Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Obituary: Pue S. Occurrences, 2009-2012

9 January 2012
Died January 2012.  A dedicated follower of Irish history and culture, and voluminous writer on many useful and arcane subjects, Pue died at his country estate ‘WordPress’ in the early hours of the morning.  The cause of his death was unclear, but friends and relatives had recently begun to notice that Pue had been gripped by a general fatigue and malaise.  They had a tendency to suggest that this too would pass, but Pue himself was less certain.  To his closest friends he confided a deepening sense of doubt in his daily purpose.  Such doubts had previously spurred active phases of writing and philosophizing but now Pue was often to be heard muttering darkly of evaluation reports, peer review and the employment market.  Even as his health declined he continued to compile statistical tables of outputs which he believed could prove that his country had fallen victim to a false economy of knowledge.  It seemed that his worldly cares could not be ameliorated through creativity and that his writing, too, had become one of his daily burdens.  He feared disappointing his avid readers but alas he could go on no longer.  Pue’s many friends and acquaintances may be cheered by the fact of his conversion to the idea of reincarnation during his dying days when he was often heard to murmur ‘Perhaps I shall return as a curlew’ and a smile would pass his lips.

Happy Christmas from all at Pue’s

19 December 2011

Happy Christmas from all at Pue’s. Thanks for reading and supporting the blog over the last year. We are taking a break for Chrsitmas and will be back posting on 9th of January. The above card comes from the State Library of Queensland and is undated.

Juliana, Kevin, Lisa and Tina.

Winner of competition to win a copy of T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin (ed), The Course of Irish History, 2011

16 December 2011

On Monday we ran a competition to give a way a Mericer Press book. We had a fantastic response and. I am pleased to announces that the winner chosen out of the hat was Michael Seery who submitted his entry by twitter. If Michael can email us at Pue’s we will arrange to have his book sent to him. Congratulations Michael! Many thanks to everyone who entered and to Mercier who supplied the book.


Pue’s Christmas book competition

12 December 2011

Just in case you’re not getting enough books for Christmas this year we thought we would sort out one more for you! This year Mercier Press reprinted The Course of Irish History, ed. T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin (1967; Cork: Mercier Press, 2011) with an added chapter by Dermot Keogh. Thanks to the kind people at Mercier Press we have a copy to give away to one lucky reader. There are three ways that you can enter our competition. Share this link on you facebook page, re-tweet this blog tweet or email us with your name and address (puesoccurrences [AT] The competition closes on Thursday at 5.00 pm and we will announce the winner on Friday with a post.

The world’s oldest camera

9 December 2011

By Lisa Griffith

In the last few years I have had a growing interest in photography and working in the national Print Museum has made me think a bit more about the machines that create the historical documents we most use. I used to tell my students at Carlow College that historians are quite unimaginative with their sources- the majority of what we use is the printed or written word, with a smattering of images, and how much can this really tell us about life in the period we are living. I know this can’t be universally applied but often I think as historians we can be quite boring in our sources particularly when we are in a class room. We bombard students with words and often in between they get a few nice pictures or even a political cartoon.

How often can we present them with a description of, for instance, eighteenth-century-dental problems to explain how rudimentary a science it was and that when people had toothaches they were more often than not treated incorrectly which led to all sorts of pain and all sorts of bad moods and knock on effects. Surely something like dentistry was as important to people’s lives then as it is now?

I will have to admit that I did not really engage with medical history when it emerged a few years ago, so I am probably just way behind the curve on this but I have started to think a bit about the processes of change in institutions and practices that are every day to us as well as some and scientific and technical developments (like the camera) to think how they shaped the sources they produced as well as the people who used them. The above image is supposedly of the world’s oldest camera (as well as some random thoughts for a Friday).

5 things I have learned at the National Print Museum

7 December 2011

By Lisa Griffith

I have just started a new job teaching Culture and Heritage Studies at the National Print Museum which is located in Beggar’s Bush Barracks on Haddington Road. I  have never worked at a museum before and it’s quite exciting to be able to integrate teaching into a museum but also to be able to practically teach students about printing while looking at the machines that produced such wonderful texts. I have a research interest in print culture, particularly the King’s Printer in the eighteenth century, but I had not thought too extensively about the machines themselves before coming to the museum. Here are five things that I have learned in my first four weeks about the museum and printing that I thought I would share with you.

