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Showing posts from August, 2008

From social networking to social drama

I have a slight addition, like many people, to Facebook. Especially mob wars, but I am terminally addicted to making the short pithy comments on Twitter, post hundeds of photos every month to Flickr, use livejournal as a tool to study as well as links, and also add to del.i.cio.us and Google Reader, amongst others. Plus zoomr and don't forget pownce. And of course, bebo. Though with all of this going on I mostly spend my time on the first 3.

I like blogging too, as you may have gathered and as a user of one major online dating site I am painfully aware of how seemingly intimate conversation can lead to the illusion of friendship or a relationship and how tenuous this really is. Likewise in the socially unstable world of the scene: the drinking friend appears to be a great friend, but the reality is, count the number of times they didn't show up, let you down, or moved in on somebody you were interested in/involved with/had been involved with. The reality is that many fai…

Social networking or social drama?

After a few weeks of Stalinesque purging of online (and offline) links to folks who quite frankly, I no longer feel it is in my best interest to associate with or be associated with.

It really all started a few months ago when I expanded my Facebook presence from family, to a few select colleagues, to ex college friends, drinking assoicates, others. The latter two exposed a problem. I didn't realise that the settings for my photo albums online were so glaringly open that despite the assumption that only friends linked to me online could see them, so could anybody with a computer and an internet connection.

I trailed off on the second holiday this year, with my Kodak Z612IS, and despite the disinterest of those who I went with in some of the events that were happening, I was there with my camera to snap them. I was a little put out that I was left to enjoy some of the best free entertainment of that festival on my own, but boy did I get some fab shots! Anyway I picked out the 50 …

The Short Sightedness of Social Housing police clearance

Its with some anger that I read this piece in the Times this morning, about delays in getting clearance from the Gardai is causing unnecessary delays in passing keys onto prospective tenants.

The question I have is: where is the sense in demanding police clearance for the most deprived and needy, knowing full well that the likelihood of them having a criminal record (in many cases potentially for quite minor offences) is far above the typical owner occupier.

What makes me angry, however, is what happens to those who don't qualify because of their criminal past?

Yes you guessed it - the cesspit that is the private rented sector - just dump them there sir, sure nobody will care and my second cousin twice removed needs the cash to pay his mortgage on his 10th investment property. Never mind the neighbours, especially those unfortunate enough to be living in apartment blocked or houses broken up into flats. Lets just ignore that little caveat.

The reality is, if we try to socially clean…

Maths crisis? There is no Maths crisis

As ever, I am bemused by the so-called "crisis" in Maths and Science education in 2nd level schools. Amused because nothing whatsoever is done to a) encourage more students to take more advanced level courses and b) to help weaker students to reach a better standard.

What is even more laughable are the "suggestions" to encourage and reward better Maths results. Offer more points? That provides an incentive that will last for all of one month after the Leaving Cert results come out.

What about offering Civil Service training roles for people with excellent results in Maths or Science? Or perhaps scholarships for people with A1 results? Even bursaries? Not a sign of this. In fact any suggestion that would provide lasting benefit beyond a few weeks after the leaving or only in certain careers or circumstances is strangely missing.

The reason I say all this is that I took higher level Maths back in the days when it was well-nigh impossible, and mangaged to come out…

Plant Closures

I was not totally surprised to hear that Pfizer have been unable to find a buyer for one of their two plants in Cork, and are quite possibly likely to be unable one for their other plant. Other pharma, chemical and medcal devices manufacturers are facing similar difficulties, not least from the astronomical wage bills and rent gouging that they will face on these sites.

Just last month a little note appeared on the window of the Spar shop in the Airport Business Park in Cork saying that it was no longer a viable concern. Now this was a shop that appeared on the face to be doing a good deal of business. Yet, there was no sign of a dramatic drop in business. The sign didn't indicate what the owners meant by viable: had there been a huge rent hike? Or was the franchisee looking for extortionate profits way out of kilter with realistic earnings in a more real world economy? We will never know.

One problem I do know from working on various industrial and business sites around Cork …