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Triggerfish Writing
I write on science, history, nature, climate change, feminism, religion, politics & digital marketing. Check out my science and history blog:
Grace O’Malley Statue at Westport House County Mayo Ireland. Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn’t love pirates and the stories of their seafaring adventures? We’ve heard of Black Beard, Red Beard and their ilk but I am pretty certain most do not know about famous lady pirates. One of them was Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland (c. 1530 — c. 1603). In Irish her name is Gráinne Ní Mháille.

Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland met O’Malley in 1577 and said of her: “A most famous, feminine sea captain… famous for her stoutness of courage… commanding three galleys and 200 fighting men… This was a most notorious woman in all…

What to say about a conflict going on for over seven decades that hasn’t been said already? One that is rife with religious rivalries, manifesting in extremely strong political positions.

These past two weeks violence once has again escalated between Israel and Palestine. Although a truce has finally been agreed on May 21, 2021, the Jewish state of Israel and the primarily Muslim areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that together comprise Palestine, cannot seem to get on with each other at all.

Israel is only one of the two countries actually made in the name of religion…

False colour satellite imagery showing landcover types in and around the Amazon Rainforest. 2018. Credit NASA Earth Observatory (Public Domain)

The Amazon is Earth’s largest tropical rainforest with its own self-sustainaing regional climate and hydrological system. It contains a diversity of forests — from montane to mangroves — across a range of distinct soils and substrates, supported by a biogeochemically-diverse riverine network that drives extensive seasonal rainfall. It has been clear for a while that this whole system is under pressure. Unsustainable developing practices — including deforestation for mining, agriculture and dairy farming, as well as illegal logging activities — have all brought it to an ecological tipping point.

Generally, ecological and climate change research on the Amazon Basin has…

Uranus in X-ray by NASA CXO University College London W. Dunn et al Optical by W.M. Keck Observatory

Right, I know this post is going to be the “butt” of a lot of giggles but here goes anyway.

When you look at images of planets in our solar system, they all seem to follow a certain design. The rocky ones are round with a few moons, while the gas giants and the ice giants have rings. But one of them is different. It seems to be tilted on its side, with its rings nearly at right angles to its equator. That planet is Uranus.

Until 1781, we all thought that there were only six planets in our solar…

Tomb of the Lionesses by Al Mare (Public Domain)

Everyone knows about the Roman Empire — and why not, they ruled over a large part of the world and immensely influenced western civilisation. But Italy existed before the Romans made it their own and it comprised of a variety of cultures and people.

One of these were the Etruscans — a culture that flourished in Italy between the 9th and 3rd century BCE and formed the most powerful nation in pre-Roman Italy. They deeply influenced the Romans and their influence on present-day western cultures is also now being recognized. …

Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

Humans have always expressed themselves through various forms, starting with pictograms, such as handprints, cave art and pictures that represented animals or plants that they saw around them. How did we get from there, to the plethora of languages, scripts and alphabets that we see around us? Here is the story.

Thousands of years of expression on cave walls, on stones and on shells were followed by word-based writing systems and sound-based syllabic writing systems, which are written symbols that represent syllables that make up words. …

Photo by Markus Spiske (Pexels)

Nature and environment seemed to get a bit of a reprieve from lockdowns during this pandemic. Images and stories of wild animals and birds visiting more areas because of low human activity abounded. We all thought that perhaps the Earth would heal a bit because humans were unable to continue their destructive activities.

Two researches say otherwise. New data from EU satellites shows that 2020 is close to 2016 as the warmest year on record, and was 1.24 dedgrees Celsius above average from the pre-industrial period (1850–1900) according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service. Europe was 0.4 degrees warmer than…

Painting of Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie 1797
Painting of Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie 1797
Painting of Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie 1797 (Public Domain)

We have all heard of Frankenstein, a novel that can be considered the first true science fiction story, written by Mary Shelley in 1818. Perhaps not many of us will know of Mary Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, an English writer, philosopher and most importantly, an advocate for women’s rights, regarded as one of the founding feminist thinkers.

Born on April 27, 1759, she was the second of seven children and her father was a farmer. Although, her family had a comfortable income, her father squandered it all and their financial situation became unstable. He was also abusive to her mother…

First image: Pluto in true color. Second Image: Pluto in false color. Credit: NASA/JHAPL/SwRi/ New Horizons (Public Domain)

It used to be a planet and then it wasn’t. Pluto’s demotion to a dwarf planet has been a bone of contention amongst many. This fight has overshadowed a milestone in human space travel. We have actually sent a spacecraft that has flown by Pluto, has made scientific observations and sent back images that have changed our understanding of this solar system object.

How was it discovered? In the 1840s, astronomers noticed that the orbit of Uranus was being disturbed by something other than Neptune and the hunt for a ninth planet was started. The job of locating this Planet…

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