VE Day – 70 Years On And Europe Is Still Fighting A Tyrant

Today is the 70th anniversary of VE day. Better people went before us and fought for our liberties and freedoms. They fought so that we can live a life that is free and that I could retain the right to write these words without repercussions. Sadly, if I was Russian, then I could very well end up in jail because a repressive dictatorial imp troll, know to the world as Vladimir Putin, has continued to erode the freedoms that generations who have gone before him fought to resurrect.

The image below is of a Ukrainian soldier captured in Shakhtersk, just outside of Donetsk. It won 3rd prize in the POY awards and it serves as a stark reminder that war has once again cast its shadow across Europe.

For most Europeans watching the evening news, it would appear that the war in Eastern Ukraine has finally ended, a result of the diplomatic efforts of Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande. That belief however is a fallacy. The war and human tragedy has continued unabated in Ukraine. Families have been torn apart, both literally and ideologically. And all this is happening with the backdrop of Russian ultra-nationalism, what with leather clad bikers making provocative statements by their insistence on driving through Europe to give a two-fingered salute to Germany and Europe, or rhetoric from Putin’s Kremlin that the Soviet army defeated Nazi Germany single-handedly, or the almost hysterical fervour that the Kremlin and their journalistic-apparatchik have attached to the planned parade through Moscow on May 9th.

No doubt Putin will take pride of place upon at the podium on Red Square, atop the tomb of Lenin, and once again bask in the glow of his sycophantic followers – a combination of corrupt Oligarchy and their families, and the ordinary Russian who is either naive and believes every word from the Kremlin media instruments used to fill the airwaves and newspaper columns with lies and propaganda, or who are too lazy to actually to question these lies and stand up to a dictatorship that is hell-bent on returning Russia to an era where its citizens are not to be trusted and who have to be controlled, lest they form their own opinions and become a problem or threat for the regime .

Whilst Russians are slobbering over themselves and their nationalistic pride over the defeat of Nazi Germany, they continue to carry out atrocities on their “so-called” brothers in Ukraine. These orange/black ribbon wearing Russian scum make me sick. As do ordinary Russians who refuse to do anything to remove the monster that is Putin, for fear that they lose everything. God forbid they lose their flash cars, their gold gilded mansions or their ability to vacation in Europe thrice yearly (a region that they enjoy spending time in, but whose values they detest…..odd that).

Unless ordinary Russians stand up to Putin and his dictatorship, then they deserve their lot in life. Thankfully, Ukraine is fighting to resurrect law and order and freedoms of press and free speech. It’ll take a while to mend the many wrongs inflicted during the Soviet era, but they are a resilient nation and are determined to join the reset of civilised Europe.

For all I care, Russia can rot in hell.

Slava Ukraine and I pray for the millions of lost lives who fought for the liberty I enjoy today.

Ukrainian Soldier Shakhtersk - Andrey Stenin

Bad Ass Barefoot Skiing

Vooray_1 Vooray_2 Vooray_3I don’t know if I’m more impressed with the barefoot skiing, the open cockpit float-plane pulling the barefoot skier, or the pretty girls in the boat admiring the barefoot skier, but this is a really cool video, promoting outdoor clothing company, Vooray’s collection.

Admittedly, it’s from last year. Which means two things…1. I am most DEFINITELY not a “hipster” who is up on all the latest trends, and 2. I am now starting to really show my age 🙁

That being said, the skills shown-off here are nothing short of amazing. I’m especially intrigued as to how the guy was doing push-ups ON THE WATER! I can barely do ONE on the relatively solid structure of my gym’s floor. This bloke was doing it on the water whilst being dragged at a hundred miles an hour across the lake.

But, as a pilot myself, the star of the show has to be that wee float-plane. My friend Ouen once shared the details behind the plane, which is a home-built job, and we’ve harboured a dream of each owning one and taking them on long summer cross-country flights across the bush with the wind literally in our hair. Some day Ouen…..some day 🙂

Meanwhile In Russia – Parachute Lands You!

