Seamus Kearney


Last quote by Seamus Kearney

This Nishijin fabric is unique to Kyoto and the technique dates back to the 5th and 6th centuries. And today that tradition is kept alive in workshops like this, where workers use traditional looms.
Mar 17 2017
We can learn a lot about a person if we know what types of things he or she talks about or comments on the most frequently. There are numerous topics with which Seamus Kearney is associated, including Khiva and Japan. Most recently, Seamus Kearney has been quoted saying: “And perhaps the best way to understand this tradition is to give it a go myself … or at least try. Well at least no one was hurt, so now I can enjoy the results of my hard work.” in the article Postcards from Japan: the fastest mochi pounders. An other article where Seamus Kearney has been quoted is Postcards from Japan: Hiking on the Kii Peninsula.
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Seamus Kearney quotes

The architecture here is unique in the way that the various mosques and mausoleums of royals and nobles were built on different levels, added one by one over almost nine centuries.

And this is where it all begins, branches from mulberry trees soaked for 10 days. And then it's the next step: the bark stripped off by hand, ready for the two-week process of being turned into paper.

The name of the madrassah, Tilla Kori, means golden artwork, and you understand where that comes from when you go inside the main dome-covered mosque.

And there's expert help on hand for those who really have no idea what they're doing. Okay, let's give this a go; the main thing is not to fall in!

Was it a guard tower, an observatory, or some kind of ancient temple? The experts have differing views.

It's the first picking of the season here on the local plantations, which lie between the Caspian Sea and the mountains, and where the subtropical climate and humidity are just right for growing tea.

If you're looking for a place to really get away from it all this could be it, with breathtaking scenery all around Khinalig and the chance to do some serious hiking.

The name and design of the towers are linked to the ancient description of the country: the land of fire, where flames of burning natural gas rise up from the ground.

And it's in temples like this that the various vegetarian and vegan dishes are prepared, by experts who say that simplicity and harmony are key.

What about the other four big states. Can Sanders pull another upset victory?

There are lots of hiking trails on Yakushima for all levels of fitness, providing access to some of the most beautiful sights, including world famous trees that are thousands of years old.

There are many beautiful spots to see in this large site of natural beauty. But one of the major points of interest, which has become an iconic image for the region, are the traditional ama female divers.

One of the incredible things about the shrine is that every 20 years all of the spiritually significant structures, including the temples, bridges and gates, are demolished and totally rebuilt.

And this is the key moment in the onsen, taking the time to soak in the piping hot thermal bath.

And to get into the mood you need to quickly leave behind your normal clothes and get into a kimono.

It's difficult to switch off from the madness of the world and the stresses of daily life, especially if you're travelling, but a meditation class could be just the solution for those looking to relax.

It was an amazing feat of architecture when you consider that at the very top of the palace there was even a large pool and a fountain, with spring water from nearby mountains.

Visitors to Rishstan can see the whole traditional process of making the ceramics by hand, including right from the start, when the unique local red clay is transformed.

The palace was built in the 1830s by the khan who ruled Khiva at the time, Allahkuli Khan. He actually designed the palace himself, as well as 20 other monuments inside the fortress.

There are 18 minarets inside the fortress, including the tallest in Uzbekistan. But really it's the blue minaret, near the main entrance, that's become the iconic image of Khiva.

The inside of the mausoleum is also impressive. The gold-decorated room where Temur and his sons and grandsons were laid to rest is a real treat for visitors.

Inside the monument there is a gallery of art and sculptures that represent Macedonian history. There's also an eternal flame and other details about the uprising.

About 1600 square metres of mosaic artwork have been uncovered. But with a large part of the site still to be excavated, it's hoped many more treasures will be found.

There's a variety of artwork along the walkway, from African masks … and unusual benches that appear to have kept growing and growing … to one of the most popular, a statue in the city centre.

Among the many items on display here are Mother Teresa's hand-written prayer book, photos and letters, and also the sari that she wore.

It is a great place for stepping back in time but there is also a modern side, including a belvedere with its magical glass lanterns. It's the perfect spot for a travel photo, and one of numerous works of art that now grace Lyon's riverbanks.

Eating fresh quality food is very important for Macedonians, and visitors should make sure they try the traditional dishes, including my favourites: the ones made with cheese from sheep.

