yes, she designs slaughterhouses...

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