Archive for January, 2016

Fight for Rhinos.

Fight for Rhinos

Rampant corruption, low employment and high poverty are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding South Africa, the primary home of Earth’s last rhinos. Add to that a high Asian demand for their horns, and it equates to the perfect storm for their demise.

South Africa has lost approximately 1600 black and white rhinos in 2015 (unconfirmed by the government at this point). With poaching spreading like a plague, the death toll has risen dramatically each year, with this year topping all previous ones.

DEA poach statsIn a world where an animal’s horn is worth more than cocaine or gold, the solution to their survival is not an easy one. The answer is a multi-faceted effort of anti-poaching strategies to combat the “here and now”, legal change to make the consequence more dire than the greed, and education and awareness to secure the future.

For our group here in the United States, we support those…

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On the Efficacy of Mess

I’m always in complete chaos!

Nick Earls

It only took five years, but I recently worked out that my personal Facebook page didn’t have a cover photo. What could I put up there, I wondered, that might represent me fairly? Then I remembered this pic, taken at the end of a longish book tour:

shed in usual disarray

It’s not how my office looks all the time, but it is how it looked that day – no styling involved – and I have to admit that tidy’s not my thing. Tidy, in this room, happens about once every two years when the junk load gets too much for even me to bear, and I devote a solid day to (sort of) fixing it, digging down through strata of junk until I hit, say, the fully loaded 1993 Bart Simpson Pez dispenser (Pez all crystalline and fused together …) or the two $2 notes I’m holding for two friends in connection with…

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Yes, I’ll be buying it for my grandies…

Film Mafia

IMG_2264Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

***1/2 (out of five)

Extremely respectful to the vision of Charles M. Schulz, The Peanuts Movie will probably seem like some ancient text to modern kids. But their parents can wallow in nostalgic metaphysical ennui (as the strip always seemed to encourage); even the music of the fifty-year-old television specials is used. There’s a plot – The Little Red-Haired Girl arrives in town and Charlie Brown tries to impress her – but the whole thing is way more existential than that. Just like the strip. The film is the first, and supposedly only to be ever, endorsed by Schulz’s son Craig who administers the intellectual property empire: there will be, according to Craig, no sequel (and Craig and his son Bryan wrote the screenplay here). There doesn’t need to be. Schulz’s genius will live in B&W 2D forever, and this charming film will…

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Love this…

‘A Nation of Chancers’ – and amazed at how many places I have actually visited.


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #LoveIreland  #VisitingIreland

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Feast of Saint Valentine

You totally inspired me today, Rich!

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@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #JamesSmith15  #AmazingTalent   #Britain’sGotTalent  #FantasticSounds


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Oscars 2015: Whiplash

I can’t believe I missed this posting! And yes, it won Oscars, Golden Globe, BAFTA’s – in fact anything worth winning – but I still haven’t seen it!

The Fluff Is Raging

The Film:Whiplash

What’s It About? Andrew is a 19-year-old music conservatory student who is determined to become a great jazz drummer. His talent and fierce passion draw the attention of the school’s most intimidating teacher, Terence Fletcher, who believes that students excel not through praise and encouragement, but through relentless humiliation and fear.

Number of Oscar Nominations? 5

Will It Win?  J.K. Simmons is a dead cert to take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his ferocious performance as tyrannical music teacher Terence Fletcher. Unless he throws a chair at Ed Norton or slaps Robert Duvall in the face, he can be assured that future trailers for films he is in will bill him as “Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons”. Simmons’s win might be the only Oscar that Whiplash wins. In the Best Picture category it faces fierce competition from another movie about creativity, Birdman, which…

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