January 17, 2011

Bring on the brave new world

Posted in Ireland · 153 comments ·
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What is the link between Friday night snogs at a disco, grandfathers talking about cold pigs in winter to grandsons, immigrant children coming up with their own IT ideas, iPods and teenagers standing too close to the speakers at a Green Day concert?

Why, the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, of course! These everyday events prompted young Irish people – all still in school – to come up with their own inventions, which were on display at the RDS last Friday.

The sense of optimism and the ‘can-do’ attitude on display here among our young generation was in huge contrast to the guff about who runs Fianna Fáil.

Frankly, who cares at this stage?

The teenagers’ sense of purpose and enthusiasm for the possibility of science and technology make me confident about the future.

On display at the RDS last Friday morning was the greatest resource that we have in Ireland – our people, with all our ambitions, idiosyncrasies and spirit.

Consider the story of 16-year-old Shane McCarthy from Blackwater Community School, Co Waterford.

He was talking to his grandad, a farmer from Lismore, about pigs getting cold in the winter.

His granddad didn’t have the money to heat the piggery during the winter, but his father had come up with an ingenious plan to keep the pigs warm.

The old man would find bottles of stout in the local bar and bring them home.

He then buried them in the ground where the pigs slept, and covered them with a thick casing of muck.

The body heat of the pigs descended into the muck, heating up the bottles.

Then, because glass retains heat, the bottles remained hot, keeping the pigs warm in the long winter nights. McCarthy listened to his grandfather at the kitchen table last year explaining the pigs’ central heating.

Aware of the current drive to preserve energy in houses, he wondered if this idea could be applied to buildings.

After a chat with local lads in the building industry, he realised that it could. You could build houses with a layer of bottles between the house and the foundations, insulated by cardboard, and the same effect would manifest itself in huge cost savings on the average house heating bill.

The only constraint, he said, laughing, was the availability of bottles, which is why he and his friends planned to go around their older brothers and sisters’ 18th birthday parties collecting empties.

McCarthy and his fellow students have calculated how much such a measure saves.

A layer of bottles under the average new house produces, on average, 4.77 degrees more heat than a house without the bottles, saving 2.3373 tons of CO2 per year and cutting heating bills by €477.

Innovation is born of such things.

A little knowledge passed on from father to son to grandson and then modified. And innovation makes economies tick. Throughout the ages, the more innovative the economy, the more productive it is – and the innovative mind will eventually come up with something that can change the world.

So it was that a 40-year-old glass-blower in Pisa in 1306 noticed that, when seen through convex glass, blurry things on the floor of his workshop seemed much clearer.

Thus, the first eyeglasses were born. What this incidental discovery allowed was revolutionary, prolonging the working life of a skilled Italian artisan.

Because the crystalline lens hardens at about 40 and we can no longer see properly, we become long-sighted. So, without glasses, we can’t work with small things, nor can we read words on a page.

Italian artisans with these new convex glasses could work for at least 20 years longer than their contemporaries elsewhere. For two centuries, the Italians guarded their secret and, by the middle of the 15th century, Florence and Venice were making thousands of such glasses, increasing the productivity of Italian cities and extending their advantage over everyone else, creating the wealth that allowed the Renaissance to happen. Such are the enormous historical and cultural implications of innovation.

Beside McCarthy at the Young Scientist Exhibition sat two brothers, Artyom and Kyril Zorin, teenage sons of Russian immigrants.

The boys, who attend St Conleth’s College in Dublin, have developed an amazing open-source operating system called ZorinOS (www.zorin-os.webs.com).

ZorinOS is an extraordinary achievement. The boys have taken the open source operating system Linux and modified it to make it much more user friendly.

It looks and feels like Windows but is much more sophisticated, much less likely to be infected with viruses and much less likely to crash – and the boys are trying to commercialise it.

Why doesn’t one of the state departments – Ireland, for example – buy it from them and use it?

Enterprise Ireland is, after all, supposed to be encouraging local innovation. So why spend millions on Windows operating systems, when we could be supporting the innovation of our own school kids? What have we got to lose?

This go-for-it attitude is encapsulated by Eimear O’Carroll, of www.restoredhearing.com, who told me that the Young Scientist Week was the best week of her school life because she could meet people like herself.

When you are good at maths and science in school, she said, you are in a minority. But at the exhibition, you met people like you, boys who are into ‘‘sums and stuff’’. She met her boyfriend at the disco, as did her classmate, Rhona Togher. But that is not all.

Both girls, one-time students of the Ursuline Convent in Sligo, and both music fans, noticed that after a particularly loud Green Day concert, they kept hearing a ringing in their ears. This condition is known as tinnitus. Togher, now a physics student at UCD, explained that it is caused by a flattening of the minuscule hairs deep inside the ear in the cochlea.

These hairs vibrate to sound: the louder the sound, the more they vibrate until they actually bend over and can’t right themselves, like trees falling in the wind.

The girls realised that if sound, like wind, blew the hairs down, another sound might straighten them.

After comprehensive testing, they developed a product called Somtus to do just this. They have patented the product and it now sells well online at the above website. The innovation won the BT Young Scientist of the Year prize a few years back. These are only a couple of the stories and a small example of the brilliant creative activity the BT Young Scientist encourages. It is a wonderful event and an uplifting experience.

We can only take our hats off and applaud all the teachers who foster and encourage these children and young adults.

After the political week we’ve had, it was a most uplifting way to spend Friday and should give us all confidence that, despite the greed of a few and the financial stupidity of many mandarins and members of the political classes, there is still plenty of genius in Ireland.

The innovative genie, the traditional motor of all economics, only has to be let out of the bottle.


  1. DMCW4PRESIDENT

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-McWilliams-to-Run-for-Irish-Presidency/186150784747819

    Please don’t let a junket junkie take up this post. We need someone like David to promote our country and keep the news Government in check. Would be a great message to send out to the rest of the world that we actually have dynamic, energetic and forward thinking people here who want to do rebuild our economy.

    We have been laughed at for too long now by the rest of the world, let’s kick start this today or else we will have David Norris towing the diplomatic line. David McWilliams can influence change from this post. President has plenty of powers if they care to flex their political muscles. Most importantly they can put it to the people if they are not happy about issues in the form of a referendum.

    • DMCW4PRESIDENT

      apologies for typing mistakes…..but you get the drift.

    • Sorry old chap, the President of Ireland has no power to change or direct change. The Constitution gives the President exactly the same powers as the Queen of England.
      A man if the calibre of David would be wasted in politics, particularly in Ireland where a minority do not want change. But, why don;t you direct your efforts to having a New Republic with a new Constitution and 21st century rules for Public Servants and make the Cabinet accountable to the Dail (and the people) again.

      • DMCW4PRESIDENT

        http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/the_president/

        I think like any role in Irish politics, the role could be open to manipulation. Brian Cowen is re writing his own party rules,why can’t the same be done here. The Credit Institutions Stabilization Bill 2010 was forced through by President McAleese under obvious duress by Lenihan. That bill should have been put up for referendum. A salary of €325,000 is too much for someone to just smile at the camera like McAleese.

        http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/if-you-want-my-vote-for-president-do-it-cheaper-2335138.html

      • Deco

        Well, actually the President has some responsibilities/powers. But referrring NAMA to the Supreme Court for a test of Constitutionality was something he avoided. Referring the bank bailouts was also something that she avoided.

        Once again the problem is not the Constitution, but the fact that the proxies of IBEC/ICTU are ignoring it when it might prevent them from doing damage.

        • Deco

          Correction – should have stated “something she avoided”. McUseless is a rubber stamp for anything that serves the interests of IBEC. It is all about getting access to the clique.

      • Gege Le Beau

        The presidency is where people go after they have exhausted the political options, fair enough, Mary Robinson gave the office a bit of energy and publicity, but it is normally a place for grey men in suits to serve out there political days, it is one of the reasons why the office should be scrapped. A Republic without a Seanad or symbolic president, how revolutionary.

        However, if you want to see how a president should operate, then look no further than Iceland, guy intervened and made one hell of a difference.

    • That FB page looks a bit too much like David set it up himself. There’s also a rumour floating that our host here is going to run in Dun Laoghaire – David, go on, do tell… :-)

      • Deco

        Rumour has it that Paul Somerville is thinking about running in Dublin South East, as an Independent.

        I reckon Somerville would ramp home on the first count. somerville is experienced in the area of Finance/Economics and is damn serious about reforming a lot of things. Exactly the sort of figure that you would need when bringing Boucher and whoever is the current Head of AIB before the Dail Committee.

        • Dorothy Jones

          @Deco

          Paul Sommerville would be an excellent candidate. He understands the markets, is an empirical thinker, a gifted communicator, and also would command respect in the eyes of the international media.

          His energy and insight, which are evident from his media appearances are highlighted further in contrast with the red-eyed, bloated, incoherent perfomances of those who hold office.

          • Gege Le Beau

            Been impressed any time I have seen him on Browne’s show, these people know that a political opening like the one that is about to appear comes about once in a hundred years, people resigning and stepping out of the way is virtually unheard of, people normally sit in the job until closing time.

    • Dorothy Jones

      +1, my request to David is in the posts below: 13:30 17 Jan 2011

  2. CitizenWhy

    Thanks for this hopeful news.

  3. wills

    David.

    Like the article.

    The private banking debt usury system kills innovation by strangling the life out of the free market free enterprise system. It keeps ‘people’ in a constant state of worry with no space to focus on anything else other than worrying about all things to do with money and paying bills and keeping safe.

    Innovation is the ultimate threat to the technocratic feudal enterprise system. The banking system is abused to control the flow of ideas and capital and resources to ensure innovation never knocks on the door of the jailor economic system and threaten to *blow its house down*.

    • wills

      David.

      I like this idea here which uses metaphor to describe my post above.

      As Johnson tells it: “Kubrick was thinking of making either the Stephen King or my novel, “The Shadow Knows.” And, you know, he ultimately decided on the King. “The Shadow Knows” had some problems like being a first person narrative, the only other one that I’ve done actually . . . well, almost . . . and, but anyway, he and I, in talking about it got along better than he and Stephen King, I guess. (Laughs). So, he just . . . he would call me up for about a week or two. It’s very much a story that other of his writers tell. You know, you get these calls from Kubrick and then he proposes a meeting, and then he proposes you come in and write a script. And, so I did. And I spent, oh, I don’t know, a couple of months . . . I guess eleven weeks all together, so almost three months in London, working everyday with him.” (2)

      Kubrick was also interested in Johnson because he learnt that she was giving a course at the University of California at Berkeley on the Gothic novel and could bring a scholarly knowledge of literary horror to the script. He called her the ideal collaborator for The Shining .

      Note
      (1) See question 16 of the FAQ for more information on the Shadow Knows.

      (2) Quote taken from Diane Johnson interview in the New York Times

      6/ How does Stephen King feel about Kubrick’s adaptation of his book?
      Initially King was flattered that Kubrick was going to do something of his. Later he expressed disappointment in the film. “There’s a lot to like about it. But it’s a great big beautiful Cadillac with no motor inside, you can sit in it and you can enjoy the smell of the leather upholstery – the only thing you can’t do is drive it anywhere. So I would do every thing different. The real problem is that Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre. Everything about it screams that from beginning to end, from plot decision to the final scene – which has been used before on the Twilight Zone”

      King had the chance to “do everything different” with the I997 TV movie adaptation of The Shining which he wrote and produced. However the TV Shining was poorly received and generally considered to be vastly inferior to the Kubrick’s version. Friction between Kubrick and King was probably further exasperated because Kubrick refused King the rights to release his version of The Shining on video.

      Recently it has emerged that King used to be an alcoholic, and that parts of The Shining are, if not autobiographical, then very personal for the author. King was annoyed because Kubrick’s adaptation, in his eyes, marginalised the book’s most important theme, that of an good father can be turned into a monster through alcohol abuse.

      7/ How long did the film take to shoot?
      “The Shining” took an estimated 200 days to shoot, according to production charts kept by Variety. However Gordon Stainforth, who joined the production just after the end of photography, says that he thought the shoot had taken the best part of a year.

      8/ Why are there two versions of The Shining? What was filmed but cut out?
      The two version of The Shining are the US cut with has a running time of 144 minutes and the international version which is 20 minutes shorter. Both versions have the status of “director’s cuts” as Kubrick made the cuts himself.

