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365 - A Nameless Intra-Irish Pene-Enclave
A pene-enclave is almost an enclave in the same way that a peninsula* almost is an island. But only on a strictly lexical level. If we descend from the abstraction of definition to particular examples, things get messy — in an almost clintonesque way: all depends on what your definition of almost is.
Most people will instinctively agree on what constitutes a peninsula: a piece of land almost completely surrounded by water, but for a narrow isthmus that connects it to the mainland. No isthmus, no peninsula.\n
You would expect the same of a pene-enclave, minus the water: it should also require a contiguous land corridor to its ‘mainland’. But most lists of pene-enclaves mention places that are reachable from their mainland across bodies of water (e.g. Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish holdings on Morocco’s North African coast). So: no isthmus, but still a pene-enclave.\n
There is some justification for this different, broader definition. A proper enclave needs to be cut off from its mainland. One could debate whether being accessible only via the sea or across a river counts as being “cut off” or not. If you define that ambiguity as the almost implied in the prefix, then yes, these Isolates-by-the-Sea are pene-enclaves.\n
One reason for embracing this ambiguity might be that requiring a narrow land corridor makes for an exceedingly short list of pene-enclaves. Of one, to be exact. The only international example of a pene-enclave springing to mind is Jungholz, which would be an Austrian enclave inside Germany, were it not connected to the Heimat via a single point — the summit of Mount Sorgschrofen.\n
A single point: that’s the narrowest possible isthmus. But when does an isthmus stop being narrow? When it does, there is no longer an isthmus, and therefore no longer a pene-enclave.\n
I never thought I would catch a bona fide pene-enclave in the wild, but then I came across this bizarre boundary (while detail-scanning the intra-Irish border on Google Maps, as one does in one’s spare time). I am sure nobody would dispute that this pene-enclave has a properly narrow isthmus. Judging by the map’s scale (in the bottom left corner), it can’t be much wider than 100m (app. 330 ft). The pene-enclave itself continues for several kms (or miles) in both length and breadth.\n
The area looks to be quite rural, and is dotted with typically Irish toponyms and the occasional bucolic English one (“Rabbit Island”). It is dissected by the N3 road from Monaghan to Cavan, both in the Republic of Ireland. The N3 becomes the A54 for the duration of its brief foray into Northern Ireland — actually, its two brief forays, thanks to the pene-enclave.\n
However, extra information-wise, this intra-Irish pene-enclave is frustratingly un-googleable; other than that it is located between County Monaghan (Ireland) and County Fermanagh (UK), there’s not really any information to be found. The aberration remains nameless, its raison d’etre a mystery. Suggestions for a name are welcome, as are clues to its origin.\n
Update: Drummully Polyp, or Coleman’s Island\n
Thanks for all your comments to this post. How great it is to be able to post a mysterious map like this one and have the commenters fill in the blanks! For starters, the previously-unnamed entity now has not one, but two names. We know a bit more about the area’s historical circumstances, have an inkling of the local head-count (onehundred-ish, and falling) and someone’s even sent in a picture of the local parish church inside the pene-enclave.\n
“In south Fermanagy, the most obvious anomaly [in the Irish border] was the Drummully polyp, a Monaghan DED [District Electoral Division] ‘practically enclosed’ within the North. North and South interlocked like jigsaw pieces, and the Clones to Cavan railway crossed the Border six times in five miles.”\n
(extract from The Irish Border – History, Politics, Culture by Malcolm Anderson and Eberhard Bort (eds.), Liverpool University Press, 1999)\n\n
(extract from A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis, 1837)\nMany thanks to mollymooly for digging up these references and data. Drummully is the name of the local parish, that in 1837 had 667 inhabitants. In 2002, the Drummully DED (981 hectares) had 102 inhabitants; in 2006 this had decreased to 92. Gary McMurray (comment #44) posted a link to a picture of the parish church within the pene-enclave. \nThe Drummully Polyp came up in a question to the Dail (Irish Parliament ) on 15 May 1980, about whether the helicopters the Irish Army had to use to fly its soldiers in to man checkpoints on a road that had no direct ground vehicle access from the rest of the Republic didn’t bear too much of a resemblance to British Army helicopters (which presumbably might confuse those with intent to attack British – or Irish – helicopters).\nAs to why it has the quirky shape it does, Paddy Matthews suggests that “presumably [the Drummully Polyp] would have been a near-enclave held by the McMahons (from whose territory County Monaghan was created) in the territory of the Maguires (which gave rise to County Fermanagh).”\n
