latest tweet: Goes without saying that Hendrix is supernatural here, but Mitchell and Redding's backing is sheer heaviosity itself https://t.co/rY5MHr1UBE
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29
Apr 2011

On This Deity: 29th April 1916

As a departure from my usual opinion pieces, I’m trying my hand at simple “description” over at On This Deity today.

29th April 1916: The Easter Rising.

On the 29th April 1916 poet, teacher and revolutionary, Pádraig Pearse, issued the following statement from a beseiged building on Dublin’s Moore Street,

In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commandants of the various districts in the City and County will order their commands to lay down arms.

It signalled the end of the Easter Rising, the most significant campaign in the struggle for Irish independence since the rebellion of 1798. The Rising had left large parts of the city decimated and resulted in thousands of casualties. It was also, unambiguously, a spectacular military failure. And yet it was the spark that lit the fuse on the War of Independence which would, within five years, force the British government to the negotiating table to discuss the terms of Irish independence.

read the rest…

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19
Apr 2011

On This Deity: 18th April 1955

Yesterday’s article at On This Deity was by yours truly…

18th April 1955: The Death of Albert Einstein.

On the 18th of April 1955 Albert Einstein died in Princeton Hospital, New Jersey. He was 76 years old. One of the chief architects of the modern era, there are few other individuals whose impact on human culture has been so significant. Fifty years earlier, in 1905, during what would later be referred to as his “miracle year”, Einstein published a series of papers that sparked a revolution in physics, laying the groundwork for twenty years of remarkable work. Papers that not only revolutionised the field in which he specialised, they revolutionised the world around him. In an era when established orthodoxies were under fire from all sides… from Marx and Darwin… from Nietzsche, Freud and Joyce… from technological advance and an emerging mass media, Einstein overturned the most fundamental orthodoxy of them all – Newtonian Physics.

Our well-ordered clockwork universe dissolved into a seething ocean of quantum uncertainty, and nothing was ever quite the same again.

read the rest…

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7
Apr 2011

On This Deity: 7th April 1969

New piece up at On This Deity

7th April 1969: The Birth of the Internet.

Protest movements and pressure groups have found the net to be a powerful organisational tool. Indeed, the recent and ongoing revolutions in North Africa were coordinated – in part at least – through social media websites. Wikileaks, for all its many faults, has shaken the political establishment around the world. Research in almost any field you care to mention has been aided by the collaborative space provided by the net. And just as hatred breeds freely in cyberspace, so there are wonderful stories of hope, love and solidarity emerging from the electronic ether facilitated by encounters between like-minded people who would otherwise never have met.

read the rest…

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5
Apr 2011

On This Deity: 5th April 1992

Check out my new article at On This Deity

5th April 1992: The Siege of Sarajevo.

On April 5th 1992 units of the Yugoslav People’s Army on orders from Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic, in combination with Bosnian-Serb militia groups, took up positions in the hills surrounding the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. From there they opened fire on the city below with artillery, mortars and sniper rifles. It was the beginning of a three and a half year siege that left many thousands dead and heralded the disintegration of Yugoslavia in a decade-long series of conflicts, bringing to an end Tito’s dream of unifying the Balkans.

read the rest…

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