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Another Day, Nothing Changes… June 8, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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So, here we are Summer in Ireland after a general election. Voting for change, shaking up the cabinet, so on so forth. Well none of it has happened, it’s the same old Ireland and the more I think about it the more I want to move to Provence and enjoy life with a community that still holds traditional values. Now that Fianna Fail are back at the helm and the election is over we’re starting to see the cracks opening publicly, in the press. I’ve been saying for ages, along with many others, that inflation was getting dangerous and now we hear that inflation is rising. Wow! There was no such thought in Bertie’s mind previously when he agreed to nurses demands prior to the election – me wonders… We also hear that controversial lands in Dublin may be set for rezoning. Well we wouldn’t have wanted to upset the D4 residents before an election now, would we? Stock markets are falling, interest rates are still climbing and the ordinary Irishman in the private sector is suddenly not that comfortable any more. Meanwhile five days of talks with the Green Party have still failed to produce a government with Fianna Fail. I wonder who’s failing to agree there? Remember, people of Ireland, this was your choice…

Note: Links used above are from the Irish Times 08-07-2007 and may require login to view the content

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e-mail Library? May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Technology, TSSG.
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Here’s an interesting idea: A library to contain an archive of e-mails submitted by the public. A means of capturing a snapshot of our lives in this technological era. This could lead to some interesting content accrued over the years being made available as a source of entertainment to the public. I often thought that it was a shame that some of my older relatives never had their stories recorded for the ages but it looks like our generation will have a means of ensuring that our life experience is not lost. Must keep an eye on this project and see if it spreads to Ireland and Europe. source: Email Britain

Thoughts in my head today May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics, Technology.
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Wondering why the national safety council still refuses to show somebody other than a young male driver in a road accident commercial. It’s a little disproportionate at this stage. Also still concerned as to why adverts are continually sponsored by vested interests such as AXA and Hibernian?

Wondering why Noel Brett (Road Safety Authority CEO) says things like:

“We are asking parents to discuss the new anti-speeding TV ad with their teenagers / young adults so that they understand the consequences of speeding and other forms of dangerous driving. If parents are loaning a vehicle this weekend we ask them to be aware of the circumstances. For example who is driving and are they responsible? What and where is the event they are travelling to? Will there be alcohol consumed? Be firm, refusing to loan the vehicle could save a life.”

“We are also appealing to women: mothers, sisters, girlfriends to get the safety message across to their men to slow down and expect the unexpected. Young Irish men are particularly vulnerable with car crashes being their number one killer. 17 to 24 year old males account for over 1 in 5 driver deaths (22%) yet this age group represent just 6% of the population”

Showing that he simply doesn’t care about highlighting accidents other than young male accidents even though he openly admits that they only account for 20% of driver deaths. Sounds to me like we have 4 times the problem elsewhere?

Wondering if Bertie will “bullet dodge” his way out of this payments scandal? Hard questioning yesterday from Vincent Browne and concern from the Mahon tribunal are adding pressure. It died down before but let’s hope it doesn’t fizzle out this time.

Wondering why some people are raising their eyes at Sinn Féin’s suggestion to make the GPO area in Dublin an historic area prior to the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, when so many other sites of uprising and rebellion across the world are embraced as national treasures and attract tourists. Why are so many Irish people, so ashamed of their country’s history when they have so much in common with many nations?

Wondering what the future holds for Ireland in terms of housing. So many apartments. So much skyline disappearing. So many areas of the country on a knife edge with respect to adequate employment. I have my fears.

Wondering if I should run for election the next time there’s a local election. Naturally I’d be an independent as I don’t like party politics but my attitude is way different to other independents. Is the county/country ready for somebody who gives a damn? Somebody who’s willing to pick up litter to serve the community on days of quiet council matters? There’s no glitz and glamour with me, I just do things.

Wondering when I’ll reach my first 20km run in my marathon training. Comfortable at 13km now but really need to push it more.

Wondering if I’ll finish my working life, reach retirement, in computing. For so many years I have seen the wheel reinvented now, that the lustre is beginning to fade. I never want to turn my back on technology but perhaps I could serve it better through teaching and observation?

Wondering why I feel the need to write blog posts of my brain dumps. 🙂

Your County Needs You! April 26, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Humour, Politics.
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Many thanks to Wellboy from UpTheDeise for alerting me to this. The Monopoly crew are looking for votes on what counties should make it onto the new all-Ireland monopoly board. However, only 22 of the 32 counties will be allowed so vote now or your county will be forever, forgotten. Naturally I’m voting for Waterford and so should you. No other county offers so much in terms of beach, sea, river, mountain, city and countryside. It’s deserving of the purple tab on the Monopoly board. Vote now! source: Monopoly.ie

UPDATE: Striking this post until Hasbro Ireland make the voting process completely transparent rather than making it a blind vote for the last week of the campaign.