      In November 1980 Monthly Film Bulletin ran a piece itemising the differences between versions (1) . Here is a summary of that article:

      Scene cut from the US version during 1st run:

      (1) A two-minute sequence was deleted from the end of the film in the first weeks of its run. A coda to Wendy and Danny’s escape (which followed the shot of Jack frozen in the maze). This showed Wendy being visited in hospital by Ullman, and his complimenting her on having survived. (2)

      After playing to what Movie Comment calls “generally bad reviews and erratic box-office in America,” the film was preview-tested before its opening in London and a further twenty-five minutes were cut.

      Scenes cut from the international version:

      (1) Part of Jack’s interview at the Overlook Hotel.

      (2) Danny’s examination by a doctor (Anne Jackson)

      (3) Part of the tour of the Overlook with Ullman, Jack and Wendy, including the dialogue in the Colorado Lounge and The beginning of the scene where Ullman shows Jack and Wendy the hotel grounds and the scene leading up to Dick Hallorann’s first appearance where Ullman shows off “The Gold Room”

      (4) Part of Danny’s conversation alone with Hallorann

      (5) The end of the Torrances’ first scene in the hotel, when Wendy brings Jack his breakfast

      (6) Immediately after the scene in which Wendy and Danny explore the maze, a sequence has been cut in which Wendy is seen working in the kitchen while a TV announcer talks of a search in the mountains for a missing woman

      (7) THURSDAY title card

      (8) Wendy and Danny watching the Summer of ’42 on television.

      (9) dialogue from the middle of the scene in which Jack first goes to the Gold Room

      (10) Wendy is seen crying and talking to herself about the possibility of getting down the mountain in the snowcat, and of calling the Forest Rangers

      (11) Dick Hallorann again tries to get through to the Overlook by calling the Ranger station.

      (12) 8AM title card

      (13) Hallorann asks a stewardess what time they are due to land in Denver; she tells him 8.20 and he checks his watch. Jack is seen typing in the lounge of the Overlook. Hallorann’s plane lands at the airport. Larry Durkin (Tony Burton), a garage owner, answers his phone and talks to Hallorann, who asks for a snowcat to get up to the Overlook.

      (14) GS: “A whole scene where Danny is watching TV (a Roadrunner cartoon). After talking to Danny (I think telling him to stay there) Wendy picks up the baseball bat and exits (on her way into the Colorado lounge). I was particularly proud of the way I ‘choreographed’ the cartoon music on the TV with Wendy’s movements. There was then a long dissolve, as the cartoon music faded, to Wendy entering the Colorado lounge. After a pause I then gently faded in the start of the Penderecki music as Wendy walks towards Jack’s desk.”

      (15) The beginning of the scene in which Wendy finds Jack’s type-written pages covered with “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (GS: This then is really cut (14), i.e. the second half of the dissolve plus a few more seconds of Wendy walking into the Colorado lounge)

      (16) A tableau in which skeletons are sitting at a table with a champagne bottle and glasses.

      Notes
      (1) You can read the whole article at on-line at Stanley Kubrick 1928-1999 (back)

      (2) GS thinks Ullman’s hospital visit was cut out after a preview in America, just before the film was released. (back)

      9/ Is it true that The Shining holds the record for the most takes of a scene in a film?
      Well, according to the Guinness book of records it does. They claim it took Kubrick 125 takes to capture the scene were Shelley Duvall climbs the stairs near the end of the film. But Gordon Stainforth contests this, “I’m sure Shelley never had to repeat a scene 125 times (I think the most takes on one scene was Scatman in the kitchen which was something in the order of 75-85 takes). The scene of Shelley backing up the stairs with the baseball bat was NOT all about acting, it was a very technically difficult piece of Steadicam camera operating as well. Loads of things can and did go slightly wrong on that kind of take. (If my memory is correct it was something in the order of 45 takes.)”

      10/ Where were the Overlook hotel exteriors filmed and is it a real hotel?
      The establishing shots of the Overlook Hotel are of The Timberline Lodge located on the slopes of Mount Hood in Oregon.

      The Overlook, as seen in the film, doesn’t exist in real life, the interiors of the Timberline Lodge are different to Kubrick’s sets, however it is true to say the Overlook is an amalgamation of bits of real hotels located in the USA. For example, the blood red men’s room was modelled on a men’s room in a hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Colorado lounge was modelled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley (1) . Kubrick conceived the hotel with designer Roy Walker. Walker travelled around the USA photographing hotels which might be suitable for the story. Then they spent weeks going through the photographs making selections for the different rooms. Using the details in the photographs, working drawings were prepared from which small models were built.

      A mock up of a facade of the rear of the Timberline Lodge complete with hedge maze was constructed on a back lot in Elstree Studios, England. The real Timberline does not have a maze.

      Kubrick and Walker wanted their hotel set to look authentic rather than like a traditionally spooky movie hotel. Kubrick believed that the hotel’s labyrinthine layout and huge rooms would provide an eerie enough atmosphere. A realistic approach was also followed in the lighting design, and in every aspect of the hotel’s decor. Kubrick took his inspiration from Kafka’s writing; his stories were “fantastic and allegorical,” but his writing was “simple and straightforward, almost journalistic.”

      Adapted from Michel Ciment interview

      Notes
      (1) To see a photo of the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel go to http://www.thegrid.net

      Thanks to Bryant Arnett for the link (back)

      11/ Were all the pages of Jack’s “all work and no play” novel actually typed?
      Yes they were, although Johnson has said that Kubrick used an electric typewriter with a small built-in memory capacity to type the pages. The typewriter could be fed with a phrase and left to repeat it ad infinitum.

      GS adds: I am sorry to disagree with Diane Johnson, but I think this is a complete myth. I have clear memories of Margaret Adams, the production secretary, telling me how she and several other typists had to type all those pages out.

      According to the internet movie database, several foreign language versions of Jack’s novel were also typed out. Although GS states this is incorrect too: “To my knowledge these different versions were simply used in the subtitles for the foreign versions.” However Vincent Pappalardo writes: In the French version, there actually is the shot of pages typed in French (with a different sentence typed). I don’t know about other versions, but I guess it wasn’t just done for France. And Francis Catellier-Poulin adds: The translation for “All work and no play…” is “Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras.” In English it can be roughly translated as: “One certainty is better than two possibilities.”

      Andrea Ronza writes: The phrase in Italian is “Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca”, which literally translates as “The morning keeps gold in its mouth”. The meaning is something like “You have to start your day in the right way, because the morning is the most propitious moment”. This has resonances to the themes in the film;
      - gold: the golden room,
      - mouth: Tony lives in Danny’s mouth;
      - morning: maybe 4 am & 8 am, or Jack trying to work every morning but is actually awake very late.

      12/ Are there any connections between The Shining and Marshall McLuhan?
      Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian professor of English Literature who wrote a series of books examining the effect of communication technologies on the human psyche as well as on culture. McLuhan believed that media created new environments which in turn impacted on human behaviour in profound but largely unacknowledged ways. He is perhaps most famous today for coining the phrases “The medium is the message” and “Global Village.”

      McLuhan’s definition of media was broad, it was any technology that extended human physical and sensory capability: the wheel was an extension of the foot, clothes of the skin, weapons of teeth, books of the eye, radio of the ear, the computer of the brain, etc. He was especially interested in how technologies differed from one another and the way in which they amplified, integrated or isolated different senses (creating different sensibilities). McLuhan viewed history in terms of the effects on humankind of the invention of the phonetic alphabet, followed by the printing press, and in the 20th Century by electronic communication and information media.

      Here is David Kirkpatrick’s McLuhanesque analysis of The Shining. In it he pays particular attention to his 1962 book “the Gutenberg Galaxy – The Making of Typographic Man” (Johan Gutenberg was the inventor movable type which allowed for mass reproduction of printed texts) For more information on McLuhan and his ideas, a very good introduction is provided by Philip Marchand’s biography: “Marshall McLuhan: The Medium And The Messenger.”

      ****
      My first impression when I saw it in 1980 was that there was a Marshall McLuhan subtext to The Shining. What grabbed me was what for me was the climactic, most horrifying moment of the film: when Wendy discovered Jack’s manuscript with nothing but “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” repeated on it. To someone who’s read a lot of McLuhan, this is the perfect visual metaphor for the horror of the “Gutenberg era” legacy. (1)

      Wendy, Danny and later Halloran are all seen watching television — they are all comfortable living in the electronic age. Wendy is also shown greatly enjoying the use of the CB radio and the human contact it affords. Danny and Halloran’s “shining” gift emulates the empathy-enhancing properties of the television-dominated world. “Telepathy” is what we experience when we effectively communicate with each other by non-verbal means.

      Jack is associated with the age of print both by his connection with his typewriter and having been a school-teacher. (Reading and writing has to be taught.) Jack is also associated with linear “left-brain” abstracting-rather-than-integrating “rationality” by his unhinged tirade against Wendy after she sees his “assembly-line” manuscript. “Do you know what a contract means?!”, I think is one of the lines he used.

      1. The climactic discovery of Jack’s “All work and no play…” manuscript can be taken as a metaphor for the horror of Gutenberg technology – the typographic mass production of words on a page. 2. Television and other electric forms of communication appear through film and are associated with Wendy, Danny and Hallorann whereas Jack lives with his typewriter. Wendy, Danny and Hallorann watch TV, Hallorann uses the telephone twice and Wendy seems to particularly enjoy using the two-way radio. For the good guys, communication is community-preserving, whereas for Jack it is a way of establishing identity, even isolation – if he can succeed as a writer, then he afford to live the lonely life of a writer.

      3. Jack represents book culture not only as an aspiring writer but also as a former schoolteacher. His disdain for television is shown in the sarcastic way he says (in the car) “It’s OK, he saw it on television!” By contrast, he makes a sanctimonious appeal to a “written contract” when Wendy suggests that they should leave the Overlook Hotel in order to get help for Danny.

      4. The theme of telepathy is central to the story; McLuhan often said that the non-verbal communication afforded by electronic media was a kind of telepathy. Communication with images instead of words.

      5. Another central theme is reincarnation. The Indian Burial Ground motif is one that Kubrick added to the story. Bill Blakemore has drawn connections between the murders in the hotel and the genocidal heritage of the Americas, but parallels between the Native American notion of Vision Quests and modern day ESP are suggestive of McLuhan’s “Global Village” notion of electric technology “re-tribalizing” man after Gutenberg technology has created nations of individualists.

      6. The title “The Shining” can be taken as a metaphor for electronic media. The name of the Overlook Hotel is suggestive of McLuhan’s theory of sense-ratios and how media affect them – Gutenberg technology makes us over-look and under-listen.

      7. The yellow poster (and album cover) for the movie resembles the dot-matrix of a television screen. McLuhan made much of the low-definition image aspect of television.

      8. McLuhan’s detachment versus involvement theme: Jack relates to the maze only at a visual level whereas Wendy and Danny immerse themselves in it; when Jack chases Danny through the maze, he is essentially “reading” the footprints. Danny’s escape by using multiple senses – hearing his father always just behind him in the maze he recognizes that his footprints give him away, he retraces his steps and then visually follows them back out of the maze. McLuhan often cited the ending of Poe’s Descent into the Maelstrom as an appropriate fable about salvation through detached understanding of media we take for granted, and Danny’s escape is a similar insightful dodge from the linearity of doom.

      9. Even if McLuhan’s theories did not inspire deep subtexts in Kubrick’s filming of The Shining, (2) the film unquestionably has built into its plot the basic themes of community versus isolation and communication versus secrecy. Communication is a central theme, so different communications theorists might find their own ideas illustrated in the film.

      DK

      Notes
      (1) See McLuhan’s book the Gutenberg Galaxy for his theory about the far-ranging social effects of the printing press. (back)

      (2) There is no doubt that Kubrick admired McLuhan. Philip Marchand’s biography recounts a story of Kubrick taking the trouble to arrange a special private screening of 2001 for him in New York. Unfortunately his admiration was not reciprocated; McLuhan detested science fiction and his daughter Teri had to prevent him walking out ten minutes into the film. Twenty minutes in the Strauss waltz on the soundtrack was punctuated the sound of his snoring.

      13/ What aspect ratio was The Shining filmed in?
      The entire negative was exposed, meaning that there was no in-camera hard matting so the film was effectively shot in Academy 1.37 but it wasn’t intended to be shown in cinemas that way. The film was shot and conceived for 1:1.85 ratio screening (and the camera viewfinders had the 1.85 framelines marked on them) This is the standard ratio that widescreen films in the US are projected in. The 1:185 crop was achieved when the film was projected onto cinemas screens.

