Column Irish art and culture is being failed by lazy inept leadership

first_imgTHE RECENT CONTROVERSY surrounding the inaugural City of Culture was a perfect opportunity for the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan to step up to the plate and show some long overdue leadership. Unfortunately, the Minister simply confirmed what many observers have suspected for quite sometime now; that he is in the wrong job.Events in Limerick got off to a well-publicised start with the artistic director and two festival programmers resigning over numerous issues, one of which was tension between the creative team and the CEO – who had been appointed without any due procedure. She, too, later resigned. However, the board that oversaw this fiasco is still in place.Minister Deenihan was notably quiet during the fallout. His contribution totalled a single press release, after much of the controversy had already blown over, and a radio interview on RTE’s This Week programme in which he deflected responsibility from himself and stated that he only knew what was happening from what he “had read in the papers”.An inability to represent the Arts with any real knowledgeThe Minister’s advisers must surely have winced at the point of the interview where he awkwardly referred to the famous French street theatre company Royal de Luxe as “a puppet show I think’” Admittedly, most people you meet down the pub on a Friday night aren’t going to know much about Royal de Luxe, but the majority of theatre professionals will know that they are a street theatre company. Is it unreasonable to expect that a minister representing the arts would know it too? It may seem like nitpicking, but it highlights the fact that Minister Deenihan does not appear comfortable when representing the Arts.The two main issues around Jimmy Deenihan’s incumbency are a lack of leadership and an inability to represent the Arts with any real knowledge. Despite the Coalition policy of austerity it is apparent that other ministers are fighting tooth and nail for their departmental budgets not to be cut. Minister Deenihan seems content to sit back and allow his department take one for what he considers to be the greater good of the country. Whenever he is drawn on the specifics of cuts to the sector, he is quick to refer to the wider sacrifices that the people of Ireland are making.When recently asked by Clare Daly “if he will restore the 30% cut in arts funding which has taken place over the past five years, as a necessary measure to protect our culture and local artistic jobs and centres”, the Minister responded: “Difficult choices needed to be made in this year’s budget. As has been made clear, this budget is above all about strengthening our economy, creating jobs and exiting the bailout”.The Minister has also made certain recommendations to Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan about the Arts, but despite requests from various organisations such as the National Campaign for the Arts, these recommendations are not in the public forum. Why the lack of transparency?Professional background is importantThe current mishap that is Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is easily tracked. Having entered political life after a glorious career as a Kerry footballer (he was part of the five-time winning All-Ireland Kerry team), Jimmy Deenihan entered local politics as a member of Kerry County Council. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1987 as the Kerry North representative. In 2010 he became the Fine Gael spokesperson for the Arts, Sport and Tourism which, considering his background on the pitch, made certain sense.However, when Fine Gael came to power in 2011, Enda Kenny retitled several departments and what was erstwhile the Department of Sport, Culture and Tourism became the Department for Sport, Tourism and Transport, with a Department for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht being established. Even Deenihan must have scratched his head at being passed up for the Sports posting. He has never looked comfortable as a spokesperson for the Arts, and deserving of a ministerial post as the party members may have believed him to be, he was not high enough up on the FG food chain to take the responsibility of Sport, Tourism and Transport, which went to the ever-ambitious Leo Varadakar.Admittedly, Deenihan could have turned the job down; but since when do cabinet members turn down a ministerial post based on a gross lack of knowledge concerning the department they are taking over? From John O’Donoghue to the late Seamus Brennan to Martin Cullen, none of the recent ministers with responsibility for the Arts have had what could be considered a professional background in the area which would qualify them for the job.The fact that politics and arts do not mix particularly well in Ireland has become more problematic in recent times, and it is a problem that must be addressed for the sake of the Arts in Ireland. People involved in the Arts, or the much spoken about “arts community” are not apolitical, on the contrary many artists create work in order to question, disrupt and reflect what is happening within the political system. However, many feel that becoming too cosy with the establishment will hinder their ability to question how we, as a people, are governed.The potential to become a multi-billion euro industryAnd yet people involved professionally in the arts are more than a “community”, they are part of a multi-million euro industry, with the potential to become a multi-billion euro industry. This means that a stronger engagement with the establishment becomes very important, if not essential.So how do we move forward? There is no quick answer to that, but people working within the Arts must begin to consider a number of questions.Firstly, if not Jimmy Deenihan then who?Looking around the ministerial or even cabinet table there is no single person who jumps out as a suitable candidate for the role of Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Politicians who are also artists, such as Michael D Higgins, are a rarity. Notably when President Higgins was in office as Minister for the Arts he re-established the Irish Film Board, dissolved Section 31 and set-up the most interesting television station in the country, TG4. He essentially created the ground work for a thriving sector. Where will the next person with such vision come from?Secondly, at a time when the Arts is in need of strong leadership and knowledgeable representation, which is more dangerous; an inept minister or no minister at all? If the ministerial post is gotten rid of, a stakeholder board made up of representatives from arts organisations could be put in place to administer government funds. Such a stakeholder organisation already exists in the form of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA).The NCFA is an organisation that has tasked itself with forming a long-term strategy for the Arts in Ireland. If this organisation was given the powers outlined above there would, no doubt, be long and difficult debates about who should receive money – regional arts organisations would surely relish the opportunity to have their voice heard – but at least knowledgeable parties would be making the relevant decisions. Some will undoubtedly balk at the irony of the NCFA taking up such a role. Founded in 2009 the NCFA was set-up to tackle recommendations in the McCarthy Report that the Arts do not need a ministerial representative. However, it could be argued that the McCarthy Report was a political tool conceived to scaremonger, as opposed to a practical guide to running an economy. Now is a time for practicality and unity within the Arts Community.What is clear is that structural reform is needed, the recent events in Limerick have highlighted this. The time for that reform is now.Eoin Lynch tweets at @Eoinlyncho and blogs at www.theartsblog.Column: Limerick City of Culture must not be allowed to failWe’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email opinions@thejournal.ielast_img read more