Thicko does McDowell April 25, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Tip of the hat to Damien Mulley for finding this one. It’s a wee political satire from Thicko of Michael McDowell. To be honest I found it hard to figure out where reality ended and parody began…

Take that Superman! April 24, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Scientists have identified a strange compound found in a Siberian mine as being identical to the description of kryptonite in the Superman stories. Same description that is in terms of composition rather than appearance. So finally a defence weapon in case Superman ever turns his back on Earth! source: Slashdot

An Apple a day… April 24, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Technology.
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Last night at approximately 21:18 I finally gave in to temptation and clicked the little button that said purchase. Yes, continuing my love of Apple products I have fallen before the grace of the 24″ iMac and decided that my life would be meaningless without it. I really would have liked to max out all the upgrades but let’s face it, I’m not made of money. So, in the end I went for the base model with 2GB of RAM and a wireless keyboard and mouse option. Apparently this is one of Apple’s most popular configurations but do I care that I’m just another one of the mob? Absolutely not at all! I really wanted the 3GB of RAM but couldn’t justify paying Apple a further EUR 550 for a 2GB DIMM that would be swapped with one of my existing 1GB DIMMs. A 2GB DIMM on komplett only costs EUR 362 and the iMac is incredibly easy to upgrade the RAM should blog posts ever dictate a requirement for the extra memory :). I’ll post a little review of it when I’ve had time to play around with it a bit – there’s a possibility it may even arrive this week. Yippeeeeee! link: Apple – iMac

Boris Yeltsin RIP April 23, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Today marks the passing of Boris Yeltsin, former president of Russia. While opinions of Boris will no doubt vary greatly and since I do not know many details of Russian politics, I will refrain from casting any strong opinions. I’ll remember him best for standing up Albert Reynolds on the runway and admiring how although often stone-faced he seemed to ooze charisma in his later days in office. I probably (intentionally) confuse this with his eratic behaviour towards the end of his term. Russians will recall him as the man who fronted the movement that persuaded the people not to support the coup to overturn the office of Mikhail Gorbachev and summon the end of glasnost and perestroika (probably still the only two Russian words that the majority of the Western world knows). Rest in peace Boris.

Boris Yeltsin RIP

original image http://www.univer.omsk.su/

Sheryl Crow proposes wipe-out! April 23, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Humour.
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Yes, Sheryl Crow is proposing a wipe-out! A wipe-out of using too much toilet paper to wipe yours out, that is. In an attempt to curb global warming Ms Crow is suggesting a limit to the number of sheets of toilet paper that should be used per sitting (yes, I did say sitting and not in a Sean Connery accent). No doubt you’ll agree that this very touching subject has some substance to it. Okay enough puns.

Whilst I may chuckle at the intro, this topic is something that interests me. I see so many products in the supermarket, in the line of ass-wiping material, that one has to wonder exactly what we think we are? Personally I am of the opinion that luxury fit for a king, quilted like a duvet, soft as a kitten and friendly as a puppy are simply worrying depictions of people’s mindsets. Just how much pain to these people think that tissue paper can inflict on the average human? Why on earth would you want to wipe-up with a new born puppy or kitten? Have you ever picked up your duvet and said, “hmm, I wonder, just maybe…”? Furthermore the price of these products, you might as well pull out a five Euro note and go for it. Yes, I’m with Sheryl on this one, use less and don’t pay more. You wouldn’t flush your wallet down the pipes, would you? Picked up via the Register. source: Sheryl Crow : Sheryl Blog

Searchin or sellin? April 18, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Photography, Technology.
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For me, a comment against one of my photos in Flickr is like an applause from the biggest audience. I regard myself as the most amateur of photographers but I’ll persevere. For others, some whom I know, the quality of their work is set for a bigger stage. Until now a comment or a request to add to a group was the most you could get from Flickr. Enter Flickr Cash with the ability to offer up a great thumbnail search facility and also allow others to purchase your work through the service. I only tried it out briefly and while I found the search facility a much better service than Flickr’s own search I could not see how to sell my photos. Not that anyone would want to buy them anyhow. The better news is that Flickr Cash will soon be out of Beta and since I registered as a Beta user I will enjoy free access for life. After Beta there will be a monthly charge! There’s still time for those who would like a free account though, so hurry on in…