This interesting video shows a Russian paratrooper getting taken for a ride by his round parachute. Unlike “square” parachutes, which have brake lines that can deflate the out cells of the canopy, thus making them controllable, the older “round” parachutes have much less control. When you have a slight gust of wind, you can quite literally, be lifted back into the air and slammed back down again with tremendous force.

When I did my training back in Ireland, even though we jumped with square canopies, we were still taught how to do a PLF, or “Parachute Landing Fall”. Essentially you put your legs together, bend your knees and roll when you land. This was the idea in case you flared the canopy too high and hit the ground harder than planned. With a round canopy, there is no real ability to flare, if at all, and so the PLF is the de-rigour way of landing when jumping under these ‘chutes.

But even though the soldier tries to land, the winds gusting upwards, in what looks a little like a micro-burst, literally lift him up off his feet as it catches the canopy and flies him through the air in an almost Mary Poppins-esque dance through the sky, much to the glee of his fellow soldiers happily chuckling in the background. Even his attempts to try and anchor himself proved fruitless as he was dragged for a few hundred metres through the dirt.

As they say, “In Putin’s Russia, parachute lands you!”

Russian Parachute Fail

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s Paddy’s Day today, so I want to wish all my readers a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day, or as Gaeilge, “Lá Shona Fhéile Pádraig duit”.

For all your American’s out there who want to get in on the act and proclaim to everyone how Irish you are, even if your ancestors are really Scandinavian Poles or something else equally Irish, please make sure you DO NOT wish everyone a Happy St. Patty’s Day. This serves to further highlight to the rest of the Irish community, and the world in fact, that you’re a fucking moron, and you’re about as Irish as sushi covered pizza!

Given that this is the day that everyone on the planet is “Irish”, I thought it would be fun to remind us of all the things that make an Irishman who he is. So let’s begin.

IRELAND  – It’s the only place where……..

  • When you were young, you went to bed when Glenroe was over.
  • If you die from alcohol poisoning, you’re considered a lightweight.
  • ‘Fuck off’ means ‘Are you serious?’
  • The person that you insult most is probably your best friend.
  • Saying ‘I will, yeah’ means that you definitely won’t
  • ‘Fuck it, sure it’s grand’ means that you couldn’t be bothered your arse to finish it properly.
  • ‘He’s fond of a drink’ means he suffers from severe life-threatening alcoholism.
  • Saying you’re going for ‘a drink’ means you might not be seen again for 3 days
  • Saying ‘I’m grand’ doesn’t mean you have delusions of grandeur, rather, it means you’re fine/OK.
  • Crisps are called ‘Taytos’ and fizzy drinks are called ‘minerals’.
  • ‘For the craic’ is the best reason or excuse for doing anything, ever.
  • The best cure for a hangover is more drink.
  • The second best cure for a hangover is a full Irish breakfast with rashers, sausages and both black AND white pudding.
  • A rasher is what the rest of the world calls “bacon”.
  • Nobody can go a day without saying ‘Jaysus’.
  • ‘Meeting’ has a double meaning (see the 7th point above).
  • Tea is the solution to every problem.
  • And water is the solution to every GAA injury on the field.
  • ‘I got stuck behind a tractor’ is a perfectly valid reason for being late.
  • We eat Tayto sambos for lunch, and ham sandwiches on the way to Croke Park.
  • You can insert the name of a gardening tool into any sentence and it still makes sense, e.g. ‘I had a rake of drink last night’ or ‘I’ll be out in a minute, I’m just shovelling down me dinner’.
  • GAA is considered religion.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to swig from hip flask during a Rugby match.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to call your mother ‘mammy’ even though you are a fully grown adult.
  • Saying ‘Now we’re sucking diesel’ means that you are happy with the outcome of the situation.
  • Drinking ‘tae’ is everyone’s favourite past time.
  • You’re scared of the wooden spoon.
  • The word ‘like’ goes in every sentence.
  • You can say ‘Any craic’ to a police officer and you won’t get arrested.
  • You never need to study for exams because your Granny lit a candle for you.
  • You thank bus drivers.
  • If you’re not drinking, then you must be on antibiotics.
  • Flat 7UP and/or Lucozade can cure any illness.
  • The first phrase in a new language most Irish children learn when they start school is “An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas”, which is basically asking for permission to go to the toilet.
  • Mothers would usually spout of wisdoms such as ‘If you fall off that wall and break both your legs, don’t come running to me’, or ‘Laughing turns to crying’.

