danconnolly.co.uk

Song of the Sea

March 30, 2016

The most beautiful, magical, delightful film I’ve seen in a good while.

A country you think about so little…

March 10, 2016

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

March 18, 2015

aka When Irish Eyes Are Singing aka The Corinthian’s Irish cousin

(via Kottke)

’71

December 19, 2014

I missed this in October, I really hope it gets a wider release in the New Year.

Belief

November 7, 2014

Jon Stewart was asked about BuzzFeed and Vice the other day, and had this to say:

“I scroll around, but when I look at the internet, I feel the same as when I’m walking through Coney Island,” Stewart told New York magazine. “It’s like carnival barkers, and they all sit out there and go, ‘Come on in here and see a three-legged man!’ So you walk in and it’s a guy with a crutch.”

Buzzfeed responded:

…it suggests that Stewart, like many people in the media industry, confuses what we do with true clickbait. We have admittedly (and at times deliberately) not done a great job of explaining why we have always avoided clickbait at BuzzFeed

The article goes on to talk about how the curiosity gap, the origins of clickbait in television cliffhangers (‘find out after the break’), and defends Buzzfeed’s titles as explanatory rather than the vague clickbait found elsewhere online.

The top comment on the article is a single link: a search of Buzzfeed’s articles looking for the phrase “you won’t believe”. And the list is marvellous.

You won’t believe Snowdonia is in Wales, you won’t believe that two recent pop songs can be mashed up, you won’t believe that fashion can date, that raccoons climb trees, that vader is the Dutch word for father, that Ireland is green, that people can be afraid of things, that food doesn’t require meat to taste nice, that wrestlers wear silly costumes, that bodies of water can freeze in winter, and that lots of people used to watch Friends.

You could probably title it: “You won’t believe the things Buzzfeed thinks you won’t believe“.

Double Blind

April 26, 2010

The interrogation dragged on for hours. Fulton remained outwardly calm, and denied everything. Inwardly, though, he felt sick. He’d been spying on the IRA for a decade and a half, and he knew that if Scap broke him—if he admitted anything—he’d be a dead man—own a hole,” in IRA slang.

So throughout the interrogation, Fulton sat stone-faced, blindfolded, and facing the wall. Double blind. He held tight to his secret: yes, he was a British spy.

But then, so was his interrogator.

Found via Kottke, Longform.org is collecting great pieces of long form journalism. This is taken from an article about British counter-insurgency in Northern Ireland during the Troubles that makes for an interesting read.

By early 1993, Fulton and his team of bombers had found something less clumsy than wires to use in bomb and rocket detonation. They rigged bombs with photo sensors, which they triggered by popping off camera flashes. The results were lethal. Trouble was, other lights—bright headlights, or a tourist’s disposable photo flash—could set off a bomb prematurely.

British intelligence services, in an effort to control IRA techniques through collaboration, secretly passed along a solution for the problem: a new technology—the infrared flash—that could be acquired only in America. Fulton’s handlers offered to facilitate an undercover IRA shopping mission to New York, and an MI5 officer flew across the Atlantic on the Concorde to make arrangements with American services in advance of Fulton’s arrival. “This was a terrorist organization operating in the United States,” Fulton told me, and it required cooperation. “It was a pretty big thing.”

Fulton traveled to New York with several thousand dollars, met secretly with his handlers, arranged the purchase, and returned to Northern Ireland, ready to create a deadly new weapon. The IRA embraced the innovation, and it worked so well that other terrorist groups soon took notice and adapted the infrared photo-sensor bomb to their own wars. Today, Iraqi insurgents wield it against British and American troops in Iraq