There are numerous ways to visit the park, including hiking and mountain biking, but one of the most popular is on horseback, even for beginners like me.

The cuisine here is less likely to be sushi like in other parts of Japan but lots of pork for example, and vegetables like the famous goya, which is a bitter kind of melon.

It's a great place to go hiking, but the other popular way to see the canyon is by boat, to get even closer to the stunning scenery.

And it's in local workshops that the art of what is known as Bingata lives on.

As well as relaxing on the beach, there are many activities for visitors including kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling, to really get up close to the sea life and the amazing coral reefs.

Inaugurated in 2010 in the old part of the city, the statue is made out of pure bronze and stands at a height of 12 metres.

And getting around the valley is easy all year round. The cable cars that take people up to the slopes in winter also operate in the summer months.

The scale of the monument is impressive, standing almost as high as a 15-storey building. And the dome on the top is the largest of its kind in Central Asia.

The view of the tower from a distance is stunning enough, but don't forget to take a lift to the top to get a bird's-eye view of Astana.

One of the newest and most novel transport solutions here is this network of 150 cable cars. They can carry some 30,000 people every day across numerous favela communities built on steep hillsides, cutting a one hour journey down to just 15 minutes.

With demand for natural gas expected to increase in Singapore, for residential and business customers, authorities are trying to find the best way to make sure that it continues to flow in the future, as cheaply and efficiently as possible.

A lot of that power comes from here on the vast, remote plains in West Texas, where some of the world's largest wind farms are scattered across the landscape, as far as the eye can see.

And then of course there's the question about energy savings, energy efficiency and smarter use of energy. Where does that come into the equation when we're talking about renewables?

And this question of countries, power companies or cities having an energy mix, where we have a small part wind, etc., but other sources still being used. What are your thoughts on the fact that renewables are coming in as just another of the energy sources?

What about this issue of being able to store the power, so it's not direct usage. At the moment it's going into the grid and it's direct usage, but people talk about the need to have research into storing the power so it can be stuttered and spread out over time. What are your thoughts on that?

Why was it so important for Hong Kong to tackle this issue of smart mobility?

You have a 90 per cent rate when it comes to use of public transport, but tell me about the vehicles on the street? What are you doing to make sure that they are good for Hong Kong in terms of the environment?

And also emissions. You're looking at cleaner fuels, you have a lot of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) use, for example, with taxis?

And here you can actually see fragments of the world's oldest pair of skis, which are 8,000 years old according to expert analysis.

But it was actually built in 1993, an exact copy of one destroyed earlier.

And in a good example of the old meeting the new, modern technology has arrived at the State Hermitage, via smartphones and other devices.

There's everything from elegant wedding dresses to wall hangings, and even items made out of black lace for men.

It may be the country's oldest professional theatre company, but it's still very much at the heart of Russian theatre.

Of course the reform doesn't just concern suspects and lawyers; there's also the point of view of law enforcement officers. Any change in the procedures has a big impact on their daily work.

But as well as using laws, and the likes of police controls, experts say another key element is prevention work, and raising awareness about the possible dangers.

European officials say if their proposals come into force, some 120 million people would benefit from improved consumer protection. And that would especially be the case for those booking holidays online.

But it's not just the legal profession that has to know the details of European law. Citizens also have to be made aware of their rights and how to use them. And that will be a challenge.

The new European rules have already been approved by the European Parliament. Once they're rubber-stamped by the Council of Ministers, EU states will have until January 2015 to bring them into force.

Another recommendation to spark more interest is to make the elections one single event. The commission wants to move away from the tradition of spreading the voting out over a four-day period. Member states are being urged to agree on one single date.

It's estimated genital mutilation affects one in every three females in Africa. Here in Europe, France alone talks about at least 65,000 cases.

Is there much demand for this operation? What is your assessment?

What kind of hope is this operation offering mutilated women? What feelings, what improvements can be expected with this procedure?

What kind of operation are we talking about? Reconstructive? Plastic surgery?

What is the feedback from the women who undergo the operation?

So the operation is not necessary for all victims of female mutilation?

Do you think the operation could be improved in the future?

Many here in Antwerp have made their feelings known. Tens of thousands of signs like this one have gone up across the city; they say 'street without racism' and 'street without hate.

