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Topics - Eamonnca1

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General discussion / Liz Truss
« on: August 05, 2022, 05:55:54 PM »
Is it just me or is she uniquely painful to watch?

General discussion / Commonwealth Games
« on: August 02, 2022, 11:55:29 PM »
Just starting a thread to see how much (or little) interest there is in this. Apparently 1.5 billion people watch it globally. I doubt if Ireland contributes much to that figure though…

GAA Discussion / Best way to decide drawn games
« on: June 27, 2022, 04:36:32 PM »
Some of the commentary has been giving out about the GAA using penalty shoot-outs to decide a drawn game, which is understandable. You might as well toss a coin. I agree that shootouts look out of place in the GAA. But then replays aren't much better, they get criticism for being the "Grab All Association" when they do that.

So what's the best way to decide a drawn game?

In the states they do another period of extra time, and if it's still drawn then it's sudden death; next score wins. Would something like that work at inter-county level? Just play extra time and then go to sudden death?

General discussion / Car rentals at Dublin Airport
« on: May 14, 2022, 11:51:28 PM »
I've rented cars from Dublin Airport before, but they fleece you in there. I've heard about Shelbourne car rentals, based in Newry and Portadown. Apparently they'll leave the car for you at a hotel at the airport (walkable from the terminal) and you can pick up and drop off there with less hassle and at a fraction of the cost of the likes of Hertz and Europcar.

Has anyone used their service? Is it reliable?

General discussion / Tea
« on: May 02, 2022, 12:27:20 AM »
Help me out here. This is a genuine question. But what the hell is the big attraction to tea?

As far as I'm concerned it looks awful, tastes awful, smells awful, and burns your tongue so it hurts for days afterwards. So why do so many Irish people worship the stuff? Why do they drink it like water?

I was at my auntie's a few months ago and of course I went through the usual ritual of explaining that no, I really, honestly don't want any tea. Yes, water's fine. She said "that sounds awful that, a glass of cold water." Later when she topped me up, she topped me up with hot water from the kettle. I had to pour it down the sink and pour me a cold glass of water. She could not believe the evidence in front of her eyes that this, the most ordinary thing in the world, was all I wanted to drink.

When I'm thirsty I just pour a glass of water and drink it. Job done in a few seconds. When my dad gets thirsty he seems to go through this big elaborate ritual involving a kettle, a tea bag, milk, a teaspoon, and having to sit down for five minutes to drink the stuff. Even on a hot day.

I just don't get it. What is it about this beverage that people find so alluring?

General discussion / "Economic inactivity" in the north
« on: August 05, 2021, 05:53:38 AM »
I'm just curious. There was a report out today that says the unemployment figures in the north are a bit skewed because there's an uncounted number of people who don't work but want to. They can't because they have good reasons, like caring for a family member. The others though, I wonder sometimes. I know several people who don't work, I give them the benefit of the doubt because there are health issues in the family. But I know of at least one other who doesn't work because they feel like it's beneath them and they'll be better off on benefits plus the money their partner earns to prop them up.

I just wonder how widespread the phenomenon is.

General discussion / Confirmation / communion
« on: April 30, 2021, 07:19:11 PM »
Help me out here. My social media feed is full of youngsters going for confirmation and communion, and the comments include "good luck" beforehand, and  "congratulations," and "well done" afterwards.


Is it a skilled job to go through those rituals? Is it an achievement to utter the things you've been trained to utter? To stand, kneel and sit at the right time when everyone else is doing it?

I'm genuinely curious. I remember going through them and thought they were overrated.

GAA Discussion / Croke Park to be upgraded
« on: January 20, 2021, 07:53:33 PM »
From Dublin Live:

The GAA is reportedly set to spend more than €70 million on a major redevelopment of Croke Park.

The upgrade works will be the first overhaul of the famous old stadium since reconstruction works were completed in 2005.

Those works began in 1991 and ended up costing more than €260 million.

The latest plans will see conference and hospitality facilities expanded at the Drumcondra venue as well as an upgrade of the museum, reports the Irish Independent.

Seems like revenue-generating facilities will get an update. Sounds sensible to me. No point in offering conference facilities if they're 15 years out of date.

GAA Discussion / The GAA is "misogynist!"
« on: January 02, 2021, 11:12:03 PM »
Bit of an embarrassing hit piece in the Irish Times the other day from the comically misinformed Orla Muldoon claiming that the association doesn't treat its female players very well. She's going to feel stupid when she realizes the GAA doesn't have any female players.

The rebuttals have been flowing into the letters page:

General discussion / Nuclear weapons
« on: August 05, 2020, 06:53:09 PM »
There's an op-ed in today's LA Times that confirms what I've known for a while: Japan had been trying their damndest to surrender all summer and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a completely unnecessary war crime.

