Year: 2005

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Ghosts, UFO's and angry ex-girlfriends. I've dealt with them all. But, nothing could have prepared me for *the thing*. During the course of my so far reasonably interesting life, I've had the shit scared out of me a few times. There was that time on the Isle of Man when myself and a friend were party to a haunting. Then there was the time that had a mexican stand-off with an angry badger. And I worked at the National Museum of Ireland for a few years where I saw shit that would make your hair stand on end. But last night, I reached my threshold of terror. It was about eleven o' clock and after a discussion on the phone with a friend, I decided that I wouldn't mind having a drink. In fact, I said to myself in a moment of fabulous clarity, I fancy a glass of Baileys....

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Dave reports from the bridge of the Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the ship's predecessor... I'm currently using my laptop to connect to the 'net via GPRS, while standing at the chart table on the bridge of the Rainbow Warrior. We're currently docked in Whangaroa (pronounced 'fangaroa') up the very north tip of New Zealand. It's been a strange few days. We left Auckland yesterday in a flurry of media and in a flotilla of sailing ships, almost 20 year to the day since the first Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French Secret Service, just a few hundred metres from our berth. Last night we sailed north, with a ship full of visitors. Our skipper is Pete Willcox - skipper of the old Warrior 20 years ago, on the night it was attacked. Also on board is Marelle...

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Rape. Murder. Incest. Abortion and buried babies. It has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood horror movie. But something is wrong with this story. Very wrong... In the wake of the horrifying events unfolding in London, another, much smaller news story which had been getting significant news coverage globally has slipped quietly away. No, not the G8 summit or the Make Poverty History campaign. Rather, the story that has come to be known as the 'Dalkey baby' story. The story For those of you not in the loop on this, the following extract (taken from the Irish Independent breaking news site) says: The Garda (Police) dig in at at the back of a house in Dalkey (Dublin, Ireland) where they were searching for the body of a baby boy concluded today. Investigating officers stated that nothing of apparent evidential value had been found, but they stressed that all aspects of...

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19:50 LA Time on the 15th of May. 0350 in Dublin. 13:50 in Auckland. "I will not filed, stamped, indexed, briefed debriefed or numbered!" - The Prisoner Ten hours on a plane, before it drops into the Los Angeles smog. I leave the comfortable friendliness of Air New Zealand, and tramp down a musty corridor to a gruff disinterested immigration officer. Immigration? I'm not coming to America, I'm TRANSITING, sir. I don't say this. I keep my mouth shut - I know all about Guantanamo Bay. Instead, I allow myself to be biometrically fingerprinted, photographed, entered into databases - all in the name of National Security. Next! I walk around the cubicle, and hand the stub of my Visa Waiver card to an middle-aged American woman in an Air NZ outfit. Goodbye to the trickiest bit of paper known to mankind. The US Visa Waiver form is such a minefield...

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Clean air, ice maidens, wild viking hordes... "North" is a web log by Barry Kavanagh, who is now going to attempt to live in Norway! Thousands of blather.net subscibers will know Barry Kavanagh as the man who interviewed Alan Moore and Thomas Truax, internationally publicized Drool and discovered that most of the internet is about Bobby Darin. "North" is about the idea of being in Norway. It informs you about Norwegian culture, and updates you on his adventures. Even if he never actually makes it to Norway, the subject of this blog will not change: it is about the idea of being there. "North" will be updated once a week, each entry accompanied by a picture taken on his phone. Read NORTH now!

blather.net
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"Ordinary people send their children to school to get smart, but what modern schooling teaches is dumbness. It’s a religious idea gone out of control." An interesting conversation on the P45 discussion forums coincided with an incredible article that I had just read by John Taylor Gatto about the history of the American school system. The article was in Disinformations' wonderful 'Everything you know is wrong' volume. Obviously The discussion on the forums (well, okay bitching session really) related to folks' irritation with the way in which some others peppered their conversations with excessive use of words like 'obviously' and 'basically'. Well, teachers of English as a foreign language call these overused phrases and expressions 'placeholders'. The most common example would be a long, drawn-out use of the word 'well...' which preceeds a response to a question or statement. It's entirely understandable - and anyone who has lived in a...

blather.net
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Blather has a job for you. We want you to make a virtual donation/suggestion for objects for a museum exhibition which will be shown 200 years from now. So, what would you donate? Ok. Here's the idea. You have been asked by a group of historians, to suggest one object for inclusion in a collection for an exhibition which will be put on display 200 years from now. The object can be anything you like, big or small, cheap or expensive. To enter your object, tell us what it is, post a link to a picture of it (if you can find one)and most importantly, tell us why you think it should be included. There's no right answer. There's no wrong answer. Examples To give you an example, I asked this question of a group of teenagers some years ago. One of the girls suggested a bottle of hair-dye, because...

Rainbow Warrior, Auckland
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Right, time for me to vanish again. This time, I'm back out into the middle of the ocean,off the coast of New Zealand, on the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior. The blog is here » - and I'll be updating it every day. Here's a picture I took t'other night from the deck of the RW in Auckland. © Greenpeace/Dave Walsh Rainbow Warrior sets out to save deep sea life Fish and Chips on the high seas: Activists defend deep sea life in New Zealand Huge piece or coral dragged up by a trawler

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Jasus, I'm famous! Saturday's Irish Times had an interview with me - mostly talking about extra-blathery activities, like weblogging for Greenpeace... The article, by Adrienne Murphy, was in the Saturday's weekend section. It's online, but subscription only. Scroll down to see the article... For those of you who have seen the article in the print version, here's the Greenpeace weblogs: Mysteries of the Deep: Tasman Sea 2005 » Mysteries of the Deep: North Atlantic 2004 » Mysteries of the Deep: Tasman Sea 2004 » Save the Reindeer Forests (Finland) » GMO France » Here's the article... Adventure as a way of life The Irish Times, May 21 By Adrienne Murphy Dave Walsh has done what many of us have only dreamt about, dropping the boring day job and heading off to the great outdoors for something a little more exciting, writes Adrienne Murphy. Over the past 12 months, Wexford-born Dave...

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Archaeologist of the damned and guest writer ender, gives us the lowdown on what's really happening up at the hill of Tara... Regardless of the pros and cons of the situation, this decision means both sides lose. Legal objections are going to tie up progress for years to come. (In Ireland, and then, failing that...the European courts). Plus the added huge expense (on top of building it in the first place!) of contracting out the significant excavation work, entailing significant numbers of archaeologists, to eventually excavate the route. We know through geophysical survey, that there are at least 26 ‘sites’ of archaeological interest along the contentious part of the proposed route. (14.5km section from Dunshaughlin to Cannistown.) Sod And that’s without lifting one sod of earth. Whenever they do, you can conservatively bank on doubling that number. Each new 'site' prolongs the time, effort, and finances of the whole project....