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7 distinctive smells of the Irish night out

first_img Source: Gizmodo6. The siren scent of the chipperIt’s kicking out time. You exit the nightclub… And it calls to you. The delicious, heady smell.CURRY CHIPS BURGERS KEBABS ROLLS PIZZA SLICE ONION RINGS. Source: Quite Peculiar7. A dusty sandal mixed with kebab remnantsThe morning after. Ah. Lovely.I see you’ve chosen the high-class perfume Eau De What The Hell Happened Last Night And Why Do I Smell Like Kebab Sauce Oh My God? Such delicate high notes of dehydration and regret. Source: ShutterstockWhat smells do you associate with a night out on the tiles in Ireland? Manners, now!Read: 11 scented candles that truly capture the essence of Ireland>Read: 8 gestures that every Irish person understands>Read: 7 smells that will remind you of a Sunday morning> NOTHING PROVOKES THE memory like your sense of smell.Smells can bring you back to a time and place in your life in an instant. Just close your eyes and you’re there.Except sometimes… Well, sometimes, you don’t wanna go back there.1. Aftershave/perfume mingling with BOYou can’t hide a crispy pit, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t try to Lynx or Charlie it all away. It just makes it WORSE. This shouldn’t be the dominant smell of an Irish nightclub, but let’s face it. It is. Source: Perfumery Source: Erin Nekervis2. The auld carpet underfootThat carpet holds a multitude of sins within its fibres. And it likes to release those sins back to haunt revellers. In smell form. Source: ξωαŋ ThΦt (slowly back…)Remember when the smoking ban came in? Pungent.3. Sticky spillageIf things get rowdy, stuff gets spilled. In some bars, that translates to a pretty overwhelming smell of beer from someone who was on the unfortunate end of a spillage tsunami. Source: Oscbene Pickle4. That sweet stench of desperationYou know that old song “Love Is In The Air”? Well. Not quite. But there’s certainly a heavy scent of longing from some quarters of the dancefloor. Source: Cheezburger5. Chats in the smoking areaGoing to just pop outside with your smoker friend to keep them company for a minute? Bang. Stink.last_img read more

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Police given extra time to question McConville suspect

first_imgPSNI DETECTIVES HAVE been given until tomorrow night to question a 77-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.Detectives in the Serious Crime Branch have been given until tomorrow night to continue interviewing the suspect at Antrim police station.McConville, a widow and mother of 10 children, was 37 when she wasabducted in December 1972 from her flat in the Divis area of west Belfast and shot by the IRA.Her body was recovered more than 30 years later on a beach in Co Louth in August 2003.Read: 77-year-old man arrested in connection with Jean McConville murderlast_img

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Beautiful National Geographic photos of muchloved animals and pets

first_imgFEAST YOUR EYES on these.The photos are a selection from the National Geographic, Your Shot  ’Animals We Love’ project which invites readers to submit images depicting their passion for animals and photography. We keep our 113-pound Lab out of our daughter’s room (swallowing a pair of underpants got him banished), but getting up on her bed is one of his little pleasures in life. Perhaps surrounding him with treats would complete his idea of heaven. Or if he can’t reach them….a nightmare. Source: Mike Melnotte Cat lover carrying his pets through the Hiroshima streets. Source: juan fontaine 15 years ago I rescued and hand raised two orphan antillean manatees, since then I have not stopped working with those amazing and gentle animals. Source: Luis Eduardo Sandoval Bavaresco Perhaps our cat Sonic was just too old, or too lazy to care about primal instinct. Or perhaps, Rosy the Rat was too blind, or too naive to worry about fear. Or perhaps… there are no rules when it comes to love within a family. Source: Meg Kumin Source: Margherita Vitagliano Having a sick cow in the herd affects any farmer deeply and even though this farmer has over 400 head of cattle, he can quickly asses which are sick and bring these out for treatment – he knows every single one, he raised every one of them. To calm his cows during treatment, he sits on it. Source: Henrik Kaarsholm In Asia, it is a common sight to see people feed golden fish like we feed pigeons in Europe – the idea is to create harmonious shapes by throwing food in chosen spots – or to have fun. Baby bottle fish feeding is a popular attraction. Source: StÈphanie Amaudruz Old Milo doesn’t bark much, he just likes staring at you like Robert De Niro. Source: B. Yen26 photos that sum up Ireland perfectly>Itchy elephant at Dublin Zoo grabs a stick to scratch behind her ear>last_img read more

