Friday, April 11, 2008

Christ, has gone all schmancy

Just have a quick check and I know they've been trailing this for longer the Navan rail link but they've revamped the site completely. Now if they could take that extra 30 secs to spell check and proofread posts they could be really onto something. I like the time of the updates being displayed. I'm like the PSB's Disco 4 for that matter but that is for another time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Inanimate carbon rod vs. Olympic Torch

"The torch was taken on a surprise route through San Francisco" according to the BBC. I've been to San Fran just the once and with those hills you'd want to be pretty carefully planning your routes or you could have yourself a coronary. As for the Olympic least the old Inanimate Carbon Rod could make it through the streets without being guarded by armed troops and anyone that did want to get it would be doing so out of adoration. Most people appear to want to snuff out the dear young Torch.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Are Irish blog awards really like the WWE?

Are changes really afoot in the Irish Blog awards? In 2007 the nominations were voted on for the short list and the award winners were judged. In 2008 the long list, the shorter list and the final short lists were all judged. Why the change? No one really knows. And the sad truth is people are made wary of asking because if you fall foul of the main man, you'll find yourself blamed for making him ill by such occult means as applying to attend the event. For the record, I think that by in large the right people have won over the first few years of the awards but that doesn't mean they won for the right reasons. The vast majority of people who are blogging have no idea what criteria were used, who chose them, and how any inconsistency in judging was resolved.

I posted some simplistic analysis a while back on some of the problems that can arise from having annual awards with nominations only at the end of the year with the intent of simply highlighting that the individual posts nominated might not have been the best examples of each person's work. Instead of someone thinking, hhmm that could be something of a difficulty, maybe we're not seeing the best posts being nominated, how can we solve this problem. I was castigated and it was incorrectly stated I had contacted blog nominees informing them that they were ineligible.

We were all told that there was a crying need for judges but I'm aware of people who had been blogging longer than the awards have been going who never even got an acknowledgment to their offer to judge. A case of knowing the wrong people rather than the right people? People were apparently sent blogs 'as Gaeilge' to judge despite a self admitted lack of even the basics in the language.

An all powerful committee presiding over events isn't necessary by any means but some quite basic, and clearly transparent rules are at this stage. Best posts to take one example should be those from one date to another say 01/01/0X to 31/12/0X encompassing the preceding 12 months and not some make it up as you go along effort temporally dribbling back and forth into previous and future years. Set some minimum requirement for how a nomination is to be accepted, tell the public what the criteria are going to be for each category. And do all this well in advance. Anything done in secret is going to lead to suspicions no matter who is doing it.

As for the end of year Best Post problem, my suggestion still stands that a dead letter email address for Best Post that all Irish bloggers could have embedded it in their layout would be one really simple means to overcome the end for year bias in the current system. The inbox wouldn't need to be looked at until the year but we might just get better spread of nominees. Or at the very least have a degree more confidence that nothing really good from the early part of the year doesn't get missed out.

As regards the suggestion that previous winners should be barred I would think that a bad solution to what may be a temporary problem (remember Real Madrid won the European Cup 5 times in a row and the Kerry Ladies footballers won the initial 9 All-Ireland titles). I have mentioned it to a few people that those who make the short list each year should perhaps form the basis for an "Academy" type scenario, so that those passing judgment are peers of those they are judging. One could also give different weighting to each college within the Academy 30% to a public vote, 30% to the Academy and 30% to selected judges and 10% awards a la the Eurovision based on traffic.

Monday, April 07, 2008

What really lies beneath

Fine Gael's bestest friend has a new website and facebook group called Take Enda with you, aimed at getting Bertie to ...well...convince or kidnap Enda Kenny into resignation - it isn't made clear. What is peculiar is the same person never signed up to the Resign, Mr Ahern Facebook group, he reckons Bertie is a ledge and lets on to people that he has joined this Facebook group when in truth he started it. Why so coy about his motives? Where was the Could it be that all this is really about providing cover to Bertie during his tribulations? Why not take Cullen with you? Or Dempsey? Or Hanafin?

Of course, it's still a free country and people are entitled to have their opinions and express them but what actually is the opinion being expressed here? Is it really that Bertie is a ledge? A man who has more stories about multiple sums of money equivalent to half a years salary being lodged all over the place by a man who claimed to have no bank accounts. That is a 'ledge' in his view. Paul O'Connell is a ledge as are Mike Frank Russell and the Puck goat. Bertie is no ledge. Or put another way if telling 'stories' about receiving large sums of money makes you a ledge in someone's book what does that make the one whose book it is?

Too bloody right I can

dream. Yesss. 2-0 to the Eagles away against Stoke. A lovely cross from Sinclair to set up Soares and a deft volley from Fonte (a defender mind). Glyn Whelan for Stoke got in what was in all fairness an excellent volley with 5 minutes of normal time to go, and with 5 minutes of injury time added on it was indeed squeaky bum time. Yep, we were lucky. But sometimes you need luck.

Palace vs. Stoke

So the big run in starts here, Palace have an outside shot at the play-offs aided by the fact that we play 3 of the teams above us away from home. That means the pressure is on them to get wins to stay on course while we're outsiders and not expected to do as well.

Mon 7 April 20:00 a Stoke City SKY
Sat 12 April 15:00 H Scunthorpe
Sat 19 April 15:00 a Watford
Sat 26 April 15:00 a Hull City

Sun 4 May 15:00 H Burnley

Realistically, I would favour Wolves for the final play-off place but a man can dream, a man can dream.

Appeared to have some very unusual thoughts in relation to race, music and golf

A rather sad murder case is currently going through the courts, but it has in the manner of things provided me with one the strangest comments I've ever come across. The last line of the report I've linked to says "Mr Gageby said Mr McLaren appeared to have some very unusual thoughts in relation to race, music and golf."

Race, music and golf. I'm stumped.