Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: March 2006

De Gullah Nyews

Mat with a great post on the Gullah translation of Luke's Gospel: "Jedus say, 'Papa, paadon dem, cause dey ain't ondastan wa dey da do.'" #link



Yet another arresting design, but by someone who seems to have a redesign compulsion so it might not be around for long. Which would be a shame. #link


Wilson Miner / Live

Another beautiful design. I love the solidness of the lines and boxes and blocks of colour. #link



Sun with lens flare

I missed it. This morning most of Northern Europe experienced a partial eclipse of the sun. And seeing as I don’t happen to have a telescope and a piece of card handy, I missed it. The shot above is the best view I could manage. Crap, isn’t it?

Oh, if only it were overcast! In the right conditions, the cloud layers filter the sun’s beam, letting the solar disc shine through in a perfect outline while cutting out all that nasty, retina-melting glare. I’d only have to look up, and there I’d see it — the sun, with a chunk bitten off. But alas, this morning we were cursed with the clearest, bluest sky we’ve had in months. Fuck.

I missed the last one too, the better one. It was a morning in mid-August 1999. They issued warnings about going outdoors in the hours preceding — lest you be burned alive by magnified cosmic rays or some such, I don’t know. Anyway I had a shift on the concession stand at my local multiplex that morning, stuck behind the counter serving popcorn to gluttonous philistines as the sky grew gradually darker, so the warnings didn’t apply to me.

Turns out, in the end, I didn’t really miss all that much. There was no sudden pseudo-nightfall like I expected; just a slight dimming, like what normally happens when a large cloud passes overhead. Big deal, I said to myself as I snatched glimpses at the glass-fronted foyer every now and then.

Now that I think about it, I didn’t really miss all that much today, either, which makes me feel a little bit better. Still, would have been nice though.


Dave Gorman's Flickr adventure

The British funnyman on his latest project. Gorman is a good one; he actually 'gets' this kind of thing, and in turn makes it more accessible to the wider world. #link


Druid Street

Another tumblelog to add to the list. Some great photos to be found here, too. #link


Converting your colour images to mono

I've been converting to greyscale all along, and it looks like that's the best way to go for the non-expert. Handy to know there are other options, though. #link


So many books…

[I had intended to post this comment on Markham’s new blog but he seems to be having some technical problems. So it’s going here instead. (I mean, what’s my weblog for if I don’t post on it every now and again?)]

So apparently bloggers like books, eh? What with all the reading and the writing and all, who woulda thunk it?

But enough of my sarcasm. I also share the bookish addiction. It’s not so bad that I can’t walk past a bookshop without being drawn inside by some mysterious magnetic force. But when I do pop into Waterstone’s or Hodges Figgis now and again, more often than not I can’t leave without having bought something. Damn those three for two offers!

As for reading the bloody things? I do tend to go through periods of not reading anything substantial, bar newspapers and magazines (and websites, natch), so the book pile has been growing steadily for some time. But I have been on a bit of a reading buzz lately.

Since my recent jaunt abroad I’ve read and enjoyed The State of Africa by Martin Meredith (highly recommended Markham, if you haven’t read it already); The Quarry by Damon Galgut; The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem; and am trying to make Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures last as long as possible…

I also breezed through Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase, which had been sitting in my bag one-quarter read for the last six months, and I’ve just started A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester, on the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, which I picked up for virtually nothing over Christmas downstairs at Eason’s.

And there are at least ten other books on the shelf just waiting to be delved into. Provided my current reading buzz lasts, that is. If not, they’ll just have to wait, and make room for the others I’ll undoubtedly add to the pile in the coming months.

(And by the way Markham, The Winding Stair is still open. Or at least it was when I was crossing the Ha’penny Bridge on Monday morning.)


Penn Jillette talks about 'Desert Bus'

Part of a legendary game from the mid-90s, which ultimately went unreleased. Maybe we're better off for it, but part of me just bursts with enthusiasm for the idea. #link


Irish Newspaper Archives

This is great. But it brings up a point: if the web is supposed to be a library, information like that found in newspaper archives should really be free. It's only a matter of time, I guess, but things like this would be better operated as public services, not merely as profit-making businesses. Governments take note [c/o ResearchBuzz]. #link