“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” -Netflix’s acquisition of Roald Dahl.

image by Jade87 from Pixabay

On the 22nd of September, Netflix announced that they would be teaming up with the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) to bring some of the most cherished, unique and peculiar stories to a whole new audience of future fans in new and creative ways.

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The Pursuit of Passion – a radio documentary

Do you ever feel like you’re just floating along the river of life, that something might be missing?

Aspects of our education system, misconceptions of “passion” and modern social pressures have made it increasingly difficult for many people to understand their authentic self and therefore, to understand what will offer them the most satisfaction in life.

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Gatland names most balanced squad yet for his fourth lions tour

Article from 7/5/21

Image by hirobi from Pixabay –

Yesterday, British and Irish lions head coach, Warren Gatland named his 37 man squad to travel to South Africa this summer for a three test series against the world champions. There was sure to be many surprised faces yesterday among the many players, pundits and fans who attempted to predict the 37 names to be included in the squad as it’s fair to say that nobody expected the collection of players we received.

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Both Waterford and Luis Figo will always remember John O’ Shea

Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay

Tweet from Irish Football Pics

Today, April 23rd, marks the 18 year anniversary of John O’ Shea managing to slip the ball between the legs of the legendary Luis Figo. A player of Figo’s status may have expected something like this from one of the more flamboyant players in La Liga, but from a humble man from Waterford, it was the last thing he would have expected. I’d like to think that Figo, like so many of us, was happy to see just how great a servant of both Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland John O’ Shea would go on to become.

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The Sopranos

Image by HOerwin56 from Pixabay

Having recently finished my first ever viewing of The Sopranos, it’s now perfectly clear to me why it’s been called “the show that changed TV”. The series tells an incredibly unique story which follows the life of arguably the most iconic antihero in TV history and concludes with a finale which has continued to leave people talking about it all these years later. I’ll offer my thoughts on the ending of the series towards the end of this article, with plenty of warning beforehand, in case you haven’t managed to get around to watching The Sopranos yet. In the meantime however, I’m happy to explain why for me, The Sopranos is the greatest TV series of all time.

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Top 5 rugby players who never won a world cup

Image by Monica Volpin from Pixabay

The Rugby World Cup is the biggest stage in the game. Over the years, players have earned themselves a place in the history books by producing magic moments when it mattered most. It’s interesting to note however, that while so many greats of the game will cement their legacy by lifting the Web Ellis cup, there are some men who arguably have given so much to the game but never earn the right to lift the trophy. The truth is there are so many icons of the game that could be worthy of a spot on this list, Doug Howlett, Paul O’ Connell and Carlos Spencer to name a few. Nevertheless, here’s my list of the top five rugby players who have never won a world cup.

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The world of Ice and Fire is more than the ending of Game of Thrones

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The final days of game of thrones couldn’t but leave a stain on the legacy of the former phenomenon. Although completely deserved, it’s also extremely unfortunate. It seems that now whenever we bring ourselves talk about Game of Thrones, all we can talk about is the final season. We seem to forget about all of the conversations shared over the years. From how obsessed we all were with theories about how the show would play out, to who we felt was next to die. The decisions of show writers David Benioff and D.B Weiss plunged the series to a catastrophic ending but George RR Martins universe consists of so much more than their contribution. In the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, the real mastermind behind it all, GRRM, created one of the most amazing stories ever told in an incredible world full of complex and unique characters that face challenges and consequences which at times, are not too far from our own. With more to come from George’s incredible story, both on screen and in text over the coming years, I think that to exile the entire universe of A Song of Ice and Fire from our memories because of the ending of Game of Thrones would be an unfortunate mistake.

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It all begins and ends with the blues

Featured Image by Méline Waxx from Pexels

When it comes to the journey of evolution behind the modern music we have today, the blues is arguably the most important style of music. It’s one thing for a genre to have been around before the music industry really took off commercially, but the blues genre actually proceeds the recorded era of music by decades. Over the years, countless blues sub-genres have emerged and added their own touch but the delta blues and Chicago blues remain the most important styles. While basic, small nuances everywhere throughout the blues leads to a vast array of local styles, in most cases we can still trace those styles back to either the delta or Chicago style blues. Directly or indirectly, nearly all modern rock and pop songs were influenced by blues music.

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Life on Mars

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On Monday the 18th of February, NASA released a short video captured by their Perseverance rover which showed its successful arrival on the surface of Mars, making it the first video of its kind to be sent back to Earth. As of today, 26th February, Perseverance has been on Mars for a total of eight days. When it comes to the survival of our species, life on another planet might well be out of reach for the near future. If any planet can give us hope however, Mars may hold the secret to the survival of humanity.

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Lies and Manipulation, Big Tech don’t play by our rules

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities” – Voltaire.

