As 2013 looms large and heavy ahead of us, its time to sit down and put into words what the previous twelve months have been for me.

January 2012 began with deep and ingraining sense of frustration, with a sprinkle of fear.

At that point in time, I saw no end in sight of my current state of limbo. Banished from UL since the previous May after finishing my MA, and five blissfully amazing years at that Shannon campus, I could see no way forward along that ‘road of life’.

Job prospects were next to nothing. So Beara is where I anchored myself after my years in college.

However, all around I saw so many others from Beara, UL and twitter marching away and up to achieving life goals like jobs and relationships and IKEA. Where was I? Beginning my 10th year at Murphy’s Super Valu.

Now, I have to state that although being…

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The Guyliner

There are so many good guys out there — you almost need two hands to count them. But in among the gold, is the tin. The sand in your sandwiches, the rain on your parade. The world is full of men you shouldn’t date, for every kind of reason.

If only there were some kind of test, or a ‘tell’, so you could easily divine the dregs from the demigods. There’s no magic answer, but if your potential beau is a ‘yes’ to any of the list below, it may be time to cast your net a little farther.

You should never date a man who…

1. Panic-buys Christmas presents from the Boots ‘3 for 2’ gift department.
Nobody needs that much ‘body butter’, thanks.

2. Has illegible handwriting.
Is he scrawling “love you” or “fuck you”? Who knows?! Special dispensation for doctors. Doctors are hot. Usually.

3. Has a…

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Laurence O'Bryan - No 1 Best-Selling Conspiracy Thriller Author

The square and arrow symbol in the manuscript Sean and Isabel found under Hagia Sophia in The Istanbul Puzzle returns in The Jerusalem Puzzle.

In The Jerusalem Puzzle the symbol is discovered in the Museum of Antiquities in central Cairo near Tahrir Square.  This is the museum where  King Tutankhamun’s famous golden mask is on display. The remains of many famous Pharaohs are housed there, as well as items from their tombs, along with a huge papyrus and coin collection on the ground floor.

Sean goes to the museum after seeing a picture of a papyrus fragment in a guide to the museum. Here is the fragment:



My interest in the square and arrow symbol was inspired by this fragment. The caption on the card beneath the fragment reads, according to my notes:

Papyrus fragment found 1984 in rubbish pit near the Black Pyramid (built King Amenemhat III, Middle…

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Boston Santa Speedo RunThis past Saturday was Boston’s annual Santa Speedo Run. Despite the rain forecast and the steady drizzle Saturday morning, more than 700 men and women braved the elements and ran through Back Bay in little more than a speedo and sneakers.

Every year the Boston LGBT community shows up but this year’s run resembled a Pride event.  From the “pre-partying” at homes in Back Bay to the impromptu dance party on Boylston that broke out as runners congregated after the run – the city on Saturday afternoon had a Pride-esque feeling that warmed my heart even if I couldn’t quite feel my toes by the time I left the Back Bay.

Below is my annual video paying tribute to those who ran – enjoy.

Liked the video? Here is the 2011 video and 2010 video from the Boston Santa Speedo Run.

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Irish History Podcast

In 1072 the aging King of Leinster Diarmait Mc Mael na mBó died. His death saw the descendents of Brian Boru try to follow in the footsetps of their famous ancestor and dominate Ireland but there was a queue of people waiting to stop them.  Although initially Ireland witnessed a certain amount of stability the rise of the O Briains sparked a ferocious struggle as several kings sought to dominate the island. In todays show we traverse Ireland in the late 11th century through a real life game of thrones, daring naval raids and unending brutality and war.

Listen here

To Download “right click” on the link below and go to “save link as” or on a mac press ctrl click

The Return of the O Briains

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Back in the October edition of the Marine Times, Part I of this series established that even after several EU referendums the Irish public, as a whole, has a loose understanding of what the EU actually is and what it does.

What this series of articles have aimed in a small way is to iron out some of the ambiguity that surrounds the EU that has festered over time.

This lack of understanding might relate to disinterest, but in the case of many readers of the Marine Time, a distinctive distrust with the EU due to its flawed Common Fisheries Policy has led to many distancing themselves from the EU.

However, for good or bad, and even despite the currently crisis in the single currency, the EU is going to remain part of our everyday lives. With rhetoric from the EU in recent months speaking of ‘deeper integration’…

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Irish History Podcast

The Fenians are among the famous but also the most misunderstood organisations of modern Irish history. The common 19th century stereotype of a Fenian is that of a beastly peasant with a stick of dynamite. Unfortunately this still shapes modern opinions to a certain degree creating an inaccurate view that the Fenians were incoherent gun slingers.

The reality of the Fenians was very different. As an organisation it attracted members from all groups in both Irish and indeed American society through the later 19th and early 20th century. The portraits below reveal there was not one type of Fenian; there was many, from 19th century peasants to well dressed men pictured with US presidents Fenians and former Fenians were very diverse in appearance, politics and background.  Fenian guy

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