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Archive for February, 2012

The austerity referendum

Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

Ireland’s domestic economy is in a truly dreadful state. The IMF forecasts growth of 0.5 per cent, while Citigroup predicts shrinkage of one per cent. Home prices continue to slump, the unemployment rate has climbed to 14.5 percent and emigration has returned to 1980s levels. Meanwhile, the government is pushing through huge cuts in public […]

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People just ain’t no good sometimes

Tuesday, 28 February, 2012

The baker and his wife had seven children. Money was in short supply and troubles raged in the country, but the baker’s family did not want because his loaves and cakes were popular. He would have loved a shop of his own but there simply wasn’t any space. Children and ovens need room and there […]

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Weakness and wimpyness and Voo Doo

Monday, 27 February, 2012

A quick look through the e-mails hacked from Stratfor by Anonymous and “published” by Wikileaks reveals little of importance and nothing dramatic. However, three’s a thread from 2009 that shows one of Obama’s billionaire backers, Penny Pritzker, cooling rapidly on The One. She is very disappointed about Obama’s “weakness and wimpyness” towards China. And his […]

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Bull dog

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

The term “Bulldog” was first mentioned in literature around 1500. The oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Bolddogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by Preswick Eaton where he writes: “procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by […]

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Ring them bells Sweet Martha / For the poor man’s son

Saturday, 25 February, 2012

Produced by Daniel Lanois and hailed by critics as a triumph, Oh Mercy was Bob Dylan’s 26th studio album. It was released in 1989, which was 12 years before Sarah Jarosz was born in Austin, Texas. She picked up the mandolin at 10 and a decade later she was being called “a songwriter of uncommon […]

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Fitting the soul of a fiddle

Friday, 24 February, 2012

According to the violin care experts: “The fit of your soundpost inside your instrument is crucial for good sound production. Each post is custom cut to fit precisely in a specific position. A poorly fit soundpost can impede the transference of sound energy and can even damage the table or back of your instrument.” The […]

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Yoga in slab land

Thursday, 23 February, 2012

A visit to Ireland at the beginning of Lent, a time of penitential observance when many people decide to abstain from pleasures such as alcohol, is a sobering affair. The sad and disturbing fact is that the culture of binge drinking is wreaking enormous havoc in terms of illness and violence upon the country. And […]

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Home wasn’t built in a day

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

A very harsh fact of reality is that no one is indispensable. Life goes on, with or without us, and nothing illustrates this better than the experience of leaving home and then returning. Umberto Eco illustrates the point with the following story: “At the age of twenty Salvatore leaves his native town and emigrates to […]

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Dolcorsllwyn Fabio and the fable of the humble farmer

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012

The Irish expression “to put on the poor mouth” (an béal bocht a chur ort), refers to the practice, often associated with small farmers, of inflating life’s hardships to evoke compassion, charity, the restraint of creditors and the generosity of state agencies. An Béal Bocht (The Poor Mouth) is a surreal, hilarious and mesmerizing novel […]

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President’s Day

Monday, 20 February, 2012

It’s today. By the way, Germany will soon have a new one. Interestingly, with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck at the helm, two East Germans will now be running Germany. That aside, today is George Washington’s Birthday and a United States federal holiday as well. Washington was, no doubt, a great president, but […]

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Crows’ nests at dusk

Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Crow Communes “Well,” said Crow, “What first?” God, exhausted with Creation, snored. “Which way?” said Crow, “Which way first?” God’s shoulder was the mountain on which Crow sat. “Come,” said Crow, “Let’s discuss the situation.” God lay, agape, a great carcass. Crow tore off a mouthful and swallowed. “Will this cipher divulge itself to digestion […]

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