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Ireland second to Bermuda as conduit for taxable income of US multinationals

first_imgA new IMF staff paper criticising the global economic impact of tax avoidance identifies Ireland in the top ten of US outward foreign direct investment.Corporate tax avoidance has a negative impact on all economies, particularly those of developing countries, the paper reports.According to GDP-weighted averages, Ireland comes second to Bermuda as a conduit for the relocation of taxable income from alternative factors for US multinational enterprises.Prepared by staff from the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, the paper criticises tax avoidance practices, saying that identifying the source of income or the residence of companies complicate taxation procedure, as do disparities between global and domestic tax issues:There is a distinction between worldwide tax systems, under which a country taxes the income of companies resident there wherever that income arises, but gives a credit for taxes paid abroad, and territorial systems, under which the residence country exempts business income of resident companies arising abroad—but, in practice, there is a spectrum between these extremes.It warns that tax arrangements “that are felt to result in unfair allocation of the tax base” could, if not addressed, increasingly “undermine the coherence of the international system”.The paper says that the spread of tax incentives in developing countries which undermine revenue to those countries “may to a large extent be a spillover reaction to policies pursued in other countries: a clear instance of tax competition”. Because developing countries typically derive a large proportion of their income from FDI, allowing tax breaks and incentives on such revenue is particularly harmful to their economies.The staff paper suggests redefining ‘immovable property’ to cover mining and petroleum rights and then ensuring that the direct or indirect disposal of such property is taxable under domestic capital gains tax systems. “Such provisions would appropriately cover only significant changes of ownership (of, say, at least 10 percent), to avoid having to identify small transactions,” it adds.It also calls for challenges surrounding the discovery of offshore transactions and tax collection to be addressed by ensuring that the relevant regulatory authority be advised of indirect ownership changes. This information should also be shared with the revenue authority.Read: US economy suffers sharpest contraction in five years >last_img read more

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Is Polaroid planning on resurrecting their iconic instant camera next CES

first_imgPolaroid has lost a lot of its credibility in recent years when it comes to competing with the likes of Canon, Nikon and Panasonic when it comes to new consumer digicams… a decline which seems to equally match the rise in hipster cache that Polaroid has gained from the nostalgia felt for their old instant film cameras.It looks likely that Polaroid is now planning on exploiting that hipster cache and nostalgia to reinvigorate their modern camera business: the company has sent out a teaser to tech journalists promoting an exclusive event at CES 2011 next month at which they are set to reveal a brand new camera… and if you adjust the gamma on the image just so, you can see that the camera they are teasing in the promotional shot has some sort of slot.It seems pretty obvious based on this that Polaroid’s going to be releasing a new instant camera. It’s easy to understand why: with Polaroid instant film costing 20 bucks a pack, and stores sprouting up that exclusively sell old Polaroid instant cameras at truly insane prices, there’s a market here to capitalize upon… albeit an extremely misguided market that mistakes technical obsolescence coupled with inconvenience as delightful whimsy. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Polaroid’s new instant camera can be successful, once a new model supplants consumer nostalgia for the extinct original.Read more at Engadgetlast_img read more

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Katy Perry shopped from Barbie to Super Barbie

first_imgAs someone who is reasonable proficient at Photoshop (and similar image editing programs) it never fails to amazing me just how much the photos we see in glossy mags are edited. We expect photos to be touched up a bit–no one can get through their entire life without a scar on their knee or an imperfection on their face–but images tend to be edited a lot more than most people realize. So much so that every time an original is leaked, it causes all sorts of outrage/gossip/watercooler talk.Above you can see the latest leaked original shot as well as the final product, the cover of Rolling Stone’s August 2010 issue. The image wasn’t “photochopped”–Perry is anatomically correct and doesn’t have any of the tell-tale broken joints, stretched legs, or head-neck misalignment of bad photo editing–but note all the changes that were done to make this cover acceptable.AdChoices广告Most noticeably her bust was enhanced and her skin tone was warmed, but then look deeper. Her skin is more taut, the creases of her underarms were removed and the lines on her face were polished out. Also, what looks like a mole on her upper chest was taken away, her right leg was trimmed, and a vein on her right arm was removed. Heck, the editor even removed her socks. Interestingly her hair was unchanged (aside from a bit to her hairline) but keep in mind that this is the easiest thing for stylists to get right before the shot is taken.I’m not taking a stance on our concept of beauty or the unattainable level that an already pretty girl was taken to, I just wanted to point out the craft involved in a magazine shot like this one. A flawless diet and thousands of hours in the gym are important, but they will only get you so far before the Clone Stamp takes over.via BIlast_img read more