Op-Ed: U.S. leaders knew we didn’t have to drop atomic bombs on Japan to win the war. We did it anyway

AUG. 5, 20203:05 AM

At a time when Americans are reassessing so many painful aspects of our nation’s past, it is an opportune moment to have an honest national conversation about our use of nuclear weapons on Japanese cities in August 1945. The fateful decision to inaugurate the nuclear age fundamentally changed the course of modern history, and it continues to threaten our survival. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock warns us, the world is now closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since 1947.

The accepted wisdom in the United States for the last 75 years has been that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki three days later was the only way to end the World War II without an invasion that would have cost hundreds of thousands of American and perhaps millions of Japanese lives. Not only did the bombs end the war, the logic goes, they did so in the most humane way possible.

However, the overwhelming historical evidence from American and Japanese archives indicates that Japan would have surrendered that August, even if atomic bombs had not been used — and documents prove that President Truman and his closest advisors knew it.

The allied demand for unconditional surrender led the Japanese to fear that the emperor, who many considered a deity, would be tried as a war criminal and executed. A study by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Command compared the emperor’s execution to “the crucifixion of Christ to us.”

“Unconditional Surrender is the only obstacle to peace,” Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired Ambassador Naotake Sato, who was in Moscow on July 12, 1945, trying to enlist the Soviet Union to mediate acceptable surrender terms on Japan’s behalf.

But the Soviet Union’s entry into the war on Aug. 8 changed everything for Japan’s leaders, who privately acknowledged the need to surrender promptly.

Allied intelligence had been reporting for months that Soviet entry would force the Japanese to capitulate. As early as April 11, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Intelligence Staff had predicted: “If at any time the USSR should enter the war, all Japanese will realize that absolute defeat is inevitable.”

Truman knew that the Japanese were searching for a way to end the war; he had referred to Togo’s intercepted July 12 cable as the “telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace.”

Truman also knew that the Soviet invasion would knock Japan out of the war. At the summit in Potsdam, Germany, on July 17, following Stalin’s assurance that the Soviets were coming in on schedule, Truman wrote in his diary, “He’ll be in the Jap War on August 15. Fini Japs when that comes about.” The next day, he assured his wife, “We’ll end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who won’t be killed!”

The Soviets invaded Japanese-held Manchuria at midnight on Aug. 8 and quickly destroyed the vaunted Kwantung Army. As predicted, the attack traumatized Japan’s leaders. They could not fight a two-front war, and the threat of a communist takeover of Japanese territory was their worst nightmare.

Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki explained on Aug. 13 that Japan had to surrender quickly because “the Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, Karafuto, but also Hokkaido. This would destroy the foundation of Japan. We must end the war when we can deal with the United States.”

While a majority of Americans may not be familiar with this history, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., states unambiguously on a plaque with its atomic bomb exhibit: “The vast destruction wreaked by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the loss of 135,000 people made little impact on the Japanese military. However, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria … changed their minds.” But online the wording has been modified to put the atomic bombings in a more positive light — once again showing how myths can overwhelm historical evidence.

Seven of the United States’ eight five-star Army and Navy officers in 1945 agreed with the Navy’s vitriolic assessment. Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and Henry “Hap” Arnold and Admirals William Leahy, Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, and William Halsey are on record stating that the atomic bombs were either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both.

No one was more impassioned in his condemnation than Leahy, Truman’s chief of staff. He wrote in his memoir “that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender …. In being the first to use it we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

MacArthur thought the use of atomic bombs was inexcusable. He later wrote to former President Hoover that if Truman had followed Hoover’s “wise and statesmanlike” advice to modify its surrender terms and tell the Japanese they could keep their emperor, “the Japanese would have accepted it and gladly I have no doubt.”

Before the bombings, Eisenhower had urged at Potsdam, “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

The evidence shows he was right, and the advancing Doomsday Clock is a reminder that the violent inauguration of the nuclear age has yet to be confined to the past.

Gar Alperovitz, author of “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb,” is a principal of the Democracy Collaborative and a former fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Martin J. Sherwin is a professor of history at George Mason University and author of the forthcoming “Gambling With Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette From Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Historians Kai Bird and Peter Kuznick contributed to this article.

General discussion / Beirut explosion
« on: August 05, 2020, 12:38:59 AM »
Dear god I hope this was an accident. So far the death toll is at least 78 but I'll be surprised if it's not in the hundreds. They say it was a couple of hundred tonnes of ammonium nitrate going up. I remember the damage that a 1.5 tonne fertilizer bomb would do during the Troubles and thinking that was big.

General discussion / John Hume
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:50:26 PM »
We'll probably never see his like again. A towering figure in Irish politics who left a better legacy for all of us.

(I think it's noteworthy enough for a thread of its own, but feel free to lock up if you think the Death Notices thread is fine.)

General discussion / American uses of English that get on my nerves
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:47:33 PM »
"Normalcy" instead of normality.

General discussion / Iconic sporting photos - non-GAA
« on: June 01, 2020, 06:53:11 PM »
Andy Hampsten on the Gavia, Giro d'Italia 1988.

Good article about that episode here:

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