      DM, GS

      Notes
      See the note at the bottom of question 11 in theFAQ for more information on aspect ratios

      See Martin Hart’s American Widescreen Museum site for more information of film formats.

      14/ What are the references to Native Americans and what do they mean?
      In 1987 Bill Blakemore published an influential essay called “The Family of Man” in the San Francisco Chronicle. Blakemore argued The Shining wasn’t really about the murders at the Overlook Hotel. But about the murder of the Native American race

      He makes a number of interesting observations to support his case. You can read the entire essay on-line by visiting The Kubrick Site, but here are a few salient points:-

      (1) The profusion of Indian motifs that decorate the hotel, and serve as background in many of the key scenes represent the fate of the Indians in the USA, woven into the very fabric of the country although denied a voice.

      (2) the insertion of two lines, early in the film, describing how the hotel was built on an Indian burial ground.

      (3) The Calumet baking powder cans, in the food store, with their Indian chief logo that Kubrick placed carefully in the two food-locker scenes. (A calumet is a peace pipe.)

      (4) Blakemore calls these observations “confirmers” such as puzzle-makers often use to tell you you’re on the right track. He goes onto say, “The Shining is also explicitly about America’s general inability to admit to the gravity of the genocide of the Indians — or, more exactly, its ability to “overlook” that genocide. Not only is the site called the Overlook Hotel with its Overlook Maze, but one of the key scenes takes place at the July 4th Ball. That date, too, has particular relevance to American Indians. That’s why Kubrick made a movie in which the American audience sees signs of Indians in almost every frame, yet never really sees what the movie’s about. The film’s very relationship to its audience is thus part of the mirror that this movie full of mirrors holds up to the nature of its audience.”

      ***
      Reaction to Blakemore’s essay on amk had been mixed over the years. Some posters think he has some important insights, others that he is completely wrong, there are still others who take the view that he is partially right, but the film ends up being distorted through the lens of his prose.

      15/ What is “White Man’s Burden?”
      When Jack is talking to Lloyd the barman he refers to white man’s burden, (which seems fairy non sequitur at the time, although the line also appears in King’s novel). “White Man’s Burden” is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling (1), written in 1889 at the height of the British Empire; at the time, the title became a well-known expression.

      Take up the White Man’s burden
      Send forth the best ye breed
      Go, bind your sons to exile
      To serve your captives’ need;
      To wait, in heavy harness,
      On fluttered folk and wild
      Your new-caught sullen peoples,
      Half devil and half child.
      The expression was the British equivalent of the American term “Manifest Destiny,” a concept used by (mostly) European settlers to justify their occupation of what is now the United States of America. To define both concepts briefly: they assert the God given duty of the “civilised” Christian men of Europe to civilise and baptise the heathen aboriginal peoples of the world.

      History has shown, however, that in the carrying out this ‘sacred duty,’ settlers invariably made a mockery of the Christian values they were trying to teach. (2)

      Although Kipling’s poem mixed exhortation to empire with sober warnings of the human cost of colonialism, anti-imperialists in the United States latched onto the phrase “white man’s burden” as a euphemism for imperialism, and Kipling was accused of justifying the policy as a noble enterprise.

      Notes
      (1) For further information check out the website The White Man’s Burden” and Its Critics (back)

      (2) To find out about the history of the persecution of native Americans by white settlers read Dee Brown’s classic account, “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.” (back)

      16/ How did Kubrick do the shot where Jack looks down at a model maze to see Wendy and Danny walking in it?
      Stephen Pickard who worked as one of the assistant editors on the film wrote.

      “When Ray Lovejoy, the editor, first introduced me to Stanley he was shooting the insert on the hedge maze. It was a large miniature which stood upright and the live action of Wendy and Danny was a VistaVision plate. The 35mm 4-perf camera shutter speed was synchronised with the VV projector shutter, similar to a traditional rear-projection set-up.”

      What’s the significance of the maze / Feudal enterprise system

      The hotel maze suggests a number of mythological and psychological associations prompted by mazes and labyrinths. In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth of Crete was a dungeon of inter-connecting maze-like tunnels derived from the elaborate floor plan of the Palace at Knossos. In the myth, the architect of the Labyrinth was the Athenian craftsman Daedalus, who designed it for King Minos.

      The Labyrinth was so skilfully designed that once a person was incarcerated there it was impossible for them to find their way out again. They would then become prey for the Minotaur (1) – a half-man; half-bull that lived in the Labyrinth. Daedalus revealed the secrets of its construction only to Ariadne, daughter of Minos, but she in turn told her lover, Theseus who used the knowledge to slay the Minotaur and escape.

      The Labyrinth and Minotaur in Greek Mythology can be read as symbols of the dark side of humanity, the Minotaur represents the ‘Beast’ in the human psyche that we hide away in the ‘Labyrinth’ of the unconscious mind. As Kubrick said: “One of the things that horror stories can do is show us the archetypes of the unconscious: we can see the dark side without having to confront it directly.” The structure of a maze allows for just such an indirect confrontation of these dark forces.

      Michel Foucault (2) articulated this characteristic of the maze in his 1962 essay ‘Such a Cruel Knowledge’ “To enter the gates of the maze,” Foucault said “is to enter a theatre of Dionysian (3) castration, is to undergo a paradoxical initiation not to a lost secret but to all the sufferings of which man has never lost the memory – the oldest cruelties in the world.”

      When Jack Torrence is trapped in the maze he ultimately takes on the characteristics the Minotaur thus any specificity attached to his murderous actions is removed of context, and occupies instead in the universal space of myth. Symbolically the maze transcends physical time and space, and the roar of Torrence’s rage echoes down its myriad pathways to connect right back to the origins of rage itself.

      Foucault called the Minotaur the very near and yet also the absolutely alien – the emblem of the unity of the human and inhuman. All the imagery of ‘the Shining’ is suggestive of Labyrinths, the long mountainous roads that lead to the Overlook, the corridors of the hotel and finally the maze itself, its as if we are being drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery and yet at its heart what do we find? A demon? Something unknowable and alien to us? No, we find an insane man stalking his child. Kubrick seems to be saying that the evil beings that inhabit our collective memories, Satan, the Minotaur, etc.. are just projections of our evil selves: whilst the devil, if he exists, resides in the ordinary, the banal, the everyday. (4)

      http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/faq/html/shining/shining.html

  4. Innovation and clever young people of Ireland have been kept underfoot for too long.

    We need to support them more to help us get our country back from the Gombeens:( We’re suffering a blight of cronyism and nepotism, zombieism at the moment. Hidden agendas of political and religious persuasion are there to ensure its continuation. Perhaps now the old order is broken, this will unleash Ireland’s talents sometime in the future.
    Not enough to say, they’ve colleges and universities to go to, they need lots more help to grow their talents, at an earlier stage.

    http://www.giftedkids.ie/ctyi.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Academy_for_Gifted_and_Talented_Youth
    http://www.eypireland.com/

    • oops shuda said, innovation and cleverness peple of Ireland:)

      • Gege Le Beau

        There is no shortage of good ideas in this country, there is a massive shortage of support from the insides to realise those ideas however.

        Remember “we are where we are” was often the best mantra they could come up with, what does that tell you.

        As Albert Einstein wrote: “Great spirits have always encountered VIOLENT opposition from mediocre minds”.

  5. TalentCoop

    Congratulations to all young scientists/inventors – proving the brain power Ireland has always been blessed with is still alive and kicking!

    It needs nurturing to maximise the talent and whilst speaking of talent, DMcW is the breath of fresh skill and intellect Irish politics needs – yesterday’s men need replacing by him and others of his generation, who have the intellect, skill, energy, ideas and integrity that seems so lacking.

    p.s. Administrator there’s a prob notified when logging in to the Blog that only you can fix – with WP.

    • Prob here too – have to go through the ‘lost password’ routine each time to be able to login. Anyone else getting the same?

    • Malcolm McClure

      Congrats also to the teachers who instil enthusiasm for subjects that most youngsters find difficult and time-consuming.
      Know-how can be taught by any competent teacher but originality needs to be nurtured by teachers of exceptional insight.

    • Deco

      He should probably ask the two kids who designed their own OS for a digout. (Well..maybe we could use a better term…)

  6. BrianMc

    Just to widen the scope of this debate; Ireland is not particularly “innovative”.
    Evidence:
    See Dublin’s mediocre ranking http://goo.gl/Sb5i.
    Full List: http://goo.gl/3ief.
    Also, http://goo.gl/Jt5v pinpoints Ireland as being “poor at identifying opportunities & new products”.

    I’m guessing the Irish educational system, to follow David’s metaphor, acts as a “bottle” from which innovation has to somehow escape(http://ow.ly/i/7hd5).

    See why all of this is so important:
    http://goo.gl/rBBbv

    Regards,
    @BriMcS

  7. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  8. It’s nice to hear some good news David and you made my day thanks. A great read and very interesting and entertaining. I loved the story about the pigs – such a simple idea yet brilliant.

    I was particularly pleased about your enthusiasm towards the Zorin operating system and I am now looking at their web site and it looks really great. I use Linux Mint and like Zorin it is based on Ubuntu (or Debian) Linux and uses the Gnome desktop. There is a reason why I use this stuff and that is because it is simple to use – even for a newbies or expariences users – and it is gorgeous. Oh – and it is totally free. I will never use Windows again because Linux does it all and then some

    Pity we could not use it in our schools and colleges to make people aware that there really is a choice and that you don’t have to pay out good dosh for crap, restricted software that you have no control over. Good on the 2 lads and I hope they help Linux become more accepted in these times of economic neccessity

    http://www.linuxmint.com/

  9. Deco

    Firstly, to the kids who took part – full marks to all.

    When I was young, I remember an old man in the neighbourhood, who had returned from a lifetime working in the motoring industry in Coventry, saying “where there is muck there is brass”. Well, in Ireland as we became wealthier, and more outwardly sophisticated (all that brand name bull**** etc), we decided that muck was the mark of losers. Put it this way, the gombeens and sleeveens who run the country, don’t get their hards dirty. Their objective is to let that old man from Waterford deal with such matters, while they themselves drive around in clean clothes in Druids Glen and the K-Club, getting the rest of the population in the shite. Ireland in need of heroes is slowly awakening to find that teenagers listening to their grandads are a much healthier future. The future cannot come from overpaid obese alcohol filled politicians listening to patrician gombeen asshole bankers who tell us proudly that they do not rate people on their intelligence, but on their ability to connect with other members of the gombeens class.

    There is nothing more humble than trying to find out a way of saving energy in a pigsty. There is nothing more arrogant than writing a book about what a swell time you had mixing with the gansgters who are the subject matter of “Who (really) runs Ireland” (Cooper). It is also obvious that wheeler-dealing, stupidity, dishonesty, arrogance and pride got us into the shit. And maybe, just maybe humility, honesty, initiative, and ingenuity are our only hope of getting us out.

    And yet, it takes courage in a country like Ireland to do what that kid. Courage and intelligence to chase an idea that might work. Far more courage than I see coming from the clowns in the National Pantomine in Kildare Street who have become a subsidiary of the power structure in Brussels.

    Of course you do know what will happen to these bright minds…they will be conditioned to “enjoy life”, to “fit in”, to “do the done thing”, to support our advertising sponsors, etc…and then when they have been softened up…they will run into the Irish concept of management.

    Therefore let’s lay bare this sacred cow called the Irish concept of management, and critique it. Hopefully, by the time these kids finish college they will not have to “fit in” with the pretensiousness of the crooked crony insiders. Hopefully they will not obey the negative culture that it needs to encourage in order to weaken those that might undermine their power and money. There might be some chance that the cronyism that dominates Ireland will be much weaker when they become adults. And if not, they can always work for the multinationals – who might not appreciate the niceties of running everything from the golf club, or other sporting fraternity. Let’s not forget that it was only a few years back when Seanie Fitz got the banker of the year award, and these IBEC cronies were on the back page of the IT Business Supplement, with their greatness being extolled for the rest of us. (“Support our advertising sponsors”). The future is somebody trying to toy with something simple and make it better. It cannot be left to the K-Club Cliques, meeting up with state officials and senior politicians on the basis that a game of golf is a substiture for intelligence and honesty.

    • Deco

      Ireland will on the road to recovery, when muck, dirt, sweat and grit are the mark of winners again. And property empires, brand names, superficiality, choppers, and membership of the clique are the mark of that earns criticism.