Enjoy your pint, wee glass or your drop of the cratur and celebrate your inner Irishness today.

shamrock-1

New Apple MacBook – No USB Ports

Giggles MemeMove over Hitler, there’s a new meme in town, and his rants will have you wetting yourself with laughter. Hot on the tails of the latest Apple Fanboy’s wet dream, the newest edition of the MacBook Air – whose main features include even more thinness (this is getting ridiculous now) and a distinct lack of USB ports (because of this über-thinness) – is this newest addition to the “rant” meme which features Spanish comedian Juan Joya Borja. Known in his native Spain as El Risitas, or “The Giggles”, for his distinctive laugh and long rambling tales, the video adopts the same style as the Hitler rants, where the voice is sub-titled with a funny, made-up story.

In this case, it’s a story about how Sir Jony Ive showed off the latest test model of the MacBook to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, before it was completed. Cook, loving the sleekness and the lack of USB ports hurries it into production and the rest is history.

Shoulders shaking and wiping tears from his eyes, with his thick moustache and screeching laughter, Borja straightens up and slaps a table. “Wait! It gets better!” he cries. “It was so thin the battery wouldn’t fit inside! That’s all our customers need! I got promoted!”

The Hitler Rants, based on the movie Downfall, have become ubiquitous and have derived cult status on the internet. There’s barely a subject or celebrity that hasn’t been referred to or the subject of a Hitler rant. But it looks like there’s a new guy in town.

Art On The Palm Of His Hand

Milano artist, Guido Daniele, is fast becoming world-renowned for his remarkable and stunning artistic animal recreations that ubiquitously known as ‘handimals’.

Daniele, a graduate from Brera School of Arts where he majored in sculpture, began his developing this particular art-form when he took on work as a hyper-realistic illustrator for a number of advertising agencies. This, he says, gave him the freedom he needed to practice and explore new painting techniques.

Since 1986 Daniele focused more on airbrush art, which gives more depth to the creations, and an ability to mix the palette and colours on the skin more evenly or thicker, whichever is called for.

The germination of the seed for Daniele’s ‘handimals’ began in 1990 when he began to experiment with body art, which involved body painting for advertisements, fashion shows and exhibitions. To see more of his creations, visit his website here.

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They Need To Shit Just Like The Rest Of Us

It’s an oft use turn of phrase in Ireland – ‘He shits just like the rest of us’ – meaning that the person in question is no better or worse than the average Joe, and is equally human, with their own misgivings, failures and biological needs, just like the rest of us.

But Italian artist Cristina Guggeri has helped to visualise in her art what some people may have been fomenting in their minds-eye what their world leader might look like when sitting on the “throne”, by conjuring up vivid illustrations of the world’s power elite.

Given that today’s world leaders have a plethora of decisions to reflect upon, making judgements and decisions that could affect the population for decades to come, and that there are only so many hours in the day, combined with their biological human needs, it’s very realistic to believe that some of these images are as close to reality as we shall ever see.

Guggeri set out to remind the rest of us with her series of images called Il Dovere Quotidiano, or “The Daily Duty,” which humanizes some of the world’s most famous leaders by imagining what they might look like when answering the call of nature.

Some of these can be “unseen”, but I really like this tongue-in-cheek humour.

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