Sunday Long Reads: Earth's hidden continent; heavier collisions in GAA and how to eat a heart

Kick back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the best long reads from Newstalk

'Uncertainty' has been the overriding theme in news and current affairs this week, as the Taosieach Enda Kenny's leadership continues to come under scrutiny.

The situation within Barcelona could also be described as 'uncertain', as the Catalan giants are on the verge of exiting the Champions League and could lose sight of Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.

Equally uncertain is the protocol surrounding the eating of hearts. Marking the end of Valentine's week, James Dempsey looks at how the offal has fallen out of favour in the Western world.

One thing geologists are certain of though? The presence of a new continent.

World - meet Zealandia.

Earth has a hidden continent

Geologists have discovered a new continent in the southwest Pacific Ocean.

The 4.9mkm2 region of is made up of continental crust and elevated relative to its surroundings.

It also contains oceanic crust, diverse and silica-rich rocks, as well as relatively thick and low-velocity crustal structure.

Liam Griffin: Increased fitness levels causing heavier collisions in GAA

This week, Dr Kevin Moran - Donegal first team doctor - said that gaelic footballers who sustain high-impact collisions are presenting injuries similar to those who have been involved in car accidents.

While much of the attention that goes with impact injury usually falls on those within the rugby community, many high-impact collisions are making their way into the GAA.

The increasingly physical nature of gaelic games, alongside the increased fitness levels, may have played a role in this trend.

Matter of Taste: On the eating of hearts

The consumption of the powerhouse of the circulatory system of various beasts has fallen very out of fashion in the modern world, despite the massive increases in the amount of meat we all are eating.

On a pragmatic sense, this is rather wasteful given the fact that in almost every instance, the heart is a perfectly edible part of any slaughtered beast, falling under the category of meats referred to as offal.

What is happening at Barcelona?

Just two years ago, Barcelona looked to set for a sharp decline.

Inconsistent domestic form, coupled with unrest among the team and little trust in the management meant that it looked almost certain that there season would not turn out to be a success. That year, Luis Enrique managed to change the club's course and guided Barcelona to a second ever treble.

The move away from the patented tiki-taka style which had been developed and which had flourished under Pep Guardiola was now part of the past and the future remained bright.

Fast forward two years and Barcelona now look on the verge of a Champions League exit in the Round of 16.