Archive | August, 2012

US Presidential Election: “the process is the ultimate deceit. And the ultimate distraction.”

Something for Mick’s late night panel to consider, perhaps…  The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, had a reasonably successful convention in Tampa by most accounts, and has followed up by stealing a march on the current president.  But I’d tend to agree with most of Glenn Greenwald’s take on the US presidential election process.  [If more…

Late night panel: US Election and what matters on Main Street?

Gore Vidal once famously noted of American politics, “there is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.” An exaggeration, of course. But it is not always obvious to those of us who live far beyond the watery borders of the American Republic more…

#DigitalLunch: Future of Education Live at 1pm…

Our digital lunch on the future of Education today is the first of two live panels today. It will start at about 1pm. You can also watch on this page and pose and vote on questions for the panel as we go along… I missed these last week due to a technical problem, but they more…

Dawn image of Vesta 17 July 2011

“Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions”

Having arrived at the 530km-wide giant asteroid Vesta in July 2011, in May this year Nasa’s Dawn Mission scientists published some of their findings.  Now Dawn’s ready to head out on the next leg of its journey – Destination [the even larger protoplanet (dwarf planet)] Ceres, ETA 2015. From the JPL press release “Thrust is engaged, and we are now more…

Church Leaders Call Royal Black Behaviour ‘Un-Christian’: Is Parading a ‘Right’ for Christians?

With Unionist politicians lining up to criticise the Parades Commission and defend the Royal Black Institution parade in Belfast this past weekend, the Presbyterian Moderator (Roy Patton) and Anglican Archbishop of Armagh (Alan Harper) have called the conduct of those who took part ‘un-Christian.’ In an interview last night on UTV, Patton said: I think more…

#DigitalLunch 7: The Future of Education?

Okay, so seven weeks since our first experimental steps on Google Plus (you can find all previous #DigitalLunch programmes here) and we’ve had an interesting journey through the summer… Tomorrow, it’s all about the challenges and opportunities of education in a digital age.. By that, I mean how is the net affecting the way education more…

Curiosity on Mars: Mount Sharp geology

“This is an area on Mount Sharp where Curiosity will go”

More wondrous images from Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the 900kg rover Curiosity, now safely on the Martian surface in Gale Crater.  And it’s only warming up its instruments.  Here’s a panaroma of the landing site and the prime mission target, Mount Sharp. Focusing in on Mount Sharp… [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS] But the images that have more…

01GL2012-08-29

Signs of a ceasefire in the ‘Culture War’?

Tuairisc le Méabh Ní Thuathaláin LABHAIR Ardmhéara Bhéal Feirste, An Bardasach Gavin Robinson ón DUP, amach go poiblí ar son na Gaeilge ag seoladh leabhráin, Logainmneacha Bhéal Feirste, ar na mallaibh. B’ócáid thar a bheith suimiúil í, dar le hAodán Mac Póilin, fear a raibh baint aige le gluaiseacht na Gaeilge i mBéal Feirste le more…

The Bible, Gay Marriage and the Disaster on Donegall Street

According to the Royal Black Institution’s website, it is a thoroughly Scriptural organisation. The first point of its Mission Statement is to “Study Holy Scripture in order to understand the Christian faith”. The same website states that “its foundations [are] based firmly on scriptural truths and the propagation of the Christian Reformed Faith”. Speaking at more…

Paul Givan

DUP proposal to grant freedom of Lisburn to the Orange Order

At tonight’s monthly meeting of Lisburn City Council, Alderman Givan (DUP) proposed that the contribution of the Orange Order throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland be recognised by conveying the Freedom of Lisburn on the organisation. [I recorded a quick interview with Paul Givan after the council meeting ended.] The freedom of the more…

Has Slugger O’Toole ever changed your mind?

How can you test your open-mindedness? A common theme characterizing responses to Turgon’s interesting question on how we might respond to monstrous and dangerous beliefs and believers like Anders Breivik got me thinking about this. Several commentors focused on Breivik’s ideas and how these might be challenged and exposed as weak. This focus assumes that the challenge with limiting the potency more…

UUP gavel

Lord Maginnis resigns from UUP after failing to secure Mike Nesbitt’s resignation as party leader

The News Letter’s Sam McBride has neatly [Ed – and quickly] summed up the state of the failing failed relationship between Lord Maginnis and Mike Nesbitt. A set of email exchanges outline Maginnis’ demands for action following his perceived humiliation, and Nesbitt’s offer (early this morning) to hastily restore the whip to prevent Maginnis’ resignation more…

“I think that Northern Ireland needs great cultural events for an international audience”

The Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival makes the pages of the New York Times.  From the New York Times article The Happy Days festival has a budget of £300,000 (about $474,400), of which the greatest part comes from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, with smaller contributions from more…

Anders Behring Breivik: murderer, fascist; and object of derision?

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was found guilty (and sane) last week. There is an excellent article on Breivik and his ultra right ideology by Matthew Feldman on the BBC website. Feldman (a Reader in History at Teeside University) is an expert on fascist ideology and the far right. Feldman notes the “Lone Wolf” more…

Bishop challenges PSNI over failure to enforce lawful restrictions

It is hard to argue with Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, when he expresses surprise and concern regarding the PSNI’s refusal to act to enforce the lawful restrictions placed upon Saturday’s loyalist parade, not least since every year on the 12th July the same PSNI enforces Parades Commission determinations in spite of being conscious of the more…

Ulster farmers and the strange silence of our once fearless and bellicose politicians…

The following is an article from the Irish News, which is reproduced here in its entirety with the paper’s permission… It provides an important insight on the little publicly remarked upon influence of the farming lobby in Northern Ireland. By John Manley A NATIONALIST politician for whom I have some uncharacteristic regard recently confessed to more…

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

“the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink”

Private family man, engineer, US Navy fighter pilot, war veteran, civilian test pilot, astronaut, academic, businessman, reluctant hero, and the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong has died at the age of 82.  Reg Turnill, who was the BBC’s aerospace correspondent at the time of the first moon landing, gives his thoughts.  Nasa’s tribute more…