Friday, December 21, 2007
O Holy Night is always beautiful and was gorgeous last night. But my sneaking favourite was the Ukrainian Carol (or Carol of the Bells), as ably sung here by Mr Mackey, mmkay...
Also a children's choir from a local Gaelscoil sang a traditional Zulu song translated into Irish. Luckily I had my Zulu-Irish, Irish-Zulu dictionary on hand to ensure they weren't cheating...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
1 Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
2 The Hours – Narcissus Road
3 Beirut – The Gulag Orkestar
4 Art Brut – It's A Bit Complicated
5 Bloc Party – A Weekend In the City
6 LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
7 Field Music – Tones Of Town
8 The Clash – London Calling
9 Air – Pocket Symphony
10 The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
11 Battles – Mirrored
12 Cansei de Ser Sexy – Cansei de Ser Sexy
13 Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards
14 The Enemy – We'll Live and Die In These Towns
15 Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood
16 The Lemonheads – The Lemonheads
17 Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
18 The Clash – The Clash
19 Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits
20 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
To be honest that list isn't at all accurate. A few reformats of the old iPod wiped my play counters.
Tap Tap, Interpol, Editors, Arctic Monkeys, The National, The Hold Steady, The New Pornographers, Caribou, Stars, Beirut, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Cathy Davey probably all belong in there somewhere.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Now the jackpot has rolled-over to €10 million+ for tomorrow's draw, coincidentally just in time for Christmas.
I do have a hat ready, just in case, but I'm willing to make a wager of my own - that the jackpot will roll-over again tomorrow, and again on Wednesday and the biggest jackpot EVAH! will be won on Saturday 22nd December in the last draw before Christmas. And it will all be a pure coincidence, of course.
EDIT: Shockingly, the jackpot is, indeed, rolling over til Wednesday.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"It wasn't the disease, she believed, that was in danger of killing her; it was the cure. After suffering a profoundly negative reaction to chemotherapy, the 47-year-old Drogheda woman did something that most cancer patients wouldn't contemplate.
She abandoned her treatment and walked away from conventional medicine.
By all accepted healthcare standards, it was a crazy thing to do. She was potentially signing her own death warrant. Convinced that she had little
choice, she embarked on a complex 'natural holistic' programme of treatment,
devised by herself, based around diet and meditation. Not only is she still
around to tell her tale, she looks the picture of good health."
Of course there's a very good reason why they haven't interviewed all those women in equally poor health, that turned to alternative 'holistic' treatments in desperation - only to find they didn't work. People like my similarly-aged aunt, for example.
They're all dead.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
According to today's Irish Independent, The Secret is in line to become the No. 1 selling book in Ireland for Christmas.
If you don't already know, "the 'secret' of obtaining anything you desire is now revealed by prominent physicists, authors and philosophers as being based in the universal Law of Attraction. And the good news is that anyone can access its power to bring themselves health, wealth and happiness. Fragments of The Secret have been found in oral traditions, literature, religions and philosophies throughout the centuries."
Sexism alert! - Unfortunately I suspect a lot more women will read this book, and be credulous of its nonsense, than men.
Back in March The Onion summarised the books main points:
- You deserve whatever you want no matter how awful you are.
- Try not to use any critical-thinking skills or logic when pondering concept of The Secret.
- Capitalizing on basic human feelings such as greed can bring you vast wealth.
- Eat a hearty breakfast every day.
- Please allow universe six to eight millennia to deliver.
- You can never be too tan.
- The Secret does not work if you are attempting to learn it from stolen, bootlegged, or borrowed products from Prime Time Productions.
"Since you gave it your endorsement, The Secret has become one of the fastest-selling books and probably the most successful infomercial in history. The gaggle of gurus who peddle The Secret's message all over the world are still out there, arguing that it is the answer to every atrocity and tragedy. One went so far as to blame the suffering in Darfur on stinkin' thinkin'."The nonsense that is the Law of Attraction is dealt with here.
Maybe I should picket Eason's?...
Sunday, December 09, 2007
The vast majority of cocaine users may be wankers, or at least act like wankers on the drug, but they will also ultimately just grow out of taking it. That's not to suggest it's harmless, or that there aren't very unpleasant anecdotal incidents arising from its use (the effects of its illegal distribution is a separate argument), but to claim that 'the consequences [of increased cocaine consumption] will dwarf the heroin crisis of the Seventies and Eighties' is scandalous reporting, virtually identical to the over-hyped ecstasy scares of 15-years ago.
If the yoofs have learned anything this week they'll have learned that you don't eat coke, which you would have thought was bleeding obvious anyway. So hopefully no one else will die that way.
