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Topics - Eamonnca1

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General discussion / Films you haven't gotten around to seeing yet
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:49:55 AM »
Blazing Saddles
The Wizard of Oz
The Big Lebowksi

GAA Discussion / The assisted lift, or whatever it's called
« on: March 24, 2014, 06:08:39 AM »
When Rugby players do a line-out, nowadays they have a body to get in there and help them jump up higher.  Up he goes, and the man behind grabs him and lifts him up higher.

How come this has never been adopted in Gaelic football?  Is it because in the heat of the moment when a kick-out is coming in there's no time to get in position and get such a thing set up?  Hard enough for one man to get in position never mind two?  If that's the case then how come there always seems to be at least three or four players gathered up around the spot where the ball lands?  Would there be too much jostling going on to let it happen?

General discussion / The latest annoying social media trend thread
« on: March 20, 2014, 02:55:33 AM »
Today it's make-up-free selfies.  FFS.

GAA Discussion / Ground hurling v ground Gaelic football
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:41:45 PM »
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on football, so these questions are out of curiosity.

In hurling, if the ball's in front of the goals (your own or the opposition's) it's customary to "pull on it" and just hit it on the ground because it's quicker.  In fact trying to pick up the ball right in front of your own crowded goals is frowned upon.  The skills of ground hurling are revered in the GAA and a lot of time is spent practicing them in training.

In Gaelic football, every time I've seen someone kick the ball on the ground the reaction from the sideline is always "pick up the effing ball, this isn't soccer."  I've never heard a hurling coach roaring "pick up the effing ball, this isn't hockey!"

Is there a tactical reason for this or is it a cultural aversion to soccer?  I've seen situations in Gaelic football where I think it would be better to just kick the ball directly on the ground, but it seldom happens.  I once saw a footballer getting boxed in on the end line with the ball at his feet, and he did a soccer style dribble to get out of it before picking up and scoring. Nobody saw that coming. Surely some of the skills of soccer have their uses in Gaelic football? Are players being pressured into avoiding the use of potentially useful ground-based skills for ideological reasons?  Or is football different enough from hurling that different tactics have to apply?

General discussion / Iconic sporting images
« on: March 01, 2014, 03:34:45 AM »
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GAA Discussion / The untapped global potential of Gaelic games
« on: February 27, 2014, 06:49:40 PM »
(I've asked a moderator's permission to post this per Rule 7, he was okay with it)

This thread is to plug my book, Waiting to Launch, The Untapped Global Potential of Gaelic Games.

Gaelic games have been played outside of Ireland since before there was a GAA to regulate them.  While other games such as soccer, rugby and cricket went on to become globalized sports enjoyed by millions of people and watched by billions, Gaelic games did not.  They remain largely confined to one country with only a small following elsewhere, chiefly among communities of Irish emigrants.  How did this happen?

This book is in three parts.

Part 1 is a personal account of the author's attempt to bring hurling to a broader audience in the United States.

Part 2 is an examination of how today's globalized sports came to their dominant position after having been codified in England, and compares their fortunes to those of Gaelic games.

Part 3 makes the case that the GAA needs to change its approach to the worldwide dispersal of Gaelic games in order to be more ambitious, and includes a series of radical proposals aimed at achieving a more globalized audience that is not limited to small communities of Irish emigrants or their descendants.

It will be available as an eBook from Amazon shortly, and hard copies will be available later.  In the meantime, head on over to the website where you can read a sample chapter, and gimme a like on the Facebook page.

General discussion / Necknomination
« on: February 02, 2014, 03:32:01 AM »
I don't approve of this meme.

That is all.

GAA Discussion / Retirement age of inter-county players?
« on: January 03, 2014, 07:51:28 PM »
Anyone got historical statistics on the age of inter-county players when they retired? I get the impression the retirement age is getting younger.

General discussion / Boxing Day
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:15:34 PM »
So how do you prefer to spend Boxing Day? I prefer to give the Boxing Day sales a miss. I prefer to spend Boxing Day lazing around doing nothing, what else is Boxing Day for? I've spent this part of Boxing Day so far watching old films with the woman. Going for a walk here now in a minute, as Boxing Day weather goes this particular Boxing Day's not too bad.

I like Boxing Day. Boxing Day's the kind of day when you don't have anything urgent to do, there's not many days in the year like Boxing Day.

