Thursday, January 31, 2008

Best blog posts of 2007 - my eye

I was thinking about some of the posts that have been nominated for best post for the Irish blog awards and it struck me that they might suffer from that old Oscar problem of forgetting about anything decent that came out before the summer block busters. So I did some rudimentary analysis and what do you know? Bingo.

Out of 72 posts nominated we have the following run down.

Dec 17
Nov 12
Oct 8
September 4
August 6
July 5
June 2
May 3
April 3
March 4
Feb 0
Jan 0

Plus Jan of 2008 has 7 nominations! I accept that there was no announcement of a specific cut off date but I'm sure some thought the end of 2007 was a natural enough one, while others didn't. Some clarity wouldn't have gone amiss there. So the lesson is to save your good posts for the end of the year and not be writing worthwhile post throughout. As the awards evolve I can see the following coming out from the PR set "Well the comedy stuff sells but never wins awards so Twenty has the real funny stuff penciled in for the early part of the year but he's got much more pointed material ready to go for the end of year nomination season."

More peculiar are the two posts that are from 2006. Or least they appear to be to me, see for yourself. 23 September 2006 and August 18th 2006 I could be wrong. Let me know if I am. They're good post, don't get me wrong but if we can't nominate Twenty's election preview from Jan of last year (which was up for the long list but didn't make the short list) then why would 2 posts for 2006 be deemed for eligible for 2008 awards?

Sadly, I would say based on this that there is a more than fair chance that many of the posts nominated are not even the best posts the individual bloggers have done this year not to mind the best posts of the whole year overall. It was talked about last year at the awards ceremony that for Best Post the idea might be to have a rolling nomination process for each month so that any posts folks thought were quite good at the time might be flagged. Even a dead mail drop box type of effort wouldn't have been that hard to set up, but I guess it fell on deaf ears or worse yet it never fell on any ears at all because people were scared off from making the suggestion directly to the powers that be in case they were banished.

Of course the instinctive response from some will be to say that there is a lot of work involved and he does his best. Yet if someone chooses to bring a load of work upon themselves simply because they don't want to let anyone else to play a part isn't that just indulging someone's martyrdom complex? There were 2000 nominations last year with somewhat closer to 700/800 this year or so we're told. Does this mean blogging in Ireland is better, smaller, more of a clique than it was, or just a passing fad? Who knows. I wish all those involved and nominated the best but of all the categories Best Post is probably the most valueless this year which is a real shame.

Update: I've attempted to point out the 2006 posts but any comments from me are just modded out from the site.

I was in a fight: a man died

The Late Alderman Micheal Kelly of Limerick had a form of words to deal with questions about his criminal past in particular one incident he was involved in. They were "I was in a fight, a man died".

They were words of such pure ambiguity that only a natural born politician could have arrived at them. There was no admission, just the merest hint that his involvement in the fight had caused the man's death. I'm quite sure that the most natural born politician of his generation currently holding the office of Taoiseach will allow some version of them to grace his lips in coming days, perhaps "I received money, a decision was made." Certainly, there will be no admission of anything so base as bribery.

Certainly the phrase would want to be better than this. “It is not correct. If I said so I wasn’t correct. I can’t recall if I did say it, but if I did not say, or if I did say it, I didn’t mean to say it — that these issues could not be dealt with until the end of the Mahon Tribunal." Bertie Ahern in a statement to the Dail Jan 30th 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Libel or fair comment - you decide.

Now, I'm pretty used at this stage to my comments being removed, altered, even directed to spam sites by the grand poobah but claiming a mild attempted rib tickler of a comment based on current events involving a public voting process might be libelous is a bit of a stretch.

Below is the original comment complete with the misspelling of "mislaid" as "misled" which was made in the context of the recent problems RTe had with You're A Star and losing votes. The grand poobah has been doing some part-time tech support on RTe recently and he has also commenting publicly about the You're a Star mislaid votes problem on his twitter account hence the references. So, I'd reckon the comment was solidly on the side of non-libelous. Also, given that only Rte and another site are the only entities identified I'm not sure who'd be doing the suing as the publisher would have to be sued, which it would appear might involve someone suing themselves. Or was it all intended to deliberately suggest libelous comment where none actually existed with the intent of lower the public's opinion of the poster? Now what would be the legal term for that?