      • Gege Le Beau

        some wisdom to this, obviously not to be taken literally as plenty a builder was up to his neck, but if taken figuratively, then when we start producing something of value, we will see change, and I am not just talking about exports, I would actually like to see home grown industries along the lines of the ideas outlined in this interesting article, we can do it, we just need the right people who can give the green light and not be afraid to take a chance on an 18 year old, it is how Silicon valley started, the US for all its faults has more ‘yes people’ than naysaying begrudgers (they have them too) and for anything to be successful there has to be a risk involved or a chance taken, calculated risk hopefully not like those property developers who just kept on building with other people’s money. We can’t go for the easy foreign shilling, time we created something, I mean why not, we have only one life, might as well try to make the most of it.

    • I feel your anger Deco and agree with everything you said. There is nothing that riles me more than someone who parades around in a suit and tie and who has no skills or anything of value to contribute to society. How many of the Gombeen class would ask themselves each evening : “what did I contribute today”

      The farmer who goes out to milk his herd when it is 17 below zero is worth more than the K club crowd as is the man who goes out to repair overhead lines in a blizzard. Anyone who has read Orwell’s essay ‘Down the Mine’ would realise this simple fact

      The young ones who display ingenuity are fated to become indoctrinated into an education system which prepares them for a world of work where they have to conform to the Irish concept of management. If a young lad has the intelliegence and get go to roll his own Linux then he has no business going to college or university. I know this because I did my 4 years learning to program computers and the only reason I did it was because back then I thought I wanted to land a job in the computer industry. If you don’t lick the ass of the asshole who is the placement facilitator then you are screwed. These guys have all the industry contacts and if your face does not fit then you become an outsider

      The young people have talent and they need to be encouraged to make the most of their ideas and themselves as individuals but no doubt they will be encouraged to enter the education system and then go cap in hand to the bank for funding. If I had an ingenous idea a bank is the last place I would be seen in because I could not stomach the idea that someone who produces nothing and has no skills would be gaining from my sweat

      • Deco

        Pauldiv. I had a gruelling experience trying to get a start in the technology sector in the mid-1990s. Loads of interviews, but it took a long time to get a placement. Then I got another job afterwards, and so on. But, I will say this I got opportunities that I would never have got working in the state sector, or the larger Irish companies, where progress almost entirely dependent on politics. I have encountered many people who regard the workplace as some sort of survival zone. And I have learned to survive. It is important to learn about human nature, and also to develop skills for dealing with difficult technical issues.

        It thought me an awful lot about what goes on in Irish business, but which is never discussed. The nepotism in particular. In particular, I have learned a lot about the fact that you work to get a certain freedom, and not just to get money for the pissup at the weekend (which compells you to make compromises). I have “wars” caused by nepotism, and I have seen the results. And they cost business an absolute fortune.

        The banks are run by idiots. The men who put the bins on the back of the bin lorry know more about economics – and they have no formal training. Those who run the banks got there because they applied their faces to somebody else’s posterior. Nicholas Nassim Taleb has provided a critique of the banking system that I learning about now. And I can see that bankers are often a form of laziness, and pretensciousness. They are making it up as they go along. It is not possible to learn about business i) sitting on your ass ii) hanging around the golf links. Yet, they have not grasped this. In fact if anything they are in stern denial of it. With enough bailouts, it will soon be back to business as “normal”.

        However, there is hope – we have the internet. It will allow better discussion of ideas. And in particular it will see more analysis. Television and Radio have both misled us because they are controlled, and because much of the content is designed to produce a subprime intellectual culture. The internet provides new freedoms, and it provides us with tools to produce better intellectual analysis. In particular it provides us to start afresh completely free of the agendas that predominate on the standard media.

        • Deco the internet has been a godsend for those of us who are self improvers and who don’t want to blindly subscribe to the fare that is served up in colleges as ‘education’ and what is passed off as ‘news’ or ‘entertainment’ via the mass media without questioning things. We have never had so much information at our fingertips and and I believe that we should make the most of it

          Take this blog for example. Before I started coming here I never realised that there was a place where people in Ireland discussed the state of the nation in a no holds barred fashion in a very different manner from what we see on tv programs like The Frontline. Now I see that these programs are a pantomine which toe the line in case they offend the sensitivities of the ‘advertising sponsors’

          I have not heard many people in Ireland talking so openly in company as they do in here and I hope it becomes more mainstream. I also hope that more people spread the word that that nepotism, cronyism and jobs for the boys is an abhorrent practice and something that should be held up to ridicule. Such practices hold us back and will only ensure that our society suffers from a type of arrested development and constant underachievement

        • DECO – Binman Economics – I subscribe to that .When I went on summer holidays to Enniscorthy I always wanted to be busy doing something.There was a fat lady called ‘Lizzie from the hill ‘who collected the ‘Swill’ for her pigs and went around to the houses with her donkey and cart .I enjoyed helping her out and got a ride the donkey and cart as a payment .

          • lol. Good tale John

            In the summer of 1977 me and a friend in Glasgow helped old George the binman who went around the streets with a hand cart fitted with two bin liners

            He used to keep a half bottle of Whisky under a flap in the top of cart because he always swore that sweeping was a thirsty job

            After doing a sweep up and before moving onto the next street we would shout ‘all aboard the skylark’ and one of us would push the other one through the streets

            It does boys good to work with men and get a feel for camaraderie at a young age

      • wills

        Pauldiv.

        A1 there.

    • wills

      Deco.

      Great post there, love it n exactly what I was trying to say on Davids trip to DAVOS.

  10. What was the first price? A one way ticket to Canada?

    • Deco

      No, to get that you have to graduate from third level first…. As Minister Hanafin keeps saying, there is a world of opportunity out there….”we must concentrate on a sustainable growth model in future”.

  11. John Q. Public

    We need lots of Leaving Cert pupils of Business Org.,Economics and Accounting to come up with a plan for our banking crises. A full evaluation of Nama and the IMF/EU situation from them would be interesting to hear. They afterall will be the slaves for the rest of their working lives because of the carelessness of their elders. We need a ‘young economist exhibition’ in the RDS next time with ideas for toxic assets to rogue bankers. I’d love to see it.

    • Nope, we need to put those subjects into one single subject of “Business Org.,Economics and Accounting” and maked it a good one. They’ve been bleeding numbers away from those doing other core science subjects like Maths, Physics, Chemistry. Plus give proper bonuses to teachers and students of the core science subjects; and give them the proper backup facilities, labs etc, to teach them properly. Money for this is going to bondholders instead:(

  12. mcsean2163

    “Enterprise Ireland is, after all, supposed to be encouraging local innovation. So why spend millions on Windows operating systems, when we could be supporting the innovation of our own school kids? What have we got to lose?”

    Ans = Microsoft’s FDI.

    • Deco

      member of IBEC also…

    • Linux offers freedom and the ultimate in flexibility.
      It can run on anything from a set top box to a super computer and there is nothing a Mac or Win can do that Linux can’t

      Society has become so indoctrinated into $MS that it’s makers pass off crippled defective products with ease while raking in billions in revenues and no-one questions this

      IT and Computing students need the broadest education possible to cut the mustard but most courses are $MS centric and not intellectually stimulating

      If we are to turn out people who can become innovative in computer hardware and software then they need to be made aware that there are far better ways of educating themselves

  13. Deco

    Well, we know that Cowen meet Seanie Fitz. And a minor detail from RTE is that the meeting was organized by this shadowy character called Fintan Drury. The question arises “Who is Fintan Drury ?”.

    Well RTE and the Irish Times don’t seem to see any relevance in getting you details on Fintan Drury. The focus is elsewhere, while Drury can continue to exist in the shadows. However, somehow or other the Sindo does not need to be as forgetful concerning such a key figure. Here is an outline of some aspects to “Fintan the Fixer”.

    I RECOMMEND THAT YOU ALL HAVE A LOOK….

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/mr-fixit-and-the-date-that-landed-brian-in-the-rough-2497984.html

    Fintan Drury is a classic insider, operating in the area between the state and the private sector. Like any classic insider, he has been a director, and a nonexecutive director several times over. And he knows all the “right” people. And he is a fixer.

    A lot of role play going on here…..

    1. Fintan Drury was Chairman of RTE.
    2. Former anchor of RTE’s Morning Ireland News program. (No wonder RTE want to focus on Cowen concerning this debacle).
    3. FIFA Agent (officially registered). (Check Panorama’s special on FIFA to get an idea of what goes on in FIFA).
    4. A director of Anglo.
    5. A director of Paddy Power.
    6. Prominent in golfing circles, at the right level.
    7. Owner of a company that got state contracts from various governments.
    8. The go-between who managed to negotiate Brian Kerr’s contract for the FAI.

    So there you have it. Fintan Drury has his fingers in several pies.

    Anglo. The FAI. Paddy Power. Pravda-RTE. (The News department and then the Chairmanship). State contracts. The Taoiseach. The K-Club (and Druids Glen). The Ryder Cup. The Eircom Flotation.

    He is presumably an expert on gambling, property speculation based banking (is there a difference ?) sports, state contracts, politics, and the Irish media. Well, he has the contacts in any case.

    I reckon that if Cowen does not deserve to be sacked for spending hours with Seanie Fitz and not ask about Anglo, then he deserves in any case to be sacked for hanging around with Fintan Drury.

    Once again RTE are leaving you in the valley of the clueless…..

    • Deco

      By the way…I find the issue of contracts awarded to Drury Communications by Departments when Cowen was minister, fascinating.

      In particular the fact that Drury was involved in the Eircom Shares floatation…which coincidentally involved saturation level advertising from Pravda-RTE….And the saturation advertising worked…there was a mad lemming rush to buy Eircom Shares….

      Another mysterious silence from RTE….

      The only way to not pay for this funny business is to withdraw participation from the various lemming runs that periodically run riot in Irish society !! In retrospect it was obvious that the sale of Eircom shares amounted to selling the public a pup.

      • Deco

        Of course Cowen was not the Minister responsible for the Eircom floation…the Fool from Athlone was in charge of that…

        • FAiken

          Was Drury involved in the sale of the Aer Lingus Hotel Chain?

          • Deco

            I don’t know the exact details. The article says
            {
            He’s a college buddy of Mr. Cowen
            }
            {
            Drury Communications was drafted in on a one-off basis for a fee of £20,000 to advise on the 1993 crisis in Aer Lingus.
            }
            I presume the crisis refers to a financial crisis. What exactly needed to be communicated better, I cannot grasp….Maybe you know more about this ?
            (What exactly were Aer Lingus doing running hotels anyway ? I mean look how many management reshuffles were required to get Aer Lingus to operate effectively…The state has no need to be running hotels – the private sector is better, and cheaper at it. The same applies concerning that National Conference Centre farce !!!!).

          • FAiken

            I believe it occurred in 1994. Nice assets. A precursor to NAMA?

            http://www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie/D/0444/D.0444.199406220014.html

          • Deco

            Unbelievable…Nama before NAMA….
            No mention of thorny issue of state contracts that might have been involved. I suppose the place to check would be the Aer Lingus accounts….

    • Gege Le Beau

      Excellent, thank you for info Deco.

  14. Dorothy Jones

    Dear David

    Your article was uplifting to read in yesterday’s SBP, along with the bright Spring sunshine.

    However, the feelgood moment was short-lived for me.

    Sifting in the afternoon, through 60 responses from final year degree students to the question ‘What are the challenges facing young graduates in Ireland today?’, the reality hit home. Hard.

    Almost each one, although they had many bright ideas, felt that they must first emigrate following graduation. Many queried whether they would ever have the opportunity to return. These are part of the bright young generation referred to in your article.

    The actions of this Government has completely disenfranchised them.

    ‘I wish that you could see the tears that I weep
    When I see the emigrant train and ship’

    [Joyce, I think, Poems Pennyeach]

    Which prompts me to ask you the following question:

    ‘Can you please fix the drain for us?’

    However, the drain to which I refer is not one to be found in your constituency or indeed any other, but the drain into which this country is being sucked. A seeming vortex into the unknown.

    This is the work that needs to be undertaken in this country for the citizens. As an elected representative, you could really use this small window of opportunity, to help make a change. Many believe this. Your countrywide tour and Kilkenomics has illustrrated the level of support for you and the other independent thinkers to whom we may have the opportunity to vote for.

    No-one expects a miracle, but, if I may allow myself the liberty to pinch a quote from Paul Sommerville: ‘It’s like asking an ugly girl up to dance; at least you have a reasonable chance of success.’

