Year: 2004

blather.net
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There's a lot of talk around about the introduction of electronic voting... It's in the news constantly here. And people are afraid... after years of fairly safe manual counts, electronic voting is raising questions of transparancy and accountability. Who watches the counters, when the system is implemented in four months time? There would be perhaps less paranoia, if it wasn't for the Florida debacle in the last US election. George Bush for president? Who woulda thunk it. Yesterday, the Irish government were knocked off their high horse by the opposition parties, since admitting that an independent panel would be necessary to verify the secrecy and accuracy of the system, and that voters should have a facility to abstain or spoil their votes. Whoohoo! Mind you, they're still holding out on the accountability aspect - they don't want a paper trail. I wonder why? Fine Gael, the Labour Party, and the...

blather.net
4428 views

A question posted to the Fortean Times Message Board prompts a Blather response... Here's my response to a question posted on the Fortean Times Message Board Kangaroos in Ireland Posted by Vercingetorix on 2nd December 2003 Today I got off work a bit earlier than usual and rather than commuting straight home wandered into the Dublin/Wicklow mountains for an amble.Near the Hellfire Wood in the Dublin Mountains, where Kilakee Road and Cruagh Road meet, there's a viewpoint over Dublin City (that's a complicated way of describing it, its a popular spot in the summer/at weekends). About 4.15 today, as it was getting dark, I walked from here towards Glencree. I passed a gate leading into a largely cleared area just in front ofconifer forest. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a white flash and first of all thought of a hare. Then I realised the animal seemed...

blather.net
3309 views

Any doubts about melting ice, or climate change? Greenpeace have just published comparative photographs of the Upsala Glacier, in Patagonia, Argentina. They've published a 'before' image from 1928, and photography from last month. Glaciers in Patagonia are vanishing at rate of 42 cubic kilometres a year, faster than anywhere else on earth. There's various reasons for this, but human-induced change pays a major part. Greenpeace: In recent years the melting of the glaciers in Patagonia has accelerated which indicates human induced climate change. From 1995 through 2000 the rate of ice loss from the ice fields more than doubled. The sheer volume of melt water from glaciers is causing the sea levels to rise, increasing the risk of flooding in many of the world's coastal areas. It is also starting to cause problems for people who depend on the glaciers for their fresh water supply. This may cause enormous problems...

blather.net
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Found this entry in Kennth Grant's Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare... <!-- --> I'm currently reading Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare, published by, and available from Fulgur. I don't know that much about Spare, but enough to mention him in my recent Fucking Magic article (also published in The Yoke) and that he was a noted artist and occultist of his day. The following appears to be summarisation (By Kenneth Grant) of Spare's The Zoëtic Grimoire of Zos. The original can be found online in many places, such as here, but I decided to quote the below version, as the language of the original is rather turgid. I'll be reviewing the Images & Oracles as soon as I finish it. I've bolded phrase which I think is of relevance to my original sex magic article: The Sabbath is neither black nor white but a highly colourful...

blather.net
3910 views

The value of looking up. Big lights in the Dublin sky! I was just outdoors - around 19:36 GMT, when I saw a large fireball right over Dublin, travelling in an West-East direction, about 85° from the southern horizon... it burned out in a couple of seconds, but it lit up the sky momentarily. I thought it was about 1/8 - 1/10 (conservative estimate) of the moon's luminosity, and there seemed to be a flash of colour - yellow or orange. The sky was almost clear, but it was hard to make out stars due to light pollution... more as I hear about it!

blather.net
4696 views

It's not often that he does interviews, locked away as he is in his Fortress of Arrogance, but blather.net managed to coerce the Hierophant to 'fess up... The Hierophant is the gossip columnist of the damned, the scourge of the crazies. More precisely, he has a monthly column in Fortean Times, the Journal of Strange Phenomena, from where he launches scathing attacks on any malarkey that crosses his path. He does, however, have a warm spot for anything to with Loch Ness, cults or UFOs, or in particular, anyone making outlandish claims... Blather: Good day to you sir! And to you, sir. Blather: How are things in the Himalayas this time of year? Hierophant: Very much as they are for most of the rest of the year - chilly, isolated and full of screaming, sexually-frustrated nuns. Blather: Tell us about your HQ, in vague, coded analogies, please. Hierophant: We have...

blather.net
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Friends of Blather: March 2004 sees the release of Strange Attractor Journal One, the first in an irregular series of anthologies collecting histories, art and ideas from the margins of our culture... The Journal has evolved from a series of ongoing live events, held in London, England. Conceived in 2001 by documentary filmmaker John Lundberg and Journal editor Mark Pilkington, these "information happenings" combined lectures, films, performances and demonstrations and touched on topics as diverse as intentional communities, sacred geography, hoaxing and the Theremin. Strange Attractor created a space where speakers like Iain Sinclair and Jon Ronson rubbed shoulders with time machine builders, occultists and members of the London Esperanto Society. Continuing in this vein, Strange Attractor Journal One features 18 contributions from anthropologists, historians, musicians, artists, bibliophiles, occultists, cultural critics and a ventriloquist. Topics covered include the cargo cults of Vanuatu, a 19th century Italian artists' and anarchists' commune,...

blather.net
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Photographs taken on a recent Blather trip to Heidelberg, in Germany... Unfortunately, I didn't get much time for photographs, and the weather was quite dull. But there's some interesting stuff to see thereabouts. See Tom Galvin's site about Heidelberg » See Things to do in Heidelberg » All photographs except the last one were taken on a Sigma SD-9. The last photograph was taken on a Canon S-330 IXUS, and I used the Photostitch function. All Photographs © 2004 Dave Walsh A view of the river Neckar, from Heidelberg (click for larger) The Print Academy, Heidelberg The Print Academy, Heidelberg #2 The Brass Monkey, Heidelberg. Apparently rubbing the big coin brings good luck. Though someone did tell me that it his rather formidable balls that had to be rubbed. Brass monkey... balls? The inscription beside it says, according to Ms. Wurzel Tod: As you look at me, world (or traveler),...

blather.net
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These gifts were presented to me by Agent F, who said ' ' know only one man in Dublin who would appreciate these enough'... Got a rather interesting gift last week... or rather, two. Two lollipops... one vodka, one tequila. The former contains a scorpion, the latter a worm. Described by the giver: 'I know only one man in Dublin who would appreciate these enough'. I'm saving them for a special occasion, so I'll report later on the experience of actually eating them, hopefully while settling down to watch Naked Lunch. 'I think it's time for you boys to share my last taste of the true black meat; the flesh of the giant, aquatic, Brazilian centipede.' Maker's website (under 'insectivore') » BBC: 'Waiter, there is an ant in my mash' » About Tequila/Mezcal Worms: People were asking me about the whole worm in tequila story.... so here's what I found......

blather.net
6122 views

And the research that demonstrated that there is no god and two St. Patricks... On January 4th, Eugene Doherty wrote to the Forteana mailing list, looking to elicit assistance from Flann O'Brien fans: I was asked to do a review of the Third Policeman for an SF fanzine... I was reading in a book of anecdotes about scientists how Erwin Schrödinger of cat bothering fame had spent the war in Dublin. Further research lead me to the fact that O'Brien was aware of him and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies to the extent of making a joke about his/their proving that there were two St Patricks and no god. What I am wondering is if anyone can tell me if he pursued this line of interest/study any further to the extent of incorporating ideas of quantum mechanics into the Third Policeman or any other books. It doesn't seem to...