Stephen Colbert: One Last
Report (It’s Genealogical)

It was a damp morning in late February 2008 when the phone rang. Harvard scholar and PBS host Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. was calling with one of his random genealogical requests. He was going to be on The Colbert Report later that day. Did I, by any chance, know anything about Stephen Colbert’s roots? Luckily for him, I had two hundred years of family history at the ready. Unnaturally...

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First Word:
Telling It Like It Is

Our cover story on Stephen Colbert’s Irish roots reminds us that with his ascension to the Late Show throne this coming fall,  he will be joining a venerable group of Irish-American hosts on late night television, past and present. While today’s audiences are familiar with Conan O’Brien who hosts Conan and Jimmy Fallon who took over from Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, the Irish have been...

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Compadre Plant Matrix

Botanists at Trinity College Dublin have launched a database that documents significant ‘life events’ for nearly 600 plant species across the globe. Working with like-minded individuals across five continents the team has gathered data over a near 50-year span. At a time of climate change, the researchers hope their COMPADRE Plant Matrix database will foster collaborations between...

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The President’s
New Year Message

President Michael D. Higgins’s Christmas New Year message, broadcast from Aras on Uchtairan on December 31, remembered the Irish abroad, those who assist them, and the communities which have welcomed them. Higgins also encouraged those “who may be feeling distressed or lonely to look beyond the long dark nights, to the promise once again, of the dawning light of Spring,” adding that “the...

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100,000 Protesters March
Against Water Charges

Up to 100,000 protesters opposed to the introduction of water charges brought Dublin to a standstill in December when they rallied outside the Irish parliament building. The December 10th protest was the largest yet in what has become an increasingly strife-filled argument between the Irish government and the taxpayers. The charges, which are mandated by the 2010 E.U. bailout agreement, will mean...

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