Puppy strutting at Belfast Pride

All of the doggos!

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Close Crossing

Bray Air Show, Ireland

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Puppy Love

A puppy in Iceland, with Victoria cuddling

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I like snow!

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It’s time for snow! Yeah, seems to have snuck in but large parts of the UK are looking white tomorrow, in particular for Belfast!

Met Office: Northern Ireland: severe weather warnings

Yay 🙂 I hope it lies – snow photography seems fun, and at least the “possibility of severe disruption, particularly to transport and to power supplies” shouldn’t affect me as I can work from home given power and internet!

Do take care, however, if you’re out on the roads!

Categories: current affairs

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Children in gay adoptions at no disadvantage

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Children in gay adoptions at no disadvantage – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent.

Not surprising, really. But then, don’t let the research get in the way of your bigotry! Especially people like commenter grey_rage, who is the greatest colossal fucktard of the week with this comment:

Bigots like me see the catholic church full of gays interfering with children, they see gay ministers and the well placed visiting childrens homes to access vulnerable young boys to gratify their own perverted desires. Bigots like me also remember the likes of peter tachel out side schools giving out leadlets. I remember him trying to get the age of concent reduced or abolished and speaking about sex with nine year olds. Perhaps those are just a couple of reasons we bigots feel the way we do.

Congrats, moron.

Categories: current affairs lgbt

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Antichamber – You are not here

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Antichamber - Sometimes condescending
One box or two?
One box or two?

Not since Portal have I had this much fun playing a puzzle game. And there is a distinct feel of Portal going on here, with the clean whites, the clever puzzles, a strange gun, and the outlandish physics.

Is Antichamber just another Portal?

I sound dangerously close there to doing Antichamber a disservice – it’s also got its own unique feel to it, quite apart from Portal – no voices at all for one. In fact, for me it almost gives me a retro feel of sitting with a 2D Amiga puzzler; the days where back story and plot, celebrity voices are gone. This game is just puzzle and BGM, and very nice BGM at that. OK, so graphically it isn’t retro – it uses some kind of cell shading on top of the powerful Unreal Engine. It looks superb. All whites, blues, reds, yellows, greens. Bold block colour that stands out well.

The puzzles range from easy as pie to fiendishly difficult, and the game doesn’t give you clues in as much as it taunts you with a kind of “here’s what you learned” quote after each puzzle. It’s a nice touch – and I’m thankful for a puzzle game that pulls out the difficult mind benders, I know that I’ve often been frustrated that puzzle games just didn’t challenge enough to be satisfying. I’m still working out a few of Antichamber’s 😉 and i guess that’s why they can afford to throw in the difficult ones, because you don’t need to solve them all to reach the end.

Forcefields tend to eat blocks

Progress is through upgrading your ‘gun’ through the colours, in order for you to manipulate blocks. The degree to which blocks can be manipulated increases with higher colour levels, meaning that hard blue puzzles might become really easy with green powers, but that some puzzles must be solved to reach the new colour guns ensures you don’t get too easy a time. You don’t get too these new powers either, at one point I got stuck just because I never realised I could DO something.

The game suggests that it is a deeply psychological exploration game, and it feels it sometimes. The goal of the game isn’t really the ‘end’, its to solve all the puzzles, and in that sense, as I’ve said, I haven’t completely done it all.

Sometimes condescending
Sometimes condescending, these messages are your ‘completion percentage’

You can track your progress in this regard by the number of little pictograms / “what you’ve learned” / taunting messages you’ve seen.

The real standout is the non-euclidean nature of the game – the map just doesn’t obey the normal rules of the world. You might turn a corner, look back, and the corridor is gone. You can go up a set of stairs forever. A box open on one side might seem like a Tardis.

Atomic ‘things’ are a recurring puzzle element


It’s mind-bending, but very fun. There IS a map, but it’s not as useful as you might think!

All-in-all, if you enjoy puzzle games, it’s highly enjoyable, cheap on Steam, and will definitely give you those frustrating but ultimately rewarding moments. I think I ‘finished’ it in <5 hours, which interestingly raptr was telling me (at the time, close to release I guess) made me only an hour’s playtime from number 1 player on the service, which I guess meant at first it snuck in under the radar. Good job, Epic. No real flaws, good difficulty curve, good total time, graphics, sound, style. If pushed, I’d struggle for a firm reason to dock the final point, but it feels like a 9 out of 10 for me.

– Zuki

Tonsils; curse them!

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So, I’ve had two of the worst night’s sleep ever the past two days, all because of those useless things that hang at the back of your throat – tonsils. My voice is wrecked, swallowing is a bitch, constant headaches, stiff neck, insomnia, hot and cold flushes… Alas, what I thought was a flu, turned out to be tonsillitis masquerading as one, now confirmed by my doc. FEAR NOT! I have ALL the drugs! I have Strepsils, Nytol, Alka-Seltzer, Covonia, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Throat Numbing Spray, and yes, the big P – Penicillin.


Perhaps tonight I will be able to eat for the first time in two days too!

Categories: musings

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Northern Ireland and Flags – Past In Flames

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Flying, free. Photo / image by Matthew James Leebody.

Past in Flames is a Magic the Gathering card. A pretty awesome one. Really, I like the name; it conjures up all sorts of images in my head, fiery spells and igniting thoughts.

Right now, the other image that comes to my mind is; Northern Ireland is the past in flames. People, so enraged by a past, by ancestors that don’t matter, that they burn the present.

The flag flying every day is now past. And so too is Northern Ireland as part of Ireland. The future is another matter, things can always still change. But this idea that we are either British or Irish enrages me, that it occupies so much of people’s minds that they lose all reason. I’m Northern Irish, Irish, and British, I guess. I’m not proud or ashamed of any of that. I’m indifferent; its a nationality, but what does it matter? Ask yourself, what ARE you fighting for? Ancient justice for a past colonisation? A queen who knows not of your existence, nor cares?

Flying, free

If you’ve ever used the phrase “they should go back home where they belong” towards either side, you need to take a long hard look at yourself; you’re calling for people born and raised five minutes down the road from you to be expelled from the country, to leave their homeland. We are brothers; we were ALL born here, it’s OUR land.

Stop mewling about the wrongs perpetrated against those so long dead. Stop swallowing the words of corrupt politicians, all too soaked in blood that they can’t take a firm grip of peace.

I would very much love to see us forge a new flag, one not to replace the Union Flag, which is for now the flag of our union, but to represent the state of Northern Ireland. One that we all have no problem seeing fly every day above our city halls.

One flag that we can use to choke the bigotry of our politicians.

Let the past burn; forget it. From the ashes that remain, the future will grow.


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