Rising sea
Thursday, June 29, 2006, 03:23 PM
Had another lovely trip to Dun Laoghaire beach today with my two much travelled dogs.
While I would like to think that all these dire predictions about global warming are true, I think is it not strange that the sea has not submerged these piers and walkways, which were built over 200 years ago!
Perhaps, society is only trying to depress us, the ill-informed, and maybe, for once George Bush is right not to be worried about the future of the world.
And certainly the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council don't seem to be worried about expending an enormous amount of energy in escavating the Rock road just to lay pipes and draw bus lane lines on top of the new surface which is exacly the same width and colocated with the old perfectly good road-surface. Thousands of tonnes of material is being taken up and will have to be carried away and, of course, replaced by expensive concrete aggregate.
Worrying about the end of the world goes back to the beginning of time and it was probably one of the things which gave Jesus his appeal and, perhaps, all the other prophets and messias too.

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Dun Laoghaire recovers its foreskin
Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 10:08 AM

The coast at Dun Laoghaire is probably the best place for swimming in Dublin bay and may well surpass anyplace else on the whole east coast of Ireland but it has been out of favour and not 'de rigeur' to the swimming fraternity for a long long time now. Why this should be, I do not know, but it may have something to do with our inate snobbery, that favours the elitist suburbs of Seapoint and Sandycove, neither of which has such good waters especially at low tide.
I have being doing a 'swim-in' at Dun Laoghaire for the past two years and badgering the council to make good this locale and, finally, they have got off their arses and starting reclaiming these 'sea gardens' and their walkways.
It looked so beautiful there today around midday at high tide with seals swimming in crystal clear water overlooked by the rocky grotto and the romanesque shelters and the regenerated walkways.
It's as though the foreskin has grown back over a scratched and raw nob and , perhaps, swimmers will now have balls enough to use this beautiful foreshore.

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who you going to call
Friday, June 23, 2006, 02:33 PM

It's hard to believe that only last year the whole of Dun laoghaire had given up on this beautiful sea inlet and were about to allow their council give it away to 'developers' - reckers for it to be covered over and made into a green field site for private exploitation,
In the last week they have finally sent in men to repair the walkway most broken up by the sea and this is a very welcome development indeed.
Still the people seem to be more interested in walking here than swimming as though there was something shameful about stripping off 'in town' - a purient streek in our modern irishness - perhaps what drove our great geniuses like Joyce and Beckett out of the place. Beckett preferred war in France to peace in Ireland and his book Watt seems to point the finger at the authorities of Trinity College and make a laugh of their endless procrastinations. Even now irish people prefer his later work all written in French to his earlier English works which often lampoons us Irish,
Today was a beautiful 'brothalog' ie cloudy and sunny day and the sea was perfect except for the first appearance of our friends the jelly-fish who come back every summer like the swallows.
Anyway the lesson to be learned is if you are near a beach - use it or lose it and if u got a beach problem, who u going to call? Beach busters!

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one small swim for a man one giant plunge for council
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 02:35 PM

hurray, its hard not to feel victorious in the battle to save DunLaoghaire beach from being concreted over and 'green-fielded' for developers.
Yesterday temporary bollards were put in place and today excavation started presumably to reclaim and renew the seaside walkways that had been eroded by forces of nature and of man.
Anyone not familar with the history of DunLaoghaire and its coastline would think this was only normal maintenance but the fact is that the DunLaoghaire Authorities have seen fit to let this beautiful historic sea area go into rack and ruin and become a loitering place for many years now so that everyone had ceased swimming there as if the water was contaminated.
About two years ago I started to swim there all the year round with my son mostly but none of the other perennial swimmers ever joined us and pretended not to know the place.
A couple of years ago the council launched a plan to fill in this cove and build apartments and shops over it- people were even booking their investment properties and I was told it was useless to fight city hall but I continued the campaign and many people also voiced objections although practically no one actually put their togs where their mouth was and joined in swimming and relaxing at this ideal seaside spot.
Hopefully, now this beautiful somewhat rocky cove of Dublin bay will be saved for future generations to enjoy just as it has been enjoyed since around 1800 when it was gifted to the people in compensation for all the beach forfitted to the harbour Authority.

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Alexander the great's dislike of circumcision
Sunday, June 11, 2006, 07:14 AM
The following is an extract from that greatest of source of information, Wikipedia, about the history of the practice of circumcision from which it appears men did not feel good about exposing raw flesh when participating nakedly in the Olymics and other Greecian sports and why not. It appears to have been a mark of snobbery among the Jews as to who was nearest to God; like cutting off your nose to spit your face.
It is also stated that circumcision is irreversible but I wonder if this can be so as skin is for ever growing and renewing itself. I am going to continue with my experiment and I think I can show that it is possible to get the skin to grow back to cover all by a very simple procedure.

History of circumcision

Main article: History of male circumcision

It has been variously proposed that circumcision began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility, as a means of suppressing (or enhancing) sexual pleasure, as an aid to hygiene where regular bathing was impractical, as a means of marking those of lower (or higher) social status, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, to remove "excess" pleasure, to increase a man's attractiveness to women, as a symbolic castration, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons.
Köçeks at a fairKöçek troupe dancing at Sultan Ahmed III's 14-day celebration of his sons' circumcision in 1720. Miniature from the Surname-i Vehbi, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.
Köçeks at a fair
Köçek troupe dancing at Sultan Ahmed III's 14-day celebration of his sons' circumcision in 1720. Miniature from the Surname-i Vehbi, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

Circumcision in the ancient world

The oldest documentary evidence for circumcision comes from ancient Egypt. Tomb artwork from the Sixth Dynasty (2345-2181 BCE) shows men with circumcised penises, and one relief from this period shows the rite being performed on a standing adult male. The Egyptian hieroglyph for "penis" depicts either a circumcised or an erect organ. The examination of Egyptian mummies has found some with foreskins and others who were circumcised.

Circumcision was common, although not universal, among ancient Semitic peoples. The Book of Jeremiah, written in the sixth century BCE, lists the Egyptians, Jews, Edomites, Ammonites, and Moabites as circumcising cultures. Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BCE, would add the Colchians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, and Syrians to that list.

In the aftermath of the conquests of Alexander the Great, Greek dislike of circumcision led to a decline in its incidence among many peoples that had previously practiced it. The writer of the 1 Maccabees wrote that under the Seleucids, many Jewish men attempted to hide or reverse their circumcision so they could exercise in Greek gymnasia, where nudity was the norm. First Maccabees also relates that the Seleucids forbade the practice of brit milah (Jewish circumcision), and punished those who performed it–as well as the infants who underwent it–with death.

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