Original comment text

and here is the altered one suggesting the text above was libelous.

Altered comment text

It's all kind of petty really when you consider the source. What can we all expect next altering the comments of contributers so that they are libelous?

Hillary claims victory in Florida

Bold boy that I am I'm signed up to a number of US political mailing lists and I've just got one in from Senator Clinton entitled Victory in Florida. How I would ask if none of the Democrats were campaigning in Florida can last night's result be deemed a victory?

Dear Daniel,
You can make the difference for Hillary

I know I told you our campaign journey would be filled with high-stakes twists and turns. But I never knew it would be quite as dramatic as this. And last night we celebrated another big moment in this campaign with our resounding victory in Florida.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Primaries

I reckon Hillary and Obama run away with the Democratic one not that it is worth much at this stage though that could change if the convention close. Edwards might still get up to 18% or so. Clinton gets 46% and 36% for Obama.

I have this feeling that Romney might surprise us by being closer to McCain than the most recent polls indicate,
McCain 31%
Romney 29%
Guiliani is going to be a clearer 3rd than would be the casemainly because of early voting. Just under 20%
Huckabee 13%
Ron Paul gets 7%

Monday, January 28, 2008

A evening watching the Palace

I was quite surprised today to see a preview mail about Palace playing Leicester. Suddenly it dawned on me that the match was on this evening and after confirming that the match was on the box I was able to settle down to some work content in the knowledge that I would have a ready distraction later in the evening.

Sadly the game wasn't up to much in terms of quality. It was a slogfest throughout and the pitch was so poor the Leicester Tigers Rugby team would have had second thoughts about playing on it. I could honestly swear to you that towards the end there were a couple of trenches out there. I would say it was like the Somme only Kevin Myers is from Leicester and I know he'd make a column out of it. One of the few highlights for me was seeing Sean Scannell get a run out.

To make matters worse Leicester scored a poxy goal in the dying minutes by means of Barry Hayles making contact with the ball in manner that he won't have taken any pride in.

It's a bit like a film

From today's Examiner - "Meanwhile, Ms Harney insisted that she trusted the Taoiseach in light of an opinion poll showing that a majority of people did not believe his evidence to the Mahon Tribunal.

“It’s a bit like a film — you don’t judge it halfway through,” she said as she urged people to wait for the inquiry’s final report into the Taoiseach’s tangled personal fiances.

Ms Harney expressed disappointment that the tribunal had taken so long to proceed with its work, but pointed out this was partly due to the many legal challenges taken against it."

Really Mary, is it like that is it? Certainly, if the director has a track record of producing challenging but interesting work you're inclined to give it that bit more of a chance. There again there are those
films that you know pretty quickly that they're complete rubbish. Like Eragon which my housemate had plussed the other night and which got the eye over last night. It is ripe, ripe that is for the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment.

Bertie is much more Uwe Boll than Ridley Scott or David Lynch so I guess we know how Mary wants this film to end.

Also the misspelling of finances above is the examiner's not mine. All other mistakes are mine.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to kill a man

Strange pub conversation last night in large part by the murder attempt on the Viper. Given the nature and intent of the attack, our conversation came around to how we'd have tried to do it. With our consensus thinking that the use of a shotgun was a mistake and a pistol at close range would have made much more sense, we have mixed views on whether you were better to approach from the passenger side or from the rear to the driver's side.

Approaching the driver's side from rear with the handgun in your right right and firing the first shoot from a standing position just before this shot should shatter but not necessarily break the glass. Following this shoot with 3 more and you're laughing.

If you have time for four shoots then you have think that reloading a shotgun would be a complete waste of what are previous seconds (particularly if you want to live yourself) . If you had to use a shotgun, then placing the shotgun right up close against the driver's window and shattering the glass with the first blast then shoving hard will break it and then point towards the shadow and discharge at leisure.

It all reminded me of that old joke about the bloke in the north who was stopped at an army checkpoint and told them that he was after coming from Kilnamagh and was off to Kilmore.

Strange conversation right enough but four lovingly pints though.