    This level of suppotr was confirmed, as on my way home yesterday, in Christy’s cab from the Eden Quay rank: Christy, without any prompting from me asked me, had ‘I ever heard of this guy David McWilliams’.

    Well Christy heard you on the radio about 3 months ago David and asked me to include his request in my post today that you run as an independent. So Christy, I know you will tune in, so I have kept my word.

    Carpe Diem David.

    And back to the metphor of the drain…..any chance you’d have a go?

    Best Regards

    Dorothy Jones

    • Dorothy Jones

      Apologies for the typing errors above, also the correct quote is from James Joyce, Gas from a Burner, 1912:

      I love my country– by herrings I do!
      I wish you could see what tears I weep
      When I think of the emigrant train and ship.

      • Gege Le Beau

        Think Joyce is an extremely good example, great quotes btw, he got out but like a lover was obsessed with the place from a distance, I imagine he saw some potential but was massively frustrated with every barrier that was created to block it from ‘progress’ even in terms of something so basic as human relations hence his assault on the church, state institutions and sheer mediocrity.

        Joyce did try, attempting to setup a cinema in Dublin etc but he finally left and wrote about the madness of it all and what a service that was.

        As we can see, he is firmly back but then did he ever actually go away.

    • Oh Dorothy – actually the girl beside is often the girl the man searches for and not the bunnies across the hall.

  15. Casino Ruhl :

    Innovation , Perfect Product, Absolute Marketing Advantage , Cost Effective Production are all part of the Optimum Equation for Success to make Your Dream come True.

    So why has it not happened that we have no Irish Manufacturers in a significant way since inception of Enterprise Ireland and IDA ?And why does Israel have ?

    Mountain Side Slopes usually form the pitfalls for all Irish and without any national stewardship to enshrine their success as a nation.I am refering to the periferrals of finance eg

    Dividend Protection
    Sharholding Protection
    Guarantee Finance Protection
    Insurance Product Protection Abroad
    Industrial Espionage Protection
    Security of Banking Privacy
    National Philosophy that goes far enough to bring success to Entrepreneurs in the long term

    All the above are among the reasons why we as a nation do not hold a mark on the international market .
    We gain success sometimes and afterwards loose the grip and fall from grace because we as a nation have not set in place serious protection to our national product .

    Senior management in AIB originally disclosed to the Arabs the financial difficulties of Charles Haughy before the nation knew.

    GPA lost out in public sharholding re-finance due to international espionage ….and there are lots more.

    The only reason why USA have a significant interest in Ireland is because they can feel safe from local espionage and are fearfull of France, Germany and Italy.But this should not be enough for us we should build up our own International Intelligence Unit with the best qualified staff and become our own James Bond .

    • Talent Show – I watched the Kerry – Killarney ( South )entry on RTE yesterday with two great young boys and I must say they showed lots of PRIDE and gave us all of that too .It is sad that as a nation we cannot harvest their dreams and aspirations .

      • Gege Le Beau

        “It is sad that as a nation we cannot harvest their dreams and aspirations”

        That is ultimately the crunch, a state system failing its people while those at the top bemoan the failed globalised capitalist system.

        They do not thread lightly on dreams, they crush them.

  16. Deco

    A forecast for the British economy.
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article25637.html
    Key points.
    1. Inflation in the Sterling area is above what everybody admits.
    2. Government spending was driven out of control under Gordon Brown – the Tories promised to remedy matters – but the reality is that they have fudged the issue.
    3. Britain has had long term declinging performance since 1995.
    4. UK GDP growth will be circa 1% as far as 2013.
    5. UK unemployment to remain high. (partially influenced by matters here and also influenced by unemployment rates in Portugal and Spain).
    6. Deflation in much of the economy.
    7. Bank of England trying to print a way to prop up asset values.
    8. US Treasuries are valued based on assumptions of deflation – when inflation is the underlying reality.

    {
    Perhaps its time for the Bank of England to come clean and confess that it no longer targets inflation but rather nominal GDP so as to give the illusion of economic growth. After all £200 billion of QE IS INFLATIONARY that the BoE itself instigated so as to inflate asset prices so as to inflate the economy. Off course the Bank of England has screwed it up because as well as inflating the economy they have inflated consumer prices well beyond the 2% target. But as long as the economy is weak the BoE will NOT risk a double dip recession by trying to reign in high inflation.
    }

    Of relevance for those who depend on exports to our most important trading partner. Exporting into Britain will see tighter margins, and will require increased volumes or reduced costs to enable continuation. Nice to see that the GP still think that electricity, and fuel is still too cheap in this country – with FF likely to sign up in an effort to bribe the ESB unions.

    A weaker value for sterling will also affect the performance of the retail sector north of the Dublin Galway line. And we have local authorities dominated by FG/ILP who are completely oblivious to the high levels charged for urban commercial rates and the fact that it pushes up the cost of living….

    “Quangoes’R'Us”….

    • Gege Le Beau

      Yes, this is the GB that was doing so well, more debt masking an ailing economy (where have we seen that before), has finally come to roost now, Tories will see to that, meanwhile Brown has a self-serving book out on how he saved the world, you couldn’t make it up.

  17. christy.d

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the United Left Alliance as an alternative to the other political parties?

  18. wills

    David n Posters.

    OOPS!!!!!!!

    The second post of mine above *glitched* n pasted too much data. SCROLL down to the maze feudal system part.

  19. wills

    Deco.

    What a great post from u at 12.34 pm, bravo dude!!!

  20. wills

    Posters.

    A banking insider has blow the whistle on the private banking criminal syndicate and passed to Wikileaks a CD of all sorts of cans of worms.

    Looking like the insider accomplices are sick of the corruption and saying NO and spilling the beans.

    • Surprising none from AIB/Anglo have come forward, but maybe its no surprise.

      Do you have url for above? Is it G Sucks, FBI were in there end last year?

    • Deco

      Seen commentary in the British news media yesterday. A Swiss Banker is agreeing to go back to Switzerland, to answer charges concerning his release of confidential information to Wikileaks. It involves tax avoidance and the use of a prominent bank in Zurich.

      It will be interesting to see if any of our prominent boyos here show up on the list. You know the type of millionaires that show up at charity events, etc…

    • Julia

      Wills, great post on The Shining. I loved that film. Wikileaks has recently included the most disturbing and upsetting film I have ever seen in my life. It is almost 10 minutes of soldiers circling a town square in a helecopter shooting and killing about 11 people, unarmed men. They just went round again and again, checking had they got everyone. Some of the men tried to get away in a van but they failed, crashed and preumably died as well. These were US soldiers and as they went around they spoke the way kids do playing video games – spotting their targets, “getting” another one, chuckling, going about their work.

      The film plays like scene from an action movie but it’s real. Real people dying. A modern snuff movie.
      Horrific.

      The young man suspected of giving the film to Wikileaks has been arrested but the international media has paid very little attention to this film. No Primetime special, no Panorama programme, not sure about US TV. Not many people seem to care.

      We should guard Wikileaks. It’s a very important resource.

      • adamabyss

        Well I would not like to see that particular ‘movie’ Julia, although I see your point about Wikileaks.

        Your description reminds me of a film called ‘Come and See’…

        - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091251/

        …which is about events on the Eastern Front in World War 2 as the ‘Einsatzgruppen’ weaved their genocidal way through Byelorussia.

        Of course it’s a fictional representation of horrific, real-life events and while it is disturbing to watch, you still know that what is actually in front of your eyes are actors, blank-shells/bullets, tomato sauce and simulated flames and screams.

        We can learn from such representations with the aim being that they never happen again. What I am saying (from a purely personal point of view) is that I can easily watch a war movie, while all the while, hoping that nothing like it ever really happens again, but I draw my own moral line at actually watching the real thing on film.

        Sometimes you can’t avoid seeing horrible, real-life scenes on the news and so on, but a situation where an individual would actually want to look at prolonged coverage of real-life misery, would make you wonder about their underlying humanity and morality.

        The day when memories of war are so distant that no one will be able to actually make (recreate) a war movie, will be a very good day for this planet.

        By the same token, anyone that got a kick out of Saddam Hussein being hung on camera (as bad as he was, and as much as he may have deserved it), might need to take a closer look inside their own heads.

      • I saw a clip of that somewhere on tv a while ago and I wished to god I didn’t see it. I also remember seeing something about US soldiers driving around in tanks coked out of their minds firing machine guns and flamethrowers at people while listening to ‘Burn Baby Burn’ on their headsets. I wish I didn’t see that either

        The world never sees this unchecked horror and it is well known that a lot of soldiers are out of control – the Black and Tans being a prime example. These evil deeds are covered up by the state and when someone blows the whistle they are branded as traitors and hounded for shouting ‘stop’

        War only brutalises minds and solves nothing. It is carried out in the name of patriotism or ‘serving your country’ hence the heroes they show on at the end of every American ‘news’ bulletin

        The fact is that war has everything to do with serving the bankers, corporations like Haliburton, the arms industry and psychopathic officials in some of the top
        positions in government

        The Iraqis, Iranians and others are not my enemy. My enemy is the person who votes for measures which ensure that Irish pensioners freeze in winter and that kids are going to school on empty stomachs

        I used to like war films but my father told me what war was really like and I learned to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. I don’t watch war films now because I believe that they are part of a propaganda machine designed to recruit and send young impressionable working class lads off to fight in foreign lands at the bidding of those behind the scenes who have the most to gain from creating wars

        If they showed all these clips on the evening news channels in every western nation then the protests would ensure that war could be eradicated tomorrow. The question is why don’t they?

        • Colin

          There have been warrior classes in many cultures down through the ages. This has been viewed as a noble class by those who have belonged to it. Cowen talks about acting in the country’s interest and serving the country, but he hasn’t a clue as he’s not putting his life on the line and will never be asked to, unlike those in our defence forces.

          I don’t go along with your “young impressionable working class lads” being hoodwinked into joining armed forces. There is excitement in being in the army. Just look at WW1, thousands of Irishmen (Volunteers, not Conscripts) went to the battlefields of France and beyond to fight in full knowledge that they could well die, just for the excitement and camaraderie and the prospect of seeing part of the world they’d never see otherwise. They’d also draw a salary and a pension.

          Chris Moyles, the BBC Radio 1 DJ, with strong Irish Nationalist roots, learned of a grandfather from Mayo and discovered a lot about him through the popular TV programme “Who do you think you are?”, and was very surprised at what he learned. His grandfather, like many of his contemporaries, signed up because he wanted to take part, many of his friends were going too.

          Even today, Irishmen, who are not admitted into the Irish forces, turn to the British Crown forces, determined to join and serve in an army. Think of the poor reaction and loathing they’d have to put up with at home from the bar stool objectors in the local pub, and the slagging off they’d get. Yet these men still continue to join and serve in the British Army even to this day. Weren’t there a few funerals in the past few years here, of men who’d died in Iraq and Afghanistan, buried in Dublin and Mayo? Imagine what they’d say to your charge that they were victims of a propaganda machine? I’m sure they’d have told you where you to put your theory, somewhere where the sun don’t shine.

          • adamabyss

            A lot of them have about one brain cell swimming between their ears – the propaganda machine doesn’t have to be that convincing! Same goes for members of the US military – two of my sister-in-laws is in the Navy and trust me, she’s no Einstein.

          • adamabyss

            One of my sister-in-laws I mean, another is in the NSA, she’s got more brains, but they have been washed.

          • Colin

            Adamabyss,

            A lot of highly intelligent people got sucked into the ponzi property bubble, some have not handled their reckless decision taking very well, with some seeing suicide as the only option.

            They say Brian Lenihan is very intelligent, with his PhD from Cambridge and all that, yet a binman would have done a better job as Minister of Finance.

          • adamabyss

            Yes Lenihan is an idiot.

            I didn’t get sucked into the property bubble, knew it was a scam from way back.

            Happily living with my folks for now, in a room the size of a cell, minimalist existence – just how I like it.

            Soon as I’m finished my degree – the World is my Oyster once more.

          • Colin

            Just remember, it was the guys in the David McWilliams’ ‘C’ class who made money in property up till 2005, then cashed in their property portfolios because things were going crazy – Pat Kenny was fighting with his neighbour over a tiny strip of land and went to court over it. The lads in the ‘A’ class were so jealous of the success enjoyed by the ‘less intelligent’ schoolmates that they got into the property game in 2005 onwards, and suffered huge losses since. Who’s got more braincells now?

