Ned Say’s

 

Criminal

During the week I happened to catch the last of a discussion on the radio about Margaretta D’Arcy, a 79 year old feminist, peace activist, and film maker who was jailed last week for three months in prison in relation to protests over the US military’s use of Shannon Airport. She finds herself in jail for refusing to sign a bond to keep the peace and to stay away from unauthorised zones at Shannon Airport.

Her case is notably for several reasons, notwithstanding her age; she is also undergoing treatment for cancer. However she has become the focus of media attention for the visit of one of her oldest friends who just happens to be the president’s wife Sabina Higgins. This I am sure, suits Margareta’s cause because the publicity of her incarceration and subsequent visit from her friend will highlight her protest no-end. I do not condone her or her co-protesters unauthorised use of Shannon Airport’s run-ways, simply because this action can or may cause harm to innocent people. I do on the other hand greatly admire her courage and determination in the pursuit of Truth and Justice; two words, so rare in our world to-day. Two simple words that have cost the lives of so many that have believed in the integrity of these two human principals.   

The point I would like to make regarding this particular case is this; when Margaretta serves her time in prison which she intends to do, she will in the eyes of Judicial Law have a criminal record, therefore making her a criminal. To my of thinking she is no more a criminal than someone who finds themselves behind bars for non-payment of a Television Licence…all the more so because said man/women could not afford to do so. One law for those in power and one law for those who are not, it would seem.

I cannot for the life of me understand how those, who were responsible for Ireland’s economic collapse, have not even accounted for their irresponsible actions before the people of our country. No sign of expedient Law in motion here! We are entitled to the Truth, whatever about Justice, but then again that would be too much to expect. In the case against Margaretta D’Arcy the law has been carried out to the letter; when in all fairness; common sense should have prevailed. She is a 79 year old woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease who refuses to bow down to an autocratic system which espouses to be seen, to carry out justice.

People are justifiable outraged at this decision to jail her, and are organising a protest which is to take place at the Department of Justice.  But I suspect that Margaretta will have the last laugh; she will treated with kid gloves and emerge from prison a heroine whether she serves the full term or not, unlike the Justice Department which has acted shamefully rather than with common sense or honour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is There Anyone Out There?

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE?

Back in the eighties RTE showed a thirteen part television show called Cosmos it was written by Carl Sagan an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author along with Ann Druyan and Steven Soter who co-wrote the show with Carl Sagan as presenter. It was a remarkable show in many ways both for its style, delivery and its outstanding musical soundtrack…but especially so because the ordinary man and woman could grasp the basic principles of our Universe. Carl Sagan said “Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth, each of those worlds are as real as ours” that statement alone is one of the reasons why I became interested star gazing.

If you’re like me I suspect that on any clear night especially a frosty one you’ll take at least a couple of minutes to look up into the heavens and look in wonder and amazement at the magnificent panoramic view that’s on display. And if you have a curious mind like mine, I wonder as you gaze at the stars and beyond do you ever ask yourself the question, ‘is there anyone out there’?

Since the beginning of time, even before the advent of speech certain questions evolved within the human psychic both on a personal level and within the collective consciousness. Such questions as, ‘where do we come from?’ ‘Who made us?’ ‘What is the meaning of life?’ and, ‘is there anyone out there?’ These probing questions I feel are as relevant to us today as they were back in the time of ancient civilisations. For many these questions have already been answered to a certain degree by representatives of various religious churches, but for others including myself the quest continues for answers of a more conclusive nature.

Just to give some idea of the Universe: there are two different meanings for the Universe, first there is the observable one that is, everything we’ve able to see and observe up to this point in Earth’s present history and secondly the whole Universe, that’s the one we can’t see but know it’s there. So let’s stay with the observable Universe for the time being. Imagine if you could travel at the speed of light, which by the way is 186,000 miles per second. You would be able to circle the Earth’s equator about 7.5 times just in one second. To give an example;  a Supersonic airplane  traveling at a speed of 1,450 mph the distance around the earth, which  at the equator is 25,000 miles without stopping,   would take 17 hrs. However this is not possible at the moment, but gives us an adequate idea of distance travelled between two concepts.

Let’s take it a step further and look at a light year. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. How far is that? I hear you say, well multiply the number of seconds in one year by the number of miles that light travels in one second and hey presto there you have it; 5.88 trillion miles. It is estimated that 93 billion light years is what it would take to travel from one side of the observable Universe to the other side, bear in mind that according to our most prominent Astrologers and Cosmologists the Universe is rapidly expanding all the time. That is simply mind-blowing. Now think carefully before you give your answer to the question: is there anyone out there.

