Year: 2003

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More IFSC wildlife, humans this time. Just back from a coffee sortie. No sign of the IFSC Duck today. However, there's this 'odd couple' that I keep seeing hanging around by George's Dock. She's about 70, he's somewhere between 25 and 40. They're both well dressed and groomed... except in bizarre clothes. She wears mohair sweaters and a weird green tam'o'shanter. Yesterday she was in her socks, a pair of pristine green Wellington boots lying on the path beside her. This morning it was blue and red Argyle socks, and bedroom slippers. She has an old, but high quality leather handbag, and an assortment of those multi-coloured and patterned collapsible canvas shopping bags, full of stuff. He's a simpler soul. No Baggage. Black runners, baggy trousers, dark jacket. Wooly hat. He's darker, perhaps of Pakistani or Indian origin. He could be her son though, and perhaps the father was Asian....

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John, McCarthy invited death, the Barr Tribunal was told. The Barr Tribunal rolls on: THE late John Carthy's behaviour an hour before he was killed pointed to the phenomenon of "suicide by cop" where victims precipitated their own death, the Barr Tribunal heard yesterday. Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey said that while it was impossible to know definitively what was going on in John Carthy's mind, his actions indicated that he was inviting his own death. The Barr Tribunal website Irish Independent: Carthy 'invited suicide by cop', tribunal hears Blather: State of Policing

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What the hell is going on? Dublin City Council, it seems, needed some €35m to 'do-up' O'Connell St. Now it says it needs another €25m to finish the job, a total of €60m. Are they fucking mad? Did they blow it all in Dr. Quirkey's House of Fun, or on cocktails in the Gresham? And all we have to show for it is a lot of road works and a big mettle prick. Bring back the hoor in the sewer, she had a bit of class. It's a well-timed announcement, in a week when our esteemed Lord of Finance, Bananas McCreevy, is taking the rap for gaining Ireland the dubious accolade of 'most expensive country' in the eurozone. What the jesus is going on? Article in the Irish Independent Article in the Irish Independent Blather on the 'spike': ancient irish astronauts

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Last night, for the first time in years, I enjoyed the mad genius of Terry Gilliam's amazing movie... Brazil, Where hearts were entertaining June We stood beneath an amber moon And softly whispered, 'Someday soon' We kissed and clung together then Tomorrow was another day, The moonlight found us miles away With still a million things to say, I will return to old Brazil. Last night, for the first time in years, I enjoyed the mad genius of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. It's a masterful, visually stunning, and conceptually challenging piece of work, laden with black humour. With a big tip of a trilby to Orwell's 1984, Gilliam tells the tale of Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a bureaucrat in an grey, art deco steampunk world, where the computer age has taken off, but microchips have yet to be invented. Lowry works in a dull job in the Information Records department of...

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Forget Ulysses. To learn more about Dublin... I've been living in Dublin for over 10 years. I love the place. I hate the place. I always want to know more about it. I'm fascinated by what was here before the city. I like to know about the physical landscape of the city, the undulations and rivers that lie beneath the concrete and tarmadadam, below the yuppie bars and council flats. One book in particular opened my eyes, Christopher Moriarty's Exploring Dublin. Exploring Dublin examines the physical landscape, the flora and the fauna within the two canals that encircle Dublin's city centre. He talks about underground rivers like the Poddle, tells weird tales of boozey entomology, and illustrates the rich wildlife (non-human) that lives within the city. The reader is drawn into not only the rich relationship between pre-civilization Dublin, and how it formed the shape of the modern city, but...

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Meet the Raven. One serious bird. Around four years ago I was just about to sit myself down to breakfast in the company of my parents when my Father, who was near the Kitchen window, roared out an expression which I can't print here. Sufficeth to say his expression was spherical and in the plural. Having nearly smashed the carton of Orange juice all over the wall with fright I asked him what on earth he was shouting about. He didn't answer but only motioned, never taking his eyes off the window, for me to come over and see what he was looking at. I came over and pleasantly allowed my jaw to move up and down in an action resembling a yo-yo. Outside in the garden was the usual collection of birds that frequented my mothers' birdtable. There were sparrows, finches, and the odd unwelcome magpie. However, this particular...

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Animals in downtown Dublin... Amidst the HORROR that is the Irish Financial Services Centre, I keep having interesting brushes with Nature (TM). Last year, there was the starfish in George's Dock Now, when I'm heading by George's Dock, there's nearly always a blackbird or two playing in the fountain by IFSC House. And a big old drake who sits in almost the same place every day give or take a few inches, not at water level, but about 15ft higher, at 'ground' level. A few weeks back, a mother duck was fussing around the dock with a flotilla of ducklings... Read the p45 Urban Nature thread June 17: At my house in Dublin 7 Lots of fun in the back garden at the moment. Two young sparrows chasing the mother around, fluffing up their feathers, beating their wings, demanding food from the ma. They're nearly as big as her, but...

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Oddly enough, trying to put together a list of suitably haunted houses/breweries is proving to be quite doggedly difficult. Further to our entry yesterday (offering our services to those troubled by spectral visitations etc) we thought we'd follow up with our findings. Oddly enough, trying to put together a list of suitably haunted houses/breweries is proving to be quite doggedly difficult. We?ve been trawling the lower depths of the web for a while now and are finding it quite a frustrating experience. There are some astonishingly bad websites out there... Anyhoo, we shall begin by posting links to whatever ?haunted? locations we can find that have weblinks attached. You can make your own mind up as to whether or not they represent a serious earthly representation of the undead, or whether they are simply the idiotic ramblings of a drunken bogwarrior. Loftus Hall, in county Wexford, has a small but...

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Is your PC possessed by a malevolent imp? Is your kettle making vile, satanic suggestions to you? Do you just get the feeling that you?re not alone? So. Here I am and I?m bored. The chairman of the bored. And my mind gets to thinking about haunted houses (look, pickings are slim all right?) and especially all of those uniquely creaky old mansions that seem to dot the Irish landscape. And I?m wondering, is there a reputable guide to such locations? If there is, please let me know. I never had much time for tales of dismembered ghosties and legless wailing beasties until, a couple of years ago, I took a trip to the Isle of Man. And well, how do I put this?? Well, one way of putting it is that I was lucky enough to be witness to a rather singular paranormal experience. Another way of putting it...

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We're more like chimps than chimps would like to admit. From New Scientist The latest twist in the debate over how much DNA separates humans from chimpanzees suggests we are so closely related that chimps should not only be part of the same taxonomic family, but also the same genus. Check out this article. This may freak a few people, it claims that chimps are really human. Or something. Also recommended - the p45rant row on the matter Added on 05/21/2003: Of course it's the usual thing with these blasted people. 'Chimps are humans yadda yadda...but I wouldn't like living next door to me, with their eternal goddamn tea-parties'. Breaking news on 05/21/2003: Let's look at this a different way Humans genetically close to chimps By Daithí Breathnach Blather science correspondent Humans are so closely related to chimpanzees that they should properly be considered as members of the chimpanzee family,...