Archive | September, 2012

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Europe take the Ryder Cup home (against all reasonable hope)!!!

And so Rory cut it fine. But he did his work when he got there (via a police ride)… Saving the best for the last… And just at the end Europe’s Martin Kaymer takes the most unlikely win in Ryder Cup history… Some pretty emotional scenes from Medinah… Salve Seve… Update: Davis Love III “Everyone more…

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Parade of the Century

Its the morning after, it is raining steadily outside, it also seems to be “Raining on my Parade” from the usual suspects. But I don’t care there is still a smile on my face, my head is in the clouds and my feet are sore, the flutes are still singing and lambegs ring, the Parade more…

“It’s a manifestation of social control by people who were able to act with tacit impunity…”

In the Christian Science Monitor, Jason Walsh has a clearer view than most of what is “deliberate, almost formalized cultural chest-thumping”. Even among many who are glad that the Troubles have ended, blame is beginning to point toward the structure of the peace process itself, specifically how it attempted to defuse the conflict into a culture more…

The Covenant had its day. A new one is needed

It’s salutary to see the scanty outside news coverage in advance of the Ulster Covenant anniversary focusing  on a  few hundred metres of territory around Carlisle Circus. The heritage of unionism seems reduced to rioting and bigotry. Many will agree, however unfairly.  For the most part it’s about just another day of tricky parades management that provokes the more…

Has the Republic disposed of the malign legacy of Charles Haughey 30 years ago?

The spotlight should not fall  exclusively on the history of the North these days. We’re told that the launch of a constitutional convention in the Republic is imminent. Doubts are rife that  it will it do the job.  Although sparked by the financial collapse, it must review the robustness of the Republic’s institutions from  much further back, to more…

Spanish troops mass on Catalunya’s borders…

Well,perhaps not quite, although as El Economista reports: (The) Spanish Military Association (SMA) has warned Monday that those who cooperate or allow “fracture” of Spain should “respond with all the utmost rigor” in the courts in the field of military courts by the “serious charge high treason. (Google translate gives the gist) Meanwhile in the more…

When cherishing equal citizenship falls short on equality

Patrick Corrigan wrote on Slugger yesterday asking “Equal marriage – how long will Northern Ireland’s gay couples have to wait?”. Today the DUP lodged a Petition of Concern against the motion which is to be debated in Stormont on Monday. As Steven Agnew tweeted ” Legislation designed to protect minorities used to prevent the passing of more…

#DigitalLunch today: Crashing systems…

We’ll have the live feed here up and running just before 1pm… to get an idea of what we mean by crashing systems, have a look at the event page over on Google Plus… All across the world, systems are crashing. In banking we’ve seen debt slicing and long haul internal systems like that of more…

The Excitment is Building!

Only two sleeps to go till the big parade, and I’m starting to get quite excited about it.  It has only been the last two weeks that it has dawned on me this is likely to be a special occasion, one to remember for the rest of my life.  I still remember the Tercentenary Celebrations in 1990, the Belfast parade that year more…

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Rankin Armstrong takes over the reins as editor of the News Letter

The News Letter has appointed Rankin Armstrong as its new editor. Darwin Templeton left the role (for UTV) nearly 12 months ago and since then Johnston Press has conducted an exhaustive [Ed – you mean exhausting?] search, including at least two rounds of interviews which included candidates from the newspaper group’s English operation. Most recently the more…

Permanent Cantons or Effective Government?

Newton Emerson, writing in today’s Irish News, speculates on the future direction of Northern Ireland’s political spectrum: A poll published last weekend shows Alliance overtaking the UUP for the first time, on 13 per cent compared to the UUP’s 10 per cent. The SDLP is on 9 per cent. The poll had a small sample more…

Irish Government launches help for SMEs next week…

So good news at last for small business in the Republic. Just like small business in Northern Ireland, they’ve been starved of capital even as European taxpayers have been stuffing the banks full of cash… Silicon Republic reports… The Irish Government is set to open the microfinance scheme from next Monday for businesses and sole more…

Hubble 2012 eXtreme Deep Field

“We stared at this patch of sky for about 22 days…”

As the BBC’s spaceman, Jonathan Amos, notes, the Hubble Space Telescope team have released an updated version of their stunning Ultra Deep Field image – the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) – and they have seen further than ever.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the more…

The Challenge of Turning Goodwill into Cooperation

Regular readers of this ‘note’ will know that I have certain obsessions which keep re-surfacing: the need to upgrade the Belfast-Dublin rail line; the exhortation to Northern Irish people to fully enjoy both their identities, Irish and British; the need for more people-to-people cooperation across the border; and the imperative for the public sectors in more…