Speaking for myself I’ve never had a problem in believing that the other worlds Carl Sagan speaks of exist in the observable Universe as well as the whole Universe. I can offer some evidence but not substantiating concrete evidence to convince you the reader that other worlds like our own, and that intelligence extra-terrestrials (ETs) live somewhere out there on them, exist either. Ask yourself this question ‘why would God create an infinite Universe with no other life forms, save only the human race as the only occupants?’ we can’t even see the planets in our own solar system with the naked eye. So what would be the point? I can on the other hand point out some things of interest that are worth pursuing for the healthy sceptic as well as likeminded souls such as myself, should they wish to investigate such matters even if it is only to satisfy their own curiosity.

Let’s begin with the idea of ETs from other worlds.

 

The year was 1945; just Shortly after World War Two there was an unprecedented amount of eyewitness accounts of strange sightings in the sky from around the world- this was not too long after the detonation of two nuclear bombs over the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan. They were described as flying discs, flying saucers, flying ships or whatever the people who claimed to have seen them thought they were. Over time they came to be known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

The acronym “UFO” is generally credited to Edward J Ruppelt director of Project Blue. Project Blue Book came under the direction of the USA air force and its main purpose was to investigate all things related to UFO activity. Project Blue Book officially ended in 1969 after 22 years of scientific investigation, and more than 12, 500 reported sightings were investigated. While most were explained some were not. The Mammoth Encyclopaedia of Extra-terrestrials Encounters, Edited by Ronald D. Story will give the more inquisitive inquirer a fuller account of such investigations.

While there has been much controversy and speculation surrounding the UFO phenomena, ever since the ending of World War Two. Conversely UFOs are continually being reported and are on the upsurge rather than diminishing. It is worth reporting that a 2008 Scripps UFO Poll carried out by Thomas Hargrove and Guido H. Stempel tells us that 56% of Americans overall believe that intelligent life exist on other planets, while a similar poll conducted in 2002 by Life Roper Poll which was commissioned by the Sci Fi Channel stated that 66% of Americans believed there was other forms of intelligent life in the Universe.

Because the subject surrounding UFOs, ETs, Underground Bases and Alien Abduction is so immense with literally thousands of such reported incidents from past and present and from people from all walks of life. It is almost impossible to know where to start or point anyone who may be fascinated with the possibility of other worldly creatures in the right direction. One incident that springs to mind and possible one of the most famous cases in the history of UFOs and ETs is The Roswell UFO incident, an alleged event that took place in the U.S.A on a ranch near Roswell in 1947 in June or July New Mexico. Explanations of what took place are based on both official and unofficial communications. The most illustrious explanation of what occurred is that a spacecraft containing ETs had crashed and it is believed that some of them had survived. What makes the case legendary is that it was initially reported in the Tuesday edition of the Roswell Daily Record dated 08/July/1947 with the feature headline:

RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region

‘The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon to-day, that the field had come into possession of a flying saucer’. Note: in contrast to the above article which appeared in the Tuesday July the 08th paper, on the very next day, Wednesday morning July the 09th the paper stated that the ‘Flying Disk’ found near Roswell; was in fact a weather balloon/weather device that the army was trying out. There is a substantial  amount of material relating to this particular incident as well as a television film which was produced by Paul Davids in 1994, which was supposed to be based on a true account about the Roswell UFO incident…It seems as if the Roswell episode is here to stay. Of course the UFO phenomenon is not only exclusive to the American continent. There have been reported incidents regarding UFOs from around the world.

However the idea of other life forms and civilizations is not a new one, and throughout  mankind’s history UFOs and alien life forms have been depicted by artistic individuals from many different cultures on all continents. The oldest known cave art known today were discovered as recently as February 2012 in Spain and are thought to be over 42,000 years old based on carbon dating. Before this find, the caves in Australia were believed to be the oldest at 40,000 years old. Up to now, over 350 caves have been discovered in France and Spain that contain cave drawings, of everyday life as well as what appears to be other worldly beings from a different dimension. I am saddened that these discoveries are consigned to a period known as “Prehistoric”.