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Logitechs M305 retrofitted to create steampunk mouse

first_imgOld typewriter keys are used in all sorts of recycled products. Most are used to make things like necklaces and cuff links, but there’s also the geeky trend of making steampunk keyboards. We have to admit, it’d look a little strange to be using a shiny new wireless Logitech mouse with an old-timey looking keyboard. The solution comes via Aaron Ristau, an artist from Loveland, Colo.Ristau creates wireless computer mice that take on the steampunk look with two old-fashioned typewriter keys taking the place of the normal left and right buttons. According to his website, Ristau focuses on art that “blends nostalgic aesthetics with modern function.” He uses a Logitech M305 wireless mouse for the bones of the creation, but unless you turn the mouse over, it looks like something from the 50s or 60s.The mouse comes in chrome as well as various painted colors. It can even be customized to the characters of your choice. Are you a fan of the semicolon? You can have one on your mouse. Most people would opt for their first and last initials, but it’s really up to you. It runs off of an AA battery that lasts for a few months. Once it runs out, you’ll have to unscrew four tiny screws on the bottom of the mouse to switch it out.Of course, it’s not the most ergonomic mouse, but it still looks really cool, and it even has the M305’s scroll wheel. Some of the mice even have spikes, which I’m curious if they’d bother your hand. Unfortunately, the mouse is a little on the expensive side. Though the M305 has a list price of $39.99, you’ll be paying $180 for this retro-looking rodent. However, that price may be worth it for the geek-chic value.Check out the mouse in action in the video below.Read more at AaronRistau.com, via SlashGearlast_img read more

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HP TouchPad to run Android thanks to TouchDroid

first_imgBy now, there’s a massive, yet unconfirmed, number of brand new owners of the HP TouchPad tablet. As you read this, thousands of apps are being installed, the UI played with, and the device as a whole is being re-judged. Compared to other tablets in the market, the TouchPad is still a major competitor when it comes to hardware, and yet it’s only $99 right now… if you can find one. So, they will continue to fly off the shelves until there are none left and the people at HP can move on with their lives.What happens when that “new gadget smell” wears off, though? The honeymoon effect with your new, heavily-discounted device wears off and you’re left with a tablet that isn’t likely to get any better than it is right now unless you do something yourself. The Preware community already has a nice collection of things you can do to play with any WebOS device, but even that has its limits. So, what are you to do with that shiny new tablet? Well, eventually, you’ll be able to put Android on it.RootzWiki, the Android-focused rooting, modding, and development forum has put together a small team dedicated towards assembling Android for the TouchPad, as well as performing the hacks necessary to shoehorn the OS on the device. The team has put forth a clear plan of attack and is documenting the process along the way using both the RootzWiki forum as well as a separate “TouchDroid” Wiki. Each of the team members purchased their own TouchPads, but also have a donation link available in case they brick one of their TouchPads, or if one needs to be the victim of a teardown for additional information.Basically, they will attempt to put (stock) Android 2.3.5 from the Android Open Source Project on the device at first. If that succeeds, they will move in to CyanogenMod, a popular Android rom that has a full suite of tablet enhancements for large screens. When the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, becomes available, the team plans to port that to the TouchPad as well, provided Google sticks to their plan to release Source once again when that version comes out.This attempt has garnered a mixed bag of responses from TouchPad users. There are those who would rather keep their stock WebOS experience still, though I refer you to the first paragraph for my opinion on that. There are those who welcome the Android port with open arms, and likely bought the tablet with that in mind from the beginning. While I am an Android user, I must say that I am a huge fan of the WebOS experience and have preferred it over Android for some time now.I’m not the only one, apparently. James Kendrick recent wrote that what he would rather see happen is closer to what RIM has in store for the Playbook. Some sort of emulator to allow Android apps to run on the TouchPad, while still following the rules and multitasking principles of WebOS. I have to say, that idea excites me. I feel that solution would certainly be more elegant, and would preserve much of what we have come to appreciate from WebOS. I do know, however, that making that work is a great deal more difficult then just shoehorning Android onto the TouchPad. So while I am excited at the possibility, I will refrain from holding my breath.Another notion that was raised was the possibility of seeing Windows 7 or Windows 8 on the tablet in the future. Essentially, if the TouchPad gets opened up for Android, the sky will be the limit for modders who want to push the limits of this device. So many things will be possible as long as there is an audience and developers interested in making the TouchPad do “all of the things.” If you have a TouchPad, keep your eyes on the RootzWiki guys, as they will most certainly be making noise about their developments regularly.last_img read more

