Ian Marshall joins the UUP…

At the time of the last UUP leadership election, I said the best person for the job was Ian Marshall. There were just two minor issues, he was not a politician or even a member of the UUP. That situation has since been rectified, at least the UUP member part. Delighted to join Doug and the UUP. Time for a union of people, embracing inclusivity, diversity and building relationships across an island and between two islands. Thanks to @SuzyJourno & …

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South Korean TV images used to represent each nation in the Olympics…

South Korean TV thought it would be helpful to viewers to have images to represent each nation in the Olympics opening ceremony. Italy was pizza, which to be fair kinda makes sense. But then it got weirder with Ukraine represented by Chernobyl, Haiti was a riot, Marshall Islands, it said “was once a nuclear test site for the US, and is composed of more than 1,200 islands.” El Salvador was introduced with a picture representing Bitcoin. South Korean broadcaster MBC …

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In England crops are left to rot as there are not enough workers to pick them…

I deplore waste, especially food waste. With so much hunger in the world, it is a scandal how much food is wasted in rich countries. They estimate the average UK family throws out £700 worth of food a year. But what of the food that never even reaches the shops? Euronews reports on the crops left to rot as there are not enough workers to pick them. From the article: Fruit and vegetables are being left to rot in England …

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It’s a rat trap and we’ve been caught…

This 4-minute video by animator Steve Cutts is a very good critique of where we find ourselves in our modern capitalist society. I have worked for myself my whole life and benefited from the system but it does not stop me from seeing the flaws in our model of continuous consumption and unrestrained growth. Chasing the chimera of happiness with every new purchase or pill or drink swallowed. Not sure if Steve was thinking about the Boomtown Rats song when …

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“He did not read the protocol, he has not read the bill, he does not know his stuff”…

As Labour leader, Ed Miliband’s awkward geekiness never found favour with the English voters but he has grown in stature over the years. His Reasons to be cheerful podcast is an entertaining and informative listen. In his day job role as MP and shadow Minister, he gave Boris quite the evisceration over his handling of NI Protocol. It makes for an entertaining watch. @Ed_Miliband Destroying @BorisJohnson with ease. ?‍☠️pic.twitter.com/1VVzyPlyTN — The Churchill Project (@WinstonCProject) July 21, 2021 But all this …

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Jeff Bezos flies to the edge of space in giant phallus…

The billionaire space race is equal parts vulgar and hilarious. Last week alleged tax exile Richard Branson put last year’s unfortunate business of asking the government to bail out his companies behind him to blast to the edge of space for a few minutes. He nearly managed to achieve what the Soviets did 60 years ago with less technology than you would find in a modern wristwatch. Not to be outdone Jeff Bezos has gone full Dr Evil and blasted himself …

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We can’t keep putting off investing in NI Water…

As you might have noticed it has been pretty hot the past few weeks. All this heat is not great for our water supplies and NI Water have warned that of supply shortages and a potential hosepipe ban. This happens most years, but it is a good reminder that we take water for granted. NI Water has been warning for years that we need to invest in our water infrastructure. There is the obvious part of the service – the …

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Over the pond Peppa Pig has parents puzzled…

If you have small people in your life (children not dwarfs) then you will be no stranger to Peppa Pig and her assorted friends like Pedro Pony and Emily Elephant. It is quite a good TV show that even the most cynical of parents or grandparents can enjoy. It is fun to spot the various celebrity voices: Brian Blessed as Grandpa Rabbit is a work of genius, he has a job as a lighthouse keeper which entails him shouting FOGGG!!! …

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Today is the hottest day ever recorded in Northern Ireland as temperatures reached 31.2C…

This will likely not come as a surprise to those of you who have been sweltering under the heat the past few days. Today is provisionally the hottest day ever recorded in Northern Ireland ? ? Ballywatticock in County Down reached 31.2 °C at 15.40 ?️ Previously, 30.8 °C was the highest #temperature recorded in Northern Ireland, reached on 12th July 1983 and 30th June 1976 #heatwave pic.twitter.com/pFIDwHmCvG — Met Office (@metoffice) July 17, 2021 During the parkrun this morning …

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It’s OK not to have an opinion on something…

Last week we were on holiday in a caravan park in Scotland. During a rant about net curtains one of our party remarks that I have very strong opinions. I really dislike net curtains. In this particular case, I was particularly irked that the net curtains were obscuring a beautiful view of a Scotland Lough. The strange thing is I have strong views about small things but generally ambivalent views about big things. I care not a jot about the …

