IRA statement

Interesting to read the comments from readers of Slugger O’Toole. There seems to be a huge amount of cynicism about the IRA’s stated aim of ending violence and non-peaceful activities. I hope the cynics are wrong, but I suspect that the Unionists will only be satisfied by proof in the form of actions (or inactions, as the case may be).

Green Flag Award

Most people understand that the Blue Flag is given to beaches that meet certain standards. But did you know that there is also a Green Flag? Parks and other public open spaces are judged on the criteria of

  • being welcoming
  • being healthy, safe and secure
  • being clean and well maintained
  • sustainability
  • conservation and heritage
  • community involvement
  • marketing
  • management

I’m not familiar with all, or even many, of those that have been awarded the flag this year, but the few that I do know are certainly the sort of places where you can imagine going with the family for a Sunday afternoon. Worth checking out.

Stirling effort

The shortlist for the Stirling Prize for Architecture is out. I suspect that the McLaren building will win (home of Formula 1 cars and push chairs). The BMW building is striking, as is the Jubilee Library in Brighton (I saw a similar style building on the main square in Stuttgart when I was last there, and it looked absolutely stunning both by day and by night), but my personal favourite is the Lewis Gluckman Gallery in Cork. Maybe that’s because I’m always drawn to buildings with angular interpenetrations and marvel not only at the design but also at the engineering of the construction.


We’ve had a bit of rain here over the last few days, and very welcome it is too. The grass is definitely greener and the plants are generally perkier.
But try to imagine what it is like to live and work somewhere when 26 inches of rain falls in one day.

Salad Fingers

I think I’ve linked to the Salad Fingers cartoons before. Episode 6 is now online. I should warn you that these cartoons are probably not for the mentally unsound. They are truly disturbing, not least for the excellent and atmospheric Boards of Canada music in the background.


In Grow, you must try and drag the items at the side of the screen to the centre in the correct order. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? There are only eight items after all.
The question is, if it is so easy, why have I ben struggling with it for nearly an hour?

Not Afraid Tube Challenge

You know, I’m half-tempted to have a go at this. Problem is that I have to be in the Netherlands at the end of the last week in August. But it could be fun to do.