About this blog

Partially inspired by this Cracked article, and partially inspired by Uri Geller (long story, see the first blog post for details), this blog was where my New Year’s Resolution to write something (anything) every single day of 2013 was documented. Once the year ended, I kind of kept going.

Follow me on Twitter for updates. I also have a weekly column at Headstuff.org.

About the scribbler

My name is Ciaran Conliffe, and I’ve been writing, on and off, since I was five years old. I’ve been shortlisted for and won awards, and I’ve both completed and failed NaNoWriMo. I also rant on Twitter way more than is healthy. In my spare time I do software engineering and get paid for it.

23 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Roger Bogaert

    About the article on Lola Montez : “she wound up dancing at a reception of the Czar of Russia by Friedrich the Great.” : heavy stuff ! : Prussian king Friedrich I der Grosse died in 1786. Lola Montez was born on 17th of February 1821 in Grange (Ireland). She danced for Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV and his guest Russian czar Nicolas I in Berlin in September 1843.
    Kind regards from the Flanders, Belgium

  2. Doug Morrison

    Hi, Ciaran,
    My father’s family originated in Inishowen a very long time ago, O’Muirgheasain, and I was delighted to read your article about The Poitin Republic of Urris, thank you. Best, – Doug

  3. Greta

    Dear Ciaran,
    I read your article on Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, I found it delightful! Do you know by chance who was the translator of the poems you had in it?

    1. shinyemptyhead Post author

      Hi Greta,
      The main source of translations for the article was “Hispano-Arabic Poetry” by James T Monroe. I might have got one or two from elsewhere, though I don’t recall. Either way the Monroe book is well worth reading, as long as you can find a copy.

      1. Greta

        Hello Ciaran,

        I wrote my Bachelorsthesis about this topic, your article gave me valuable pointers. are you interested in a more in-depth analysis of the poems? if so I could send them to you.


  4. Asli

    Hello Dear Ciaran,

    I’m Asli from Turkey. I am going to be a writer soon and I am writing a book about the rise of femicide lately and women’s rights in history and I would like to translate and include one of your article into my book.
    Which is located as https://www.headstuff.org/culture/history/cesare-borgia-the-merciless-prince/

    May I please do it with your permission?
    Also I’m open to any suggestion that I can include into it! Like the women’s rights in renaissance..or any age that is affecting the today’s misogyny.

    I will be happy to hear back from you!

  5. Joanna Lambert

    You describe Nell Gwyn as ‘starting an affair’ with a soldier when she was 12. Do you think that accurately describes the power dynamic in that situation? I felt very uncomfortable reading it, I’m sure there’s a better way to describe what happened.

    1. shinyemptyhead Post author

      Good point. I’ve updated the wording, and thank you for the catch – I think I took the “affair” framing from elsewhere and didn’t think to change it when I added her age.

  6. Andrew

    Hi Ciaran,
    Fascinating piece on Glenveagh Castle. So thoroughly and terrifically researched, thank you! I was just there in April and was fascinated by the place, and by Donegal in general. I’m originally from Denver, so that connection was interesting as well. I wanted to ask you a couple further questions but couldn’t find your email. If you’d be willing to reach out to me at andrew.houchens@gmail.com, I’d appreciate it!

    1. shinyemptyhead Post author

      Hi Andrew,
      It’s been nearly ten years since I wrote the piece, and I would not call myself an expert on the castle by any means! I’d suggest perhaps reaching out to the Donegal Historical Society? They’re pretty good and I think a couple of their articles were sources for the piece.


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