The diver who has spent more time than any other at the wreck of the RMS Titanic, Paul Henri Nargeolet, tellsabout the joys and controversies of his work, as he prepares to host a talk about his work in Cork, where his family lives.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lightning kills about 24,000 people worldwide each year. Apocalyptic thunderstorms occur when the gods were angry, or so it was thought; only during them do we mortals perceive electricity directly. Some fish, however, have no such difficulty; they not only sense the mysterious energy, but use it to locate prey.
Among Ireland’s renowned explorers, of whom there are many, one name stands out. Shackleton and Crean (Antarctic voyages), Robert O’Hara Burke (first to cross the Australian Outback) and many others achieved monumental feats of discovery but it is the figure of the fifth century St Brendan who is the true torchbearer for Irish adventure.
Next Tuesday marks the origins of an American conspiracy to depict Éamon de Valera and his government as morally indifferent to the outcome of the Second World War. Historian and authorargues that false claims about neutrality have produced possibly the greatest distortion of Irish history since independence.
From studies of history and geology, it is clear that what we now call Ireland experienced cycles of climate change. We have rocks that formed under tropical seas and others formed in hot deserts. We are not a million years away from what we call the Ice Age. Most of our present-day soils were formed from rock debris laid down during and after that period. Over the last 2,000 years, there have been warm periods and mini ice ages.
Up to 20,000 Cory’s Shearwaters, oceanic birds with 1.25m wingspans, were breed on the Selvagem Islands, 280 km south of Madeira. Big, meaty birds, the squabs were traditionally harvested and salted for food. Monks on Skellig Michael similarly harvested gannet squabs from Small Skellig, writes Damien Enright