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Generation Z, the demographic cohort succeeding millennials, are the first generation to not have experienced life before the arrival of the internet and widespread access to portable digital technology at a young age. Days before social media, smartphones and big tech companies seem like a lifetime ago. They’ve become such an influential part of our lives that sometimes it’s easy to forget that Google was only founded in 1998 and Facebook only came along in 2004. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, are 47. Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, is only 36. These men created things that have made the world unrecognizable from the version of itself which existed before. Having enabled families and loved ones to stay connected around the world, altered how the entire world conducts business, and allowing political and cultural movements to blossom, we’ve seen how the modern digital era has caused many aspects of our democratic societies to evolve and improve at rates which were previously unimaginable. The question we have to ask ourselves however, is are these benefits to society really worth it, if the cost is the state of democracy and society itself?

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Donut Economics

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Economies have traditionally focused on obtaining economic growth. Across the last number of decades however, we’ve come to realise that if we revolve our societies around concepts which don’t consider the natural world, these societies will face ecological collapse, which will subsequently mean the end of our species. Essentially, donut economics is the idea that we can meet the needs of all, within the means of the planet by replacing the goal of economic growth with a balance between ecological and economical focus.

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My Top 5 Quentin Tarantino films

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Quentin Tarantino is up there among the most popular living directors in the world. While some have called him the king of dialogue, there’s plenty more things to expect when you sit down to watch a Tarantino film. You know you’ll be entertained with crazy, sensational characters, outlandish but perfect music choices and storylines that jump around in every direction until usually concluding with an outrageous and satisfying finale. Obviously I’m a huge fan of all of Tarantino’s work, but a top 5 is a top 5.

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My Italian Experience: The highs, lows, and lessons of a first time living abroad.

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Before moving abroad to a new country, one is usually aware of certain aspects of unfamiliar culture and language barriers they’ll have to deal with when they arrive. What I found however, was that the toughest parts of living in a new country for the first time were challenges that I had never been made aware of before. A common perception of a year studying abroad is that it’s a complete fairy tale. You fall in love with this new country or city and by the end you never want to leave. This is true for some, but you don’t often hear of the other side of the coin. The lessons I took away from my year studying abroad are lessons which have profoundly changed me as a person. Funnily enough, I wouldn’t have predicted any of them and none of them have the slightest thing to do with education, language or anything I would’ve heard from a university.

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Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

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Start With Why by Simon Sinek is one of the most influential pieces of work I’ve ever come across in my life. I’d highly recommend it for anybody, but for people out there that are looking to either be inspired or to inspire others, this is an absolute must. The primary focus of the book revolves around leadership. While it certainly delivers on that front, I’ve also found it to be even more effective in other ways. Ken Robinson‘s concept of the element was the first to make me wonder about my true passions in life and consequently, what kind of career would offer me the most satisfaction and fulfilment. Many people preach the message that we have seek a life that makes us happy, that keeps us motivated and inspired, but with this book Simon Sinek was the has provided the blueprints of how to actively apply these ideas in everyday life.

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Social Justice Ireland call for a new social dialogue

Credit of featured image: Social Justice Ireland on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SocialJusticeI/

Social Justice Ireland (SJI) have expressed their disappointment with recent government activity, particularly with the decision not to increase core social welfare rates in Budget 2021. A survey on income and living conditions published by the CSO on the 27th October last year revealed that approximately 637,000 people in Ireland are currently living in poverty (193,600 of which are children). SJI warn that the government’s decision not to increase welfare rates will have significant implications for these figures, with a substantial impact on lower income households. Prior to Budget 2021, SJI advocated that welfare rates should be increased by €7 a week for the next three years to make up for the gap between welfare and inflation. Speaking at a recent press conference, Michelle Murphy of SJI labelled the introduction of, “a new social dialogue” as their top priority for 2021.

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Pandemics, Big Data and Empty Venues.. What Happens if the Music Stops?

Credit of featured image: Hayley K. Stuart photography- https://hayleykstuartphotography.format.com/

The reality of the musician’s trade in 2020 with Crome Yellow’s Adam Doheny.

If you’re a musician in today’s world then you already had a mountain to climb. Today’s streaming era means that it’s unrealistic for anyone to want to pursue music full-time. Perhaps a bitter irony is that art, in all its forms: music, podcasts, books, the things we relied on to offer us escape during times of lockdown, could be the very thing that covid-19 eradicates completely. The proof is plain to see, we will all suffer if the day comes when artists can no longer afford to create and the last drop of creativity is drained from the world around us. With the arrival of the pandemic, all hopes of live performances and promotional opportunities for the coming year were dashed, with no light at the end of the tunnel either. All artists want is to share their gifts with us, and perhaps if we enjoy it, that we could support them in return. The unfortunate reality is that this is just becoming harder and harder.

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Is Social Media changing our perception of Music?

