As we all now know Steve Jobs is a dog person*, so it’s the IKittenKiller, .
*actually, I’ve no idea if Mr Jobs likes dogs or cats or mice for that matter.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect". Mark Twain 1904
So I’m a bit behind Eoin when it comes to having questions asked in the Dáil but I’m pleased enough that today is my first one. And I think it is reasonably timely given the recent weather based problems we’ve had and the lack of warning for flood or updates as to the state of the response for roads and so on.
Apparently, the minister for Communications Eamonn Ryan will be asked by Simon Coveney to consider introducing an emergency alerts system, using mobile phone mast infrastructure, to would allow the Government to make contact directly with the public on a targeted regional basis in response to emergency situations in order to improve direct communication between the National Emergency Centre and the public and if he will make a statement on the matter?
As you might have read before I was wondering why we’ve not taken to using the cell broadcast facility in the mobile phone infrastructure as a more up to date version of the old Emergency broadcast network that was so believed of sci-fi and disaster films down the years. It is amazing that as we are moving into the realm of apps from daft.ie that can alert you to the presence of houses for sale in the area you happen to be in that the government and local authorities can’t tell everyone via their mobiles to close their doors or evacuation the area. In the US there has already been movement to require operators to allow the emergency services use this facility.
With the fractured nature of our radio and television listener/viewer ship, the days of everyone hunkered down to listen to the radio, and anyway the nature of an emergency is that it is unexpected, they can happen at night when people are sleeping. Sure it won’t reach everyone but it will reach more people, and they can alert those who don’t get the message. Even if the message is to switch on the radio at a certain time for more information, or a smartURL via YourPinpoints to direct you a safe evacuation point.
Brings us back to the true meaning of Ricochet and possibly Christmas.
Evidently lots of other people have heard of this already going from the 10 million hits it has had on youtube but I’d not heard it until Johnny ‘Trigger Finger’ in the house mentioned it as we were discussing rednecks. And I do mean it started as a discussion about getting a red neck from the sun and ended up with this.
The Irish times apparently doesn’t know who this mystery man is*. Well, I can reveal that it’s none other than fellow UL grad Ian Noctor who from what I recall was working with Monica Leech at the time. Given his CV it somewhat surprising that no one at the Irish Times could identify him. And I don’t believe his presence in this photo would lead anyone to think that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with Brian Cowen.
*I was tempted to say the mystery man is Brian Cowen but that was too obvious even for me.
In regard to his treatment at the hands of the media, according to RTE Martin Cullen has said that he has no more to say and that was the end of the matter. So won’t be seeing any libel cases as we did from Ms. Leech from him once he departs from politics. I’m sure the papers will be pleased to hear that.
Interesting he also said “that he had spoken in the proper forum yesterday to convey what he had to say to a very legalistic audience, and everything he said should be seen in that broad context.” Indeed, I’m confident that audience members of who are of a legalistic nature will be well aware of what rape is and is not. As a lay person myself I’m only able to hazard a guess at the notion that having your face in the paper regularly with things being said about you that are hurtful, damaging and untrue isn’t quite the same as being raped on a daily basis but again I’m only a lay person. What would I know.
I wake up in the morning and the tiredness is like that of a member of the undead having slept in the earth for centuries with worms moving through my rotted corpse, while my skin dried and cracked like paper. Not that I’ve ever experienced the latter but what the hey I’m allowed make this direct comparison if I think about it from a legalistic mindset right? Not having experienced it doesn’t invalidate my right to claim it is true and to thus claim compensation from whoever caused my sleep to be less than 100% pleasant.
So Martin Cullen felt that the media scrutiny into his affairs was like being raped? Seriously, he said “It was like waking up every morning and being raped” I’m quoting from the people who were quoting him. Is that really how he felt?
Besieged, witch-hunt, being naked in public, being a hare at a coursing meet or a fox at a hunt, violated, even persecuted, all handy enough comparisons he could have used but didn’t. Nope he felt raped every day. Not that he had felt his personal world had been violated and that each morning held the possibility of a revisiting of this, but he was raped every day. Every day.
And why was this media attention directed at him? Because his department awarded a contract paying €800 per day to someone he knew personally who was apparent plucked from a pool of 3 companies. And who it appeared hadn’t handled accounts of this size before. And people were somewhat surprised at this, and one eejit made an inappropriate and untrue comment on air as to what the real reason might have been. I’ll give ya a hint it wasn’t because Martin was incompetent. And the investigation wasn’t able to find anyone who would say any wrongdoing occurred or anything written down that indicated wrongdoing had happened, or that the process was flawed.