Anyway the best line in the piece is 'In [a] Sunday Independent survey, 90 per cent of people said they believe that the gardai should get tough on cocaine abuse.' Surely one of the most stupid, pointless, er, lines that you'll read this year?
Harrington and, more importantly, our cricket team should be absolute shoo-ins. Especially considering the debacle in the football and the utter, utter failure of the over-hyped egg-chasing bandwagon. Maybe I'm wrong but I suspect they'll play safe and boring and give it to the Kerry football team.
It would be a nonsense to give it to the Special Olympians either, which is a strong possibility too. Nothing against them, it's just they're a team in a very loose sense of the word. In reality they're a collection of individuals who competed in different sports with varying degrees of success. Not the same thing at all.
Friday, December 07, 2007
They should get Elton to release a charidee song - Scandal in the Sind' maybe. Ginger 'Barry' Ego might like that. They might have to reform Band Aid too. Never mind Africa - if this keeps up there won't be snow in Krystle this Christmas either.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
At today's interest rates for the same house those figures become 5.2% and a monthly repayment of €1,246. Over 30 years I would pay the bank €448,560 and a total of €468,560 for the house, which is now an 87% increase on the original €250K purchase price!
I also explained that it all 'equates to a bank profit of €367 per month. I pay rent of €425 per month.' Those figures are now a bank profit of €607 per month while my rent is now €450 (although due to go up to €475 in the New Year). See the change? And remember to 'profit' from my house it would have to be worth more than the €468K I really pay for it in 30 years AND that doesn't factor in the decrease in the value of money due to inflation (i.e. the real figure is somewhat more again, probably about €600K at inflation of 2% per year for 30 years).
Last year I said a fall was coming (not clapping myself on the back, btw) and I explained why I justified in 2005 'not buying a house to myself on the basis of actual cost (as opposed to perceived costs) over the period of a mortgage, which would effectively equate to my entire working life.' and how 'since that time the banks have started offering 100% mortgages and repayment periods of up to 40-years, directly fuelling another staggering jump in house prices this year. Well we're now at the point where only those with a vested interest (the banks, the landowners, the developers and the auctioneers and, I suppose, those who have been buying in at the top end since early 2004) in seeing the madness continue genuinely believe it can.
Anyway I bring it up because of the opening lines from David McWilliams' article in last Sunday's Business Post:
'You would be mad to buy a house now. In recent days the Irish housing lobby
- which has hijacked the economic debate in this country and made an absolute
fortune in the process - has started to spin the line that ‘‘now is a good time
to buy’’. First-time buyers, the most hard-pressed financial subgroup in the
country, are being urged by banks and estate agents to take the plunge. Do not
be tempted, because you will only be the lemming-like suckers who bail out
developers in trouble. Hold onto your cash. Guard it zealously, because prices
are headed lower - not just here, but all around the world.'
He's right. And it doesn't matter what Biffo does in the Budget today...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Anyway rumour has it she's shuffled off to a party in the sky as of about an hour ago. If true, the hand wringing is going to be nauseating.
EDIT: Whoops! Jumped the gun a bit I think!
Sounds like the unpopular bastards are all a bit jealous - 'Would you look at your one's votes - they're never real! There's no way he has votes like that naturally...' etc.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I'm sorry the picture sucks - the strapline is her Glendaness saying 'I increased by a full cup size in just 3 months', promoting some breast augmentation cream or other. Oh, and can I assume that it's unnecessary for me to confirm that I wasn't actually browsing the breast augmentation cream section?...
Saturday, December 01, 2007
But anyway the Have Your Say on the BBC website is overflowing with comments - 10,241 published as of now with 6,405 awaiting 'moderation' (free speech, eh?).
Reading the comments can be fun, if you remember not to take the contributors in any way seriously, because it really can be quite surprising just how many people attempt to rationalise the irrational...
'The law is the law whether in the Sudan or the UK, we may not like or agree... defend the indefensible...
with what constitutes an offence or the punishment that is dispenced (sic).'
'I thought that the teacher in question was some kid who was over there
dong a tefl course. When I discovered the age of the teacher in question I
thought what an idot! She was working in a Muslim country, did she not know
how sensitive the people in such a country were when it comes to their
religion? Lock her up for sheer stupidity!'
... or totally miss the point...
'I'm sure it was an innocent mistake but unfortunately, I feel the teacherIt's also hard to work out how some of the people have enough brain cells to even turn on a computer...
should have been better informed of the customs in the country she is
'Funy to hear the government mad with the children naming the teddy. Is theGood grief Penfold. What the hell do the moderators do?...
government has nothing to do with other things than monitoring the people.
Children could even insult the mothers and the fathers because they knew nothing
and God love children prenty much. Why will someone should be excused because of children choice? This is all about politics!'