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Teenager critically ill with 40% burns to his body after being engulfed in flames at Eleventh Night bonfire…

If anything is it surprising that more people were not injured or killed over the weekend. From Allison Morris in the Belfast Telegraph: A teenager is in hospital with burns to 40% of his body and face on Monday night after catching fire at a north Belfast bonfire. Eyewitnesses say the 17-year-old, who is from the Ballysillan area, lifted a canister of petrol to throw at the already ignited bonfire when the flames caught the accelerant dousing him in burning …

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The killer identified Margaret as a young girl in a dress and then he deliberately shot her…

I normally don’t write posts about the Troubles. I try to look forward and not dwell on the past. That’s easy for me to say because I never lost anyone close to me. I don’t have the raw pain of the missing person at Christmas and family events. But sometimes you come across something so shocking that you just can’t but write about it. Kevin Myers recently wrote on his blog about the notorious activities of the Paras in Northern …

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So what do you think of Euro 2020?

A year late, but hey. Last night Italy beat England on penalties to win the Euro 2020 Soccer tournament. A moment Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy will never forget… …the moment they became Euro 2020 champions#ITAENG | #ITVFootball | #Euro2020 pic.twitter.com/HpWY8SEoon — ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 11, 2021 Cue the inevitable from the English press: To be fair penalties are a bad way to end a match, you might as well do a coin toss. Still, for soccer fans, it was …

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The hedonic treadmill of bonfires…

One of the more enlightening moments in life is when you discover the concept of the hedonic treadmill. In simple terms, it is the tendency of a person to remain at a relatively stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or the achievement of major goals. We see this effect when we buy a new smartphone. For a few weeks, it is the bee’s knees and we marvel at how fast it is and what lovely photos it …

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Gordon Lyons appointed Economy Minister…

Poor old Paul Frew, he was only in the job two weeks and now he is out. Gordon Lyons has been appointed to replace Paul Frew as NI economy minister, Democratic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has announcedhttps://t.co/W3daqI81OS — BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) July 6, 2021 From his profile, it seems the 35 year old Gordon Lyons has never had a job outside of politics. He was an assistant to Sammy Wilson before becoming an MLA. At this point, …

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Twitter troll to pay Stephen Nolan six figure damages…

A bad week for whoever was behind the Pastor Jimberoo Twitter account as Stephen Nolan just made their bank account over a 100k lighter. From the BBC report: A person who used anonymous Twitter accounts to make defamatory remarks about Stephen Nolan has apologised and agreed to pay a six-figure damages sum. The BBC radio and TV presenter traced the identity of the person who was behind an online campaign against him. In a statement issued by the person’s lawyer, …

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North Down MLA Alex Easton resigns from the DUP…

Jeffrey Donaldson is only into the job of DUP leader for a few hours and already his unruly colleagues are giving him trouble. Alex Easton said he will stand as an independent in the next election. He said: “I’ve given 21 years of my life to the DUP, sometimes to the detriment of my health & well-being. It has been extremely lonely at times for me, & few have cared how I have felt.” I have had to stand back …

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“Absolute silence for 30 minutes on school buses as all girls are using mobile phones…”

The headline is a quote from Bloomfield Collegiate School principal Gary Greer in a letter to parents. Pupils were informed this morning in registration that a mobile phone ban would be put in place for the remainder of the term. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, we have real concerns about mental health and the lack of ability to socialise due to too much screen time during lock down. It has been reported to me that there is absolute silence …

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Jeffrey Donaldson elected new leader of the DUP…

Can he beat the previous record of 21 days? Will he be the First Minister? Popcorn at the ready… https://t.co/iNLMC6xsBe pic.twitter.com/dgAN09b2U0 — DUP (@duponline) June 22, 2021 Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. Ian Marshall joins the UUP…South Korean TV images used to represent each nation in the Olympics…In England crops are left to rot as there are not enough workers to pick them…Set your Author Custom HTML Tab Content …

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The bleak sight of back to the booze…

We went out for an early dinner on the Dublin Road in Belfast last night. Turning into Ventry Street, a young guy staggered down the middle of the street, clutching his empty 2-litre bottle of cheap cider. Completely oblivious to cars or people, he was impressively drunk for 5 pm in the day. We got a table by the window, which gave us a good vantage point to watch the various goings-on. Young guys carrying cases of Budweiser, drunk women …

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