Carranna (Cars)

Liberal Unionist Anna Lo Supports A Reunited Ireland

Liberal politician Anna Lo MLA of the Alliance Party, a moderate Unionist grouping in the north-east of Ireland

Liberal politician Anna Lo MLA of the Alliance Party, a moderate Unionist grouping in the north-east of Ireland

When a senior politician from a party representing the moderate British Unionist or pro-Union vote in the north-east of the country publicly acknowledges the colonial origins of “Northern Ireland” and the logic of Irish reunification then you know that we are truly progressing towards a better future. From the Irish Times:

“Unionist parties moved quickly today to exploit what they viewed as a pre-election gaffe by Anna Lo, an Alliance South Belfast Assembly member and the party’s candidate in the May European elections in Northern Ireland.

Ms Lo was upbraided by the DUP, the Ulster Unionists, the Traditional Unionist Voice party and the Northern Ireland Conservatives after she said she supported a united Ireland created by consent and further implied that Northern Ireland was a colony.

Ahead of Saturday’s annual Alliance conference and also ahead of local and European elections in two months time she told today’s Irish News that a united Ireland would be “better placed economically, socially and politically”.

She said it was “very artificial” for Ireland to be divided up and for “the corner of Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom”. She added that she was “anti colonial” while insisting unity could only be achieved through the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

While Ms Lo is viewed as a straight-talking politician her comments did cause surprise and unease among several Alliance members. The party adopts a so-called “agnostic” position on the union with Britain, although the majority of its support is viewed as coming from centrist unionists.”

The Chinese-Irish member of the regional assembly in Belfast has been subject to repeated racial attacks by Unionist extremists, most recently at an International Women’s Day event in the city.

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Flannbhuí, literally “red-yellow” (that is, orange-coloured), on the streets of Droichead Átha, Éire, 2014

On the streets of Droichead Átha, the very definition of flannbhuí. And a beautiful example it is.

Barrel Bombs, The Terror From Above

Barrel Bomb Probability of Incapacitation and Probability Equations

Barrel Bomb Probability of Incapacitation and Probability Equations (Íomhá: Brown Moses)

Over on the Brown Moses blog Richard M. Lloyd has a lengthy examination of the technology behind the so-called barrel bombs as used by the al-Assad forces in Syria’s civil war. He makes some crucial points about the primitive nature of these munitions:

“The Syrian government over the last year has supplemented it’s traditional conventional air campaign with cheap weapons that have been referred to as Barrel Bombs (BB). These Do It Yourself (DIY) weapons are derived from low cost cylinders that are filled with explosive, fuel and irregular shaped steel fragments. These DIY bombs are manually deployed by soldiers from Russian HIP helicopters. The idea is these helicopters can roam around Syrian neighbourhoods and drop these weapons with more accuracy than firing aircraft rockets.

Barrel bombs designs that are observed though social media demonstrate that the Syrian government designed these barrel bombs with a fuse wick that requires a heat source (matches, cigarettes, cigars) to ignite. The Syrian government must have made the simple calculation that if the helicopter is at a known altitude (H) and the fuse wick burns at a known rate (b˙) then the time that it takes for the bomb to detonate is t=H/b˙. However, this simple equation that computes the time before detonation is false. Whoever designed these barrel bombs does not understand that there is a 10% burn rate error in the fuse wick. They also don’t understand that if the helicopter is not at the designed altitude it will affect the time of fall. In conjunction with these errors, they did not take into account the barrel size, mass, barrel bomb L/D ratio, tumble rate, drag effects, wind speed as well as the time it takes the soldier to deploy the bombs once it has been lit inside the helicopter.”

One consequence of this poor design and deployment was the failure of many early barrel bombs to explode. In other cases the explosions took place well above the ground with little direct damage to the presumed targets below. Recently regime technicians have countered this by fitting crudely engineered fins to one end of the barrels with impact fuses fitted at the other. In theory this causes the munitions to fall “nose first” detonating upon hitting the ground though again this has proved highly problematic raising something of a mystery as to why the engineering of these weapons is so poor. Weighting the barrel bombs with shrapnel at the fuse-end or using a pressurised fuel-explosive mix that would burst upon impact would seem a more effective design. Alternatively given the manner in which they are being used deploying a small drogue parachute or streamer to arrest and guide the fall would more effectively aid the trajectory and detonation of the munitions. However where these “terror weapons” (as we may fairly summarise them) have been successfully deployed the results have proved deadly.


Drool Cars

A beautiful example of southern California's car culture

A beautiful example of southern California’s car culture (Íomhá:

As I face up to the troubling fact that wanting a certain type of car is not the same as being able to afford a certain type of car, along comes Digital D-Tour with these Californian specimens of automotive beauty. Sigh…

Another example of southern California's car culture

Another example of southern California’s car culture (Íomhá:

Back With A Bang, Not A Whimper

Rénard an Sionnach - Reynard the Fox

Rénard an Sionnach – Reynard the Fox

A busy few days occupied with the internal workings of PCs and TVs (not to mention some hill-walking thrown in for good measure) so apologies to the many (many!) people who noted my absence. For now just a quick post to note an excellent piece by Bangordub on “We In Coming Days” touching upon an issue that most establishment politicians, journalists and commentators in the nations of Ireland and Britain prefer not to discuss: the very recent and very sordid history of British terrorism in Ireland. The Comments underneath are perhaps what is of most interest with some strident views expressed on all sides.

Vintage American Cars. Good Golly Miss Molly!

Since I’ve gone the personal route today some more revelations. I love cars: fast cars and old cars (unfortunately the two don’t always go together – unless one earns considerably more money than I do). Combine that with photography and you have the perfect blog posting, as aptly illustrated over on CR Cooper Photography. Enjoy…



Some More Classic Cars

A little break from the usual mix of politics and culture. Urban Speed Car Meet, a reposting from Red Stripe Adventure, for all you classic car lovers out there. Okay, me!

Classic Cars – Stateside…

Classic cars… DROOL…

May 2011 Fuelfed Coffee & Classics . .. Hmmm…Memorial Day weekend & very ominous skies don’t make the most inviting scenario to drive your classic. But I must say, we had a great turn out if not in sheer numbers, but in the breadth of quality classics. Even Mitra left her post at Café Aroma to admire the rare assembly of metal and rubber. .. .. From a Lancia Aurelia B20 to a Jaguar XK140, with a mix of everything in between, we had quite the variety. Lou brought his stunning … Read More

via Fuelfed