General discussion / Hilarious Amazon reviews
« on: December 22, 2013, 07:36:49 PM »
There seems to be a whole genre emerging of the elaborate glowing Amazon review. The best one I've seen yet has to be this from a fan of Poe:

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19,352 of 19,646 people found the following review helpful

Make this your only stock and store

By Edgar on July 8, 2008

Once upon a mid-day sunny, while I savored Nuts 'N Honey,
With my Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz., I swore
As I went on with my lapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at the icebox door.
'Bad condensor, that,' I muttered, 'vibrating the icebox door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Not to sound like a complainer, but, in an inept half-gainer,
I provoked my bowl to tip and spill its contents on the floor.
Stupefied, I came to muddle over that increasing puddle,
Burgeoning deluge of that which I at present do adore -
Snowy Tuscan wholesomeness exclusively produced offshore -
Purg'ed here for evermore.

And the pool so white and silky, filled me with a sense of milky
Ardor of the type fantastic of a loss not known before,
So that now, to still the throbbing of my heart, while gently sobbing,
I retreated, heading straightway for the tempting icebox door -
Heedless of that pitter-patter tapping at the icebox door -
I resolved to have some more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'This,' said I, 'requires an extra dram of milk, my favorite pour.'
To the icebox I aspired, motivated to admire
How its avocado pigment complemented my decor.
Then I grasped its woodgrain handle - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming lucid dreams of Tuscans I had known before
But the light inside was broken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were my whispered words, 'No more!'
Coke and beer, some ketchup I set eyes on, and an apple core -
Merely this and nothing more.

Back toward the table turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

From the window came a stirring, then, with an incessant purring,
Inside stepped a kitten; mannerlessly did she me ignore.
Not the least obeisance made she; not a minute stopped or stayed she;
But, with mien of lord or lady, withdrew to my dining floor -
Pounced upon the pool of Tuscan spreading o'er my dining floor -
Licked, and lapped, and supped some more.

Then this tiny cat beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grand enthusiasm of the countenance she wore,
Toward the mess she showed no pity, 'til I said, 'Well, hello, kitty!'
Sought she me with pretty eyes that seemed to open some rapport.
So I pleaded, 'Tell me, tell me what it is that you implore!'
Quoth the kitten, 'Get some more.'

General discussion / The official "I hate sports X, Y and Z" thread
« on: November 06, 2013, 06:34:27 PM »
Get it off your chests here, lads.  Hate F1?  Baseball?  Cricket?  Let it all hang out.

Seriously though, why the hatred?  I have no particular interest in the likes of Cricket but I wouldn't say I "hate" it.  And I certainly wouldn't dismiss it as "boring."  I wouldn't dismiss any popular sport as "boring."  In my experience, people who disparage a sport are also the same people who know the least about it.  Sports like cricket have a huge following, so they clearly have something that appeals to some people.  GAA people sometimes disparage soccer as being "slow" and "boring," but all you soccer fans know that such people are missing the point, aren't they?  Soccer is low scoring and that's part of the appeal. It's suspenseful.  It's just as exciting as hurling but it's just a different type of excitement.

It's possible to find excitement in just about any sport if you bother your head to know what's going on.

General discussion / Official Formula 1 thread
« on: November 06, 2013, 05:14:00 PM »
Is Sebastian Vettel's domination going to be bad for the sport?  I'm getting the sinking feeling that we're heading back to the bad old days of Schumacher predictably winning every GP, the time when I switched off F1.

General discussion / Suicide - why can't we just name it?
« on: November 05, 2013, 10:39:08 PM »
Recent reports of young Irish people who took their own lives had one glaring omission: the cause of death.  When someone dies of a heart attack, stroke, cancer, car accident or whatever, we always hear the cause of death.  But in the case of suicide it's different. It's reported as a "sudden" death.  And when I heard the news about Niall Donohue I was listening to the report on Newstalk about it and waiting for the cause of death, but it never came.  It was hidden in a tangential reference to counseling, phone numbers for organizations like the Samaritans, and other riddles that leave it up to the listener to figure it out.  I've looked back at written news reports and all I can see is that "sudden death" has become a euphemism for suicide.  It seems like no media outlet wants to spell out the cause, almost as if it's a matter of shame and they want to spare the family some sort of embarrassment.

I just don't get it.  Why are we so reticent to talk about this? 

I don't buy the argument that it'll lead to copycat suicides.  The cause of death is going to become public knowledge one way or another, so why not come out and say it?  Suicide clusters have many causes, but openly talking about the issue is not one of them.

