Month: March 2004

blather.net
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Guest writer Robert Ansell tells the story... Born in the City of London in 1886, Austin Osman Spare displayed early an extraordinary ability for drawing. When his family moved to Kennington he was enrolled for evening classes at Lambeth Art School and in 1903 became the youngest ever recipient of the National Mathematics Award with his treatise on Solid Geometry. The following year he was recommended for a free scholarship to the Royal College of Art by Sir William Richmond and Mr. F. H. Jackson R B A. and within two years a small drawing executed when he was only fourteen excited great interest amongst connoisseurs and art critics at the 1904 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Encouraged by success he privately published his first illustrated book Earth: Inferno in February 1905, aged eighteen. A powerful and metaphysical perception of the 'self' in relation to the cosmos, Earth: Inferno heralded an...

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Up the hills, on a bike, in the dark. Nuts... In the middle of winter, it's fairly easy to fall into a pattern of hibernation. Fall out of bed on a dark morning, stumble into work when it's still night. After a patch of daylight, we fall home again that night, and slump in front of inane banter from the TV. I used to hate the onset of winter. Year after year, around late October, the dark evenings would get to me. Then I started mountainbiking at night. I no longer think of the dark as debilitating, but simply as a time of day with less light. Being up a mountain at night, in the cold and the wind... I feel more alive. A few of us meet in the city centre around 6:30pm, and fight our way through evening traffic to Harold's Cross, then on to Rathfarnham. Through a...

blather.net
2966 views

That bloody Fianna Fail government are lobbying for GM Food. The hoors... I don't care what anyone says, really... Whatever about the potential harm of of GM foods - I just can't see the point of them, other than for some kind of material gain. I'm sceptical of claims about 'feeding the world' using GM crops, I'm incredulous about the behaviour of organisations like Monsanto, and I'm worried about the long term effects of using GM crops. If our food chain gets screwed up by big business, I don't fancy tucking into Soylent Green. ________________________ Later: Thought more about this over lunch (GM free, I hope). What initially irked me about the whole GM thing is how its presented. I can't help sensing that the GM foods are being foisted on us by corporations who, rather than being evil 'big brother' types, are instead, made up of rather panicked individuals...

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The masters of metal-machine music come to Ireland... Review of the gig » On April 4th, 2004, German musical experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten bring their junkyard brand of visceral music to the Temple Bar Music Centre. Put simply, Neubauten build their own instruments from found objects... scrap metal and rubbish. Over the years they've used Kango hammers, wardrobes, burning oil, gravel, car engines, earthmovers, shopping trolleys. The name: Einstürzende Neubauten means 'collapsing new buildings', a reference to an architectural phenomenon in post-war Germany, where new buildings kept... collapsing. I came across their music through an act of faith. I was in 1993 that I read about Neubauten, and thought - 'This is the band for me'. I went into the long vanished Freak Out records in Dublin and got myself a copy of Strategies Against Architecture II - a compilation of their work. It was almost unlistenable, but was impulsive listening,...

blather.net
1983 views

What? Orion is clumping around North Leinster? According to The Meath Chronicle, artist Richard Moore and journalist Anthony Murphy are claiming that when viewed from above, the Barony of Ferrard, may represent a huge human figure, and even the star constellation of Orion. The baron stretched some 19km across the Boyne Valley, and in both counties Louth and Meath. The article says that 'the area covered by the colossal warrior-like individual is called the Barony of Ferrard, which comes from ?Fear/Fir Ard?, the ?High Man/Men?, originally Fir Ard Cianachta. In ancient times this area was called Muirthemne, which was ?the plain Cuchulainn called his own.? The researchers have said that the roads bounding the barony of unusual straightness, forming the shape of the warrior. At first glance, it's hard to say whether if good research is behind this claim, or whether it's a crazy notion, a prank, or an interesting...

blather.net
3454 views

Greenpeace have started a drive to convince the people of Iceland that their whales are worth more alive than dead... Just bumping this post back onto the frontpage... If everyone who has pledged to visit Iceland if whaling stops, actually does so, the value of tourism would be $26.6 million. Iceland's annual commercial whaling is worth $4 million. Make sense? Personally, I want to mountainbike the north coast of Iceland. But I'm like that. Here's the pledge: I would seriously consider taking a vacation in Iceland rather than somewhere else if the Government of Iceland stopped whaling. I would be willing to receive an email about the options available for Icelandic tourism, an email that would be sent to me if the Government of Iceland ends its whaling program. Make an Iceland Whale Pledge » Update Here's a response from the Icelandic government: Thank you for your e-mail concerning Iceland's...

blather.net
2901 views

Burn baby burn... I posted a message about incineration on the Greenpeace Forum a couple of weeks ago. It seems to me, that in Ireland at least, we're hellbent on creating as much rubbish as we possibly can, without any care about how to dispose of it. A trip to Tescos or Marks & Spencers means returning with a crazy amount of plastic and styrofoam. On bin day, I see households - that have no more than 3 or 4 residents - putting out 3-4 black plastic sacks. That's a lot of crap per person per week. So, while I'm not so utopian that I think 'Zero Waste' is easily available, I think it should be a target of sorts. Instead of building massive landfills and commercial incinerators, retailers and suppliers should be made accountable for the huge amounts of non-biodegradable packaging that they generate. Unfortunately, it's in the interest...

blather.net
1757 views

At last, we've setup our own message boards.... Good Grief. Yes, brethern, at long bloody last, we've setup a bunch of forums for regular Blather readers. Pretty much anything goes - Paranormal, Cryptozoology, Conspiracies, Archeology, and more. All suggestions welcome. No holds barred, but we do recommend civility (trolls will be skewered). Visit the Blather Forums and sign up! The original P45 Forum still exists too.

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A friend of Blather publishes a book about his travels - hot on the heels of St. Columbanus... The Accidental Pilgrim by David Moore charts the journey of one man and his bike as he travels from Ireland to Italy in the footsteps of the bad-ass seventh-century Irish saint Columbanus. Here you'll find sample chapters, reviews, photographs and extra information about the writer, the journey and the saint. Yours truly appears in the The Accidental Pilgrim as David's cycling guru... Visit The Accidental Pilgrim website »