Month: June 2003

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Finally, the Depeche Mode frontman delivers his solo album... The Depeche Mode frontman finally makes good on his threats to deliver a solo album. Co-written with Knox Chandler and produced by Ken Thomas, the album doesn?t quite manage to escape the ghosts of the Depeche Mode sound. In fact, the influence is everywhere. That said this isn?t a knock-off or a spin off. It is a fully-fledged, well-realised solo project that Gahan has quite clearly poured his heart into. The results are mixed, varying between the sublimely beautiful (Stay), the thumping whisky-priest roar of old (Bottle living) and the occasional outright miss (A little piece). The highlight of the album is the track Hidden Houses which sees Gahan finally let rip with his voice, echoing and bouncing over a thumping great bassline and guitar hook. Overall, this is well worth looking into and a valuable addition to the collection of...

blather.net
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The last resting place of Egypt's most mysterious Queen may have been found... Nefertiti, the almost mythical Egyptian Queen and legendary beauty is one of the greatest of all historical enigmas. Born a commoner but married to one of the most powerful men in the world (the heretic pharaoh Akenhaten), the whereabouts of her remains has been a matter of mystery, acrimonious discussion and flight of fancy. But now, it finally appears she may have been found. In order to understand why she has remained invisible for such a long time, you must understand the political machinations of her time. All evidence of her, her husband and children was systematically erased from the historical record after the fall of the Amarna period. This led to a giant void in the historical records which was only filled in the 19th century by the great archaeologist Flinders Petrie. Xograph Imaging Systems, a...

blather.net
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Volume 1. Episode 7. Jasper goes to Italy. And sees another Meteor. Or maybe it was a sign from God... Jasper, the Time Travelling cat, it would seem, has hit the jackpot. Ancient Egypt seemed to bore him. The Kennedy Assassination held no thrill. But meteors. Oh yes. He seems to like meteors. The fur bag has dumped himself down in a field in pastoral Italy in A.D. 312. Sounds nice eh? Yes, well it probably would be if he hadn?t landed in the midst of one of the most violent civil conflicts that the Roman Empire ever saw. Frantically, we have been trying to get more information on the time period so that young Jasper can get the hell out of there as soon as is possible. An interesting little piece appeared yesterday (what are the odds, eh?) on the BBC site pertaining to the claims by a team...

blather.net
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Sue Walsh does one-woman play... All this week, my sister, Sue Walsh, is doing a one-woman lunchtime play with a Galway theatre company. If any of you are in that side of the country, you should pop along... it's running until Saturday, June 28th. Heidi Does Galway Cellar Bar, Eglinton St. 1pm, €5 across from Post Office Visit the Morwax website »

blather.net
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The The Tao of Odds and Ends is a novel based on Daoist (or Taoist) philosophy. In this book, stories from ancient China are relocated to the contemporary West. Read more, including an excerpt »

blather.net
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Volume 1. Episode 6. Jasper gets medieval on yo ass. Yesterday, we thought that Jasper was getting closer to home, what with him being in 1963 and all. But late last night, as we sat tinkering with daev?s particle accelerator and the derailleur on his bike, that now familiar crackle came through the wireless and we downloaded Jasper?s latest location. The little twat has gone and ended up in medieval Britain. At the court of some Welsh warlord whom locals we heard speaking refer to as ?the Bear?. That?s King Arthur to you and me. Which is odd, because only today there appears an interesting little piece on the beeb website which reports on an Italian scholar's claims that that legend of King Arthur is not a British tale, indeed it?s not even a Celtic tale. Convenient that eh? Anyway, apparently, the whole thing is Italian. Don?t you know. So,...

blather.net
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Volume 1. Episode 5. Jasper goes to Dallas and sits on a grassy knoll. Hark! It?s a message from Jasper the intrepid time travelling cat. Those of you who have been sad enough to have been following the adventures of Jasper will know that he has been to early 20th century Russia, 16th century England and Ancient Egypt. Twice no less. But now, the dimension hopping fur bag has wound up somewhere even stranger. He crash landed on Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas on November 22nd 1963. We were getting a clear signal from him and were getting some great images and sound feed when the air was rent with a great spray of gunshots. In typical Jasper fashion, he has managed to land himself in the middle of President Kennedy?s assassination. He seems to have been arrested and taken away for questioning about some thing called a grassy knoll. We?re...

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Sod Harry Potter. The real deal arrives on July 1st. Sod Harry Potter. The real deal arrives on July 1st: maverick genius Jasper Fforde's highly anticipated new novel ?The Well of Lost Plots?, sequel to the highly successful ?The Eyre Affair? and the incredible ?Lost in a good book?. Hallelujah, brothers and sisters! Fforde himself is appearing in my local Waterstones book store in Brighton for a reading/signing/me grovelling abjectly on the ground beneath his feet like the mangy cur that I am, in about two weeks time. And yesiree bob I have a ticket. I shall endeavour to get myself an introduction if I can and will, I have no doubt, be forcibly ejected into the street. But for our Blather readers I am willing to risk all. For those of you wondering who the hell and what the hell I am talking about, check out this review of...

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(image by Andreas Solberg, used under a Creative Commons license) One of the world's most beautiful animals was hunted to extinction in Ireland. Why? Let me tell you something odd. I used to work in a museum and one lazy day I was casually chatting to three or four school kids about extinct Irish animals. I was confronted with a strange reaction. It started with mild cynicism and very shortly became derisive hooting laughter. This reaction, I was to discover, was due to the fact that the young men in question simply could not accept that wolves had ever lived in Ireland. I was, as far as they were concerned, a barefaced liar. I went home slightly irritated about this and I later spoke to one of my nephews about this subject, and again I was greeted with a dramatic raised eyebrow and a dismissive remark, the content of which...

blather.net
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daev has to deal with blade-wielding freaks Around 4am, we were woken up by music blaring - bizarrely enough, by the godawful *Grace* By Jim McCann. This was loud. I live in a terraced row, and it was loud enough for people 3 or 4 houses away to hear. The music wasn't the only thing. It was accompanied by loud thumping on the walls, and shouts of 'come on you bollocks, I'll fucking kill you' and the like. It was clearly directed at me. I got up, paced the floor, tried to wake up and understand what the hell was going on. Maria said 'be careful', but I wasn't going anywhere. I went to phone the Gardai... as I lifted the phone there was a huge bang outside, like someone had thrown something at the door, or close to it. 'They're trying to break in', I thought. On the phone...