Friday, 29 June 2012

Sirius B - The Dog Star

Sirius B is close to us , putting this in the context of the galaxy being infinite this means it is more or less our next door neighbours. These are trivial though in comparison to some of the links that star has to various aspects of culture here on Earth.

The Native Americans and the the Chinese both referred to Sirius B as the dog star or the wolf star. The native Americans believed that the dog star was a protector while the Chinese looked upon as a "celestial wolf". The most interesting information comes from though the Dogon and the Sumerians whom both had an advanced understanding of the star before modern astronomy would have touched it. The Dogon knew of the existence of a second star that was Sirius B before modern astronomy discovered it. In Sumeria , this is the best, the star descended for the hero Gilgemesh and he and fifty people descended into the heavens in a ship to the heavens.


In the Sumerian Civilization, predating the Egyptians, their epic poem Epic of Gilgamesh describes a dream of Gilgamesh where the hero is drawn irresistibly to a heavy star that cannot be lifted despite immense effort.
This star descends from heaven to him and is described as having a very 'potent essence' and being "the God of heaven". Gilgamesh had for his companions, 50 oarsmen in the great ship, Argo, a constellation bordering Canis Major, where Sirius is found.

Links and References

A Reason to change the law on abortion?

This is a case where there should perhaps be legal abortion. The child would have been carried to full term suffering from a condition called anencephaly in which the child is born with a brain stem and some parts of the brain but the rest is missing. At most the child can just carry out basic functions such as breathe and is just existing on the very peripherals of life. Morally for a situation like this to exist is completely wrong, this is the doing of the church and other fringe groups whom are intent on keeping the status quo. The child is suffering and the mother is suffering until she reaches England for the termination. This is not a case to further the pro choice cause in Ireland but to make a point that in even the most limiting of circumstances, issues like these warrant legal abortion here in Ireland.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dublins Gay Pride

This weekend marks Dublin's gay pride and it's well into its older years having started out in the early 80's when several members of the gay community started it up and since then it has grown into a phenomenal success. Pride itself has its origins in the gay rights movement starting in the summer of '69 when police forced members of the LGBT community to disband from gay bars in New York in the Greenwich area, one of these bars , the Stonewall Inn, later became one of the flashpoints. Fast forward forty odd years later and now Dublin is holding its pride but who does it represent?

My fellow members of the LGBT community have taken it upon themselves to throw one hell of a party and what a party it is. This is one thing that can be done brilliantly is have a party but marching for rights? The world is a whole lot different than it was forty years ago we must admit. As per the Barons discussion with myself in the gay rights threads, his lesbian friends and I and others in the gay community cringe at the thoughts of glitter and Kylie representing us as is proclaimed by a wide section of the LGBT community. From skinny lads beat into jeans to bears pretending to be butch and everything in between, Pride has become synonomous with silliness as much as it has become to represent gay rights. Pride , it could be argued sets us back in society. The gay community seeks so much acceptance yet a march that seeks to only appeal to a minority and not the majority will never do that. Creating a bad impression of people like myself and others whom are quite happy to admit are gay but for whom being gay is only one of many aspects of our life. Straight people do not have straight pride do they?

I propose gay pride bring itself bang up to date and seek to change its attitude and mature itself. Gay marriage will not be achieved by waving glow sticks and endless amounts of Kylie are not going to bring us equal inheritance rights. By all means have the marches, I have joined you all in the past but this is a plea, take a look at the bigger picture. Become a part of active political and social life. Money spent on the parade could be used to fund a hostel for young LGBT people fleeing life from torture or persecution, it could be used to get more LGBT reps into the Dail, it could be used to open the gay switchboard for longer. Every pride I find myself repairing damage from the image portrayed which while fun makes life that little bit harder for me. Pride they say is about embracing our inner gay and being secure to do so but is it not stemming from an insecurity that we must show we are here and queer? Why not throw a concert and invite everyone from civic leaders to community organisations? We can gain acceptance more so through engagement on a more mature level.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Do not legitimise Brevik..

Breviks lawyers are preparing a defence which seeks to legitimise his actions somehow through his actions being of a political nature. They will claim that his actions were part of a wider opinion of right wing thinking that is very prevalent. Does anyone think that if this defence is accepted that it will set up a dangerous sort of precedent? Right wing groups will think that any action against immigrants is seen to have validated as its part of a wider opinion?


Lippestad used his closing arguments to try to prove to the court that Breivik's claims of being a resistance fighter in a struggle to protect Norway and Europe from being colonised by Muslims were not delusional, but part of a political view shared by other rightwing extremists.

Dangerous precedent if this is accepted as a defence...

