"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx (1895-1977)


Big Country back on the big stage

Big Country are back...and back with a bang. One of my favourite singer/songwriters Mike Peters from The Alarm is their lead singer these days (original lead singer Stuart Adamson died in 2001) and it's given me a real interest in what the band are doing due to his involvement.
I've had the pleasure of seeing them live twice this year so far, and it is the energetic and passionate performances that they have made since they reformed last year that has got them to big festival stages at the moment.
Tonight Sky Arts showed them playing on the main stage at the Isle of Wight festival and it was an amazing feeling watching it...for me to see Mike Peters sing on such a big stage again is very satisfying, I have seen him play so many times live with The Alarm and this is a definite high point in his legendary career.

This video isn't good quality because it was me just pointing a phone at the TV...
Big Country on the main stage at the Isle of Wight festival 2011..


Sligo Rovers and The Alarm

Wasn't sure how to title this post.
This is a video myself and my son threw together one day, combining two of our loves in life - Sligo Rovers (his) and the band The Alarm (mine)...it's nothing special but here it is anyway...

Sligo Photographer Val Robus wins award from RTE

I'm very proud and happy about this.
Val is a friend of mine and she is a fantastic photographer, I have been a fan for a very long time....she thoroughly deserves this.

View some of Val's work here....and follow her blog here

From SligoToday.ie -
"Sligo photographer Val Robus was a guest of RTE this week and received an award from the national broadcaster.
Val, from Coolaney, had entered a photo into the RTE weather photo competition last year that she took on a misty March morning in Ballisodare, Co Sligo"

Val's work will also be on display at the upcoming Temple House Festival

Fantasy Boxing Posters

I follow boxing, one of the few sports that I follow with enthusiasm, and one of my favourite places to hang out online is Eastside Boxing forums.
In the classic section of their forums there is a thread dedicated to fantasy fight posters...and I'd like to repost some of whats on that thread here...

Click below to see more...


A WW1 Soldiers Letter To His Sweetheart - On Display At Galway Museum..

This was a post I made on a forum I frequent - back a few months ago...I think it deserves a reposting here..

While roaming around Galway museum we (Mrs Doug and myself) found this..

What looked like a service manual for radiators or something was sitting on a shelf, it had a black cover, and no writing to say it was anything important, and it wasnt inside a cabinet or anything...just randomly left on a shelf....I didnt pay it much attention as I went by it.....but I looked back a couple of minutes later and 'Mrs Doug' was reading through it...she called me over to show me what was inside...a soldiers* letter to his sweetheart in 1918....they were both from Galway, but he had found himself injured from battle in a hospital in Egypt, and she had found herself in America, the reason why she was in America wasnt clear, but it appears it is temporary..

*he was a member of The Connaught Rangers ("the Devil's Own") - an Irish Regiment of the British Army during WW1.

...anyhoo....this is hardly readable...due to batteries having died on my good camera and this was snapped with our crappy little point and shoot thing...this isn't readable so i have re-typed what it says...and i think it is very much worth reading.

This was donated to the museum by the grandson of the couple...they eventually married and settled back home in Galway after the war ended.

(to read what it says and the rest of the post click on the 'read more' link below..)


The 'Mechanical Cop' Of The Future...

This was the vision for a futuristic police force in 1924 according to 'Science And Invention' magazine.

Would you argue the toss with this ??

..click here for a larger version.

Welcome To The Jungle

This is a version of Guns N' Roses 'Welcome To The Jungle' but not like you may have heard it before...

If you like this then have a gander at - http://www.2cellos.com/


A Look Into Life In The Future...

The middle-class lifestyle of the future...and the future is glass.
Everything in this futuristic utopia is probably made by Apple..probably...looks like it anyway.
The iPhone 17 looks really nice.
...and they still have popcorn - to make things even more perfect.

June 8th - The Day That Mallory And Irvine Tried To Conquer Everest

It was on this day, June 8th in 1924 that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine lost their lives on an attempt to climb the then-unclimbed Mount Everest.

When a team of Everest climbers found Mallory's body in 1999 it was aparent that Mallory had fallen from a much higher ridge...but he had his 'goggles' in his pocket which would suggest that he wasnt facing the sun, which would in turn suggest he was coming back from the summit, or as near as they got to it..
..or...would it ??

On his attempt a few days earlier, Edward Norton (a soldier and head of his expedition) had suffered serious snow-blindness because he did not wear his goggles, so Mallory would be unlikely to have dispensed with them in daylight, and given their known departure time and movements, had they not attempted the summit pyramid it is unlikely that they would have still been out by nightfall. An alternative scenario is that Mallory may have carried an extra pair and the pair he was wearing was torn off in his fall.

It would be another 29 years before Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay climbed the mountain.

Did they make it ??...Were they the first ??

..more on the 1924 Everest expedition here


New iOS 5 features and some current free alternatives..

Yesterday seen Apple announce the forthcoming iOS for iPhone / iPad / iPod....there are some good new features to the OS but personally I would have liked to have seen some cosmetic changes too, like the ability to change themes and lock screens etc.

With so many App's in the App Store...currently 425,000...I am sure there may be better suggestions for alternatives to some of the new features than I am going to post here...
(The new iOS 5 will not be available to download until Autumn - unless you are an Apple developer, in which case you can get it now.)

To begin, here are some new features presented in an official Apple video..

These are some current alternatives to those new features currently available...some are very good in comparison I think, while, in fairness, some are not going to be as good as the Apple iOS updates..


Ken Dodd - A living legend...still touring like a good 'un..

A friend of mine went to see Ken Dodd in Glasgow last night...I'd love to see him live sometime.
It amazes me how he is still touring and doing 4-5 hour lives shows...yup..4-5 hours !!..at his age...he is 83 years old btw...and will be 84 by the time his current tour is finished.

One of the last of a great generation of comedians..


BioShock Infinite

If a promo video was ever going to make you buy a video game then surely its this one.

Based in 1912 the main character in the game must rescue a woman trapped aboard the collapsing "air-city".

From the games Wiki page -
Booker DeWitt is hired by mysterious individuals and tasked to infiltrate an air-city and rescue a young woman named Elizabeth, who has been held aboard the air-city for the last twelve years. Though DeWitt finds Elizabeth easily enough, he quickly discovers that Elizabeth is central to the civil war raging in the city as each faction seeks to use Elizabeth to turn the tide of the conflict in their favor, forcing DeWitt and Elizabeth to trust each other in order to escape. To complicate matters, the pair are chased by Songbird, a large, robotic bird-like creature who had been Elizabeth's friend and warden over the last twelve years of her imprisonment. Songbird was designed by its creator to feel betrayal should Elizabeth escape, comparable to an "abusive husband" "

The game won't be available until 2012, but in the meantime we have this very mouth-watering promo video which shows gameplay footage.

This video needs to be watched in full screen for the best effect.