Great site

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I am from N,Ireland i have always been interested in my familly history i heard about your site and its good to see the currans coming together from all over the world.

Summertime Treat

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Here's a pretty damned simple ice-cream recipe: combine ingredients in a baggie. Fill a bigger baggie with ice, salt and the baggie of ingredients. Shake for five minutes. Ice cream. Who knew?

1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully.
4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 5 minutes.
5. Wipe off top of small bag, then open carefully and enjoy!

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From Boing Boing:Mathematics of botanical beauty

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David Pescovitz: Researchers are beginning to understand why some plants have beautiful repeating spiral patterns to their structures that incorporate the so-called golden angle (approx 137.5 degrees). Math buffs, artists, and mystics will appreciate that the golden angle is related to the golden ratio, also known as the "divine proportion," that frequently appears in aesthetically-pleasing forms. From Science News (photo by Scott Hotton): Articles 20070505 F8430 1261 Plants with spiral patterns related to the golden angle also display another curious mathematical property. The seeds of a flower head form interlocking spirals in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. The number of clockwise spirals differs from the number of counterclockwise spirals, and these two numbers are called the plant's parastichy numbers (pronounced pi-RAS-tik-ee or PEHR-us-tik-ee).

These numbers have a remarkable consistency. They are almost always two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, which are another one of nature's mathematical favorites. The Fibonacci numbers form the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 . . . , in which each number is the sum of the previous two...

Initially, researchers thought these patterns might provide an evolutionary advantage by somehow promoting plants' survival. But more recently, they have come to believe that the answer lies in the biochemistry of plants as they develop new leaves, flowers, or other structures.


Curran FAQ

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I have created an FAQ section of the website. I will be parsing all of the existing posts to extricate as much as I can, but if you have more to add, post a comment here or drop me an e-line at this address

The cost of freedom

What is the cost of freedom? Perhaps John Philpot Curran said it best:

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.
-John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790. (Speeches. Dublin, 1808.)

Since 9/11, this has run around the periphery of my conscience, I knew this quote and had forgotten it. I stumbled across it today while googling something completely unrelated. Eternal Vigilance. Every moral human's duty. Don't look away, don't stand for oppression of the weak of mind or body. An eternal burden.

Freedom of Speech and Association

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In 1954 journalist Edward R. Murrow phrased a warning to an earlier generation, at a time when politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral."

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

1956 time-capsule letter to the future

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Walt Disney's 1956 time-capsule letter to the future From Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing: The Disney company has unearthed a 1956 time-capsule containing a letter from Walt Disney to the future, on stationary bearing the legend "NO AGREEMENT WILL BE BINDING ON THIS CORPORATION UNLESS IN WRITING AND SIGNED BY AN OFFICER." Walt's letter to the future speculates about the future of entertainment and is at once profoundly wrong and profoundly right.

Walt predicts that the world will be overturned by technology, all the old order remade. At the same time, he assumes that what will come in on the tails of 1956's mass media will be...more mass media! Even though Walt himself predated truly national media, he can't conceive of the age of mass media waning and being replaced by a mass medium -- a channel like the net -- crowded with a never-ending confusion of micro-media. Walt, in other words, didn't predict the long tail. [...O]f one thing I'm sure. People will need and demand amusement, refreshment and pleasant relaxation from daily tasks as much in your day as they have in ours and in all the generations of mankind into the remote past. What the exact nature and implementation of these mass entertainments may be, doesn't make much difference, it seems to me.

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