An Irish Socialist Utopia Project

This occured while thinking of how we could set up a model for humanity to co exist and this idea popped up. Its off the wall but just go with me. Punch holes in the idea and add or subtract from it and improve as you see fit.

Take an uninhabited island off the West coast. Supply them with seeds , solar panels, high speed internet access and the means for self sufficiency.

-First off build housing that is low cost and self sufficient, the houses are powered by solar power and use membranes off the tides and wind power. There will always be a source of energy to power the house .

-Ensure that that the island is connected up to high speed broadband to allow conncection with the outside world.

-Set up (and this is the most important part) a Co-op which is a viable business. Use this to gain a profit which is then put in to building up the commune and supply finances for another co-op business. Each of these should exponentially grow.

-The land becomes self sufficient to grow blight resistant potaotes and other hardy crops .

If we have people here on the asylum list , offer them Irish citizenship and a home o n the island or others here whom are facing hardship. Its a chance for a new beginning and a chance to see if this model could work overall.

Am I missing anything?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


The sweeping landscape really is breathtaking when you think about it. We went for a drive a couple of weeks ago and the rugged coast line just took our breath away. Roads tucked into the road side and cliffs that just drop off. The last stop after these cliffs? The US...

Friday, 15 June 2012

Democracy in Russia - the stifling of dissent and opinion

Russia is in theory only a new country. For years living under one of the most oppressive regimes and as centre of the USSR the people of Russia suffered brutal conditions and freedom of speech was severely restricted . Protests were crushed and dissent was stifled through force but have things changed? Russia is in its prime. They have a young population and are coming to form one of the biggest economies in the world and most industrialised making up the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) but at what price?
Elections in 2011 were widely believed to be rigged with various spokespersons and oberservors noticing ballot stuffing in and around Moscow and other polling stations in the region. Even before this though the people were afraid to speak as was the case with gay rights activisits who were banned from holding gay pride marches in 2010 in St Petersburg and this was followed suit in Moscow this year with the Mayor Of Moscow ,Yury Luzhkov ,stating in 2007

"For several years, Moscow has experienced unprecedented pressure to conduct a gay pride parade, which cannot be called anything but a satanic act,"

Numerous reporters have been threatened for being critical of the establishment and in more serious cases reporters were shot which do not certainly needed to be mentioned as they are well known but what is not as well known is cases like that of Sergei Sokolov who was allegedly driven to a forest by a top investigator and threatened with his life. There has been denials of course of this but the fact that there has been sixteen journalists killed in the last few years means there could be something to it.
Finally in a show that the establishment wants an autocracy and is afraid of the people , draconian legislation has been brought in that bans marches that are not authorised. This has been brought in to combat the growing tide of what the Russian establishment sees as dissent, a move by the people to empower themselves. People who gather with "authorisation" are subject to a fine of €5900 .

As Thomas Jefferson said
“A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!”

Judging by the Russian establishments actions, they are very afraid...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Reviving Irish - a different approach

There is a classic case in point where Hebrew was brought back from the dead to become a living language. ( This is a unique case as it has not really been replicated anywhere else and it was done at a time when Hebrew was a pidgin language. It was spoken in the markets as Arab speaking traders and those who spoke Yiddish and other languages needed a common lingua franca and Hebrew was it. The revival took place after there was a shift in grammar and a strong influence in Hebrew from Yiddish which became like a substrate for Hebrew. Most parents raised their children speaking Hebrew but it took a lot of standardising to do such a move (which was audacious to say the least). Hebrew had a helping hand from Zionism which was the nationalist movement in Israel and unfortunately Hebrew became a stick with which was used to beat Palestinians .

What do I propose for Irish?
What I propose is to regularise all the 11 verbs to create all regular verbs and tweak it slightly. Grammar be changed so that it follows English standard grammar but pronounciation becomes a key element in defining it and separating it from English. At the moment Irish is making a comeback but its all being done horribly wrong. The opposition to my idea would come from two sides. The first would be the general public who would kick up at money being spent in such a way and would seek to undermine such efforts by calling such an example a waste of money. The Irish language purists would then come around and say that I am diluting the language and changing years of history but lets make the language accessible to all .

Language does influence thinking ina lot of ways. In Stephen Frys “The Word” he discusses how feminine gender casing on language (in the example used it was Russian) mellowed out men and influenced them in a way. In Afrikaans , they dropped the gender casing completely and it took on words from other languages to become a separate language in its own right albeit it was a language of the oppressors under apartheid. Simplifying Irish to a degree and making it open to access may influence a new generation. I would be interested to know how thought patterns would be influenced by Irish and if such a language change would bring about different changes. I think Irish inspires people in terms of music and literature but its also a language of nature, the druids etc