Region Archives: Global

SDO: Coronal hole Feb 2017

Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… more…

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Cannabis Oil; An idiot’s guide

Patrick, 84 this year, is nothing short of a minor miracle.  A bright, intelligent and curious man, had he not been such a heavy and committed drinker, his life might have been very different.  He has always lived in the street where he grew up in the pitiful poverty of the 1930s.  In spite of more…

Friday Thread: How Fake Are The Analyses Of ‘Fake News’?

I keep reading these analyses by commentators and earnest academics on ‘fake news’, its fertilizer of social media, with Brexit and Trump its fruit. Their thesis is along the lines of: 2016 marking the arrival of post-truth politics, social media being used to promulgate it, and the ‘new’ politics of populism arising. But it only more…

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Senator George Mitchell in Conversation with Monica McWilliams at QUB on Friday – Free Tickets

American Senator George Mitchell, the mediator in the talks that produced the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, will be in conversation with Monica McWilliams on Friday 10 February, 1-2 pm, in the Great Hall at Queen’s University Belfast. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved by contacting Mr Brett Walker (b.walker@qub.ac.uk / more…

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The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On: Book by Matt Moran – The Irish Tradition of ‘Social Justice as Faith’?

There’s been plenty of discussion in recent weeks (and years) about the decline of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The trauma stemming from clerical sexual abuse continues to cast a long shadow over Irish society. Indeed, the Irish Times’ Derek Scally has recently argued that the Catholic Church was as authoritarian and dominant as the more…

NI Exports

Dublin Airport – Northern Ireland’s gateway to the world

Yesterday’s announcement that Brussels Airlines are withdrawing their route from Belfast City Airport to Brussels is the latest in a series of setbacks for Northern Ireland’s aviation sector, following the controversy surrounding the termination of United Airlines’ route from Belfast International to Newark. The habit of throwing government funds at airlines to coax them into more…

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“on behalf of all those other people you let down by not being good enough to win the election…”

With kind permission of Tom Harris, the former Scottish Labour MP for Glasgow South, this is a posting from his Facebook page. It’s an important ‘dry your eyes’ corrective to beaten political parties, to get over themselves and a reminder that politics is competitive for good reason: There’s a lot of anger among my friends in the more…

Why Slugger (and NI) needs more female voices (and thran ones at that)…

If you could, by use of some clever algorithm, develop a truly democratic voice, representative of almost any demos in the west, it would speak in a slightly female tone. The absence of women in public life is (or should be) perplexing to anyone with decent democratic instincts. Outside the Scandinavian countries, (where the whole democratic process more…

A modest case for Donald Trump. To be the exception may not be all bad

Entirely predictably, a chorus of commentators was affronted that Donald Trump so brutally violated the convention for lofty platitudes or proclaiming change in stately code in his inaugural address.  It was so much better in the days of boomer youth. But was it?   . JFK for instance, in Ted Sorensen’s imposing words of the famous more…

So what of those 27 trade deals?

Time for a little light relief. Much is made of the 27 countries queuing up to make trade deals with the UK, but as ever the devil is in the detail.  The first observation is that two or three of the countries concerned are not in a position to enter into bilaterals with the United more…

Earth and Moon from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

A bit of perspective…

…with this stunning composite image of the Earth and its moon, courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona] From the associated text This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image more…

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A great song from Killard House for Christmas…

Music by Leonard Cohen, words adapted for Christmas, marvellous singing from Killard House School Choir in Donaghadee and outstanding soloist Kaylee Rogers… And, a video that’s currently making waves in the US. H/T Ruarai!

German Police Formally Arrest Extradited Suspect in 1996 Provisional IRA Mortar Attack

Rather less widely reported than developments in certain other legacy cases was Dublin High Court recent ordering of the extradition of a suspect in the Provisional IRA mortar attack on a British army barracks near Osnabrück, Germany, in June 1996. James Anthony Oliver Albert Corry, from north Belfast, was arrested in Killorglin, Co Kerry, in October 2015, on more…

“our modern, liberal democracies are probably not under any catastrophic threat – at least not yet”

2016 will doubtless be remembered for the political earthquakes of Brexit and Trump. These somewhat unexpected victories have generated significant levels of debate fuelled by the high levels of uncertainty each has created. These uncertainties stem, in part, from the nature of both political campaigns which were mired by numerous allegations of racism, chauvinism, and more…