Month: May 2007

blather.net
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Dear reader (excuse the familiarity - we don't know you from Adam) - please sit down, as you may find this hard to swallow. Blather.net is ten years old. Yes, ten years or if you like, 3653 days. This means that this website is racing towards puberty, and will no longer stand for the wearing of shorts pants, at least not in the depths of the Hibernian winter. As the legal drinking age in this country is eight-years-old, we've already been hard at it, building up a fierce resistance to the hard stuff, so the website won't (or shouldn't crash) during the celebrations. Do you get the smell of porter? It was a Monday, May 1997. I was at my desk in a trendy loftspace, just off Westland Row, Dublin. Gerry McGovern, one of my bosses at the upstart Internet startup Nua, approached me, somewhat tentatively. "You were in London...

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You just can't keep us out of graveyards here on blather.net. This season sees us dashing around the New World, inquiring into the whereabouts of the corpse of that irascible iconoclast, Charles Hoy Fort, father of fortean studies and teleportation. It's 11am on the 29th day of April and I'm surrounded by dead people. I can't see any of them. The year, 2007, Gregorian, 5767 Hebrew, 1428 Islamic, 1386 Persian. In the Julian calendar it's 13 days earlier... sort of. In any case, it's heading for midday, Eastern Standard Time, if you believe in that kind of thing. It's a Sunday morning, according to the ancient Egyptians. 'Sies Solis, Dimanche, Sonntag, Dé Domhnaigh, the Christian Sabbath. I'm sitting the passenger seat of a rented automobile, careening around the backroads of Albany Rural Cemetery, in upstate New York, or, if you like, the New Netherlands. The Dutch village of Beverwyck became...

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Late at night, somewhere in Ireland, a shadowy figure will be crossing the land. He or she will be holding in their hand, a bag, or box of eggs. They might bend to dig and bury an egg in a field, or creep closer to an outhouse and lay one gently inside straw or hay. The moon is almost full, so the light is good, and the ground is dry. It is a good night to be out in the fields with malice in your heart... May Eve This night is May Eve, the night before the 1st of May, the feast of Bealtaine, also known as Mayday. This is an old Celtic feast day that marked the start of summer, the day when cattle were driven out to pasture. Bealtaine is calculated as a quarter day, between the Vernal equinox on March 21st and Midsummer Solstice on June 21st....