Dublin Zookeepers welcome a new arrival

Dublin Zoo welcomed a new arrival last weekend

Where are them Syrians?
Hassan Aboud - himself a zookeeper at Syria's Aleppo Zoo until 2011 - started at the zoo while awaiting the decision from the Department of Justice over his asylum application.

Hassan and his family hold the world record for the longest period at sea in a rubber dinghy for a full biological family. The two adults and three children also hold the same record for a family of five accompanied by a third generation. Hassan's dehydrated father-in-law was forced to drop out of the dinghy halfway through the voyage, due to exhaustion and death at the age of 73. He is survived by his daughter Faiza, her husband Hassan, and three grandchildren.

The family will be on display all day every day between the Chimpanzee enclosure and the Rang'Utan* exhibit, where you can see a profound sadness, and a deep intelligence, in their eyes.

The popular meerkats, located some distance from the Syrians' enclosure, have no idea what the fuss is about, but they are nonetheless very curious.

The State is unlikely to look favorably on many of the non-national applicants for residency here. Although the government is good at being "very shippy" in terms of rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean, their record on asylum seekers is quite poor relative to other countries in Europe.

Worse still, due to the lack of interest on the North African coast in the internal politics of Europe, those people currently attempting to flee the unrest - all potential future citizens of the European project - are dismissed for now by the Brussels administration as "floating voters". Hassan himself sees little value in following Ireland's domestic politics. When asked about water charges, his response was to wail and gesticulate wildly, insisting that he doesn't want to see another drop of water for the rest of his life.

*Rang'Utan is the less racist nomenclature for the species of ape formerly known as the Orangutan, as decided by the Sumatran Rang'Utan Council under its leader, King Flat-Faced Floyd.

Nowhere’s Child by Kari Rosvall: An unfettered struggle?

Nowhere’s Child by Kari Rosvall is about a woman’s valiant struggle to ascertain and accept her birth identity. Inter alia, the Lebensborn policy of the Nazis involved turning Norwegian women into breeders, with children fathered by SS and German soldiers. Kari, born in 1944, was one such baby.

The Nazis also snatched blond-haired, blue eyed children off streets in Eastern Europe for adoption by German families.

You can imagine the credits fading out and a title: Norway 1944, as a bunch of evil black-uniformed Nazis ship containers of babies off towards the Fatherland, by train or by truck or by ship. The beginnings of a Marvel movie, it seems, the first of a franchise, featuring the origins of a superhero? No! This actually happened.

Kari claims in the buke that the Lebensborn kids were regarded as unsalvageable human beings, the postwar Norwegian leaders of the time viewing any effort to raise them in Norwegian society as being akin to house-training cellar rats as pets. This is the sort of prejudice she would have had to face.

From an Irish perspective, however, Kari’s life over the last sixty years and more seems implausible for other reasons. 

What is striking while reading – alongside her hugely interesting family saga – is the incredibly progressive Scandinavian society in which she lived, until her move to Ireland some years ago:

1. Her first marriage fails after having their child.
2. She moves careers more than once in an era where people attempted to hold a job for life.
3. As impossible as it is for Kari until she reaches retirement age, finding any information on her background under Irish law would have been difficult, from what we hear of the struggles of adopted children in Ireland in the media.

There is little talk of financial difficulty, which may have been present while raising a child as a lone parent. 

But Kari's focus on story, rather than on the everyday struggles, is a testament to the strength of her narration and the power of her will. Doubtless she had these or similar issues just getting through things.

But her easy-going attitude – in spite of her claims to be a bit of a worry-wart, and while dogged by setback and occasional rough patch – is very Irish. 

But this is the third paragraph that I've started with but.

She is perhaps less restricted in chasing her story than she would have been in the Ireland of John Charles McQuaid. Not to detract from her efforts, or the uncertainty about her background, but we can be thankful that the story can be told at all. We can be grateful for a more progressive Scandinavia while contemporaneous Ireland dozed through the Swinging Sixties. We can be grateful too, to Kari Rosvall herself, in her courage over sharing her background, and her powerful story. 

We can draw lessons from it.

