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.

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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Is the new found love of the great outdoors waning?

One of the positives of the pandemic was more people discovering the pleasure of the great outdoors. As there was nothing else to do more people went out walking in their local parks, forests and beaches. Walking in nature is great for your emotional and physical wellbeing and best of all it’s free. Out for a stroll at Shaws Bridge, it was noticeably quieter compared to a few months ago, all the more surprising considering what a lovely day it …

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Edwin Poots has resigned as the leader of the DUP…

They used to say a week is a long time in politics, but in this new fast-moving social media age a day is a long time in politics. This morning Edwin Poots looked like he managed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act, by the end of the day he was gone as DUP leader. Only 20 days in office, absolutely extraordinary. This is a developing story, we will add any updates as we get more info. pic.twitter.com/cgI4GwcWaj …

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Et tu, Sammy? The knifes comes out for Edwin…

Wow, what a day. The putsch that overthrew Arlene Foster has been met with a counterattack against the new leadership of Edwin Poots. DUP politicians voted 20 to 4 against nominating Paul Givan, but the nomination still went ahead. I understand @duponline reps voted 24-4 AGAiNST nominating — Gareth Gordon (@BBCGarethG) June 17, 2021 A succession of DUP politicians has refused to back their new leader, even the ones who originally supported him. Does Sammy Wilson have confidence in Edwin …

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Stormont crisis averted. Until the next crisis…

So to no great surprise to anyone, Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act. They have run to colonial daddy to implement the legislation for them at Westminster. BBC News: NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off ends BBC News – NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off endshttps://t.co/ybxWhPftU5 A Secretary of State intervenes to save the Assembly at Sinn Fein's behest. Now we've seen it all. — Brian Walker (@bwalker347) …

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Professor Rick Wilford has died…

The death has been announced of Professor Rick Wilford. Though born in Wales he long ago made Northern Ireland his home. He was an Emeritus Professor at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s and a respected commentator of the political scene. Rick was a familiar face on our screens, especially during election counts. He was known for his laid back manner and dry wit, and amazingly for our divided society, he was universally respected for his …

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A departing Lee Reynolds puts the boot into team Poots…

Lee Reynolds is no more as Special Adviser to Arlene Foster. Writing in today’s Irish News he is very forthright in his views about the current mess the DUP finds itself in. Some choice extracts: Partly DUP princelings coming to avenge their forefathers and claim their entitlement but supplemented by MLAs genuinely concerned about the upcoming elections. It is the DUP brand that is in greater trouble. Arlene Foster’s popularity had dropped but not as much the DUP’s. Does the …

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Let us know your views on potential changes to the comments on Slugger…

Over the years a lot of sites have turned off their comments as they can’t be bothered with the hassle of moderating them, but we recognise the comments area is part of the success of Slugger. We believe it is important to give people a voice, but we have a problem – we have been too successful. The current volume of comments we are getting is staggering. Over the past month alone there have been over 17,000 comments left on …

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