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Google Doodle celebrates Freddie Mercurys 65th birthday in style

first_imgGoogle has today released what has to be one of its most memorable Google Doodles in celebration of what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday.Born on this day in 1946, Mercury was a singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of Queen, a rock band sure to be remembered for as long as there is music to listen to. Hits included Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now, and We Are the Champions among many, many more.Although British, Mercury spent the first 15 or so years of his life growing up in India after being born in Zanzibar. He learned to play the piano at 7, formed his first band called The Hectics at 12, and then at 17 he moved to England with his family where he studied art. The art skills he gained ultimately helped him design the crest/logo for Queen.After being a part of several bands that never really saw success he formed Queen with Brian May and Roger Taylor, signalling the start of Mercury’s real musical success story and what has ultimately made him one of the most memorable and loved  musicians of all time.Unfortunately, Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in the late 80s and his last on-camera appearance was in May, 1991 for the music video These are the Days of Our Lives. From June to November of that year his health deteriorated until he started refusing his medication and died on November 24 at the age of 45.Google’s Doodle celebrating the date is an animated journey through his musical career. It’s both an uplifting and well thought out piece that sees Mercury riding on the back of a tiger, driving a racing car through the universe, and portrayed as the King (Queen?) of rock.As well as a doodle, Google also asked Brian May to do a guest post about Mercury on the Official Google Blog. It’s well worth a read for Queen and Mercury fans alike.Thanks to Wikipedia for the background informationlast_img read more

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Watch the SpaceX Dragon capsule dock with ISS

first_imgUpdate: Capture complete! At 9:56 am ET the ISS managed to dock the Dragon capsule.At 4:21am Central Time the SpaceX Dragon capsule is expected to come within 10 meters of the International Space Station and then dock using the ISS’s robotic arm. You can see the live stream above of the final approach NASA has been kind enough to share with the world.The Dragon capsule finally saw a successful launch attached to a Falcon 9 rocket on May 22. After a 10-minute climb the capsule ejected and started its journey to rendevous with ISS some 400km above the Earth. Yesterday the capsule stopped some 2.5km from the station in order to carry out a number of system tests for its communications, guidance, and control abilities. With those completed successfully, it came within view of the astronauts early this morning and is currently getting into position for docking.On board the Dragon is some 500kg of cargo. It includes food and water for the astronauts, as well as new equipment to be used on board ISS. SpaceX is hoping that once this mission is completed it can obtain a freight service from NASA to continue supplying the ISS in future.last_img read more

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The Walking Dead creator turns family car into zombie survival machine

first_imgAny time you get a group of geeks together, the conversation will eventually drift into this same topic. What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse? What weapons would you opt for, what buildings to occupy, and what you have done to prepare your home for the coming horde. Everyone’s got a different strategy, and they go from incredibly minimal to extremely extravagant.If you are someone like Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, you’ve probably given your plan a fair bit of thought. In fact, you might have gone a little overboard compared to the average person. The result of such planning has given birth to the Hyundai Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine.When planning for Z day, I don’t know many people that plan explicitly for mobility. Kirkman’s design isn’t just for a car to get around during a zombie overrun, but to be able to live and fight in the vehicle for extended periods of time.The back seats have been removed to allow for food and water storage, as well as for a more comfortable recline during naptime. The camera on the back of the vehicle is still functional, and the rear hatch opens up to reveal some high powered lights and a net for when you need to slow something down. The sunroof has been replaced with a pop up lid, allowing you to jump up and take a few zombies out. The front of the car and the wheels are designed to help make a quick and dirty getaway. And the plow on the front has been modified with massive spikes, while the wheels all have removable spinning blades to make sure you aren’t chased for very long. All of the windows are covered in bars too, although there’s room to get an arm in there to take a swipe at you.Of course, a real Elantra couldn’t handle all of this. All of the “heavy armor” on this model is just a prop, save for the wheel spikes and the bars on the windows. Robert Kirkland won’t be plowing through the mean streets in this sick looking toy, but if you’re going to have a car in your garage to show off it might as well look like it’s got some teeth right?Hyundai and Design Craft Fabrication built this vehicle with Kirkland in celebration of the 100th issue of his comic. So far, no one is talking about this car showing up in the AMC television series, but maybe one day you’ll get lucky and see Kirkland making a 7/11 run in his new Z day car.last_img read more

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Watch this Ultra Ever Dry superhydrophic coating is insanely liquid repellent