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Something that’s common to each generation is the reluctance of previous generations to praise or sometimes even accept the music of current generations, “they don’t make them like they used to” they say as they struggle to comprehend whatever the kids are listening to. The fact that people can be so opinionated and feel so attached to the music they feel represents them is amazing and of course, musical tastes and trends will evolve as the years go by. However, I believe that the technological world of social media we live in today is altering the way we perceive music altogether.

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Sir Ken Robinson

Credit of featured image: @Sirkenrobinson on Twitter

Amidst all the global chaos and madness that 2020 delivered it was easy for certain events to slip by unnoticed. We were just about at the finish line of what many would agree to be one of the worst years in living memory when I learned that unfortunately, four months previous on the 21st of August, Sir Ken Robinson passed away after losing a short battle with cancer.

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What socio-political difficulties do mass media face in reporting reality?

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As part of my current master’s program, I had to answer this question. With the help of relevant readings and some sensational films, I tried to offer a unique insight into the world of journalism……

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Bond. James Bond

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This was the legendary self-introduction which introduced one of the most iconic characters of all time to the world. The man behind them was both a proud Scotsman and an era-defining star who always rocked an aura of charm. During his life he thrilled fans around the world throughout a fruitful Hollywood career that spanned decades. Recently, the great Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90.

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Covid gives us a chance to reimagine our cities

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It’s about time we recognized one of the opportunities that Covid presents to us. The spread of Covid–19 around the world meant that millions of employees had to pack up their desk and begin work from home. As bad as this initially was for those who consider themselves extroverts or anyone who thrives off of social interaction, many in Ireland quickly became aware of the benefits to remote working which would then begin to reveal themselves.

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Cartoon Saloon’s “Wolfwalkers” hits Apple TV

Credit of featured image: Cartoon Saloon animation studio

The following news article was written on the 11th December 2020

The latest animated feature film from Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon has recently charted as the no.1 film at the Irish box office and reached 3rd overall in UK/Ireland.  Wolfwalkers has received rave reviews since its cinema release and is also been tipped by Variety for the academy award for best animated feature. The film is being released on Apple TV today making it the first animated feature film available on their service. The is the third animated feature film from two-time Academy Award nominee Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. 

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New York City

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Nearly one year in lockdown has recently had me thinking. With our ability to travel restricted, I’ve been reflecting on all the places I’ve been lucky enough to be able to see and all the places I’d hope to see someday soon.

I think when it all comes down to it, New York City is my favourite place I’ve ever been. I didn’t think I’d ever feel this way about a city that I only visited for four days. Even the legacy of “the city where anything is possible” and all the other phrases that get tossed around about it never really did much to pull me in. My travel fantasies always leaned more towards places like Australia and New Zealand, places where you knew you can get an adrenaline rush one day and chill out on the beach or in the mountains the next. It seems strange then that the place I fell the hardest for is the city that never sleeps. For me it’s not even got anything to do with the skyscrapers, penthouses, fancy hotels or the statue of liberty. It’s something else, something which I didn’t see coming at all.

I couldn’t put my finger on it while I was there and I’ve come to realise that’s because it’s not any one thing, it’s everything. The sounds, the colours, the activity and the pace, the mix of cultures, the unpredictability. The city is alive and I couldn’t get enough of it .Manhattan is a different creature all on its own. Chinatown, little-Italy, the Upper East Side, Harlem, Wall Street. Where else in the world can you find areas that are astronomically different from each other in such close proximity? Make no mistake about it, it’s a tough place to live. Any New Yorker will tell you that surviving in the city comes with a lot of graft and a lot of struggle. What’s unique about New Yorkers though, is that they seem to thrive on this. They live for the downs just as much as the ups and the struggles just as much as the success. It’s what makes New York so special. You’ll walk out on to the street and you’ll see as many people as you can count yet you won’t know a single one and they won’t know you but there’s a mutual understanding that you’re in this together.

Throw in the lure of Frank Sinatra, Central Park, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Broadway, and I’m sold. The only bit of New York I have in my life these days is when I’m watching my favourite basketball team, the New York Knicks. Hopefully in a post-pandemic future, I’ll get back there again soon.

The “Rumble in the Jungle”, today in 1974.

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On this day in 1974 in what was then the Republic of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Muhammad Ali came in as 4-1 underdog and defeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman by knockout in the eight round of the fight that was known as the “Rumble in the Jungle”. 60,000 people were in attendance of what many refer to as the greatest sporting event of the 20th century. An audience of over 1 billion people tuned in around the world to watch the fight, which at the time made it the most-watched live television broadcast of all time.

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SVP Ireland launches new and innovative December Appeal

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The following news article was written on the 4th December 2020:

SVP Ireland recently launched their annual December appeal, “impossible choices” in order to support those in need this Christmas. In response to covid-19, this year’s appeal has been reimagined with a much more virtual approach. Contactless donations can now be made in specific retail shops such as Brown Thomas and Arnotts. The appeal also encourages online donations and offers doners the ability to specify the region in Ireland they would like their donation to benefit, maintaining the organization’s localised focus.

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