The book shows an under-reported aspect of National Socialism made manifest in the early 1940s. Kari's life-affirming achievements are a remarkable rejection of the very philosophy that brought her into existence.

Start on the first page and you certainly won't stop there. It's really strong and impressive writing.

You can follow Kari's co-writer, Naomi Linehan, on the Twitter. 

Buy the book on Amazon or in any good bookshop.

Crime fiction authors Arne Dahl and Sam Blake talk in Malahide

When he's writing about cops and murder, Jan Arnald's pseudonym is Arne Dahl. He's an award-winning writer and critic from Scanda-Sfaaden, in the mould of Jon Lesbo with the funny O, the erudite Herring Mackerel and the late great Stieg "Glen" "A" Larsson.

While his books are lauded, Dahl's adaptations are also "as seen on the BBC4", alongside The Bridge and The Tunnel and The Chunnel and Ken Branagh and the Italian fella, and whoever else. 

And he's coming to Ireland for a chat with crime fiction writer Sam Blake, aka Vanessa O'Loughlin. In the guise beyond her Sam Blake moniker, Vanessa is a literary scout at Inkwell Group, and is generally acknowledged as knowing her stuff when it comes to book edits, and cover letters to agencies, and everything else. She also has an incredible resource for all things authorly at her Writing.IE presence.

Who are the enablers of this Crime Fiction Banter Session? The Malahide-based Something Wicked, who are at it again with the brilliant events!

It all takes place
SUNDAY 13th September 2015
3pm, Graham Bell Suite, The Grand Hotel, Malahide
Tickets: €10.00 

Not only that, but the day before on Saturday 12th, Sylvester's Church hall in Malahide plays host to 9-y-os and over, and Mr Shane Hegarty who wrote this buke:
He'll be talking about how he creates characters in his fiction, and he'll perform a reading. Further details from the Something Wicked peeps, who are also on the Twitter.

Like, Google Maps, please give a little context...

This is the first map to pop up when you're looking for the Azores. I have no idea where it is in relation to the rest of the world. Google Maps, I know there's probably a button or an icon I can click, and within ten seconds I can see it's in the middle of the Atlantic, but, like, why do I have to even do that?

Couldn't you do a little thumbnail map alongside, and tiny red dot? Or a choice of two maps, each one taking up half the screen, one of the world or the region, and one, like, fully zoomed in? Like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like...[SPLUTTERS IN FRUSTRATION.]

Photos Emerge of the Tiger Shark Ben Affleck had An Affair With

Ongoing heartbreak for one of Hollywood's A-List couples, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, as their break-up remains in the spotlight.

Worse still, here are images of the tiger shark which Affleck (42) is rumored to have had the affair with.

Images of the shark - seen earlier on a private jet with Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady and the Oscar-winning actor-screenwriter - give the impression that the big fish was spoiled by Affleck.

"It seemed very well fed at the time of its capture," claimed a blogger.

Affleck denies the affair, saying that he and the shark were "just friends".
His now estranged wife, Jennifer Garner (Alias the beauty pageant contestant in Catch Me If You Can), 34-B, has not yet passed any comment on the most recent revelations.

With the inappropriate gossip now focused on the reason for the latest conscious uncoupling of two famous people, there's good reason to continue to fill column inches!

The six meter shark - recently caught and killed off the coast of New South Wales, Australia - was not fit to be interviewed.

Cat profiles with DELETED cursewords!

Everybody, meet the coolest cat
on the planet. This guy has a purr that sounds like a Maserati at a Stop sign. His constant cuteness is undermined by the time required to satisfy his need for attention. He's a diva and he knows it.
Bambam, or just Bam, is also mad as a bag of spanners. If you've read the previous post in our series, you're aware of his sister Alice. Alice suffers from a dose of the squirts on occasion. Bam's acknowledgement of his sister's irritable bowel manifests itself in consistent efforts to make her c**p herself through biting and grabbing of her flatulating ar**. 

An instance of same at one point resulted in Bambam's arrival into
the bathroom, having clearly had some kind of an altercation with his sister in which he came out worse for it, one side of his coat, from neck to tail, covered in liquid brown. Purring like a total ****pot, the throbbing ****-covered feline **** of a thing was expecting affection, and looked - for once in his life - like the attention-seeking psycho that he actually is.