            Hope you’re studies are going well. Regarding your living quarters, less is more.

          • adamabyss

            Thanks Colin,

            I suspect that a lot of the guys who joined the army (I don’t mean in this country particulary) were from Class ‘D’.

            Adam.

          • There have been occasions in the past where you rise to people’s comments in a combative manner and a friend from this forum warned me about you. What has Cowen got to do with anything? I don’t recall mentioning his name. I don’t see what my rump has got do with anything either and you are showing a lack of class

            As for your sermon on WW1 then let me fill you in. My family left Donegal after the Famine and my Grandfather fought at the Somme and survived but got blown to pieces in the Clydebank Blits in WW2. My father joined the navy to avoid getting called up for the army because it was his belief that the army was full of messers. There were lots of Irish living in Scotland who joined the forces and did their bit in the belief that it was a war that needed fighting. They were conned

            I remember a crowd of old men who used to sit on the benches at far end of our local park where it was quiet. They were Somme veterans and they all wore flat caps and cravats. They could not handle real life owing to the shock of what they has seen in the trenches and they kept their own company. They were not fit to work and for the rest of their lives they lived in poverty on public assistance money. They went through hell and for god knows what

            It would be natural for anyone who cares about justice to ask why these men were treated so badly. It is also natural for a child to want to know why his father spent four years at sea fighting in a war only to end up struggling financially for the remainder of his life and why he did not receive any help to come to terms with the loss of thirteen of his family

            Wall Street bankers were financing both sides and the Coca Cola Company was supplying the Yanks with Coke and the drink Fanta was made in Coca Cola’s German subsiduary to supply the German troops. The Coca Cola company and many other make plenty when there war and they are not particular about where their profits come from

            I know that there are plenty of armchair warriors in this world, but as my old man used to say people who have seen real action never talk about it. The only ones who glorify war are those who never have to get their hands dirty. As for dying for ones country I am sure the old men at the far end of park would know where to to tell you to put it

            I am confident that the difference between us is that I know what I am talking about and do not need history lesson from Chris Moyles

            Dulce et Decorum Est

            Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
            Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
            Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
            And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
            Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
            But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
            Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
            Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

            Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling
            Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
            But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
            And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.–
            Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
            As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

            In all my dreams before my helpless sight
            He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

            If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
            Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
            And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
            His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
            If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
            Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
            Bitter as the cud
            Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
            My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
            To children ardent for some desperate glory,
            The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
            Pro patria mori.

          • Colin

            Pauldiv,

            I know you didn’t mention Cowen, but that shouldn’t prevent me from mentioning him. I was pointing out the fact that Cowen is NOT driven by any real sense of National duty, as opposed to those who put their lives on the line.

            Lack of class? Oh aren’t you the nice little well-behaved chattering class snob now! If you can’t handle a critique which only disagreed with part of your post, then that’s not my problem.

            I didn’t sermonise, I provided an account of attitudes to war which didn’t involve your propaganda machine. This is called balance.

            Hey look, I’m not an admirer of war. I prefer peace.

            The men you mentioned obviously had bad experiences of war, there’s no denying it, the Somme was Hell on Earth. Men did come back broken. So the solution is…..have no armed forces? Great in theory, until some foreign upstart thinks of attacking the weakly perceived country for their own ends.

            My point essentially is the armed forces attracts people, obviously not you, but other people, it has always done, it does today, and it will tomorrow. It is a huge insult to them for you to declare them victims of a propaganda machine.

            Finally, if you don’t like my views just ignore them. I’m not demanding that only people who agree with me should reply to my posts. Its not personal either, and for what its worth, I don’t care who your friend is.

  21. Go Yuan, Go Yuan, go Yuan

    http://on.wsj.com/hzNFiM

    Chinese President Hu Jintao on Yuan to replace dollar?

  22. Deco

    Well this is scary. And there is no mention of it in the Irish media. (Be with AIB-support our advertising sponsors).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8262982/Irish-lenders-besiege-central-bank-for-emergency-loans.html

    The sooner those clowns on Kildare Street stop cycling around on unicyles and throwing skittles at each other the better.
    Cowen is explaining what went on in Drury’s Glen.
    RTE are explaining that Drury was irrelevant to proceedings.
    Mickey Martin is giving us cast-iron promises, even though his cast iron guarantees have become a joke.
    Virtual Kenny has sort of …disappeared…and gone even more virtual..
    Gilmore is electioneering for an election that has still not decided…
    Sleeven is smirking as usual
    Lowry is bringing 21st Century gambling to Ireland…(clearly we need more gambling in this country…and if we are not doing enough ourselves, we need to bring in others to do it for us !!!)

    It is left to the GP to set the priorities and do the serious business of running the country….and what are they doing ? …instituting climate change quangoes, introducing a Lor Mayor’s office for Dublin which will be a bureacratic layer connecting local authorties with state quangoes, and which will be larger than the equivalent in London….getting stuck into the type of minutae that might need to be put on the back burner for a few weeks until we get this resolved.

    This is bad news. Even worse it is coming from popular news-website/newspapers in Europe’s financial hub…It is possible that AEP is exaggerating this to remind Britain how lucky they are that they are not in the Euro….he could be trying to distract from the UK’s inflation statistics…but the problem is that these statistics cause us a serious problem.

    But that is all completely irrelevant. We have a responsibility to ourselves to run our own affairs with dilgence and seriousness. We now must be responsible, or face the abyss.

    • Deco

      Here is another interesting comment from the article.

      {
      Separately, the Spanish media reported that a mission from the International Monetary Fund was arriving in Spain this week to analyse the country’s debt sustainability and may discuss a `flexible credit line’, akin to precautionary overdraft facilities offered to Mexico and Poland.
      }

      Eh…this sounds familiar…

      • “The latest data shows that Anglo Irish Bank and other lenders had borrowed €51bn (£43bn) from the Irish central bank”

        What’s it being spent on, further losses on CDS or loan repayments or bullet loan repayments or what

        Or secret helicopter hush money to recapitalise overnight to 8%, then see the money flee the next day, what exactly is going on?

        What’s the true state of Anglo and AIB?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_loan

        • Plus we could’ve burned Anglo bondholders and sought one of those IMF overdrafts for the rest……the mess grows bigger and bigger the more they fix it!

    • Dorothy Jones

      @ Deco
      Agree, it is toe-cringing to see how these charades are depicted when abroad [for me that's Germany and Spain a few times in the year]. It does more damage than one dares to think about. A change will come though methinks. The voters just have to make the right choices this time…….

  23. BrianMc

    Just to widen the scope of this debate; Ireland is not particularly “innovative”.
    Evidence:
    See Dublin’s mediocre ranking http://goo.gl/Sb5i.
    Full List: http://goo.gl/3ief.
    Also, http://goo.gl/Jt5v pinpoints Ireland as being “poor at identifying opportunities & new products”.

    I’m guessing the Irish educational system, to follow David’s metaphor, acts as a “bottle” from which innovation has to somehow escape( http://ow.ly/i/7hd5 ).

    See why all of this is so important:
    http://goo.gl/rBBbv

    Regards,
    @BriMcS

  24. irishminx

    I really enjoyed reading your up-lifting article David, go maith.

    And I loved hearing about the inventions of these young scientists. Congratulations to all involved.

    I needed a break from the political crap that FF are involved in currently!

    I am praying they all FFall FFlat on their FFaces politically! It’s not something I have ever done before!!

    So reading your very positive article has given a long needed lift, thank you.

    Keep writing good news stories too.

    Le meas,

    Minx.

  25. Sorry, no reflection on you, it was the article I was correcting, seems the euro and dollar arch angels like to throw bananas at one another at times for no apparent reason, or is there shorting or rivalry going? O Donnell, what the heck, on the panel to advise NAMA and down €800 ml, surreal as you say. Have to say it even though you’ll give out to me, finance link is cut off above:)

  26. But the link you give there everyone should read and understand though perhaps here most do:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_(finance)

    This is the important bit:

    “OTC and exchange-traded (Derivatives)

    In broad terms, there are two groups of derivative contracts, which are distinguished by the way they are traded in the market:
    Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are contracts that are traded (and privately negotiated) directly between two parties, without going through an exchange or other intermediary. Products such as swaps, forward rate agreements, and exotic options are almost always traded in this way. The OTC derivative market is the largest market for derivatives, and is largely unregulated with respect to disclosure of information between the parties, since the OTC market is made up of banks and other highly sophisticated parties, such as hedge funds. Reporting of OTC amounts are difficult because trades can occur in private, without activity being visible on any exchange. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total outstanding notional amount is US$684 trillion (as of June 2008).[7] Of this total notional amount, 67% are interest rate contracts, 8% are credit default swaps (CDS), 9% are foreign exchange contracts, 2% are commodity contracts, 1% are equity contracts, and 12% are other. Because OTC derivatives are not traded on an exchange, there is no central counter-party. Therefore, they are subject to counter-party risk, like an ordinary contract, since each counter-party relies on the other to perform.

    Exchange-traded derivative contracts (ETD) are those derivatives instruments that are traded via specialized derivatives exchanges or other exchanges. A derivatives exchange is a market where individuals trade standardized contracts that have been defined by the exchange.[8] A derivatives exchange acts as an intermediary to all related transactions, and takes Initial margin from both sides of the trade to act as a guarantee. The world’s largest[9] derivatives exchanges (by number of transactions) are the Korea Exchange (which lists KOSPI Index Futures & Options), Eurex (which lists a wide range of European products such as interest rate & index products), and CME Group (made up of the 2007 merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade and the 2008 acquisition of the New York Mercantile Exchange). According to BIS, the combined turnover in the world’s derivatives exchanges totaled USD 344 trillion during Q4 2005. Some types of derivative instruments also may trade on traditional exchanges. For instance, hybrid instruments such as convertible bonds and/or convertible preferred may be listed on stock or bond exchanges. Also, warrants (or “rights”) may be listed on equity exchanges. Performance Rights, Cash xPRTs and various other instruments that essentially consist of a complex set of options bundled into a simple package are routinely listed on equity exchanges. Like other derivatives, these publicly traded derivatives provide investors access to risk/reward and volatility characteristics that, while related to an underlying commodity, nonetheless are distinctive”

    Its the disinfecting of the OTC contracts into Exchange traded ones that should be of urgent priority to the G20 and the rest of us.

    OTC represents a possible cataclysmic mess if not brought to heel. There is omerta chinese walls surrounding these on a worldwide basis.

    Our own banks have not accounted for CDS trading and they are only referred to in a minuscule way in the inquiries from Honahan et al into our banks.

  27. Black Cat

    Can anyone here give me some advice – I have 40 Grand and want to use it to buy a house – which bank is the best to put it in and get a mortgage from? I think David has made some negative comments about AIB and I don’t want to put it in any of the ones I keep hearing on the news, what about TSB?

  28. Tim

    Folks, quick! The elusive Alan Ahearne (Remember him? the game-keeper-turned-poacher) has turned up here, with Frank Fahey, live stream now:

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cathalfurey

    • Deco

      Thanks for that Tim. Tried to watch that last night but the signal was inconsistent. It did not look to me as if Forty-gaffs was listening. There were some stern retorts from the audience to some of the statements from Alan Ahearne. Anyway it looked like many others were also tuning in. Will try to find it on u-tube.

    • Dorothy Jones

      @ Mick Regan
      Yep, just read that article on the train in the way into work. Also, Ivan Yates on Newstalk Breakfast this morning seemed pretty sure that our host was going to run also when he mentioned Shane Ross’s intention. [John Crowne interview, just before 9]
      I want to put a few bob on this today, pretty sure of getting a return. Do bookies take money for this sort of thing?…

  29. Alan42

    Those smart kids will go to collage and with a degree or a PHD will emigrate as Ireland has failed another generation again .

  30. Political Flood :

    Full Moon tomorrow and the near end of the Wobble .We are living through a Great Story and a Great Change …NOW .Fasten your seats for the next few moments while they last and hold tight to the roller coaster as it speeds through the ether.

    The Pull should be Water and that is M.Martin actually if you had watched Kown on 6pm news he did have water in his eyes .We have all heard you cannot get blood out of stone ( he is capricorn -earth ) – so as the stone weeps will our country cry today with joy ? Oh the Pull where will it show itself .We know the firefighter must have a hose to power the water .Today will the electorate have any hose to do anything ? …..Bring on …The Players ..

    Maybe DMCW will decide to be deeper in that change and soon to declare his intentions for elections……..he cannot resist it it is too great an opportunity to miss …the colour flavour today is RED .

