Archive | April, 2011

Pushing at boundaries

Great to see some politicos working outside comfort zones in their chase for votes. In the last day we’ve had Niall Ó Donnghaile out in Castlereagh helping his SF colleagues hunt those final ticks, Conall and the SDLP trying their luck in Belvoir and Mark Finlay and the UUP giving the Markets and Lower Ormeau more…

Voyager

Voyager: Humanity’s Farthest Journey

While waiting for Endeavour’s final voyage, you can catch up, metaphorically, with the ongoing scientific odyssey of those other still-nimble Voyagers as they head towards the vastness of interstellar space.  ( Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) NasaTV has Thursday’s special science presentation on the mission with a panel of the Voyager team – including Ed Stone, who’s been there more…

Bill Craig came to his senses too late

Interesting to see that the Guardian has marked Bill Craig’sdeath at 86 with a Chris Ryder obit and touching to see that Mark follows the peculiar Irish practice of warning against speaking ill of the recently dead. Sam McBride’s” Political Giant” is infected by similar sentimentality on the unionist side.  But critical comment on Craig’s record more…

You too can be a researcher for the Belfast Telegraph…

From Robert McNeill’s column in yesterday’s Tele: Worse happened to another Manchester colleague, Darron Gibson, whose misspelling of his own first name was not a hopeful sign. He had to delete his Twitter account after just two hours when it was inundated with allegations that he was not particularly good at his chosen profession and complaints more…

Mission STS-134 patch

Endeavour’s Final Voyage

Following the final flight of Discovery, the next Nasa Space Shuttle to be retired, after 19 years of service, will be Endeavour. But first there’s the not insignificant matter of its 25th, and final, flight – Mission STS-134.  Lift-off is scheduled for 1547 local time (1947 GMT; 2047 BST) from the Kennedy Space Centre.  And via more…

PUPs Brian Ervine on a Segway on an East Belfast pavement

PUP leader Segways onto the wrong side of the law?

Posters and Segway scooters. With less than a week to go until the election, candidates will have sore feet, lost weight and be counting the hours until polling closes on Thursday night at 10pm. The PUP is certainly pulling its weight when it comes to election gimmicks. Last week they unveiled a poster featuring Kristin more…

Gerry Kelly: “we’re not living in the past, we’re not living in the past”

The Belfast Telegraph has a transcript of what happened when BBC NI’s Martina Purdy asked Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly about his party’s recent “mixed messages”.  [Another ‘stupid’ question? – Ed] Indeed.  From the Belfast Telegraph report Ms Purdy ‘tweeted’ after the interview that Mr Kelly had been “exceptionally annoyed” with her, but did not want more…

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House of Windsor can claim a role in UK’s future

Interesting commentary on the political and constitutional context for the British Royal Wedding in Westminster from Philip Stephens: “Once she [the Queen] has gone, though, the institution’s long-term survival will depend on whether it manages to adapt to straitened circumstance. Even as they cheer the newlyweds, the monarch’s subjects are contemplating the prospect of many more…

IRSP logo

Catching up with Jim Gorman and Paul Little, IRSP council candidates in Belfast #lg11 #belw #beln

On Thursday afternoon I spoke to IRSP’s two candidates standing for Belfast City Council: Jim Gorman (Lower Falls) and Paul Little (Oldpark). The party has another three candidates standing in Derry and Strabane. The first part of the interview looked at their candidacy in next week’s local elections; the second part looked at the IRSP more…

Royal Wedding

There’s a royal wedding today. How are you celebrating the day?. Me, i’m off to work…

“This, therefore, looks like slim pickings for Nama…”

At the Guardian’s Ireland Business blog, Lisa O’Carroll notes of Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency [NAMA] I wrote about the London trophy and landmark buildings amassed by developers for the Observer back in January and at the time, there was a view among the large property agencies in the capital that NAMA wouldn’t flood the more…

Seanad Éireann 2011 – SF triple representation

With the elimation of Brophy on the 25th count of the Seanad Industrial and Commercial Panel that by my reckoning guarantees the election of SF’s 3rd Senator, Kathryn Reilly. As one of only three ‘inside’ candidates left she joins Trevor O’Cloctaraigh and David Cullinane in tripling SF’s representation on a Seanad their party wants abolished more…

Poverty programme should dominate the next Assembly

It’s great to see pressure mounting on what are misleadingly called ”  the bread and butter issues” – misleading, because of a growing shortage of ” bread and butter.”  The Social Justice Network is one of too few cross community  and interfaith bodies who  regularly lobby  the Assembly parties for their causes – on practical  stuff like more…

MoD apply for improved security at MI5’s NI headquarters

Increased security measures are already in place at potential terrorist targets in Londonderry.  The BBC are now reporting that the Ministry of Defence have applied for planning permission to improve security measures at the entrance to Palace Barracks in Holywood – site of MI5’s Northern Ireland headquarters. From the BBC report The application, filed earlier more…

#LG11 Open Thread: The Council contest…

If you want a more detailed piece on some of the issues at play, have look at John’s post from Monday. But this is an opportunity to flag council contests we should be keeping an especial eye on for Monday and Tuesday following the Assembly and AV counts. As an additional thought, if you are more…

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Wikileaks reminder that Obama’s still Guantánamo gaoler-in-chief

As Ireland readies itself to welcome President Obama to these shores next month, those with an interest in upholding international law have been given reason to recall how he has failed the litmus test of Guantánamo. While the President appears to have forgotten his January 2010 promise to close the internment camp within a year, more…

Tycho supernova remnant

Chandra finds evidence of Tycho’s origin

Nasa’s Chandra X-ray observatory has been in orbit since 1999 and it’s still producing results.  Like this stunning image of the remnant of the Type Ia supernova first observed by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in 1572. The data for the images was collected in 283 hours of observation from 2 pointings between April 29, 2003 and May more…