first_imgSome gadgets, like the iPhone 5, out there claim to be oleophobic, making it easier for the oil to be wiped away from the screen. Imagine if the oil was never allowed to smudge the screen at all, instead just beading up and rolling away on its own? A demonstration of some new superhydrophobic spray might make you want to buy it by the barrel and apply it to everything you own.Superhydrophobic and superomniphobic coatings aren’t new, but they grow more impressive every day. It’s the kind of material that seems like it would be great on everything, applied so that you never need to worry about spills or even getting the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle. The nanoscale coating process usually involved spraying your coating on a perfectly dry substance and letting it sit long enough to dry again. As long as you don’t scuff, scrape, or otherwise damage the surface of the item you sprayed, the coating will protect the surface of whatever you apply it to for years.This new video is one of the first commercial applications of a superhydrophobic material that can be purchased, and I bet the guys at UltraTech International wish they had a consumer ready product to sell after releasing this video. The Every Dry coating demonstrations are all really impressive, showing as any kind of liquid just beads up and rolls away from the coated surface. The coating even works well enough to keep water contained in an area surrounded by coating, as demonstrated towards the end of the video. One of the defining factors of this material is how resistant it is to scuffs and scrapes, measuring 110 on the Tabor Abrasion Method.This material is designed to stand up to daily use, according to the manufacturer, though it’s the kind of thing where each use case will determine how long it actually lasts. Every Dry uses a combination of two different materials, applied in a top and bottom coat, to provide the protective layer you see in the video.It’s the kind of thing that makes you wish your smartphone was completely encased in for the next time someone at a restaurant accidentally spills a drink or you accidentally drop your phone in mud. Given the rate of improvement this technology has seen in the past few years, it makes you hopeful that your next smartphone comes with a shiny superhydrophobic coating.last_img read more

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GamePop challenges Ouya with subscriptionbased Android console

first_imgThe Ouya was a smash hit on Kickstarter, and it’s due to arrive late next month and usher in a new, cheap era in console gaming. Now the crew behind BlueStacks is getting in on the action, too, with a new Android console called GamePop.The hardware is free if pre-ordered before the end of May, and the company hasn’t stated what it will sell for after that. There’s also the required subscription, which does an end run around the whole free thing.GamePop runs $6.99 a month, but it’s not payable monthly. The company is looking for a yearly payment of $83.88. You’ll also need to pony up $9.95 for shipping — or $19.90 if you live anywhere other than The States.Still, it’s not a bad deal for what you get. A paid subscription snags GamePop users access to a catalog of more than 500 popular Android titles. You do also get a controller, but GamePop is running Android 4.2 and will support any other game controller that works with the OS. You’ll also be able to use your phone, if you happen to prefer touchscreens to physical controls.GamePop scores some obvious points for looking an awful lot like Futurama’s Madison Cube Garden. But styling and “free” hardware won’t be enough to win the battle for Android set-top gaming supremacy.Specs for the system haven’t been revealed yet, so there’s no telling whether or not GamePop offers performance that’s comparable to Ouya. There’s also the content issue to consider. Access to a massive game library is crucial to the success of a platform like this, and BlueStacks has a clever plan to get devs interested.For developers, the lure is a consistent revenue stream without needing customers to actually buy their games. A 50% cut of all subscription revenues will be set aside for devs. They’ll then split the kitty based on how many plays their games have received on GamePop.There’s a potential downside, of course — one that some artists have already experienced with streaming services like Spotify and Rdio. Pay-per-play doesn’t always translate to a lot of money… but for game developers, those cents (or fractions of cents) will still add up. If it’s down to missing out on revenue from an Android user altogether or scraping up loose change, the latter isn’t necessarily such a bad option.Which would you opt for, Geek readers? Ouya or GamePop?last_img read more

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield leaves ISS with a Space Oddity

first_imgCanadian Chris Hadfield has been one of the more interesting and memorable astronauts to spend time on board the International Space Station. The reason for this is his embracing of social media and willingness to share his experiences of being in space for an extended period of time.He arrived on the ISS back in December last year, but yesterday handed over command and is now preparing to travel home. He signed off as commander in style, though. Below is his modified rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, which is sure to go down as a classic moment in the history of the ISS.Right now Hadfield is meant to be sleeping to prepare for his Soyuz flight home tonight, but as you can imagine, he’s having a little trouble drifting off and is instead posting images of Earth on Twitter. Here’s one he posted last night with the words “Canada rocks”:Hadfield was part of Expedition 35, and his leaving the ISS was signaled by the arrival of Expedition 36, headed up by the new commander Pavel Vinogradov. As part of his sign-off video, Hadfield shared the three objectives he had while he was there, which were a healthy crew, healthy spaceship, and making full use of the ISS as a research lab. He achieved all three.I think he went further than that, though. By interacting with us all through social media and taking the time to answer questions, he’s got us all thinking more about space and science. I’m pretty sure there’s more kids out there wanting to be astronauts now because of Chris Hadfield.Some of his best moments aboard ISS have been covered here on Geek, and they include his videos demonstrating how astronauts wash their hands and what happens when you wring a wet cloth in space. His last job as commander was also one of the most serious: dealing with an ammonia leak and getting it fixed in record time.last_img read more