Another way in which Bambam shows affection to Alice is by gripping her head in his claws and licking her forehead. He no longer limits this insistent affectionate activity to his fellow felines; once he realised that it was possible to perform the same act on humans, he started doing it.

He often refuses to release his grip, forcing the recipient of the affectionate abuse to strive to remain still until the painful grab-biting procedure is complete.

Maybe more cat profiles with redacted curse-words next time. Or maybe not!
More cat profiles here.
You can check out pics of these cats re-enacting a scene from Star Trek 2 here.

Cat profiles with cursewords DELETED!

Yes, it's more cat profiles with the cursewords deleted!

Now for a brother and sister team of nasty ****ing fraudsters who will come into your home all needy and diva-like and cuckoo ****ing bananas. They've already played guest-starring roles in this blog.

First up is Alice, or the Windy Sh**ty. Alice likes nothing more than to cause disgusting ****ing stinks. She enjoys the miasma of her own ***ty f*rts and insists on sharing same by jumping up onto any free lap with her grippy, grippy ****ing claws, and sinking them into your legs, an eye-wateringly mind-boggling **** of a stench rising up as she tries to rub her face in yours. Try going through the pain of those fine paw-nails gripping your thigh, inhaling sharply at the grip into your flesh, and then getting a blast of some of the most noxious flatulence you could ever hope to experience. Add that masochism to the bucket list!

She trusts her own judgment in her grippy treatment of your flesh, and is gentle enough with bare skin, but once any item of clothing - howsoever thin - is present on somebody from whom she wants some love, those talons are primed for abseiling. What she fails to trust her own judgement in, however, is her inability to shart.

Constant checks of her own a** aren't enough for her. They aren't enough for anyone living with her either, coz she can turn any litter tray nasty.

On one occasion, she cut the cheese while getting belly-rubbed, and her eyes opened wide as if to say "Uh-ohhh..." and she quickly stuck her nose into the offensive region to ensure it wasn't a Wet One.

She would appear to suffer from IBS, the little stinky **t**.

Due to her own less domineering, more moderate personality, she doesn't get as much attention as the mad ****er known as Bam Bam, her brother. You can read all about that crazy ****'s antics in the next edition of Cat profiles.

If you've missed an edition of Cat profiles with the Cursewords Deleted, simply send me €500 today.
Or you could read the last one here.

Ben Carson, Brain Surgery

Ben Carson looks like the most reasonable chap among the morons running for the Leader of the Dicks, so named after former Dick Head, Vice-President Cheney, in whose dark heart the real power lied.

This is only just going back about eight years previous.

But listen to what Ben has to say, and he seems the least worst of the morons. It's not brain surgery. Haha:
"We have weakened ourselves militarily...the sequester [reduction in military spending] is cutting the heart out of our personnel, our generals are retiring because they don't want to be part of this, and at the same time..."

"Our enemies are increasing and our friends can't trust us any more."

1. So stop bugging the German Chancellor's phone. Angle-a is already paranoid as beejeebers, having grown up behind the Ireddeddon Curtain, where you couldn't say boo to a doppel-gander* before being hauled away by the equivalent of the CIA or whatever.

2. End the Shoot First policy of the US Armed Forces. That's how innocent people, like Italian soldiers, nice Iraqi families, and Reuters news crews die. 

And it's actually terrible PR to see footage of asshole terrorists planting roadside IEDs and then being picked off from ten miles out in a splash of blood and guts on the heat sensitive cameras, the color draining away like a sustainable but gruesome Holi festival in a more Hinduistic region. Don't DO that.

You SPOT the terrorists through your night vision goggles, and you go down and you ARREST the mofos because you need to confirm that they're not burying the family rabbit, killed in a fit of pique by a studly, tattooed US Marine passing through the village, who'll be dealing with the PTSD decades from now. And you'd better pay for her counseling too, by the way. (Sidebar: Bush cut the VA budget just before he left office, forcing Obama to increase it again.)