1. Gutenberg’s press used the same idea and technology as a wine-press. Moveable type was not the wholly genius part to his creation. He used the model of the screw-type wine-press of the Rhine region to press the paper onto the inked up type. Perhaps we should all be drinking more wine in honour of this? We do not know exactly what Gutenburg’s first press looked like or even his exact method as there were constant alterations and improvements made to the process but the wine press idea was there from the start.

2. The next major innovation in the setting of type did not come along until over four hundred years later with the invention of the Linotype machine in 1884. Read more

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers! I couldn’t resist a little turkey-related cartoon….  Tina

Halloween Thrills

26 October 2011

By Christina Morin

With Halloween fast approaching and in keeping with this week’s ‘Top 5’ theme, I thought I might share a few of my favourite thrillers in case you want to scare yourself this weekend. These are my picks for a fantastic fright night, in no particular order:

1. Jaws (1975) – I’ve written before about Jaws and my use of it as a tool in explaining the Burkean sublime. This year, I showed the clip to a 2nd year class and was somewhat dismayed to discover that more than half of the class hadn’t seen the film. I guess I’m showing my age and will have to find something a little bit more au courant in future, but I still claim Jaws as a firm favourite and one definitely worth including in any horror fest.

2. Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1969) – I only watched this for the first time a few weekends ago and really enjoyed it! Bette Davis looks decidedly haggard, but that just adds to the creepiness of the whole thing. Both she and Olivia de Havilland are alternately heart-wrenchingly and hair-raisingly good. Yes, the special effects sometimes leave a little to be desired by twenty-first century standards, but, in many ways, that doesn’t matter much, given that this is very much a psychological thriller, along the lines of my next recommendation… Read more

Top 5ish: History board games

24 October 2011

By Juliana Adelman and Martin Fanning

First, I (Juliana) should confess that I have never played any of the games I am going to discuss.  Instead, I have garnered all the information below from Martin and a great website called Board Game Geek.  I think relatively few girls are drawn into the world of war games and pretty much all historical board games are war games of one kind or another.  This weekend we had some friends over for the night and we pulled out one of my favorite board games (Ricochet Robots, it’s kind of a math puzzle game, yes I am a nerd).  The problem with Ricochet Robots is that it’s really hard and you have to think silently for each round.  This means it’s not a great party game.  But it did remind us that playing board games is good fun and it got me thinking about history board games.  So, after having picked Martin’s brain for childhood memories I came up with this brief list that you may or may not have played.  I’d be really interested if anyone knows of any other Irish-history related board games than the one (Army of Ireland) I have listed below.  If there’s no 1916/1798 board game I plan to make one and retire on the proceeds…In the meantime I am bidding on ebay for some of the following and I have Christmas break all planned out! Read more

Traditional Halloween Barmbrack

18 October 2011

By Lisa Marie Griffith

I am spending this Halloween with my family and nieces in Cork and wanted to resurrect one of my favourite Halloween traditions-the Barmbrack. For the non-Irish the Barmbrack, or tea brack, is traditionally consumed on Halloween with a number of items hidden in the cake which reveal the fortune of those who consume it. According to Darina Allen (in Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course) ‘Barm’ comes from an old English word ‘Beorma’ which means yeasted or fermented liquor and ‘brack’ is the Irish for ‘speckled’. Growing up in Ireland in the 80s I did not consume the traditional home-made Barmbrack- the shop bought was always more highly prized than the home-made and so like many homes we sat around a shop bought brack that was inferior in a number of ways. Only one item, the ring, was ever included and this item was meant to symbolise that the person would marry shortly. Like the free toy in a cereal box all four of us kids fought for it (although I am sure none of us had any interest in getting married at that point)!

Despite, or perhaps because of this, I wanted to try to introduce my nieces to the traditional and proper Irish concept of the Barmbrack and I thought I would share my brack findings with you. The Barmbrack is essentially a simple fruit bread, but traditionally the dried fruit is soaked overnight in tea to give it an added flavour. There are a number of different items which are included and which I am sure varied widely. Read more