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Intel thought to be dropping Atom branding for Silvermont chips

first_imgThe budget end of Intel’s desktop processor range is covered by the Celeron and Pentium brands. But in recent years Atom branding has been used for the very low power chips you find inside netbooks and soldered on to cheap mini-ITX boards. We’re about to hit a new generation of low-power Intel processors though, and it looks as though the Atom brand may disappear.Atom chips get a mixed reaction from the consumer. On the one hand they offer a cheap, low power solution for small screen netbooks and inside nettops. But they also aren’t exactly fast, with most variants running single or dual cores at 1.6, 1.8, or 2GHz. They will run most things, bit don’t run anything great.So it looks as though Intel has decided not to use Atom as a brand for the new Silvermont processors. That decision is not just because of Atom’s historical reputation, but also because Silvermont chips are genuinely fast and therefore deserve to carry the Celeron and Pentium brands instead.Indeed, Intel is promising that the 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture will offer 3x the performance of the latest Atom processors while using 5x less power. If they deliver on that, you can see why the Atom name may be dropped.Intel has yet to confirm this of course, but we should expect to see laptops, all-in-ones, and convertible laptops/tablets running Windows 8 with Silvermont Celeron and Pentium chips inside later this year. Silvermont parts will also be used for Windows and Android tablets, but won’t use the same chip branding.last_img read more

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Two men in court after ATM scamming equipment found at house in

first_img Short URL Material found during Monday’s search. Image: An Garda Síochána TWO MEN HAVE appeared in court charged in connection with a gardaí investigation into ATM scamming equipment found at a house in Navan.  Officers from the Garda National Ecomonic Crime Bureau carried out the search at a house on Slane Road on Monday morning where they seized equipment for ATM skimming including a fake ATM front, hard drives, receiving devices, soldering equipment and laptops.About 500 blank cards for storing data copied at ATMs, sat navs, pinhole cameras, skimming devices and various ATM skimming paraphernalia were also discovered during the search. The two men, one in his late 40s and the other in his late 20s appeared this evening before the Dublin District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice.  Mar 8th 2019, 10:31 PM Share7 Tweet Email 17,069 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Cónal Thomascenter_img Two men in court after ATM scamming equipment found at house in Navan About 500 blank cards for storing data copied at ATMs, sat navs, pinhole cameras, skimming devices were found during the search. Material found during Monday’s search. https://jrnl.ie/4531913 Image: An Garda Síochána Friday 8 Mar 2019, 10:30 PM No Comments last_img read more

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May formally asks Brexit be pushed back to 30 June but EU

first_img Source: Ian Dunt/Twitter Source: Daniel Ferrie 🇪🇺/Twitter Updated Mar 20th 2019, 1:08 PM THE UK PRIME Minister has confirmed that she has sought to delay Brexit, and said the House of Commons had “indulged itself on Europe for too long” as she seeks to finally secure the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.During a feisty Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Theresa May said she’d written to European Council president Donald Tusk formally asking to delay Brexit until 30 June.However, an internal briefing memo from the European Commission said this departure date would bring “serious legal and political risks”, ahead of a meeting with EU leaders.The Commission’s memo has urged instead that EU leaders to choose between a short delay to 23 May or a longer one to “at least until the end of 2019″. That 30 June date would mean the UK would not need to hold elections to elect representatives to the European Parliament, May indicated, but this is at odds with the EU’s position. The EU says that, like Ireland and all the other EU countries, if the UK is in the EU after 23 May, it’ll have to elect new MEPs. A European Commission spokesperson said this afternoon that Jean-Claude Juncker “formally warned” May against including a date for extension that is after the EU elections – which take place across EU countries from 23-26 May. “Withdrawal has to be before 23 May, otherwise we face institutional difficulties and legal uncertainty,” the spokesperson said. “Elections have to be held if extension after 23 May.” 23,912 Views “As Prime Minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June,” May told the House of Commons today. Wednesday 20 Mar 2019, 1:08 PM The UK had been due to leave the EU in less than 10 days’ time on 29 March, but May closes her letter seeking an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal mechanism until 30 June.Speaking in the House of Commons today, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Theresa May of having “no plan” and of plunging the UK into a “full-scale national crisis”. “She told the house the EU would only accept a delay if there’s a clear purpose,” he said. “What is her clear purpose?”May said she was seeking an extension and fully intended on another meaningful vote on her Brexit deal. “The outcome of a long extension [beyond 30 June] would be this house spending yet more endless hours failing to address issues that matter to our constituents,” she said.This house has indulged itself on Europe for too long. It’s time for this house to determine that it will deliver on Brexit for the British people. They deserve better than this house has given him.Corbyn shot back that for her deal to stand a chance of getting through, May would have to come back with substantive changes.An Irish government spokesperson, meanwhile said: “The government will consider recent developments including the Prime Minister’s letter at its Cabinet meeting this afternoon.”With reporting from AFP, Christina Finn In her letter to Tusk, May said that it wouldn’t be in the interests of the UK or the EU to hold European Parliament elections.She told Tusk she had intended to have a third meaningful vote on her withdrawal agreement – which has already been rejected twice – but said the intervention of house Speaker John Bercow has “made it impossible in practice to call a further vote” ahead of a meeting of EU leaders tomorrow.  Image: House of Commons/PA Images 51 Comments Short URL Image: House of Commons/PA Images .@MargSchinas: “@JunckerEU formally warned @theresa_may against including a date for the extension that is after EP elections. Withdrawal has to be b/f 23 May, otherwise we face institutional difficulties & legal uncertainty. Elections have to be held if extension after 23 May.” https://t.co/jDKH6LDMEc— Daniel Ferrie 🇪🇺 (@DanielFerrie) March 20, 2019 No.10 publishes May’s extension letter pic.twitter.com/pldN9POVNA— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) March 20, 2019 By Sean Murray Share41 Tweet Email May formally asks Brexit be pushed back to 30 June – but EU warns of ‘serious risks’ and ‘legal uncertainty’ The Prime Minister has written to European Council president Donald Tusk seeking a 30 June departure date. https://jrnl.ie/4551555 The idea that three years after voting to leave the EU, we’d be asked to elect new MEPs would fail to deliver on the referendum result. Mar 20th 2019, 12:49 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Thousands of cases of women being beaten choked threatened with weapons and

