ramsay
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Here at Blather Sub-aqua HQ in the ice-caverns of Crete, we are watchful of the time, and are therefore very much cognisant of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK), which took place in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November 1963. As no-one was ever tried for this violent crime, it's a murder mystery of sorts, and has been a remarkably fertile ground for conspiracy theories for decades. Indeed it was the beginning of the conspiracy culture as we know it today. A culture that Blather has fed off like a starving goat. From now until 22 November, this blog will prime you for the anniversary, and will be, in the beginning at least, a kind of literature survey of the case. This week's book is Who Shot JFK? (2002), a 'pocket essential' by Robin Ramsay, editor of the parapolitical journal Lobster. There is...

Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica, on cliffs at the Saltee Islands, off the coast of Wexford, Ireland.
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ff the coast of southeast Ireland lie the two small Saltee Islands. Their simple, low-slung landscapes, four or five kilometres of the Wexford fishing village of Kilmore Quay belie their layers of history, folklore and bizarre stories.

Talk Talk
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I decided to appreciate what I own. Or else what's the point of owning anything? So I have listened to almost every album in my record collection, CDs and LPs - over 500 of them, casually working through them in random order during the past 12 months. Now, with no CDs left and only 14 LPs to go, my record player has broken. Will I ever hear the vinyl again? Anyway, here are some observations for Blather.net. 1. I have been a bit slack at helping out billionaires. The most enjoyable listens were seldom 'classics' beloved of journos and polls. This isn't reverse snobbery but either (a) unwillingness to repeat-play music that has been played to death everywhere else. And there's nothing in the way I live my life day-to-day at home that can be soundtracked by mega-anthems, which to be fair to them were never written to be all-purpose...

The Cold Edge by Dave Walsh & Duncan Cleary
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Ethereal, emotional photographs of the unforgiving wilderness, wild animals and blue icebergs that question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments. Images that resonate with a quiet tension; all may not be right in the Garden of Eden.

Dave Walsh: The Cold Edge
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From davewalshphoto.com: There comes a time in a photographer's life when (s)he finally gets to announce the Big News; a first major solo exhibition. It's unnerving, exciting, heartening, and reassuring. There's also the sense of achievement, and a feeling of "yes, I was right to hammer away so for many years on something I care passionately about".

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’m talking about The Book of Migrations: Some Passages in Ireland, by Rebecca Solnit, which has been a joy to read, and an honour to become connected with. I was unaware of Solnit’s work until May 24th of this year, when I read her insightful article the Strauss-Kahn affair, colonisation and the IMF: Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite. That afternoon, I received an email from Bob Bhamra, of Verso Books, asking me if he could use my image of the Burren for a new editon of The Book of Migrations. Serendipity. We cut a deal.

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Guest writer Oliver Bayliss, gives us his unique take on the London and UK riots which have engulfed the country for the last four days.

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Archaeological batshttery, mumbo jumbo misinformation and outright lunacy based on fringe interpretations of a couple of websites and five minutes research by ill informed amateur web 'journalists'? It must be Friday, so.

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Benito Mussolini in his characteristic attitude with a proud worker Digging on the beach of the seaside resort of Ostia near Rome. Photo from 1931. The long held and longer respected Irish nocturnal tradition of body snatching is alive and well in the 21st century, it seems. Sort of. Kinda. We're not exactly sure if it officially counts though, if you leave the body back. Kinda. Sort of. Reports reaching Blather HQ today indicate a corpse has been mysteriously (and illegally) exhumed and reburied in a separate grave under cover of darkness in Co. Limerick in recent times. Limerick (Old Irish: Liabh mé de féic alóne; take mó bhállet) is no stranger to nefarious after-hours activity, but even by its own standards, this counts as a strange one. No exhumation order was sought, nor were official graveyard authorities present at the 'removal'. It all just kind of happened by itself....

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Blather's Dave journeyed to the Arctic outpost of Barentsburg last year. And he finally got off his arse to write about it. I am staring at a forest, a painting of a forest. They close the door, then walk away. The forest, or rather the painting of a forest, is in the Russian coal-mining town of Barentsburg, about 1200km from the North Pole, one of three inhabited settlements in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. There are no trees in Svalbard. But there are pictures of trees, billboard size, to remind the miners of the forests back home. My visit to Barentsburg was short, far too short. I only stayed 97 minutes. I am not proud of this. I arrived as a tourist, and didn't want to leave. At least not soon. I took no time to make new friends, gained no valuable insights into what it is like to live...