You can read more here – http://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/monicaleechsaga.htm
Update: I did a quick search and found this Martin Cullen profile on Bebo but surely that isn’t the one with a million hits. It’s only had under 2,000 profile views to date since 2006.
As a child I used to sing along quite happily to a song about a murderer (I suspect it was more a spree killer than serial but who is to know these days.) bashing people’s heads in. I don’t think it meant anything as such but it does give me pause now to wonder about songs that sound like they are about one thing but are really about something else.
Anyway, here is Maxwell and his silver hammer
Reading the reports that the BBC are pressuring Adrian Chiles (he has a brother goes by the name of Voodoo) to remove his recently grown beard I’m given to wonder what it is that people have against them. Let’s face it, it’s entirely natural for man to have hair on their faces. In many cultures the lack of facial hair marks your continued membership of the boy kingdom, only with a proper whispery top lip can you partake of the more manly pursuits like taking out the bins and the unclogging of drains.
It’s entirely natural for man to have hair on their faces, it’s the shaving of them that’s unnatural. I’m not comparing it to the binding of feet, but has many of the same elements of conformity to it. And it stings, no one tells you about the stings.
It is even possible if highly unlikely that this is part of a plot because only one gender can really grow beards. But given the range of dos and what not that woman are allowed get away with in regard to their barnets it is remarkable that the merest hint of hair on mail face and people are up in arms (the showing of pits optional). Let Adrian have his beard if he wants it.
In the Irish context, I’m even of the view that it has hampered the electoral prospects of such giants as Jason O’Mahony and even yours truly. How long will the new growth sprouted by Fionnan Sheehan on Vincent Browne’s show last evening last?
#1 The first rule of the inquiry, is you do not enquire about the inquiry!
#2 The second rule of the inquiry, is you DO NOT enquire about the inquiry!
#3 – If someone says stop, feels peckish, goes to the bathroom, cites the national interest or the vulnerability of the economy the inquiry is over.
#4 – There are two sides at least to an inquiry. All sides are entitled to legal counsel at the taxpayers expense.
#5 – One Inquiry at a time.
#6 – No loud shirts, no Hawaiian shorts, no home-made shoes, no sandals.
#7 – The Inquiry will go on as long as it has to.
#8 – If this is your first time at the Inquiry, you have to answer. Unless, of course, you don’t feel like it, which is ok cos we don’t feel like enquiring into this either. It’s just that public opinion made us feel we had to seem like we were doing something.
*Hearing about John Gormley’s defence of the government’s Enquiry into the banks that “It will not be secret, it will be held in private” So the notion that it’s not a secret, you just can’t talk about it to anyone else lead me to the above.
Interesting piece from the Sindo about students on grants living it up based on an as yet unpublished report from the ESRI. Makes a consistent follow I guess up from that article about students in UCD trading sexual favours for cigs. In the course of the piece we’re asked to rely on sources such as “An education figure” and “Another veteran college source” for more colourful information including references to students sending telegrams of all things. (I was in college in the late 80s and even then we had access to the telephone)
When it comes to presenting us with facts it really gets good saying “the report will show that students spend €132 a month on having a good time — but about €30 a month on books and study aides. But when questioned about their spending, researchers were told that it was books rather than bar bills that were of most concern to students. “Books were cited by most students as causing significant and sometimes unexpected financial strain,” the report will reveal.”
Books are normally bought at the beginning of the year and so would consistent a large one off purchase that would weigh on the minds of people people. But then we get to the meat of it all.
“However figures indicate “that students who receive the full maintenance grant of €3,250 a year may be spending more than a third of this on alcohol and cigarettes”, says one source. ”
Note the “may be spending” to cover the fact that they may not too. First up students in receipt of a full grant of €361 are getting considerably less that those on the dole plus they aren’t normally eligible for rent allowance. And that broad term could include socialising that doesn’t include alcohol at all, like going for coffee or lunch. But since it could be alcohol let’s just pretend it is all booze. And it is worth noting that a student tells the study: “Everyone in your class goes out once or twice a week. I’d say socialising is my biggest expense outside trying to actually live.” So outside of trying to live, (that would be trivial stuff like travelling to and from college, eating, rent,) socialising is their biggest expense. I guess they should be looking to pay a mortgage or health insurance according to the Sindo.
“Over the nine-month college year, students on the full grant receive €361 per month from the State.
Over 33,500 — or 25 per cent of third-level students — receive a grant. The top rate is €3,250 for students who live away from home, but some 16,000 also receive a Special Rate of Maintenance grant for students from extremely low income backgrounds of just over €6,355. ”
Now, I would reckon students on average have it easier than we had it 20 years ago, but what is with the focus by the Sindo on them and in particular on those on grants. Or is this straight forward pandering to the prejudices of the middle classes that grants are waste of their taxes?