By looking down at our feet and shuffling around uncomfortably, muttering some code-words to imply suicide without actually using that word, we reinforce the perception that this is a taboo subject that must not be talked about, and we perpetuate the "keep it all bottled up" culture that makes it so hard for people to reach out and ask for help when they need it most. 

Call it what it is.

It was suicide.

It was caused by mental health problems, and this is a serious medical condition that can be addressed.  It is possible to prevent this sort of tragedy, but keeping our mouths shut about it and talking in riddles is not going to help.

General discussion / Depression
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:11:55 PM »
I'm starting this thread to talk about something that I think should be talked about more openly.

I've suffered from depression in the past and had a particularly nasty bout a few years ago when I was wondering what was the point of going on and would the world be any worse off if I just abandoned ship. That was a bit of an extreme case, but it usually hits me in winter, and it doesn't take much to trigger it (in my case it's usually my relationships with women). The fact that I've been through it before meant that I was reasonably well equipped to deal with it.  I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but I decided to embark on "Operation fight back against it" in the following way:

  • Stay off the drink (which is a depressant, particularly gin which was an old favourite of mine).
  • Interact with friends at least once a week no matter how much of a pain in the neck it is to go out.  If you stay in the house when in that state it's very easy to forget that you even have friends, so getting out there and meeting them reminds you that they're always there.
  • Get out of the house and mingle at weekends, no sitting in the house all weekend with no human contact, even if I'm not hugely enthused about the idea of going to whatever party is on and even if I'm going to have that "alone in a crowd" sensation for some of the time.
  • Try to strike up conversations with strangers when doing business with them - Californians are friendly like that and are happy to chat instead of just taking your money and saying thank you and have a good day.  Sometimes you can have a bit of crack at the cash register at the most unexpected of times if you just make the effort to converse.
  • Cardiovascular exercise (in my case long haul rides on the bike with my club) to get some endorphins flowing and keep the appetite working.
  • Make sure to eat at regular times during the weekend as if it were a week day (easy to forget that sometimes).
  • Watch old comedy shows that I know I'm going to like and will make me chuckle (in my case shows like Blackadder).
  • Keep the lights on and blinds open in the office during the day.
  • Have as much light as possible in the house in the evening.
  • Use sleeping aids at night if necessary, and try to get up early enough to maximise the amount of sunlight you get
  • Speak to a counselor once a week, which becomes a bit of a highlight of the week.

Finally, keep a diary of all of the above.  Record all the positive things I did in a week, award myself points for different types of activities, and try to keep a consistently high score each day and each week.  So if it's nearing the end of the day and my score isn't what it was the previous day then I might think "okay, better fire up Netflix and watch a funny show", or if it's nearing the weekend and I'm lacking in points then I'll make an effort to go out dancing with friends.  It's a bit like what app developers call "game mechanics", incentivised behaviour brought on by making a game out of it.

It took me about a year or more to fully recover from that bout which was probably the most intense I've ever had, and I kept up the diary thing for a long time afterwards until I felt confident enough to do without it.

Like I said, that's not a system that'll work for everyone, and no one of those things is going to fix it all, but each one helped a little and collectively it added up.  It also helped that I have pets to take care of.  I don't have a wife or family, but in the darkest days of winter it's nice to have a bit of company in the evenings, even if it's some small furry animals that are always happy to see you no matter what.  There's something soothing about a cat sitting purring on your lap.

Anyone else have similar experiences or coping mechanisms?

Respectful comments only please.

I always understood it that the people who invent something usually get to name it in their language.  It used to be that an eating house was somewhere you went at fixed hours to eat at the same table as others and you ate what was put in front of you.  The French invented the idea of a place where you could eat whenever you liked, have a table to your own party, and have a menu to choose from. They got to name the thing a "restaurant" and that's the word that made its way into English and probably other languages too. 

Dutch-speaking South Africans invented a system of segregation by race that required blacks to produce paperwork before they could enter certain areas and kept them out of other areas completely, so in English the system was known by the Dutch word "apartheid."

And so on.

Well the Irish invented a stick-and-ball game played predominantly in the air that involves carrying the ball balanced on the end of the stick, and we called it "iomanacht".  So how did this get anglicised to "hurling"?  And why is it that when we translate to other languages when talking about our game we use the English word and not the Irish word?

I can understand how the northern variant of the game was anglicised to "commons" (the Scots Gaelic word for the similar game of Shinty is Cammanacht) but I don't understand where this H word came from.  And what's the etymology of "Shinty"?  Why wasn't Cammanacht anglicised to a word like "commons"?  Where did the S word come from?


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