Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


And about that ‘Happy’ Fermanagh video (with the dancing minister)…

Sat 22 March 2014, 8:12pm

Tweet It is essential to take a step back every once and a while from the pressures of life and do something fun. The people of Fermanagh are resilient; no matter what difficulties they face they just get on with things, usually with a smile on their face. It is that sort of resilience that […] more »

Sinn Fein’s last minute pull out from cross party ‘St Pats For All’ video

Mon 3 March 2014, 7:30am

Tweet Controversy in the Republic last night over an old problem for Sinn Fein, the St Patricks Day celebrations in the US, where they do things a little lot differently than they do at home. It concerns this cross parliamentary video supporting the St Pat’s For All parade in NYC… In the US, New York […] more »

Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 4

Tue 11 February 2014, 5:00pm

Tweet Four years after its work began, and following last year’s three years in three minutes, Nasa have released another wondrous short video of a year of selected solar activity as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Video via Nasa Goddard.  Full-screen viewing recommended.  Stunning. [Credit: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. Music: Stella Maris courtesy of Moby Gratis] The […] more »

“an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.”

Mon 28 October 2013, 10:24pm
HRSC on Mars Express - Valles Marineris

Tweet Curiosity may have been on the surface of Mars for over a year, but ESA’s Mars Express has been in orbit around the Red Planet for almost a decade.  It’s one of a number of ways Mars is being observed, up close and personal.  And, like the Hi-RISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express has some […] more »

Lou Reed 1942-2013

Sun 27 October 2013, 10:21pm

Tweet Just a quick post to mark the death of founding member of The Velvet Underground, inspiration for 10,000 bands – see Brian Eno quote – singer, songwriter and general rock legend, Lou Reed, who has died of an unspecified “liver-related ailment”.  He had a liver transplant in May this year after suffering liver failure. […] more »

Time-lapse: Earth

Sat 12 October 2013, 2:58pm

Tweet As the Guardian’s GrrlScientist says, “Wow. Just wow.”  And, “Oh, I recommend “full screen” mode.” Indeed. Adds – If you watch closely you can see Ireland and the UK pass underneath at around 2mins 30secs in. Time-Lapse | Earth from Bruce W. Berry Jr on Vimeo. Video credits Music: “Manhatta” composed and performed by […] more »

Seamus Heaney: “But what about the river in the trees, boy?”

Fri 30 August 2013, 2:27pm

Tweet Seamus Heaney has died at the age of 74.  The Slugger archive has a number of Heaney-related posts, although some links may be defunct.  Among them one of my earliest posts noting Heaney writing on his fellow poet Czeslaw Milosz.  More here, here, here, here, and here.  And here’s a great montage of BBC archive […] more »

A year of Curiosity

Tue 6 August 2013, 4:33pm
Curiosity view of Mars

Tweet One year ago, after “seven minutes of terror“, Nasa’s Mars Science Laboratory, the 900kg rover Curiosity, landed safely on the Red Planet and was soon taking a look around.   [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems]  Full image and caption here. This scene combines seven images from the telephoto-lens camera on the right side of the Mast […] more »

“There’s no place like home…”

Wed 24 July 2013, 3:48pm
Cassini image of Earth in Saturn's rings

Tweet I didn’t ‘Wave at Saturn’ on 19 July when the Cassini probe, orbiting the gas giant, was taking a high-definition image of the view back home.  I don’t think it encouraged a proper sense of perspective…  But the resultant image is stunning. [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute] It’s not the first time Cassini has looked home.  […] more »

“Drowning in the last hours of the day…”

Mon 17 June 2013, 2:48pm

Tweet Somewhat belatedly, here’s the annual excellent Bloomsday video.  It’s tradition!  Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Enjoy! more »

ODI: Ireland v Pakistan

Sun 26 May 2013, 4:46pm

Tweet A four from the last ball of the game by Kevin O’Brien saw Ireland secure a draw in Thursday’s rain affected One-Day International against Pakistan [Duckworth-Lewis applied].  Ireland’s 275 for 5 included 103 runs from 107 balls by Paul “that kid is a freak” Stirling.  Going into today’s second ODI in the two game series, Ireland were confident of an upset […] more »

“…the only thing that’s real…”

Mon 20 May 2013, 12:16am

Tweet Apropos of nothing…   more »

Three Years of SDO Data – Narrated

Sat 11 May 2013, 10:08pm

Tweet If you enjoyed the recent video from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) - “Three years in three minutes” – but would have liked more of an explanation of what was going on with our own local star… here it is again!  This time, though, extended, and narrated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex […] more »

“A major difference between the hurricanes is that the one on Saturn is much bigger…”

Wed 1 May 2013, 6:42pm
Cassini - Saturn north pole The Rose

Tweet As I mentioned previously, Saturn doesn’t get the love some of our other gas giants do.  [All hail our friend and lord, Jupiter!  Keeping Ogdy at bay… - Ed]  Indeed… [new link]  But, with the help of Cassini, Saturn does provide some wondrous images.   In some of its first sunlit images of Saturn’s north pole, Cassini has looked […] more »

Solar Dynamics Observatory: Three years in three minutes

Mon 22 April 2013, 9:56pm

Tweet What it says on the tin.  Three years after First Light, Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has released three stunning minutes of images compiled during its virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum.  Enjoy!  [Video from NasaExplorer on YouTube. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO] As they note in the associated text […] more »

“But we’re still part of the UK…”

Wed 10 April 2013, 10:02pm

Tweet The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson, MP, and Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey, MLA, appeared separately on UTV Live this evening to give their thoughts on the 15th anniversary of the 1998 Agreement.  Apparently Alex Maskey hadn’t arrived at the studio in time for the first segment…  Whether by accident, or design, it was left to presenter Seamus […] more »

Dublin 1982: What a difference thirty odd years makes?

Mon 1 April 2013, 12:04pm
Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 12.00.56

Tweet This is the Dublin I remember in 1982. The lighting gives it a slightly dour feeling, and you need to stop it every now and then to get the detail. The old cars, VW Beetles were once ubiquitous on southern roads in a way they never were north the border. GM cars were sold […] more »

Comet 2013 A1: Rendezvous with Mars…

Wed 27 March 2013, 8:46pm
Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) orbit

Tweet Here’s something to think about whilst waiting to see if Comet ISON will fizzle, or sizzle.  The latest Science at Nasa video looks at the trajectory, and consequences for Mars missions, of Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring).  Discovered as recently as 3 January this year, this Oort cloud object will pass “extraordinarily close” to the planet Mars […] more »

Theresa Villiers: “I’m extremely pleased that we were able to answer the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill’s request for a military helicopter…”

Tue 26 March 2013, 9:11pm

Tweet Following a request yesterday from the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill, to the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, for “urgent access to helicopter support“, an RAF Chinook flew from its Hampshire base today to airlift supplies in order ”to get food on the ground for stranded animals“.  [It's just "a transport helicopter"! […] more »

The ALMA Inauguration

Sat 16 March 2013, 7:05pm

Tweet As the BBC reported on Wednesday, having opened its eyes in 2011, and with 57 of its 66 antennas now ready to receive data on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama desert, Chile, the Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) was officially inaugurated on March 13.  Here’s the associated ESOcast 55: The ALMA Inauguration. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Editing: […] more »

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