Month: March 2006

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Right now, I'm on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, off the coast of West Africa, working on a pirate fishing campaign. It's been an expedition of extremes - the beauty of nature, and the harshness of human existence. Last week we visited an anchored fleet of rusting Chinese vessels, with marooned fisherman on board... We're in the big African Queen inflatable, cruising alongside an anchored trawler. It's more rust than metal - the ship is rotting away. The foredeck is covered in broken machinery. The fish deck is littered with frayed cables, and the mast lies horizontally, hanging over the starboard side. A large rusty Chinese character hangs on railings above the bridge, facing forward. It reads 'happiness'. Read More: The Chinese Zombie Ships » Boingboing.net: Chinese "ghost ship" fishing boats rotting off of W African coast, Thursday, March 30, 2006 I've been quoted in TIME!: Greenpeace Goes Fishing, Thursday,...

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blather.net's dave is off again, sailing the high seas. This time, he's on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, sailing from Cape Town, South Africa, on a search for pirate trawlers... So yes - here I am, posting to blather.net from somewhere to the West of Namibia. It's about 8:30 GMT (which is anything between 5 minutes and five hours ahead of Irish time). The sea is flat, it's hot and sweaty in the campaign office on the bridge of the Esperanza, and we're making for the Atlantic Tuna grounds. You can check the front page of blather.net for updates, or visit these sites: Read all about our adventures on the Defending Oceans weblog » Main Ocean Defenders website » Get involved: Become an ocean defender! » Check out my photo blog 'Abroad' »

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Welcome to Diggin in the Dirt: a new series of articles exploring all matters archaeological and historical, brought to you by archaeologist of the damned and Blather's grave-robber in residence, Ender Wiggan. Excavations shall commence with a study of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the infamous 5th century warlord and serial-knobber. Recently, many newspapers have been waxing lyrical about the latest genetic study from Trinity College, involving the tracing of an alpha-male type genetic ancestry in the northwest part of Ireland. Linked with the Uí Néill Dynasty, and their mythical founder Niall of the Nine Hostages, impressive estimates now proclaim that one in twelve Irish males (one in three in Ulster) share direct descent from him. And worldwide, between two and three million males may also be able to trace a common genetic connection to him. A Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland But just who was Niall when...