Month: October 2003

A quick dash through some of the works of a travel writer with a difference. Benedict Allen... been meaning to read his works for years, then I stumbled across a Hunting the Gugu and Mad White Giant while rummaging through secondhand bookshops in Galway. Then I got my hands on Into the Crocodiles Nest... In Mad White Giant, at the age of 22, Allen set off for Venezuela, after saving by packing boxes in a warehouse in England. Within days, he was sliding naked around the mudflats, being taught how to hunt Pelicans with bow and arrow by a bunch of six-year-olds. He had been taken in by their village, a collection of hunts on stilts, above the mouth of the Orinoco. From there, he tramped the whole way to the mouth of the Amazon, a perilous journey. He escapes death at the hands of Indians and gold miners, and...

Sue Walsh (my sister!) plays Mina Harker in a stage production of Dracula in Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Galway. Monday October 27 to November 1 at 8pm. Galway theatre company MórWax presents: Peadar De Burca directs Dracula in Nicholas' Church, with Willy Moriarty (Dracula), Senan Sheedy (Johnathon Harker), Sue Walsh (Mina Harker), Ciaran Duffy (Dr Van Helsing and music), and Liz Nestor (Lucy). Tickets are available from Mulligan Records, Middle Street. Preview and interview with director Peadar De Burca in the Galway Advertiser >> Review in the Galway Advertiser >> Visit the Morwax website »

Jasper meets a chinaman. In space. Further to our previous reports regarding Jasper's interstellar amblings, we (and indeed Japser) recieved a bit of a surprise this morning when Japser reported that he had had a close encounter with a Chinaman. At first we were, quite naturally, perplexed. We had assumed that Jasper was stranded somewhere near the Jovian moons and sometime around the Stone Age. On the contrary it would now seem that the intrepid feline has managed to time-shift back to the present day. We know this because the Chinese government have been crowing all day about their first succesful placement of a man in orbit around the planet earth. Either that or the ship has fallen foul of the same time-holes that caught Jasper. In which case they are fucked. Anyhoo: The chinese president said that the launch was "the glory of our great motherland and a mark...

I didn't make to very much in this year's Dublin Fringe Festival, but... NOTE: Camille O'Sullivan Sings Brel: The Sugar Club, Leeson St. Dublin 2, April 18th 2004 I did make it to see The Black Angel, in the Spiegeltent in Wolfe Tone Square, Dublin 1. The show was put together for a one-night-only performance by Camille O'Sullivan and her band. I hadn't seen Camille playing in several years. Once a member of Klub Kabaret - the outfit responsible for turning me on to Weimar cabaret and the music of Kurt Well - the played weekend gigs in Dublin. As the wormwood took its weekly hold of the audience at Club Absinthe, the four vocalists would trounce their way through Brecht's Threepenny Opera. Since then, she's released A Little Yearning, an album of songs by Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Weill, as well as Berlin cabaret composers like Hollander, Eisler and...

Volume 2. Episode 2. Jasper goes to Jupiter. As you do... Well now. Having had a quick jaunt around the outer rings of Saturn and reporting back on various odd phenomena, young Jasper has now ventured to the gas giant, Jupiter. Jupiter is big. Very, very big. In fact, it's about 1300 times the size of the wee blue orb upon which we sit right now. Composed of clouds of helium, water vapour, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, Jupiter is one scary, breathtaking place, as was evidenced by the incredible pictures from the Galileo space probe in recent years. Jupiter also has a mass of moons - 16 for sure, the most interesting of which are Io, Europa, Ganymede (the biggest satellite in the solar system) and Callisto, the original four observed by Galileo (the scientist, not the probe) in 1610. A 17th moon may have been discovered in recent years....

The great American satirist returns. And guess who he´s bowling for this time? The master returns. "I have seven questions for you, Mr Bush. I ask them on behalf of the 3,000 who died that September day, and I ask them on behalf of the American people. We seek no revenge against you. We want only to know what happened, and what can be done to bring the murderers to justice, so we can prevent any future attacks on our citizens..." Read the extract here. Buy the book! Dude where's my country? » ( Dude where's my country? » (

Volume 2. Episode 1.... A crackle and a splurt. A hiss and a wheeze. A whine and a miaow... Jasper has made contact When we last spoke to the intrepid feline he was having a short sojourn on the surface of the planet Mars. About three thousand years ago. Or thereabouts. Not content with travelling through both time and space, young Jasper has now decided to explore the further reaches of the solar system, from the hellish surfaces of Venus to darkened glacial wastelands of Pluto. For some bizzare reason, he has decided to begin with the sixth rock from the sun: the gas giant Saturn. With an atmosphere composed of hydrogen and helium, wrapped in the solar systems most spectacular ring system composed of millions of giant ice particles and rocks, one could be forgiven for wondering why Jasper didn´t try investigating somewhere a bit warmer... After all, his...

With the League of Extraordinary Gentleman in our cinemas, it's time to unearth this massive interview, done by Barry Kavanagh in October 2000. More »