Month: November 2003

blather.net
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Definitely my favourite news story of the month... or even year? Definitely my favourite news story of the month... or even year? In Orem, Utah, a certain William Bolick (44), ordered his mother out of her home, while claiming he was Jesus Christ. Not very Messiah-like, you would think. She phoned the local coppers, who sent someone along... and found Bolick naked and violent. The policeman tried to pacify Bolick with a stun gun, but got badly bitten on the finger. He went to hospital, while Bolick went on the run, before being run to groud at a mobile home park. Charming. Or just a load of bolicks? More on Ananova > >

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Nude Blues, Sex Magic, Hoaxing and lots more... and a word from Clare Taylor, of The Yoke - fifth issue out now! Periodical publishing, a notoriously difficult, low margin business, has become even more fraught recently. Advertising revenues are down, and a number of Irish titles have folded. The only one I will miss is The Slate (see page 2), and the odd article in Magill. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The naked blue woman you see on the front cover is me. I've wanted to imitate the Matisse blue nude series for quite some time now, a sort of postmodern pastiche - Life as Art. Art is not confined to galleries and museums; an art is a practical skill. The Yoke exists to provide a space for those who wish to practice their art. Nobody gets paid, so why do they do it? Perhaps because the need to...

blather.net
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A conversation with Professor Ivor Browne - by Clare Taylor I first heard of Ivor Browne in connection with an experiment to test out the therapeutic qualities of ketamine. Then a few weeks later a friend bought me a book On Our Backs by Rosita Sweetman, and there was Ivor Browne again. His frank description of the soulessness of modern society caught my attention. At this time he was Professor of Psychiatry at UCD and Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board. He is a radical, and for a radical to remain radical and still reach the very top of their profession implies exceptional talent. He doesn?t give interviews anymore, but I doggedly pursued him in order to have the following conversation. More >>

blather.net
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He coined the word 'teleport'... the X-Files is a direct descendent, and where would Fortean Times be without him? Originally published on disinfo.com One measures a circle beginning anywhere. - Charles Fort Charles Fort was a painstakingly erudite dissector of scientific texts and a ravenous predator of scientific dogma, who scrutinized how scientists formed their theories according to their own personal views, rather than the weight of evidence available. Fort gleefully trawled through the data that was suppressed, discarded or explained away in a less than satisfactory manner. He referred to this this data as 'damned'. It is probably safe to say there are more people familiar with the work of Fort's work than actually know anything about him, in spite of the stalwart campaigns of various Fortean societies, organizations and institutes, not to mention 'Fortean Times', the London based 'Journal of Strange Phenomena'. Every time some character from 'Star...

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Blather.net wouldn't exist if it wasn't for St. Flann! Originally published on disinfo.com Evil is even, truth is an odd number, and death is a full stop - 'At Swim-Two-Birds' Brian O'Nolan (1911-1966), best known as either Flann O'Brien or Myles na gCopaleen, spent most of his life in Dublin, Ireland working as a top level civil servant. As civil servants were not allowed to write under their own names, O'Nolan introduced a vast array of pseudonyms - and so for over thirty years, Myles na gCopaleen wrote the 'Irish Times' column 'Cruiskeen Lawn', a satirical take on life in Ireland. No one was safe from the surrealistic wit of Myles. Today, it is Flann O'Brien that most people are familiar with, and the novels 'he' wrote. Authored in 1939, but unpublished until 1966 (posthumously), 'The Third Policeman' seems like some mad merger of 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Dante's Inferno'....

blather.net
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The owner of the Lusitania wreck wants to launch an expedition to it... F Gregg Bemis, the American owner of the Cunard liner Lusitania liner which was sunk by a torpedo of the Irish coast in 1915, is attempting to overturn an Irish High Court order redusing him permission to carry out a huge research expedition on the wreck. Lusitania was sunk by a U-20 and sunk within 18mins with the lost of 1,195 lives. The vessel lies 100m down, 18.4km off the Old Head of Kinsale, in Cork, and is in pretty bad nick, having being depth-charged by the British Navy after WW1. Bemis was planning on spending $2 million on the expedition. <a href="http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1080235&issue_id=10063" target="new">More on this story in the Irish Independent &gt;&gt;</a> <a href="http://www.lusitania.net/lastrestingplace.htm" target="new">Pictures of Bemis and the Lusitania &gt;&gt;</a> <a href="http://www.lusitania.net/" target="new">The Lusitania Historical Society &gt;&gt;</a> <a href="http://members.tripod.co.uk/irishwrecks/details/Lusitania608.htm" target="new">S.S. Lusitania on IrishWrecksOnline.net</a> <strong> Lusitania Mysteries:</strong>...

blather.net
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Paul Clerkin and Mick Cunningham explain how their website p45.net suckered the media. First published in The Yoke magazine. MOST newspapers have a tradition of attempting to dupe their readers on April Fools Day with a far-fetched 'news story' buried at the bottom of an ordinary news page. Oh how the hacks laugh when the phones start hopping with anxious callers wondering if David Beckham really will be conducting a coaching session in the Phoenix Park next Saturday or whether David Norris is set to marry an Irish-American poetess. It's a day when the news professionals poke fun at the rigorous scrutiny and fact-checking they allegedly apply to 'real' news stories. The only problem with all this nonsense is that the Irish media jokers are becoming the duped with embarrassing frequency.   Last July the Irish Independent was tricked into running a front-page story claiming that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi...

blather.net
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The Blather guide to Haggis Hunting... Ananova: American tourists want to hunt haggis A third of all American visitors to Scotland believe haggis is an animal. Rsearchers have found almost one in four of those questioned said they had come to Scotland under the belief they could hunt it. US tour operators are even selling haggis hunting tours. More >> Haggis Hunting for Beginners It is a little known fact that the Haggis is derived from the legendary pigmy sheep endemic to the upper slopes of the Hills of Lethargy where they were bred by the micra-hating, wicked Witch of the North. More>> (thanks to Shakabu for pointing this one out) HaggisHunt.com, with lots of fine modern so-called 'webcambs'. From 'The Confessions of Aleister Crowley' Available online: at hermetic.com or from Amazon.com/co.uk From Chapter 50: On April 27th, the good Tartarin, who had published a book (in the Swiss language)...

blather.net
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'More than 100 whales and 10 dolphins have been found dead on a remote beach on Tasmania's west coast.' 'The long-finned pilot whales and bottle-nosed dolphins were washed up at Point Hibbs, south of the fishing town of Strahan.' Ananova News» What's going on? Ok, it's not the first time that this has happened... but what could kill so many animals? Illness? A feeding frenzy? Attacks by Orcas? Or was it caused by some sort of rogue pinging by sonars? Check out this site» It lists the havoc caused by sonar... 26th November 2003: <strong>Experts study teeth marks on beached whales</strong> Scientists say teeth marks found on some dead pilot whales beached on Tasmania's west coast may shed some light on why they died. More» Update 21/1/04: Greenpeace/BBC: Campaigners tackle dolphin deaths » Two campaign groups are joining forces to try to help the thousands of marine mammals killed annually...

blather.net
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Who wants to live forever? Sea urchins! The red sea urchin is one of the longest living creatures apparently. Well, 200 years, not immortal as such, but that's what BBC News were claiming yesterday. Once thought to be a pest, their sex organs are now a popular delicacy in Japan. Still, these urchins haven't actually been observed living for 200 years... it's all based on calculations by Oregon State University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I reckon leatherback turtles are far more interesting conversationalist though... Read more »