The next venue for the citizens' dialogue is in Portugal, in the city of Coimbra (Feb 22). European issues affecting education are well known here; this is referred to as the student city, being home to one of Europe's oldest universities. And when it comes to the future of the bloc, there's no shortage of opinion.

I think it is very important to bring European citizens closer to the European Union, and there are two important things to work out. On the one hand, European values should be part of the education curriculum in schools. The education systems in Europe are still very much based on national realities and they should be based on European realities. The European reality is not so strong at the moment, and part of this problem links back to education. It will take many generations to sort out, but I think this work should be intensified.

Right now we have what we call a European deficit, a deficit of democracy. There is democracy at the level of the various European states, but not when it comes to Europe. The European Parliament does not have the powers that it should have, and the executive agency, as in the European Commission, is not elected by citizens.

Those who deal with insolvency say the human impact is often forgotten. And the statistics may be surprising. Every year in the European Union, since 2010, some 220,000 businesses go bust. And an estimated 1.5 million job losses are insolvency-related.

To learn more about the impact of the new law, we've come here to the northeastern French town of Forbach, right on the Franco-German border.

In a survey of young Europeans last year just two per cent thought that no action should be taken. 15 per cent thought that consumption and sales should be regulated, much like alcohol and tobacco. Roughly a third supported a total ban on all psychoactive substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs. But the majority say that they should only be banned if there's a risk to someone's health.

Some in Brussels argue that not enough is being done in the business world. Some are even threatening quotas across the European Union, to force the boards of large companies to be at least 40 per cent female.

Speaking of the pay gap, European Equal Pay Day has just been held. To earn exactly what men were paid in 2011, the average European woman would've had to carry on working roughly an extra two months, right up until March the 2nd, 2012.

With spectacular displays and events, the expo is expecting at least eight million visitors, including more than half a million from overseas.

You've been involved in politics for a long time. What are your personal views on how the Israeli government should now proceed?

We know that the US says it will veto full Palestinian UN membership. But how is the Israeli government likely to react if the General Assembly does vote in favour of this resolution?

Many travellers also complain that success in obtaining an EU visa largely depends on each individual embassy – and they say the approach is far from uniform.

Lviv is also remembering its sad history. A monument in the city is dedicated to local Jewish people killed in the Holocaust.

Behind the headlines and the dramatic images of the change we're seeing in the Middle East, debate about the longterm reality on the ground is now underway in earnest. And one thing is certain: how to invest in that change, and make sure it's economically viable, is becoming one of the top priorities.

Just taking the wider view, we're talking about the eurozone as well, the contagion effect. What's the lesson learnt from Ireland and is this going to stop that so-called contagion.

What do we make of this apparent u-turn by Dublin? One minute denials of a rescue being sought, and then this massive request?

This is being described as the longest-ever final communique to come out of a G20 summit, running to 22 pages – a sign that South Korea made sure that all the main points were covered. Now the hard part will be to turn these words into concrete action and convince critics that there was enough effort to seek cooperation and consensus.

The authorities may be keeping the demonstrators well away from the venue, but that doesn't mean they're not protesting. Local union groups and anti-globalisation protesters say they're determined to make their voices heard. And that's why they chose to demonstrate in the centre of Seoul, about 15 kms from the venue.

As you can see here, the slightest sign of protest in front of the summit venue and the police pounced immediately, blocking the protester's placard.

Part of the beefing up of security is the setting up of what officials are calling a safety zone of two kilometres around the summit venue. A special barrier is being constructed to keep protesters out, and even our request to film inside the venue was denied. Officials say they want to make sure that the world leaders are kept well away from any possible threat.

Some people might look at these exit polls and be surprised at the fact that the Liberal Democrats didn't score more. Some people had been saying that they would have a tremendous result. How do you explain that.

And of course for the economy, the markets really need to know what's happening, with this uncertainty, with these results. Do you think the markets are going to be satisfied, are going to be calmed?

The Fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago heralded a massive change in Germany but also had a ripple-on effect in other countries, including the then-Czechoslovakia. Let's now get a feel for how this anniversary is being viewed in Prague. I'm joined by Jiri Pehe, an analyst and a former advisor to the ex-Czech president Vaclav Havel. Mr. Pehe, thanks very much for joining us. What are your personal memories of the day the wall came down – where were you, what thoughts were going through your mind?

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