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Why is it that when popular revolutions occur, the main opponents on the ground always seem to be middle-aged men?

What is it about those men of my age group that drives them to kick some student’s head in, battering them with sticks and putting their lives on the line in defense of an evil and corrupt regime? Are the jails and torture houses similarly populated by such men in their forties and fifties who think nothing about snuffing out the idealism of youth?

Both Mubarak and Ahmadinejad used members of my cohort to quell the protestors.  Middle aged men: not wealthy, not well educated, just tough, brutal and sufficiently cynical to do whatever the incumbent regime asks of them.

It makes me feel sick that the young idealists of twenty and thirty years ago often become the shady individuals holding the batons, the guns and the pliers.

Image via Uniform Velocity

Image via Uniform Velocity

According to the Irish Times today, 42% of men in Ireland never use sun protection.

This is madness. We shouldn’t take the sun for granted. It is a killer, as 5,000 Irish people are finding out each year. All it takes is one small mole on your body to go a different colour or shape, and you could be in big trouble. Once a cancerous mole reaches the lower layers of the skin, the cancer can quickly spread around the body, virtually guaranteeing your early demise.

Most of us Irish have the wrong skin. It’s doesn’t tan, it burns. It’s replete with vulnerable moles and other blemishes. And, after prolonged exposure, it can kill you.

The answer? Stay out of the sun as much as possible and wear high factor sunscreen. Oh yeah, and have someone check out the moles on your skin. You might thank them one day for saving your life.

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