Author Archive: Eamonn Fitzgerald

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Breece D’J Pancake and Pinckney Benedict are for real

Tuesday, 31 July, 2012

When people grow up with names such as Breece D’J Pancake and Pinckney Benedict, you can be sure that they’ll have stories to tell. In each case, the stories are of Appalachia as both gentlemen grew up in West Virginia. Pinckney Benedict reverently namechecks Breece D’J Pancake in his foreword to Give Us a Kiss […]

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The UI, UX and DQ of #London2012

Monday, 30 July, 2012

A great event demands great respect and that’s what the great Dane, Jakob Nielsen, brought to the table before writing his latest column, “Official Olympic Website: UI Silver — but UX DQ“. The godfather of website usability applies his trained eye to the official site for the 2012 London games and gives Lord Coe & […]

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Metal gecko

Sunday, 29 July, 2012

Geckos are lizards belonging to the infraorder Gekkota, found in warm climates throughout the world. They range from 1.6 cm to 60 cm. Geckos cannot blink. They have a fixed lens within each iris that enlarges in darkness. A gecko uses its long tongue to clean its eye and keep it dust-free.

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More than money

Saturday, 28 July, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games are upon us and there’s no better way to wake up to the first day of competition in London than with an English song by and English singer: Seth Lakeman. More than Money is the opening track on his sixth solo album, Tales from the Barrel House. Despite many of the […]

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Let the Games begin!

Friday, 27 July, 2012

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle covered the 1908 London Olympics for The Daily Mail. “I do not often do journalistic work, but I was tempted chiefly by the offer of an excellent seat,” he recalled in his autobiography. Upon seeing the fatigued Italian marathon runner, Dorando Pietri, entering the stadium at White City, Doyle wrote: “It […]

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Evan Robertson creates posters inspired by his love of literature

Thursday, 26 July, 2012

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places […]

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A performing Seale among the Syrian butchers

Wednesday, 25 July, 2012

“When the matter of human rights is raised with Syrian officials — particularly the jailing under harsh conditions of civil rights activists and political opponents — they point to far greater abuses by the United States and Israel. Western actions, they claim, have damaged the cause of democracy and human rights. Nevertheless, Syria’s record on […]

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The depraved architects of death

Wednesday, 25 July, 2012

Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War by the French architectural historian and architect Jean-Louis Cohen establishes “one big, awful, inescapable truth”, writes Martin Filler in the New York Review of Books. According to Filler: “the full potential of twentieth-century architecture, engineering, and design was realized not in the social-welfare and […]

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“A little autobiography and a lot of imagination are best”

Tuesday, 24 July, 2012

“The fiction I’m most interested in has lines of reference to the real world. None of my stories really happened, of course. But there’s always something, some element, something said to me or that I witnessed, that may be the starting place. Here’s an example: ‘That’s the last Christmas you’ll ever ruin for us!’ I […]

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Godard as the spiritual father of Palestinian terror in Munich

Monday, 23 July, 2012

In this clip from 1969, the French film director Jean-Luc Godard orders a cheque to be made out to his account by ZDF, the German public broadcaster, to buy weapons for use against Israel. And it is duly done. He brandishes a six-pointed Swastika as the German narrator declares that Godard believes “America has become […]

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The Milan-Sicily axis is part of the Italian opera

Monday, 23 July, 2012

From the theatre of the absurd that Italy has become, there’s this snippet from the weekend: “Sicily has now been dubbed ‘Italy’s Greece’, an island awash with misspent EU funds, state jobs traded for votes and a €5bn debt pile that some fear could push Italy’s delicate economy into the abyss. Union and business leaders last week implored the Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, to take control of Sicily’s disastrous local finances and, after credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the island, Monti himself warned Sicily could default.” Fears over Sicily’s future as euro flow stops and bankruptcy looms.

Meanwhile, up in Milan they’re got different money woes. Some of these concern Stéphane Lissner, the General Manager and Artistic Director of the La Scala opera house. Lissner has been on the job since 2005 and he earns a basic salary of €449,000 a year, which, through bonuses and pension top ups, comes to a magnificent €800,000 annually. With La Scala in the red to the tune of €4.5 million and the country toying with financial breakdown, Lissner’s take home pay has struck some people as being a bit rich so he’s agreed to take a 10 percent cut in salary and 20 percent in bonus payments. Painful, of course, but he’ll manage, somehow. Both of these colourful stories should be noted, however, by those who might be pressed into bailing Italy out some day. Unwise.

Meanwhile, Spain is falling off the euro cliff.