  31. Ireland’s biggest gombeen ‘fights to retain leadership of FF today.

    Curiously he claims decisions he made were in the ‘national interest’, but he seems to stop short of saying these decisions were the right decisions.

    Last time I heard ‘national interest’ was up to €4.8 bn/annum. Perhaps the Pravda RTE lightweight interviewers should probe him more on the meaning of ‘national interest’

    Sure maybe the ‘national interest’ is the 5.8% IMF/EU bailout ‘sink hole’ noose he negotiated for us stripping out the National Pension Reserve Fund and any remaining assets held by the NTMA prior to its gutting of the rest of our economy.

    The scheister is beginning to go up his own #!??! and is now comparing himself to Papandreou, who is perhaps a shining example of someone doing a good job in difficult circumstances, unlike Biffo the crocodile with Ireland in its jaws as it drags this country under water to default.

    http://bit.ly/ewiwW4

    “We saved the country from the immediate danger, and it is in our hands to build the Greece of tomorrow with a plan,” the premier said, adding that what is sought is “the creation of a radically new model in the direction of social freedom, lawfulness, creativity and progress, with a productive and viable economy, green growth, and a new people-oriented model of collective organisation and operation.” (ANA-MPA)

    At least Papandreou is dedicated to cleaning up the black economy mess of Greece, whereas our Biffo The Clowen, is dedicated to protecting the crony rule that has devastated Ireland.

    ‘National interest’ for Clowen means unlimited protection and support of the banks with money stolen from Irish taxpayers.

    Perhaps ‘national interest’ is the emigrant boats and planes.

    Perhaps ‘national interest’ is the aid given to our tourist industry?

    We have a selection of national parks that will be developed by the unemployed to serve as community support for young people and tourism country wide.
    see map in this url

    Ghost Estates
    http://bit.ly/NRaGF

    Nope, wouldn’t be those toxic debt estates that because of lack of cleanup put the children of inhabitants in constant danger of death, while the residents get to enjoy the scourge of water/electric cut off followed by eventual eviction.

    http://bit.ly/hfocJ2

    I hope he remains as the FFers party leader today, so we can enjoy, someone who had direct responsibility for these matters answering questions from tougher interviewers than any found at Pravda RTE.

    But maybe a deal has already been struck to get him off the hook.

    Pravda RTE and Clowen would be better off with Micháel Martin taking over the leadership.

    Micháel might wash his hands of all this crap and tell us Biffo The Cowen and Lenny Liar were the one’s who got it Wrong.

    National interest my #!??! Actually, what is the total debt of this country at the moment. Mentioned
    by Paulmcd I vaguely recall was the ceiling of €7bn interest payments on €200 bn as our debt limit, are we at €170 bn and around…?

    Here are the figures:

    http://bit.ly/7AnKS3

    Would Pravda RTE just take those figures and slowly, carefully go through them all with Biffo, so we know the ‘national interest’.

    Let the I’mFFer explain where those debts came from
    and explain why its in the national interest the taxpayer should pay for them all!

  32. Thanks for all the comments, as always.

    This Young Scientist vibe is where it is at because it reveals to me that we have the capacity to change and improve. If you get the chance next year, head down to it. It would life your heart, even if it didn’t need lifting:)

    Best, David

  33. SLICKMICK

    During the eighties, 60% of DIT grads emigrated, cue today and we find more Irish than Brits are moving to Canada and Aus.Few sci/eng grads find work outside of the pub sector, multinationals consume massive capital and little labour, Intel being a good eg.Civil engineering has been wiped out here.

    • Black Cat

      Are they emigrating out of necessity or because they want to jump ship to the next richest country now there is no money here? What I’m trying to say are people emigrating because they are materialistic and recognise that this country can no longer fund the lifestyle they want and they reject the simpler life or are they really that desperate – are things all that bad here?

  34. Deco

    Seen Frontline last night. It featured the line up of candidates for the constituency of Dun Laoghaire. GimmeMore did not show up (presumably he is already there).

    To be honest, I was unimpressed and if I was a voter would not be sure what to do. Richard Boyd Barrett got nailed by Hanafin and Cuffe several times. He would attack the government – but he had not figured out how to respond to thme when they attacked him. Bacik was given an easy time, with the obvious issue being avoided – the fact that she has been parachuted in because she needs a middle class constituency. No mention of last years drubbing by a left wing independent with no money, a small organization, no support from the media (because the media preferred Bacik) and few posters. And this came from the supposed bastion of ILP voters – the working class of the Inner City Dublin. Hanafin would not answer PK’s question about which was she would side in the leadership vote for FF. She was asked twice and wasted three minutes each time telling us nothing. PK then asked Barry Andrews “will you be supporting Brian Cowen”. And he just said “Yes”. The audience and PK were shocked at such a quick answer and to be honest it sort of made a joke of Hanafin. To the credit of Andrews, when he was asked a question he always gave direct answers. Sean Barrett is a seasoned performer, and basically answered the issue of providing government whenever it arose. His running mate was a disaster. There was a sole trader in the audience who attacked the way DL-Rathdown Council charged rates on businesses that were going bankrupt, and the 100% increase in 2006, which is now extremely onorous. The FG number 2 responded “we reduced rates by 2% last year”. And she was very serious about it. It was the most unreal statement in the entire show. It was the only time that anybody in the audience directly mentioned money. (Compare that to what will occur when PK goes to Tallaght or rural Ireland….). PK then asked the question about funding the local authority. Sean Barrett pointed the finger at Cuffe and the GP Minister Gormley. Cuffe went on talking about the “projects that we earmarked”..etc…(Sell..sell…sell). PK then brought up the issue of Property tax. Cuffe beat around the bush and refused to mention the PT word.

    Now, I reckon if PK really wanted to have fun he could have raised the issue of Property Tax again, and caused massive embarrasment to Cuffe (as the GP have been pushing for this for a long time). PT was avoided because all the politicians are the same on this issue. Basically, they will not talk about it – they will just let it happen, and use the funding to provide for all their shenanigins in local politics. PT is a gold mine for local authorities and it will be used to prop up all sorts of funny business in years to come. The voters of DL, with residential prices that have been inflated by chatter and the IT Property Supplement, have been measuring their self concept in terms of the price of their pile. Now, this is plain stupid. But it is only ‘after’ the event has ended that you see this for what it is worth. There still is a lot of pain going around, with many people in the area having being stung badly over investing their money in bank shares and enjoying comfortable dividends. The business community has taken a hit with commercial rates on one side and Dundrum Shopping Centre on the other. I just wonder when the newspapers were celebrating the opening of “Europe’s newest, brightest and largest shopping centre” did they give any consideration to the beauty and charm of old DL and it’s main street. Because ever since the businesses in the area have taken the hit. To make matters worse it was probably approved by bankers living in the area…Some people simply don’t get the concept of community.

    The overwhelming impression I got from last night, is of people in denial. Politicians in denial. Constituents in denial. And Activists in denial. PK asked people about their voting intentions – and in each case people chose politicians that they cold connect with. That was what it came down to. Policies, ability, integrity, intelligence, common sense were all secondary. It is the same method used by Seanie Fitz in selecting staff (no wonder he hired so many turkeys…).

    Really it is just a veneer over the fact that they vote for people to serve the local interests. But when the people of Kerry South do it, it is an outrage. But when it is done beneath a veneer, in middle class Dublin, nobody is supposed to notice, so it does not count. This in my mind is hypocritical. But this is what it has become. And the people in it are responsible for that. In particular the leadership of the political parties. The fact is that it is everywhere. Tammany Hall politics is the whole system.

    David – I don’t know if this is any use to you in evaluating your options. I suppose it is a matter of whether or not your evaluation and analysis makes sense to voters. Basically, you need voters who are gone past the stage of denial. You have traveled Ireland and learned much. You will know yourself what to make of the situation.

    The party machines are strong in DL because it has still not been poleaxed like other counties. It is possible that if your name was on a ballot paper in a constituency with massive construction unemployment, or massive industrial layoffs you might get swept in. Basically there are constituencies where the anger has got to the point that the denial is long over, and people will vote with definite intent in a way that will shake the system. We can see this when we look at the constituencies where long standing FF TDs are stepping down. In many cases it is because they cannot get canvassers in their own party to canvass for them.

    All this is supposing that you want to be stuck with the job of having to deal with the muppets that we seen on show last night. Maybe going for the seat of Senator Shane Ross in the Seanad might be a better option….

    • Deco

      Of course the fact that Dun Laoghaire has taken a shock much harder than the 1980s, might actually mean that now people might be ready to abandon the party machines and the IBEC-ICTU proxies.

      And on reflection, it seems obvious now, but last nights show was full of “plants” who were there to endorse certain candidates, and cause trouble for their favourite candidate’s rivals.

      The Show, was exactly that a “show”….

    • MadaboutEire

      Boyd Barett looked out of his depth and actually stated ‘Mary Hanafin knows my policies better than I do”, had no attack even with all the ammunition, needs to practice and find much needed depth, while tackling the corporation tax rate does not wash, too late for that. Hanafin tried to claim that an increase of third level registration fees to €2000 is not fees, as one friend pointed out, Orwell himself would have been lost for words with that double-think.

      Andrews and the boys are all fight now because their jobs are on the line, but where was such fight when dealing with pushy developers, bankers and the IMF.

      Pure info-tainment (which O’Rourke was all praise on the radio, so it must have been bad), and yes, the FG number 2 was less than inspirational, FG number 1 like some fella giving lessons in wisdom to children in condescending tones (“we are broke” – well no shit sherlock), Labour (Bacik) is about as left as Obama the socialist…..all in all, pretty nightmarish, school yard stuff complete with overpaid host to add insult to injury.

      • Deco

        Correct. FG 1 said twice “we are bankrupt”. He left out the word “again”….the last time being under his mates…

        Hanafin and Andrews have been in media dogfights for the last three years. RBB was gobsmacked when they replied with punchlines. Bacik would not be drawn on the specifics of ILP policies, she just kept referring to “policies” the whole time. I reckon that Bacik is perfect for a “Royston what are your policies ?”(Matt Cooper) type interview. I was there expecting RBB to ask Bacik what exactly these policies were. But he sat back, said nothing, and let her away with it. Andrews then hit into the ILP, and FG for having unreconcileable differences. Bacik refuted, then went to great trouble to vindicate what Andrews had said, and then went on about bankers…

        It was pure pantomine.

        All that was needed was an economist to expose the fact that they are all clueless on the economy…eh…hint…hint…

    • coldblow

      Deco

      “in each case people chose politicians they could connect with”

      And they probably believe this is the best possible reason. I can’t remember where, but I think it was in Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death, which makes a connection between cultural and educational dumbing down and the rise of new technologies (beginning with the telegraph) that the point is made that once upon a time people voted for the party which represented their interests. (It could have been Waters, but I think it was Postman – I’m sure both would agree anyway.) The idea of voting for someone on the basis of appearance, or some kind of “connection” would have seemed absurd. Can people even perceive where their interests lie these days? A politics lecturer at my university said that the British public would vote for lamposts if told to do so, but the trendy left consensus among the students was that he was some kind of ridiculous reactionary (the same students who came to throw slogans at Keith Joseph when he visited but got a mauling instead).

      I remember a family acquaintance in the 80s opining that whe was going to vote for a certain candidate in a (British) election because, she said, he was the best looking. I was shocked but I’d say that such attitudes have spread in recent years, to the extent that if you were to take anyone up on a similar foolish remark you’d be told to “lighten up”. (Well, maybe not now, seeing that revolution is in the air…)

      I’d have watched if I knew Bacik was on, just to see what she’d say. Policies? Er, extending the creche facilities in the Dáil?

  35. MadaboutEire

    Maybe in this new republic which may or may not emerge a position like the podesta from 12th century Italy could be created:

    “The citizens seeing that there often arose among them quarrels and altercations, whether from favoritism or friendship, from envy or hatred that one had against another, by which their republic suffered great harm, loss and detriment; therefore, they decided, after much deliberation, to provide against these disorders. And thus they began to create a man of foreign birth their chief magistrate, giving him every power, authority and jurisdiction over the city, as well over criminal as over civil causes, and in times of war as well as in times of peace, calling him praetor as being above the others, or podestà., as having every authority and power over the city.”

    The podesta were confined in a luxury palace to keep them from being influenced by any of the local families. They were forbidden to walk in public with local businessmen or to have local business interests themselves and their position was reviewed annually.