Humankind has always felt a great desire to leave its mark behind for the following generations, whether this ego based or simply to be remembered is open to debate. Self-preservation comes to mind ‘We were here’. Continue reading “Is There Anyone Out There?” »

BYE-BYE BABIES

BYE-BYE BABIES

Like many mothers and fathers everywhere, I will shortly be saying goodbye to my babies, sorry, children as I drop them off for their first day at Montessori. With dread, I have been counting down the years, months and now weeks until they will leave my care to attend the local pre-school. I honestly can’t understand why I am finding this particular milestone so irritatingly difficult. In their short lives of 3 and half years, my twin boy and girl have achieved many milestones, big and small (admittedly this is one of the biggies). And I can remember so many occasions where I fantasized about a break from the little darlings, for someone else to take the reins, change nappies, or buy groceries so that I could enjoy a hot cup of tea as opposed to stone cold, or make a casual visit to the hairdressers rather than a military style operation planned weeks in advance.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment’s peace. A simple trip to the bathroom involves a small audience with numerous questions and observations ‘mummies have boobs, daddies don’t have boobs’. Even now, I am deflecting a small artist covered in gloopy glue and sparkles (glitter to you and me) away from my laptop here on the kitchen table. And then there are times when it’s just plain stressful, like the day we were about to leave for a developmental health check and Dylan got his leg stuck in the septic tank. Or earlier today I looked up to see them both perched on my car roof. ‘We’re just having a bit of fun’ explained Eva nonchalantly. And as I tried to coerce them down, my neighbour drove by and waved at us looking slightly perplexed at the sight of us.

Soon I will have the freedom and head space I have craved, at least until 12.15 in the afternoon, yet secretly and confusingly I don’t think I want it anymore! Perhaps it’s because I have twins and I’m experiencing these emotions in full double-whammy effect. Or maybe it’s because I gave up work amongst other freedoms to devote myself entirely to them. Is it the feeling that no one other than me understands their tantrums or their special twin dynamic, or simply that this confirms they are definitely and absolutely not babies anymore? Most of all I fear feeling redundant, which could well be confounded when they dash off on their first day without so much as a ‘see ya’.

I have scoffed at my mother and my mother-in-law’s musings ‘oh you won’t know what to do with yourself, it’ll be lovely’ and ‘you’ll have a little cry on their first day’. Nonsense I rebutted. I can’t wait I thought. I’ll go running every morning and even do a little yoga, then settle down in a quiet house with a strong coffee to pursue my postgrad , which, might I add, has been waiting in the doldrums since around the time the pregnancy test read positive. So what is the solution? Have another baby perhaps? Don’t even go there.

Despite my intentions to busy and distract myself while they’re at Montessori, I remain slightly apprehensive about the whole thing. After all I can’t fall apart at the school gates in front of small and anxious children. Can I? No. I’ll have to keep that bottom lip in check and save the tears until I get home and settled with my new text book and a lovely strong cup of coffee. I’m going to miss my little monkeys.

By Olivier Fitzgerald

Ned Says

The Skin I Live in

Take a look at my skin; it’s the only one you’ve got. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system…there’s a good one for you. I’d never heard of the integumentary system before, well, at least not until recently; last week to be honest.

You see, I’ve taken an interest in my skin of late, not because there’s anything wrong with it you see, it’s just simply that I’m getting on with life, pushing the boat further into the big blue yonder, sailing towards the next horizon, trying to get over the hill rather than under it. I digress, where was I? Oh yes, the integumentary system. Well the thing about the integumentary system, is that it protects the internal structures of the body from damage, prevents dehydration, stores fat and produces vitamins and hormones. Wow! That’s a lot of information, and not only is the skin the largest organ of the body; which by the way is a pretty big organ, our skin is also waterproof, so they say…that’s pretty cool. In fact it’s amazing.

So who are THEY? And why do we believe everything They tell us? Pin to the collar, I haven’t a clue. I’m in the same boat as you my friend and I don’t mean the one that’s heading for the next horizon. I refer to the boat that those faceless experts tell us, is perfectly safe to sail in. Well you know what? I don’t think THEY; those promulgated masters of self-acquired knowledge know half as much as They presume, and there’s another strange anomaly, most people will defend those faceless experts to the death, figuratively speaking of course, but on second thoughts I’m not so sure.

Water proof skin They said “don’t go out in the rain, you’ll catch your death” some believed in the theory of water proof skin, and now for their trouble are pushing up the Daisies; John Doe RIP died of pneumonia, cause of death porous skin.

My skin, weathered and worn, farmers tan. An army of wrinkles are prosecuting a relentless war and some of their ilk have made bases around my hallowed skin. There is nothing I can do to prevent this process which is known as aging, however our faceless experts known as THEY have assured us that by using certain portents and creams we may prevent what nature has decreed. I have only to look into the mirror at the face that stares back at me for conformation that nature will have her way. But you know, it doesn’t bother me, if on the other hand you find issue with what you see, then look the other way…not my problem, it’s yours. However, if what you see is what you like, it’s a starting point, and all starting points have a life of their own.

Ned Says