Month: March 2004

blather.net
821 views

Hmm. So Tony is to be seen shaking hands with a former enemy of the War on TerrorISM... A former member, no less, of the second circle of the axis of evil. Now why, I ask you, why is Tony suddenly so friendly with the man who was President of the Nation that supported, protected and possibly ordered the Lockerbie bombing, which was until the 11m massacre in Madrid, the largest terrorist atrocity on European soil since the 2nd World War? Anyone else curious? Is it just me? Well. Let's consider some simple statistics (courtesy of the Guardian) shall we? "For both the UK and US, an energy crisis is looming. The latest BP statistical review of world energy predicted that UK proven oil and gas reserves will last, respectively, only 5.4 and 6.8 years at present rates of use. It has been estimated that by 2020 the UK could...

blather.net
788 views

Guest Writer Alex DeJong gets some stuff off his chest.... Proud to be Canadian This past month in Spain has been a tumultuous one to say the least; from the bombing in Madrid to the election of a left-wing president. In the wake of it all, two hundred people are dead (the death toll ranges from 189 to 201), Zapatero has promised to withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq, and Spain must now worry about a new enemy, Al-Qaeda; a group that has made it specifically clear that the 11th of March was due to Spain's alliance with the United States and their invasion of Iraq. Being an American amidst it all has been quiet interesting. I heard about the bombing on the news and immediately thought that ETA was responsible (due to the recent prior attempts to attack Madrid's rail lines). Like many Spaniards, I was searching for blame...

915 views

Here and now, I am going to nail my colours to the mast. There is only one man who I want to be President of Ireland: Senator David Norris... David Norris for President - Click for T-Shirt! (all profits go to charity) So. The Presidential elections (in Ireland) are oozing their way towards us. And how shall we choose this time? Shall we choose to elect the incumbent merely because she has 'Mary' as a first name and because the lowlifes at Abject Fianna Failure have told us to, or are the opposition going to give us something else to have a gander at? Well, here and now, I am going to nail my colours to the mast. There is only one man who I want to be President of Ireland: Senator David Norris. 'Is he qualified?' I hear you ask. Well take a quick look at the stats: Council...

1172 views

And Blather was there... I don't usually go to rallies, protests, or demos... I don't like crowds, and I tend to get pissed off with dodgy looking people trying to flog me copies of Socialist Worker. On Saturday, however, after having spent the morning fighting a gale and 70mph storm in a 6.5m semi-inflatable off the Irish coast, I felt suitably prepared. The RIB belonged to a North Dublin powerboat training school, and I was doing some supplementary lessons. In a storm. Nuts. At 3pm, I turned up at in Parnell Square, still in my waterproofs, laden with camera gear. True to form, I was almost smothered in fliers and newspaper sellers. Go away people. I AM MEDIA. Feck off. There didn't appear to be a huge crowd gathered outside the Municipal Gallery (The 'Hugh Lane'). A couple of thousand, maybe. As I arrived, the speakers started. Brendan Butler, of...

blather.net
918 views

It's not often that we indulge ourselves in movie reviews here on Blather. Especially for movies that are a year old. But with the 25th Hour, we´ll make an exception... Last year, young Dave wrote a quick review of Spike Lee's movie (sorry, I am not calling it a joint), The 25th Hour, starring Edward Norton and Brian Cox. True to form, it's taken me almost a year to see it and write the requested follow-up. Normally, I wouldn't bother my bronzed butt, but in the case of the 25th Hour, I am happy to make an exception. Quite simply, it is around about the best movie that I have seen in at least three years. Nothing has gripped me to a seat like this since Christopher Nolans' breathtaking debut, Memento, starring Guy Pearce. The 25th Hour sports fast dialogue, a sumptuous score, superbly understated acting (see the mercurial genius...

blather.net
1782 views

The latest in the Blather Neolithic Safari Series... St. Patrick's Day. Urgh. Not so much a hangover as just feeling very tired. I'm supposed to be going mountainbiking, but can't generate the impetus, the motivation. The night before, I'd been out helping David Moore celebrate the launch of his new book, the Accidental Pilgrim, about his cycling trip in pursuit of St. Columbanus. But today, I don't want extreme exertion, any Irish saints, or bicycles. But I still want to tramp up the mountains. It's a beautiful spring day, and I'm damned if I'm going to spend it in a pub. I recruit my housemate, Garrett, and head off across down in the BlatherMobile, eating sandwiches and swearing at parade-goers. Partly inspired by Tom Fourwinds <a href="page about the the Ballyedmonduff Wedge-Tomb, I decide to hunt it down, in the most awkward way possible. Which is rather apt, as it...

blather.net
1316 views

A couple of rocks in a field. Really! A few years ago, during a May bank holiday weekend, two friends and I were mountainbiking around part of Co. Wicklow. After climbing up through the Devil's Glen, a muddy forest track spat us out onto an innocuous road. We headed for the next hill, but got confused at a fork in the road. While consulting the map, I spotted a couple of standing stones in a field, and pledged to find out more about them. That junction was actually in Moneystown, a hamlet that I've passed through many times since, usually at about 30mph - in a bicycle race. Recently, I've passed through in a more lesiurely fashion, and made time squeeze off a couple of shots of these simple, but elegant stones. The bear the hint of markings on them, but theses have been obliterated by the weather, so it's...

blather.net
1292 views

For once Jasper has been beaten to it... The object has been named Sedna, after the Inuit goddess of the ocean. The body is believed to be about 1,250 miles across, but may even be larger than the furthest known planet, Pluto, which was discovered in 1930 and has a diameter of 1,406 miles. Scientists believe Sedna is 6.2bn miles from Earth, in a region of space known as the Kuiper Belt, which contains hundreds of other known bodies." Find out more: NASA » New 'planet' discovered beyond Pluto »

blather.net
1177 views

Spain is smiling... I have been out all last night. I'm dying. I've been drinking, laughing, listening to music, cheering in streets. What was most remarkable about all of this is that only three days after the worst European terrorist atrocity in almost twenty years, the streets were full with people celebrating too. I was with Spanish, Irish, Scottish, American and French people. Car horns were blaring. People sang out of windows. Why? Well, a large part of why a quiet Sunday night drink became something else is because the PSOE, the left wing socialist party, have stunned everyone and won the Spanish General election, ending eight years of conservative domination. A country which was openly weeping two days ago, tonight looked like a country standing, stunned with a drink its hand, having been told that the previously unimaginable has transpired. The unthinkable has become thinkable. If Spain can get...

blather.net
1115 views

Spain is bleeding... Today, it is difficult to write or speak with any degree of dispassion. The events which unfolded yesterday morning in Madrid, mark a turning point in European history. It's possible a turning point in human history. The "War on Terror" which has been wreaking political, economic and social havoc across our planet since September the 11th took a dark and hideous turn. 200 people are dead. Over 1000 are injured. Of that 1000, many will be maimed for life. Spain is reeling. All political campaigning (there is a General election on Sunday) has been postponed. Valencia, the city in which I now live, has postponed much of the daily activity for Fallas, the annual fire festival, taking place this week. People are crying in their homes and standing horror struck in the streets. From the window beside which I now sit and type, I have just witnessed...