    Now there is a novel idea from 900 years ago………

  36. Deco

    This is Australia….and this sounds familiar.
    China is in a bubble, based on real estate investment. Like Ireland, and the US is hellbent on building itself into overcapacity. Ireland got the money from Gunther. The US got it from Bernanke’s printing pres. But China gets in from funny state owned banks which make AIB look like the model of transparency and law-abiding. It is one giant ponzi scheme. This is driving demand for Cement, Steel, Elevators, Roofing, paint etc… from the Chinese Credit system. (eh..Sound Familiar ?)…

    Well anyway Australia is sending iron ore, coking coal, thermal coal (for power plants), copper, nickel, zinc, to the China – and to Korea and Japan who send steel to China. Plus all the Matsui and Matsushita construction equipment. A voracious volume of activity. The money is slushing around in Australia. And it is driving all sorts of ridiculous behaviour in Australia. Including the phenomenon of banks paying depositors more than they are getting in from loans. (this also happened at the end of the boom in this country, with “teaser” mortgage rates). This tells me that Aussie bank bosses are about as smart as the muppets who used to run the D4 banks. Oh..forget…those most of them muppets are still running our D4 banks…

    At some point the Chinese credit machine will go into meltdown. China trying to get supluses out of the EU will not prevent that from happening. (As evidence look at the bust of Japan). And then the construction activity in China will slow down.

    Australians will get laid off. The mortgage repayments will slow down. And those Aussie bankers will be in the dock.

    A sure sign, that banks are having solvency issues is when they start chasing deposits with too much determination – even to the point of deliberately losing money. Banks are trying to scale their deposits up to enable or coverup extreme lending. At this point it is about keeping your ratios in line with regulations. But at the same time they have extremely low interest rates on their loans. It is market share madness, and is symptomatic of banks going too far. It is a case of buy dear and sell cheap. When accompanied by massive lending, it is a bad sign.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/money-madness-in-oz.html

    http://www.news.com.au/money/banking/bank-deposit-war-lifts-costs-says-rba/story-e6frfmcr-1225845888043

    Australia is very exposed to a sudden change in fortune. It could all happen very quickly.

    There will be a lot of money spent on the flood repair projects along the East Coast – but we can assume that priority for the work will be given to Australian citizens, especially when the Aussie government is beholden to unions for funding. It will be Aussie tax money being recirculated for the benefit of Australians.

    The time is coming soon to short leading Aussie banks and mortgage providers, who are exposed in regions dominated by mining like Western Australia.

  37. Tull – The Wobble has hit South Kerry …Conor Pass wobbled and is now Blocked and for a long time…..Tull come back and bring your spade.

  38. Deco

    This is a youtube on that meeting that took place last night in Galway…clearly what went on in Dun Laoghaire was lazy, boring and pointless in comparison. Judge for yourselves.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YS5KdtAn8

    Fahy got unbelievable abuse. Joe the Trucker showed up, and said he would run against Fahy.

    Alan Ahearne got a hard time of it. He is doing his best, and warned the Bertie and pals regime (FF, PDs, ICTU, IBEC, CIF, SIPTU, IMPACT) repeatedly not to go on a binge. Alan Ahearne is trying to repair the damage of the Ditherer, and he gets undeserved abuse.

    • paulmcd

      Deco, I think Alan Ahearne would have made any reservations he has concerning FF policies, and any desire he may have to bring about change, unambiguously clearer if he had resigned his position by now and bluntly stated that he has a total lack of confidence in Brian Lenihan.

  39. Harper66

    Brian “Rasputin” Cowen survives vote of no confidence…..

  40. Always thought bottles must have some use. Probably the air in the bottles which provide the insulation, provided the lid is on good & tight & does not rust.
    The glass to lesser extent, I think.

    • adamabyss

      Would have thought that you could get an even better effect by still using glass but custom designing the actual size and shape of its form (under the foundations) to maximise the insulation factor. Then again, that might defeat the recycycling purpose of using old bottles. However the bottles could always be recycled and made into new glass. Having said all that, I haven’t had a chance to read the exact details of what the guy did (had exams this week) so forgive me if he has actually perfected this process in a more advanced way than just using the glasses he had the opportunity to collect. If he set up a reycling plant he could get new glass from old bottles and tailor each sub-foundational insert to suit the type of building being constructed. The possibilities seem endless. Good work young man.

  41. paulmcd

    2 Brians, THICK as thieves, they’d be together for all time.

  42. Tull McAdoo

    Here is a bit of theory I have cobbled together from various sources. I have spoken with some colleagues about the Irish problem and the general consensus seems to point to a total hijacking of the Irish Economy by people who knew better or who should have known better. At this stage it is not good enough for the DOF to be leaking documents in which they try and absolve themselves, for that is a bit like the Central Bank reports from back in 2004 which had the warnings of doom and gloom buried in the back pages. The bulk of this posting centres around “Fishers debt deflation theory” from 1933, which should by its very existence let everybody on this site know, that this stuff has been well known to Economists for some time. I am really not interested in hearing how nobody saw this coming and all that old shit. No music clip from youtube on this occasion, but as a mark of respect for some of the giants on whose shoulders I stand on…take it away Irving Fisher…..

    The credit crunch did not destroy capital; it merely revealed the extent to which it has been destroyed by its betrayal into hopelessly unproductive works.”
    Theoretically there may be in fact, at most times there must be over- or under-production, over- or under-consumption, over- or under-spending, over- or under-saving, over- or under-investment, and over or under everything else. It is as absurd to assume that, for any long period of time, the variables in the economic organization, or any part of them, will “stay put,” in perfect equilibrium, as it is to assume that the Atlantic Ocean can ever be without a wave.
    In the great booms and depressions, each of the above-named factors has played a subordinate role as compared with two dominant factors, namely over-indebtedness to start with and deflation following soon after; also that where any of the other factors do become conspicuous, they are often merely effects or symptoms of these two.
    Assuming, accordingly, that, at some point of time, a state of over-indebtedness exists, this will tend to lead to liquidation, through the alarm either of debtors or creditors or both. Then we may deduce the following chain of consequences in eight links:
    (1) Debt liquidation leads to distress selling and to
    (2) Contraction of deposit currency, as bank loans are paid off, and to a slowing down of velocity of circulation. This contraction of deposits and of their velocity, precipitated by distress selling, causes
    (3) A fall in the level of prices, in other words, a swelling of the euro. Assuming, as above stated, that this fall of prices is not interfered with by re-flation or otherwise, there must be
    (4) A still greater fall in the net worth of business, precipitating bankruptcies and
    (5) A like fall in profits, which in a “capitalistic,” that is, a private-profit society, leads the concerns which are running at a loss to make
    (6) A reduction in output, in trade and in employment of labour. These losses, bankruptcies and unemployment, lead to
    (7) Hoarding and slowing down still more the velocity of circulation.
    (8) Complicated disturbances in the rates of interest, in particular, a fall in the nominal, or money, rates and a rise in the real, or commodity, rates of interest.
    Evidently debt and deflation go far toward explaining a great mass of phenomena in a very simple logical way.
    Easy money is the great cause of over-borrowing. When an investor thinks he can make over 100 per cent per annum by borrowing at 6 per cent, he will be tempted to borrow, and to invest or speculate with the borrowed money. This was a prime cause leading to the over-indebtedness of 1929. Inventions and technological improvements created wonderful investment opportunities, and so caused big debts.
    The public psychology of going into debt for gain, passes through several more or less distinct phases:
    (a) the lure of big prospective dividends or gains in income in the remote future;
    (b) the hope of selling at a profit, and realising a capital gain in the immediate future;
    (c) the vogue of reckless promotions, taking advantage of the habituation of the public to great expectations;
    (d) the development of downright fraud, imposing on a public which had grown credulous and gullible.
    Some argue that the debts assumed at the height of the bubble simply cannot be repaid — that they are based on the assumption of rising asset prices, rather than stable asset prices: the so-called “Ponzi units”. Such debts cannot be repaid in a stable price environment, much less a deflationary environment, and instead must either be defaulted on, forgiven, or restructured.
    Wide-spread debt relief either requires government action or individual negotiations between every debtor and creditor, and is thus politically contentious or requires much labour. A categorical method of debt relief is inflation, which reduces the real debt burden, as debts are generally nominally denominated: if wages and prices double, but debts remain the same, the debt level drops in half. The effect of inflation is more pronounced the higher the debt to GDP ratio is. In terms of foreign exchange, particularly of sovereign debt, inflation corresponds to currency devaluation. Inflation results in a wealth transfer from creditors to debtors, since creditors are not repaid as much in real terms as was expected, and on this basis this solution is criticized and politically contentious.
    In the Keynesian tradition, some suggest that the fall in aggregate demand caused by falling private debt can be compensated for, at least temporarily, by growth in public debt — “swap private debt for government debt”, or more evocatively, a government credit bubble replacing the private credit bubble. Indeed, some argue that this is the mechanism by which Keynesian economics actually works in a depression — “fiscal stimulus” simply meaning growth in government debt, hence boosting aggregate demand. Note that to replace private debt growth, government debt must grow by the swing in private debt — if private debt moved from 15% annual growth to 5% annual savings, then to exactly compensate, government debt must grow by 15% + 5% = 20% more than it previously was. Given the level of government debt growth required, some proponents of debt deflation are pessimistic about these Keynesian suggestions.

    • Also nb:

      http://bit.ly/hzQmiz

      Richard Duncan, the Corruption of cApitalism

      Paper Money, large government deficits beginning in the 1960′s

      Nixon broke the link between dollars and gold in 1971, opened the pandora’s box of the global credit bubble, corrupting the political process as it became infected by lobbyists

      A good marker for the corruption involved would be Ireland since 1980

      OT, dumb move by Micháel Martin?

      Or was he being smart? The Brian zombies get the honour of leading FF to destruction.

      Micháel assumes the mantle of white knight and picks pieces up in the aftermath?

      Answer: He was a member of the FFer cabinet over the past 5 years which collectively was the most treasonous, dumb, incompetent cabinet in the history of the Irish state.

  43. BRING ON THE BRAVE NEW WORLD

    =

    PISS/TAKE

    =

    Programme for Irish Solvency and Sovereignty / Towards a Knowledge Economy

    • Deco

      I think you might have figured it all out John !!!

      • Deco – I agree with the primary substance of Davids article and do not wish to take from that and I enjoyed reading it but we need to ‘bank the results ‘ at the end of the line to allow it remain on the Island of Ireland and not allow it become sucked elsewhere .Finland has Nokia .What do we have?

        Musically we have it all because the nature bestows it on us and the artists stay in the country with an exception or two .How can we do the same with our own products is a musical way ?

  44. coldblow

    Interesting article as usual, David, and raises some questions. How do you unlock this creativity? Was it because of, or in spite of, formal school education? How relevant is it to our economic future (when small technological startups, in the event that they do become successful, are sold to global major players)?

    I’d be dubious about anyone drawing the conclusion (which you don’t in the article, by the way) that billions should be invested in uni. research as the return on this investment, at least for Ireland, is likely to be minimal (from what I’ve read). Obviously what we need is to bring about the conditions where such creativity and entrepreneurship can be encouraged to flourish within the economy for everybody’s benefit. Or to put it another way, most discerning consumers would rather buy something reliable, that has been carefully manufactured, rather than shoddy goods which need to replaced after a short time (and where you won’t be able to find spare parts when this happens). When Irish goods and services meet this criteria then I think we can be confident about the future. Creativity and inventiveness would be the cream on the cake.

    Finally, a word of caution about spectacles:
    http://www.iblindness.org/intro/problemglasses.html

  45. New Mosquito Traps

    It might be worth thinking about these to use in the forthcoming political elections :

    http://www.yannon.com.cn/english/index.html

    Otherwise enjoy their new products

  46. coldblow

    OT

    Here’s a very intelligent interview with Eric Hobsbawm, the Marxist historian, which appeared in last Sun’s Observer:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/16/eric-hobsbawm-tristram-hunt-marx

    His is a fine view “from altitude”.

  47. Deco

    This is a real eye-opener.

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-more-americans-that-go-on-food-stamps-the-more-money-jp-morgan-makes

    Basically, the more that America’s industrial heartland gets hollowed out, the more business JPM gets from being there to fix the gap.

    Even more absurd….JPM has call centres in India to help unemployed Americans learn about the food stamp program….

    It seems that it is not just G-Sucks that is sucking the American public dry…

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