What are we teaching our kids?

Welcome_Back_to_school

Recently, I attended a discussion evening on the millennium development goal: ‘Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.’ Continue reading “What are we teaching our kids?”

The lesson of unintended consequences

This week we have been treated to a lesson in unintended consequences.

I’m talking about Iraq.

It was somewhat disconcerting to hear a commentator, who had been both a commander on the ground in Iraq and a diplomat in Afghanistan, expressing concern that the uprising in Iraq had the potential for creating a safe haven for international terrorists. Continue reading “The lesson of unintended consequences”

Time to rethink the war on drugs

The so-called ‘war on drugs’ was kicked off by the Nixon administration in 1971, with the intention of discouraging the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs.

The USA is not the only country actively engaged in the war. It’s become an obsession of the West.

Each year billions of dollars are spent on law enforcement and military activities in the name of defeating the drug lords.

Continue reading “Time to rethink the war on drugs”

Birthdays

Birthdays – the more you have of them, the longer you live!

AriesI had one this week and found myself wondering why we celebrate birthdays.

What is so special about remembering the day you were born?

Perhaps we’re just obsessed with counting the number of orbits we make around the sun. Continue reading “Birthdays”

The importance of context

One thing writers do a lot is read. I write crime novels but I don’t limit my reading to that genre. This week I finished the first draft of The Holiday, the second Inspector West novel, and rewarded myself by rereading The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo.

This is one of those ‘wake up call’ books that challenges the way we look at the world, especially in the arena of foreign affairs, that the ‘High King’ and his advisors should have on their reading list – even though it was published in 2009. Continue reading “The importance of context”

The Office of High King

I’ve been in New York for the last couple of months working on my next book, listening to public radio and reading the occasional edition of the New York Times.

America is an interesting place, and the commentary on things going on in the political sphere got me thinking about another time and place: Ireland, ‘the land of the kings’, in the times of Brian Boru, who is regarded as the last High King of Ireland. Continue reading “The Office of High King”

Time travelling

The other night I was browsing the topics being discussed in the ‘Philosophy of the mind’ community on Google+ and joined in a conversation on whether we’d ever be able to build a super computer for time travel. The next morning James Altucher’s newsletter was on time travel.

Why is it that some of us seem to be obsessed with the idea of time travel, wanting to either go back in time or catapult ourselves into the future? And, why do we think we need a machine to do it? Continue reading “Time travelling”

Opinions – we all have them.

There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, as long as you understand that it’s just how you see it. The danger with opinions arises when you think your’s is the truth or when you believe someone else’s is the truth or holds more value than your own.

When you mistake your opinion for the truth you are closing your mind to other possibilities. Continue reading “Opinions – we all have them.”

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a lot of fun. It allows you the opportunity to give your friend/lover/spouse a cheeky card and an extravagant or ridiculous gift – depending on your sense of humour.

It’s a moment to pause and remind yourself why you have or want that special person in your life. It’s also an opportunity to say those magic words: ‘I love you.’ Continue reading “Valentine’s Day”

The power of words

This week I spotted a book on a friend’s bookshelf, not one of those online bookshelves like on GoodReads but one with actual books on it. The book was: Crones don’t whine by Jean Shinoda Bolen.

Reading the book reminded me of the first time I had come across the term ‘crone’. It was when I was doing some Celtic Studies and learnt about the three faces of the feminine: the maiden, the mother and the crone.Those three faces also reflect the three obvious phases of growth: youth, maturity and old age. Continue reading “The power of words”