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Hats Off to U2 June 29, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Since the U2 gigs in Croke Park ended (sadly didn’t get to see them myself) the band have still been in the headlines of the papers. They are taking a case against an ex-stylist for unlawfully retaining some items of clothing including a hat and some trousers. I heard on the Ray Darcy show this morning on Today FM that the defence’s lawyer posed the question to Bono as to why his concern for the band’s image only really started after 1997. Bono replied that he was mistaken and that the band had delusions of grandeur from a very early stage. What a great response! Great stuff! source: Irish Times

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Conserving Water June 27, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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At a time when the entire of the Emerald Isle is being urged to conserve water for some reason (God knows it’s not for the lack of availability), it’s comforting to see yet another government catastrophy The National Aquatic Centre in Dublin is leaking millions of litres of water. First it was the roof blowing off and now the aquatic centre is in danger of flooding the country, what next?

A Government That Understands June 17, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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The last two days have spoken volumes about the government of this country. Yesterday came the comments from Seamus Brennan that pensioners should be allowed to re-mortgage their houses to the state to gain more money in later life (source: Irish Times). Now, just how would these pensioners pay back the loan? Possible answer state owns house when pensioner dies. Today the “teflon taoiseach” announced that the EU constitution was not defeated yet (some would say the reason is that we have not been allowed to vote on it). Instead he remarks that parliaments have not lost touch with the people but rather it is the people who do not understand the document (source: Today FM 1100h News). Ladies and gents I give you democracy in action! When the people disagree, it is the people who are wrong. I wonder what we will hear next…

Absolute Power June 14, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Whoever said that the vintners didn’t control the country will surely eat their words this week. The mighty McDowell has been taken down a peg with opposition to “his” cafe bar idea. Instead a proposal by vintners to loosen restaurant licences looks like an alternative. Tail wagging the dog all over again… source: Irish Times

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Opting out of Irish June 7, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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According to a recent study the number of pupils dropping out of the Irish exams for both Junior and Leaving Certificate has increased by more than 400 percent. Sure it is no wonder when pupils are forced to struggle to learn a language as a by-product of text memorising and native discussion that forms an archaic attitude to the way Irish is taught in schools. The days when everyone spoke a bit of Irish have long gone. For many years now, good students have struggled with the Irish language because of the nature of its teaching. In order for Irish to succeed and for numbers of opt-outs to start dropping, it will need a major revamp in its teaching. If Irish was taight like French or German then it would be the language that pupils get to learn and surely that’s what is important? source: Irish Times

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Office ML June 2, 2005

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Thanks to BDela for the pointer. Microsoft have finally made the move to native XML formats for their office suite. Much like OpenOffice the XML content will be stored in a zip archive therefore reducing file sizes by a considerable amount. Should lead to less document corruption as long as they got the serialisation and tidy routines working right. source: Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas

Jekyll and Hyde June 2, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Our famous Minister for justice (usually famous for not being liked by many of the citizens of the country ref. recent discussion on the Last Word, Today FM) has done a Jekyll and Hyde on us. Usually fire and brimstone against anything with the slightest incorrectness he has now issued a statement that he might only consider sacking the Gardaí at the centre of the Morris investigation into Garda corruption in the case of Frank McBrearty. For one, usually so quick to place blame upon individuals/groups before the rest of the country even catches up with the events, he now says that this is a matter for the Garda commission and he would not like to influence their decisions. Suddenly the Minister for Justice has no power it would seem or at least he doesn’t want to use it against the Gardaí. Hollywood could not have captured this better. source: Irish Times

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