Year: 2004

blather.net
3736 views

OK, so I'm an animal lover. But I'm sick of the over-the-top anthromorphism that kids are being fed. Who's going to suffer in the long run? Provoked by a thread on p45rant.com » The Times: We're falling into a Mickey Mouse trap if we don't teach kids the truth about animals » I have to agree with the The Times article, to some extent. I'm emphatic in my love of animals, and am often guilty of anthropomorphism... I have a long-established obsession with otters, I dote over cats and dogs, but I think I know where to draw the line. You Are What You eat Anthropomorphism would appear to be a vital part of childhood - learning the ways of human society through animals stories, and so on. But am I alone in wondering about the conflict between telling kids that animals have feelings and that we shouldn't kill them......

blather.net
3963 views

Another amazing step for humankind! The invention of a fish! That Glows! In the Dark! Oh... the humanity... Whenever I come across such a gross example of human hubris, I think of this passage: The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor's gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me 'to give him something as an encouragement...

blather.net
13820 views

For years now, I've been fascinated by accounts of 'sunken cities' of the Irish coast. I've found four so far... is there more? Through sunken cities, blameless Strangers now but trust renewed Silence decades long, retreating We'll laugh as though each joke was new in the ruins finding treasures Lost when life was rent in two - Sunken Cities by the Fatima Mansions Cillstifiann In Lahinch, Co. Clare, there's a popular legend concerning the sunken town of Cillstifiann, which if seen through clear water, will bring death to the witness. The story comes from the Annals of the Four Masters, which states that 'an earthquake occurred in West Clare almost 1,000 years ago, splitting the land between the Cliffs of Moher on the north and Baltard Cliffs on the south... The subsequent tidal wave engulfed the whole district between these two headlands'. One of the hamlets said to be buried...

blather.net
3427 views

But of course, it took the shellfish industry to get the EC off its arse. The Department of Marine and Natural Resources is facing large fines from the EU, if it doesn't get it finger out - and has received a written warning from the European Commission, due to the inherent danger to the shellfish farming industry. So while it's a good thing that the government are being goaded into water quality adherence, it's only for the good of industry and public health. Not a mention of the fact that dirty water is inherently bad thing, regardless of economics or human interaction. The Department of Marine and Natural Resources is said to be working with local authorities on the matter, especially on the matter of waste water treatment... Read more in The Irish Examiner » Also in the last week: Scare over farmed salmon safety » Salmon farmed in Scotland...

blather.net
3319 views

Weird. Why is US presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton linking to blather.net? Bizarre. While obsessing over my webstats Found that 2004 US Presidential Candidate Rev. Al Sharpton somehow gave me 1 referral from his website to www.blather.net - the logs only say they came from the homepage. What the feck? I know feck-all about Sharpton, other than the fact that the first reference to him on today's Google News relates to apparent financial improprieties. www.sharpton2004.org

blather.net
3794 views

Secret documents suppressed for 30 years have revealed that America planned to launch their space project from the Blasket Islands... I knew it! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Back in 1999, I wrote Ancient Irish Astronauts, a pisstake 'potted history' of phallic Irish architecture, the two Michael Collins, and 19th century space travel. Now, it seems, that there were a few whacky ideas floating around concering the establishment of a space base in Ireland. Now, after 30 years, documents have emerged on this issue... you can't make this stuff up. And it's all sort of vague: American scientist Dr Gary Hudson, who claimed to have worked for Nasa, submitted his plans for the space flight project on behalf of an alleged team including British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle. He had chosen Ireland because it was a neutral country and was not affiliated to any other space...

blather.net
6963 views

The Irish Charr Conservation group reckon that they've found a strange creature in a Co. Kerry lake... Update 9th January 2004 From the Irish Charr Conservation Group: Lough Ree may have been the first lake in Ireland to claim it's own prehistoric monster like that of Loch Ness in Scotland. However Muckross lake in Killarney, Co. Kerry is turning up a mystery of its own and it is no swimming leprechaun. Recent scientific evidence indicates that very large and mysterious 'thing' lurks beneath the tranquil surface of Muckross lake. Although the jury is out on what exactly this strange USO or unidentified swimming object might be, parallels are already being drawn with the famous Loch Ness Monster. More, including the echo sounder readouts » On the contrary, there's been strange beats recorded in Irish inland waters for as long as there's been someone writing stuff down. There's hardly a lake...

blather.net
2440 views

An uproarious, delightful series of confession by a book addict Brimming with Nick Hornby nerdness, John Baxter's book concerns his rampant addiction to buying, collecting and hoarding rare books. Tracing his nascent interests in bibliophilia as a teenager, to orgies with porn produers and learning the trade of rare book collecting from drug-addicted, booze-swilling, international criminal runners and failed rock stars, Baxter provides the reader with a superb insight into the bizzare, fetishistic world of book mania. In turn funny, touching and bizzare, this book is a must for anyone who suffers from the addiction of collecting. A must. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.co.uk Click here to buy the book on Amazon.com

blather.net
4623 views

A ruined megalith sitting a bare 100m from a popular car park in the Dublin mountains... this spectacular national monument is only known to a fraction of passers-by. I'm almost loathe to tell anyone about this place... it's such a wonderful little secret, tucked away beside the car park at Kilmashogue. To reach it, head up the steps from the car park. At the top step, veer right slightly across the road, and up a steep leaf-strewn path. At the top, you'll find the remains of 4,000 year old tomb. Not so long ago, this would have been sitting on a bare mountain, with its boulders gradually taken away for stone walls and the like. These days it sits in a perfect circle of of birch and conifers, with a perfect ceiling to the sky above. The place has presence. I've brought many people there to visit, at day and...

blather.net
3686 views

Elimare tells us about mudslides and sore thighs... By Elimare It's a cold crisp winter afternoon, the kind of cold best described as 'brass monkeys'. I'm sitting in a pile of mud in fits of laughter. Above me Mr. Birdbath is snickering and Mr. Blather is sitting comfortably on a log or a tree stump or something. Whatever it is, he looks entirely too comfortable and the ease with which he clambers up mountains of muck is beginning to piss me off. Granted, this is the first and only muck hill we will encounter today, things could be worse. I eventually manage to crawl under the log and up the hill onto solid ground. There are another two behind me who have to try and navigate the mud, and avoid the snapping branches so I know I've got a couple of minutes to take a breather. This was supposed to...