So, it's not till the pubefaced hipsters shoot first that you can hammer them. And think twice before shooting people in the back, even when they're running away. 

It's extra trouble, but it's all in slightly better taste. Hearts and minds, hearts and minds. It does work. It's a LOT more difficult to gain employee trust after screwin' em over, for instance. Same diff.
Remember, you're not in Kansas any more. Use your indoor guns. 

3. When you DO arrest bold brats, don't rub them up the wrong way with an Alsatian's willy.

Then Mr Carson says:
"You know, Ukraine was a nuclear armed state. They gave away their nuclear arms with the understanding that we would protect them. We won't even give them offensive weapons."

Apparently the Ukraine was nuke-armed til '94 - when the British, under John Major The Grey, the US under BJ Clinton, and the Russian Federation of Planets under Drunk & Dancin' Boris Yeltsin - signed a deal guaranteeing the Ukraine's sovereignty.

Surely Russia is by far the biggest culprit out of all three parties. But you have your Monroe Doctrine, or whatever you'd call it now, and your half-century of troubles with Cuba.
Is Putin completely out of line in his foreign policy by comparison, despite the fact that he's a psychopath and doesn't care who knows it? If Putin sent weapons into Cuba, or encouraged more of the communismo, or did anything else Cuban, how would YOU feel about it? You are courting the Ukraine, encouraging pro-Western alliances and investment.  He does not like that.

And look what happened to Russia's economy because Reagan and Bush Sr weren't trusting enough of Mikhail or Boris to give more assistance in the Switcheroo to Democracy. It became a playground for oligarchs who are now bookmarked by Putin or added to his favorites, and that's not the same thing. The region around the Crimea is AT LEAST as corrupt as the United States. Putin's passed saving. What you gonna do? 

Send weapons, like the time when the weapons went to the Iraqis against Iran, and with the Afghanistan, with the weapons, against the Soviets? With the weapons? 

In less grey days...
How about diplomacy, with the reasoned and reasonable president you've had for the last seven years? Or just write busty Putin a letter, mansplaining things and undermining Obama's efforts?

"We turn our back on Israel, our ally." 

A hardliner like Netanyahu does not necessarily repurrazzent the entire Israeli state, even though he's leading their gurment, and he does. But just coz Nutty Bibi the Hardcase got an invite to all your Nutty Republican Hardcase GOP jamborees doesn't make him right in the head or anywhere else. See, Obama has enough problems dealing with assholes at home. Ahem. Nobody's abandoning Israel, despite their occupations. It's a secular utopia relative to some other places, for a start. So it'd be madness to deny them support entirely.

But post-Mackmood Armoured-Dinnerjacket, Iran's Wayne Rooney-led regime seems to be making an effort. Idiots have tried
Hassan Rouhani
to piss all over Obama's endeavors in returning the favor at diplomacy - something he had been working on, and something the Iranian government respected. Iranians are a nice progressive people on the ground, if you've seen them in the documentaries and you read the subtitles from the Farsi. So give pizza a chance, as the hungry people say. 

If you pronounce it right, you can turn it into pitta, and everyone has a bite to eat. It's not brain surgery! Haha!

*The word doppel-gander was coined by this man.

Dating Website Mistakes

Here is a list of dating website tips!


For Boys:

1.  Wake up and smell the coffee, gentlemen: Girls don't like toilet humor. They are, however, very fond of cupcakes.

2. Replace your profile photos with photos of cupcakes. Don't show off any guns, unless you are showing off guns. Not the guns from hunting. No game is fair game in dating photos.

3. Remember, girls are very nice! So, save your willy pics until you get to know the girl. Then, send willy pics until she complains that she has no mobile data remaining on her credit.

For Girls:

1. Ladies: Nobody wants to see photos of your cupcakes. Guys would, however, appreciate it if you showed off your cupcakes a little, in some of your pictures.

2. Images of elephants on the African savannah might show that you're well-travelled, but don't include them unless they show you fleeing a stampede, with your cupcakes jiggling. And don't shoot any lions.

So let's recap: 
Boys = Cupcake photos, no shot animals.
Girls = Cupcake photos, no shot animals.