Year: 2011

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’m talking about The Book of Migrations: Some Passages in Ireland, by Rebecca Solnit, which has been a joy to read, and an honour to become connected with. I was unaware of Solnit’s work until May 24th of this year, when I read her insightful article the Strauss-Kahn affair, colonisation and the IMF: Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite. That afternoon, I received an email from Bob Bhamra, of Verso Books, asking me if he could use my image of the Burren for a new editon of The Book of Migrations. Serendipity. We cut a deal.

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Guest writer Oliver Bayliss, gives us his unique take on the London and UK riots which have engulfed the country for the last four days.

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Archaeological batshttery, mumbo jumbo misinformation and outright lunacy based on fringe interpretations of a couple of websites and five minutes research by ill informed amateur web 'journalists'? It must be Friday, so.

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Benito Mussolini in his characteristic attitude with a proud worker Digging on the beach of the seaside resort of Ostia near Rome. Photo from 1931. The long held and longer respected Irish nocturnal tradition of body snatching is alive and well in the 21st century, it seems. Sort of. Kinda. We're not exactly sure if it officially counts though, if you leave the body back. Kinda. Sort of. Reports reaching Blather HQ today indicate a corpse has been mysteriously (and illegally) exhumed and reburied in a separate grave under cover of darkness in Co. Limerick in recent times. Limerick (Old Irish: Liabh mé de féic alóne; take mó bhállet) is no stranger to nefarious after-hours activity, but even by its own standards, this counts as a strange one. No exhumation order was sought, nor were official graveyard authorities present at the 'removal'. It all just kind of happened by itself....

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Blather's Dave journeyed to the Arctic outpost of Barentsburg last year. And he finally got off his arse to write about it. I am staring at a forest, a painting of a forest. They close the door, then walk away. The forest, or rather the painting of a forest, is in the Russian coal-mining town of Barentsburg, about 1200km from the North Pole, one of three inhabited settlements in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. There are no trees in Svalbard. But there are pictures of trees, billboard size, to remind the miners of the forests back home. My visit to Barentsburg was short, far too short. I only stayed 97 minutes. I am not proud of this. I arrived as a tourist, and didn't want to leave. At least not soon. I took no time to make new friends, gained no valuable insights into what it is like to live...

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"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio". And now, we can too. The 1700 year old skeletal remains of an African male have been found near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, by gravediggers archaeologists excavating a Roman cemetery. The wonderful find not only emulates the infamous Act 5, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, but also "suggests that African immigrants were living and working outside major Romano British settlements as early as the third or fourth century AD". While this may strike some as being unusual, it is in fact a fine example of the widespread multicultural reality of life, death and taxes within the Roman Empire; as well as the varied networks of trade and communications it took to run such a monster entity. Whatever he was, citizen or merchant, soldier or slave, our African Yorick chose to end his life far from the region of his birth. In Stratford. The Horror. Seriously...

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'Saguaro National Monument', Arizona by Ansel Adams. CC license, via Flickr Commons Whilst the various screaming heads do their best to make political hay from the shootings carried out by 22-year-old gunman Jared Lee Loughner, others have focused on Loughner's online life - notably his interest in the world of conspiracy theory. I'll be using this thread to post links to stories about Loughner's online output, looking specifically for the tropes, tricks and syllogisms typical of some recent conspiracist thinking. Check back for updates over the next few days. SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES Youtube The following videos are from Loughner's Youtube channel. Keep an eye out for the references to currency, a noted topic of libertarian conspiracy. There's some references to 'brainwashing': A second video, entitled 'My Final Thoughts': It's been suggested that Loughner has ties to the American Renaissance group, an alleged anti-immigration group. Make sure to read Who...

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By Ann D'Artry Delaroche My lover and I are face to face, and intimate; kissing, laughing, and joyous. We make love, and pillow-talk nonsense. I open my eyes and stare into the dark. I am alone. I close my eyes; the light and his presence are strong. We are two seas and a thousand kilometres apart. This is my initiation into psychic sex. The Holy Ghost is the most famous incubus, the male supernatural being who visits slumbering women by night. Catholic pre-marriage guidance teaches that the Holy Ghost is the third presence in the marital bedroom but otherwise warns against contact with such beings, citing health risks, even death. Perhaps this is no more than an attempt to colonise the supernatural and corral the infinity of soul within prescribed boundaries. Yeats and Maud Gonne practised the rituals of the mystical society, the Order of the Golden Dawn, to meet...