On science and cynicism

The Old Stadium – II

I wrote some more surrounding the Anfield camp in Liverpool. This piece is an extension of my previous bit; it’s still very much flash fiction, but extends into The Letter and the larger project.

Again, this is all just exploratory writing: there’s nothing complete here, but I do want to make you feel sick.

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The Old Stadium

This is another bit of fiction I’ve written, though it’s effectively completely based on fact: I wanted to bring some real things that happened into a modern setting so readers can connect with it better. Everything in this short piece is real and has happened, but I fast-forwarded it to modern times, or a bit into the future. Every aspect of this story is just the modern equivalent of what happened in the 1930 and 1940s.

It’s quite “flash fiction” in itself, but it does form part – at least in an exploratory sense – of other stuff I’m working on.

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The Letter

I’m playing around with some fiction writing, and I was in the mood for some dystopia today. I’m thinking of writing some short stories as practise for a possible bigger project, so I’ll gather up a few and post them here for the craic.

Anyway, here’s the first one: The Letter. Continue reading

It Creeps In

Fascism won’t come goosestepping down O’Connell Street. It won’t suddenly mark its arrival in a dramatic public oration delivered by a demagogue promising the dawn of a new era. Continue reading

The Road to Chernobyl

When I told my friends and family where I was going on my holidays I was met with quite a few raised eyebrows: the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident probably isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find at the top of anyone’s destination list, in place of a sunny beach and some cocktails. But I could barely contain my excitement, and I loved it so much that I even wrote a book about it, called ‘The Road to Chernobyl’.

One night back in November, about a year ago, I went out for drinks with some friends. The following day I was feeling the effects, so I took refuge on the living room sofa and found a repeat episode of Top Gear. On this particular episode the presenters were driving across Ukraine and eventually to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Having studied physics for years this intrigued me, and I spent a few minutes on my phone – still on the sofa – researching how one gets to Chernobyl. Very quickly, I made the decision to go. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Abortion

Hi, folks. It’s been a while since I’ve written about this. In one sense I took a break from it: I needed a breather; I laid down my pen and did what I could to help fight for a Repeal of the 8th Amendment in other ways. It wasn’t much, nor was it ever much; there are a lot of other people making #repealthe8th happen and not only keeping it alive but making it a ferocious and unignorable thing. A Repeal will happen, regardless of who wants it or not. It must happen. It simply must.

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A Radio Telescope for Ireland

When we think of astronomy, many of us imagine a lone figure outside in the cold and dark peering at a single star through a telescope. Astronomy – even at an amateur level – is much more interesting that that, as we work together with other astronomers to look not only at stars, but planets, moons, vast clouds of gas and dust, entire galaxies, clusters of stars, and more. This year, astronomy in Ireland is going to get even more exciting, as we will soon begin looking into the depths of space, back in time, to a point not long after the Universe came into existence. Continue reading

Cooking Low and Slow

I love my slow cooker. My mam gave it to me years ago as it was a spare one in the house and I was on for using it. It’s really versatile and it isn’t just for cooking endless supplies of casseroles; you can cook almost anything in a slow cooker: meat joints, soups, mulled wine, cake, takeaway-style grub… The list goes on.

At this time of year a lot of people are eager to try to eat healthier, or at least have more control over what they eat, and I think using a slow cooker is a great way to do this. For me, however, it’s not so much about the healthiness aspect of it, but more about how much time using a slow cooker frees up. It just takes a few minutes preparation for the majority of recipes, and when you come home from work, your dinner is already cooked! Continue reading

Guest Post: Paris – Thoughts from a Gig Dweller

My friend Shaun is a music photographer. He worked at The Olympia Theatre on the night of the attack on Paris. A few days before, the Eagles of Death Metal played at The Olympia, before going to Paris where they and their fans were caught up in the shocking and tragic events of November 13th. This connection had an impact on Shaun, and he shared his thoughts with those around him, as many of us have. I’m happy to now repost his words as a guest post here.

Remember, hate and fear have no place in our world any more: we can drive them out with love and bravery.

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Making Pickled Shallots

A few years ago I came across this great recipe for easily pickling onions. I had most of the ingredients and a few 12140806_10153621677611774_5216489960874278724_n
hours to spare, so I went for it. Now lads, I swear, these shallots were delicious, and got better and better with age. The shallots were nice and crunchy and the flavour of the vinegar pierced through. They’d be fantastic with a bit of strong cheddar, or sliced up in a sandwich or on top of a burger. I’m drooling even thinking about them now!

I found the recipe again (links at the bottom) so a couple of weeks ago I made them again, and I’m really excited about getting stuck into them again!

They’re very easy to make once you can set aside some time, and I think they would make excellent homemade gifts around this time of year in smaller jars for any foodies in your life. Continue reading

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