Nov 112010
 
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DHF
Image by wicho via Flickr

Cheap flights aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. If you’ve flown with a budget airline recently you’ll know what I mean.

Hidden costs for everything soon push the price way above the quoted rate. Airport taxes and charges, baggage charges, surreptitious insurance opt-ins, credit card charges that somehow apply “per passenger” even though you’re only making ONE transaction… the list goes on and on.

I could write an exhaustive post on it all… but it’s pretty much encapsulated in this video.. which I’m sure you’ll find much more entertaining:

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Aug 052010
 

This is simply THE best parody of the JayZ / Alicia Keys track “Empire State of Mind” that you’re ever likely to see. Featuring the “small Welsh town of Newport” in South Wales it is simply brilliant.

Check it out for yourself if you haven’t seen it already:

It’s already received around 2.3 million views on YouTube, and has elevated the starring duo to pseudo-celebrity status in their home town. It featured on all the prominent media channels in the UK, including the BBC and Sky News, and received massive coverage in the press.

This is yet another example of how well-executed digital content can reach a massive audience, cross over into “traditional” media, which in turn drives more people back online, adding to the viral effect.

Everybody say “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”!

Update: YouTube have taken down the video embedded above — but you can still see the original in all it’s brilliance by following the link bellow:

Newport (Ymerodraeth) State of Mind

Nov 272009
 

Flood waters submerge a West Cork road during November's floods

Best wishes and condolences to everyone in West Cork, Cork City and further afield whose homes and businesses were affected by the recent flooding….

In Ireland we don’t do climatic extremes very well.

Maybe it’s the inevitable consequence of a climate that consistently under delivers. We don’t get long, baking hot droughts, we don’t get bone-chillingly cold winters with lots of snow and ice, we don’t get anything extreme on the weather front, really… just a perpetually dreary middle ground.

As a result we’re rubbish when it comes to dealing with weather-related problems. In the summer we moan about the rain, but on the (very) rare occasions when the sun does shine for more than a few days the council starts running out of water. If it has the temerity to snow the entire country grinds to a shuddering halt until things thaw out again, and anything more than a stiff breeze has us running indoors to take refuge from falling trees.

But if there was one type of weather you’d expect the Irish to cope well with it would be rain. If Ireland had an official national weather, then rain would be it! And yet here, too, we fail miserably at the faintest whiff of extremity.

Last week it rained hard for a few days, and highlighted just how flimsy our drainage systems, flood defences and coping mechanisms really are. Huge swathes of West Cork and a substantial chunk of Cork City sank beneath the rising flood waters, thousands of homes were damaged, hundreds of vehicles stranded and countless commuters failed to make it home to their families.

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Nov 102009
 
Carbon dioxide

Image via Wikipedia

Global warming… or climate change as I prefer to call it (given that there’s been scant evidence of any actual "warming" going on in Ireland over the last few summers), is a serious issue for sure. But am I the only one worried by a recent spate of publicity that’s painting carbon dioxide (CO2) as a noxious chemical we need to eradicate?

One TV ad that targets children and parents is particularly disturbing, not because it deals with the sobering subject of climate change… but because it’s built around misinformation and blatant scaremongering. The ad I’m talking about shows a father reading a bedtime story to a little girl… a dreadful story about how the nasty CO2 monster, growing ever larger, is wreaking havoc with the climate and killing the planet. If you haven’t seen it you’ll find it below.

 

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Apr 252008
 

Ah America — leaders of the free world — a model for other governments to emulate… or perhaps not.

 

Pretty unreal stuff — and the scary thing is, most of it’s utterly believable.

Kind of makes you wonder about the much touted public/private partnerships the Irish government’s so fond of, and just how much priorities get skewed when you outsource public services to commercial entities out to make a fast buck.

Outsourcing the Government on Yahoo! Video