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 13,430 Views https://jrnl.ie/4583181 Thousands of cases of women being beaten, choked, threatened with weapons and smothered in 2018 The charity is calling for greater protections within the law system for children in particular. By Sean Murray Share85 Tweet Email1 OVER 20,000 DISCLOSURES of domestic violence against women and children were made to Women’s Aid last year, with the charity calling for greater recognition of the risk to children during access arrangements with domestic violence perpetrators.Alongside 16,994 disclosures of domestic violence against women made to the charity, there were also 3,728 disclosures of child abuse made, according to the organisation’s Impact Report for 2018.Women’s Aid director Margaret Martin said in the report: “Behind these stark statistics, there are thousands of women who have shared their story with Women’s Aid… They tell us of their darkest fears and the impact the abuse is having on themselves and their children.”It wants improved State interventions and protections, and said that the risk posed by a domestic violence perpetrator should be taken into account with measures put in place to protect children – including an assumption of no contact – until the child’s safety can be guaranteed.In all, there were 11,112 disclosures of emotional abuse. This included 561 disclosures of being abused online and stalking, and 898 threats to kill the woman, the children, her family or to self-harm.There were 3,816 disclosures of physical abuse, including women being beaten, choked, being hospitalised, threatened with weapons and smothered.Included within this were 141 disclosures of abuse while the woman was pregnant, with a number saying they’d experienced miscarriage because of the abuse. Furthermore, there were 526 disclosures of sexual abuse, and 1,540 disclosures of financial abuse made to Women’s Aid in 2018. This fear is heightened when women have to facilitate access to the children for the man who has been perpetrating domestic violence. A father’s right to access should not outweigh a child’s right to safety. Child protection and safety should be prioritised in all custody and access proceedings. To do anything less is to fail women and children.The charity said that it received 483 disclosures of women and 255 disclosures of children being abused during access visits.The Impact Report will be launched today alongside Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Geoffrey Shannon.Speaking ahead of the launch, Minister Zappone said that increased funding of €1.5 million to organisations dealing with domestic, sexual or gender-based violence would be made available this year. “The additional funding available this year is a stepping stone,” she said. “We are not quite there yet. But I do believe that we are on the road to achieving something better.I hope that someday, we can live in an Ireland where all citizens – women, men, and children – are valued and respected without the fear of domestic and sexual violence.In the conclusion of its report, Women’s Aid recommends that the Family Law system should consider the safety and well-being of any children when granting a barring order and take interim measures to protect them.It also said that experts should be made available to the court to assess any threat posed to children and the impact of direct and indirect abuse on them. It also suggests that all staff in agencies that support victims of domestic violence be trained to understand the impact of abuse on women and children. Martin added: “By sharing their stories in their own voice, these courageous women challenge the victim blaming culture that exists in Irish society; they build an understanding of the impact of domestic abuse; and encourage other women to find their voice and to seek support.” Wednesday 10 Apr 2019, 6:00 AM Short URL 32 Comments Apr 10th 2019, 6:01 AM A large majority of women – 84% – who contacted the service in 2018 said they were being abused by a current or former male partner. One in four (27%) were experiencing abuse from a former husband or partner.Many women who contacted Women’s Aid said they were worried about protecting their children, the report said.Its director Margaret Martin said: “It is heartbreaking to listen to women who are living in a constant state of fear for their children and themselves.last_img read more

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Man in his 60s dies in car crash in Co Clare

first_img https://jrnl.ie/4599619 2 Comments Short URL Share Tweet Email2 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 15,355 Views A MAN IN his 60s has died in a fatal car collision in Co Clare this afternoon. Gardaí were called to the scene of the single vehicle collision on the R352 near the village of Mountshannon at 2.45pm. It is understood the car left the road and struck a ditch. The man was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.The man’s body has since been removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem examination.Another man in his 60s was also removed to the hospital by ambulance. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.Garda forensic collision investigators have attended the scene and traffic diversions were put in place. Gardaí in Killaloe are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ennis Garda Station 065-6848100 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. By Cónal Thomas Apr 18th 2019, 10:51 PM Man in his 60s dies in car crash in Co Clare Gardaí in Killaloe are appealing for witnesses. Thursday 18 Apr 2019, 10:50 PMlast_img read more

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