Max, who has firsthand knowledge of intra-Irish border policing, has a different name for the area: ”\nWhen I had some responsibility for border policy in the 1980s this little bit of land was known by the Irish Army patrols as Coleman’s Island. It was regularly patrolled on foot by the Army because there was no way to access it by road. The border is rife with oddities; at several points it actually runs along the road, so that driving on the Northern side of the road you were in the UK and driving on the other side of the white line you were in Ireland. This wasn’t necessarily a trivial thing in the 1980s, when the British Government had made a lot of people living in Ireland the subject of so-called exclusion orders which meant that they could be arrested and imprisoned just for entering Northern Ireland. A number of people living in border counties had to adopt very circuitous routes to and from their regular destinations as a result.”Many of the commenters offered examples, or even whole lists of other pene-enclaves. Not so rare as I imagined, pene-enclaves are positively abundant if you include the subnational ones. See comments for suggestions. Some of the example mentioned (not necessarily pene-enclaves themselves) were mentioned earlier on this blog:\n
As already mentioned in the post itself, the definition of what is a pene-exclave (and indeed a peninsula) hinges on how you define “almost” (as in, “almost an enclave” or “almost an island”), i.e. on the narrowness of the isthmus. But where, for example, is the isthmus of Florida, Christian quite rightly asks. And yet no one will dispute Florida is a peninsula.\n
The French, as Geiseric remarks, make a useful distinction, between\n
A word on the word “pene-enclave” itself: Greg suggested the prefix should be pronounced pen-nay (but warned against looking up the prefix pene- in Wikipedia, as this redirects to “penis”, picture and all). That link should not be a surprise, Jorge Rosa stated: “Just look at the evidence”, while Geiseric suggested the pronunciation pi-ney (as it derives from paene-), but also contracting the word to ‘penenclave’.\nune péninsule (in general, any piece of land surrounded by water, attached to a larger piece of land, without the attachment needing to be narrow, i.e. la péninsule des Balkans) and une presqu’ile (where the attachment is noticeably to particularly narrow). In conclusion, as questions can be asked about the definition, spelling and pronunciation of the word pene-enclave, Aletheia Kallos (who qualifies the word as “ugly, confusing and unnecessary”) suggests a few alternatives: salient, proruption, panhandle and chersonese. To which might be added: strip – and of course polyp.\n\n\n
What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.
- Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
- The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
- The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
Jet bursting out of a blazar. Black-hole-powered galaxies called blazars are the most common sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Cosmic death beams: Understanding gamma ray bursts<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="cu2knVEk" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6cfd20fdf31c82cb206ade8ce21ba3f"> <div id="botr_cu2knVEk_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/cu2knVEk-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.
- The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
- According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
- "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."
Puerto Rico's iconic telescope facilitated important scientific discoveries while inspiring young scientists and the public imagination.
- The Arecibo Observatory's main telescope collapsed on Tuesday morning.
- Although officials had been planning to demolish the telescope, the accident marked an unceremonious end to a beloved astronomical tool.
- The Arecibo radio telescope has facilitated many discoveries in astronomy, including the mapping of near-Earth asteroids and the detection of exoplanets.
Bradley Rivera via twitter.com<p>In 1963, the concave dish was built into a natural sinkhole on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The location was <a href="https://www.space.com/20984-arecibo-observatory.html" target="_blank">picked because it was near the equator,</a> providing scientists a clear view of planets passing overhead, and also of the ionosphere, which is the uniquely reactive layer of Earth's upper atmosphere where the northern lights form.</p><p>Since its construction, scientists have used the Arecibo telescope to map near-Earth asteroids, detect gravitational waves, study pulsars, detect exoplanets and <a href="https://www.seti.org/goodbye-arecibo" target="_blank">search for alien civilizations</a>, among other projects. Here's a brief look at some of the discoveries and accomplishments made using the Arecibo telescope:</p><ul><li>1964: Astronomer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Pettengill" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gordon Pettengill</a> discovers that Mercury's rotation period is 59 days, significantly shorter than the previous prediction of 88 days.</li><li>1974: Physicists Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. discovers the first binary pulsar, for which they won a Nobel Prize in Physics.</li><li>1974: Scientists use the telescope to transmit the "Arecibo message" to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Globular_Cluster_in_Hercules" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">globular star cluster M13</a>. The message, when translated into image form, contains basic information about humanity and human knowledge: the numbers one to 10, a map of our solar system, an illustration of a human being, and the atomic numbers of certain elements.</li><li>1989: Scientists use the telescope to image an asteroid for the first time.</li><li>1992: Astronomers Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail become the first to discover exoplanets.</li></ul>
The Google-owned company developed a system that can reliably predict the 3D shapes of proteins.