How long can you hold your breath?

I used to be able to swim well. At a stretch I could do 50*25m lengths of a pool in about an hour. I’d be wrecked after it for days on end, but I did it. And at the time I managed to hold my breath and swim the whole length of the pool underwater. Those pesky kids at the top of the pool were always a frustrating obstacle when the air is running out ..

That all pales in comparison to the achievements of British freediver Sara Campbell who can hold her breath underwater for 4min 30sec. She recently set a world record in the disciple of, “constant weight” freediving when she dived to 90m (295ft) on one breath.

There is a risk of blackout and burst eardrums and the lungs compress to the size of a clenched fist, but deep down at 90 metres – where no other woman swimming with just a monofin for propulsion has gone before – the Red Sea looks golden to Sara Campbell.


Luciano Pavarotti has sung his last

Luciano Pavarotti died in the early morning of September 6, 2007 at home surrounded by his wife and four daughters.

I got a bit of a shock this morning looking through my feeds when I saw Pat’s post that Pavarotti died. The Wikipedia page on him has already been updated with more details. A sad day for his family, friends, fans and the music world.


News from the beaches of Cork

Following the news that €105m worth of cocaine was recovered from the waters off West Cork over the last 2 days it appears that some people have been down to the beaches helping Gardai with their investigation..


Thanks Derek for the image, anyone know where it came from originally?

Whither the outcry?

Bombs were defused and a disaster avoided in London and Glasgow yet I hardly hear a word of it online. Strange. The terrorists must be Apple users who knew that everyone would be talking about the iPhone.

Mark reminds us it wasn’t the police who noticed the bomb outside the nightclub in London. I read somewhere that paramedics were attending to a young man who had fallen outside the club when they spotted the suspicious packages in the car. If they hadn’t been there how many people would now be dead? Hugh points towards this post showing the nonsensical imbalance of news reporting.

I guess if it doesn’t happen in your own backyard then it doesn’t happen at all.

I voted today in the Irish election

Thanks Celine for taking care of Adam while we went and voted! I can’t remember who I gave all my votes to but the first two went to:

  • John McCarthy, an independent standing on health issues, including mental health. (yes, that is a pony tail!)
  • Noel O’Flynn, a Fianna Fail politician. He helped us a few weeks ago, although in hindsight there was little he could do. I’ll be blogging about that once an appeal is done.

I didn’t vote for the Worker’s Party, Socialist Party (same thing?), Sinn Fein or the Greens.

Around the Irish blogosphere:

  • Mel listed who he voted for.
  • Claire voted for the first time.
  • The Swearing Lady ponders the paradox that the Irish government wanted Sinn Fein to be part of the administration in the North, but nobody will touch them with a barge pole down south.
  • Adam thinks Rock the Vote was a complete failure. As I only became aware of that movement through blogs talking about it and taking the piss out of it I’d have to agree.
  • More coverage from, Irish Election, and of course Damien has plenty to say on the election. I rather enjoyed the grey tigers video he posted!

Take a hint Mary Harney!

I’ve previously written at length about Mary Harney and my distaste for what she’s doing to the health service in Ireland so this image posted to Blogorrah made me smile.


There’s a general election on May 24th but I thought Harney would be retiring after her disgraceful stint as Minister for Health. It came as a shock that she’s actually standing in the election!

To see more of Mary Harney be sure to check out the cartoons on Langerland!

One giant leap for starman Hawking


The Sunday Times reports that Steven Hawking is going to take a trip in the “Vomet Comet” to experience up to 25 seconds of weightlessness!

I think that is simply the most wonderful thing that could happen to a man who has studied gravity and physics all his life. He has also been offered a free place on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft and apparently he has been, “smiling a lot this week”, and I look forward to hearing how he got on.

Hawking, 65, will be lifted out of his wheelchair so that he can enjoy zero gravity when the plane takes off from the shuttle landing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Meanwhile, I wonder what Ryanair would do if they ran spaceflights? They’d certainly place a surcharge on any extra weight, but at the prices required to lift 1KG of weight they better not overesitimate the weight

Update! I found a photo of his weightless experience here!