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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mourinho for Irish Football Team Manager!

Sky News doorstepped Jose Mourinho about the English Football Manager job and he didn't openly rule himself out for the position. Apparently there is already somewhat of a campaign started to get Mouriho into the role. So why not start a campaign to get Mourinho into the current vacancy with the FAI and have someone interesting, with an international profile and proven track record as our Irish Team Manager?

Just a thought! I, for one, would love to see him in the role - Satisfaça sim!

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Photo (c) http://news.sky.com/

Review of Arrange me a marriage, BBC2

"Aneela Rahman presents this highly interesting programme in which she tutors British Singletons and their families and friends through a similiar process to that used in modern Asian arranged marriages."

Aneela RahmanArrange me a marriage is not a dating show, more it is an interesting and indeed thought-provoking programme about how single 30 & 40 somethings in today's western society can learn more than a thing or two from the process used to arrange marriages in modern Asian society.

Aneela is warm, frank and practical in her role as a facilitator in aiding the singletons to use their existing network of family and friends to find suitable partners. One of the main premises of the show is that no-one knows you better than those who care for you - your family and friends. They are roped into re-assessing their own network of friends and acquaintances to find suitable partners for their loved one.

Establishing compatability in key areas such as family values, life goals, class and education is pivotal to the process employed - "Lots of people in Britain hook up in a bar or a club, but you wouldn't buy a house or car drunk, so why would you expect to find a life partner that way?" (Aneela, The Daily Mail)

Rahman is not afraid to be frank, detached and to the point with both the singletons and their friends and family whilst still being empathetic, warm and very likeable. Not quite a documentary and certainly not reality tv - the programme format is also entertaining. Well worth a look and more importantly well worth learning from if, like me you are a 30-something singleton!

Photo (c) www.dailymail.co.uk

Rated 4/5 on Nov 29 2007
Vote on curly k's Reviews at LouderVoice

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Review of Ireland AM, TV3

"Ireland's only breakfast tv show. Generally a pleasant start to the day with good banter among the presenters, some excellent featured items but far too much sport for my liking!"

Almost every morning I tune into Ireland AM prior to dragging myself out of my bed. It's great to catch up on Irish news first thing in the morning and they have regular headlines throughout the show. There are also regular fashion and soap slots as well as some excellent feature items.

Initially, I didn't particularly warm to the show's lead anchor, Mark Cagney but he definitely grows on you and is certainly a seasoned professional in his role! Throughout the show there is an ongoing relaxed and entertaining banter amongst all four main anchors; Cagney, Sinead Desmond, Alan Hughes and Aidan Cooney. Sinead Desmond is relatively new to the secondary anchor role having been preceeded in previous years by Grainne Seoige, Amanda Byram, Emma Buckley, Maura Derrane and Claire Byrne (not necessarily in that particular order) so there has been quite a lot of personnel change in a relatively short time since the programme began in 1999.

One big criticism I would have is that the sports news is far too long - often outlasting the actual news updates. For a dedicated non-active/sporty person it is irritating to have so much sports coverage throughout the show.

Overall, however, the show is quite watchable and generally informative with a good atmosphere generated among the presenters, not a bad way to start your day!

Rated 3/5 on Nov 28 2007
Vote on curly k's Reviews at LouderVoice

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That Friday Feeling is a "noisy blog"!

Just stumbled upon a post (albeit a little late - it's from last April!) from Dublin.net which lists some of "noisiest blogs" in the Irish Blogosphere and unbelievably this blog is listed at number 35 out of 100!!! It is by their own admission a dodgy first attempt to pull together local blogs but they have ranked based on the number of links as tracked by Yahoo (via comments, backlinks etc)!

They mention that there are a couple of surprises in the list and boy is this blog one of them, no more so than to me especially given that the likes of Damien Mulley isn't on the list!!!

Nevertheless. all acknowledgments gratefully received!!

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LouderVoice - check it out!

LouderVoice is a new Irish site that allows people to review anything from wine to new shoes in an easy and accessible manner. LouderVoice is Bandon blow-in, Conor O'Neill's latest venture and passion.

The official blurb is that it is a "community-driven web-site for finding, writing and sharing user reviews. It is the hub that connects people, knowledge, interests and places. Users can publish, find, rate, bookmark, share and subscribe to reviews. They can finally harness the distributed expertise in blogs and social networks to assist in their purchases." They have recently enabled early support for mini-reviews which are posted by reviewers using SMS and IM via Twitter and similar sites.

However, more simply put for the less techy/web/twitter/jaiku.... amongst us you can simply sign-up and publish reviews on LouderVoice via your mobile phone through a simple sms text message. It is that easy once you're registered - you simply write your text and send it to a mobile number and hey presto its published on LouderVoice. For bloggers there is the added advantage of registering your current blog and simply writing your review through LouderVoice. It is then simultaneously published on both your own blog and LouderVoice - two for the price of one. You can see how it publishes to your blog in my review of Nigella Express below.

If Damien Mulley has taken the time to profile them on his latest venture Profile Ireland where he gives coverage to Irish Tech companies, mostly concentrating on startups but also looking at established though young tech companies, then you know they are doing something right!

They have made it to the final 30 of the Le Web 3 Start-Up competition in Paris in December. They are the only Irish company to make it through to the December 11th event - good luck guys!

As Conor says "Text Your Loves and Loathings to LouderVoice" - go on, you know you want to!

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Review of Nigella Express, BBC 2

"In general great receipes but absolute drivel to watch!"

Up until recently I'd really liked Nigella Lawson, I liked her down-to-earth style, her great attitude to food and cooking, her love of comfort foods and even the fact that whilst she is far from the recently popular concept of beauty i.e. very young, very skinny, very bronzed and very blonde she exuded the alluring appeal of a real, beautiful woman!

However, her recent outing in Nigella Express, where she supposedly showcases quick and easy food, is appalling. It's so set-up, false and twee its actually nauseating.

Give it a miss and buy the book where at least you can see what she has to offer receipe wise without the torture of having to watch her fawn to the camera, salivate over the food and pretend to have enough annoying friends and family to sink the Titantic!

Rated 1/5 on Nov 27 2007
Vote on curly k's Reviews at LouderVoice

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do Irish voters only care when money is involved?

It is truly astounding that in 1982 an attempt to put VAT on children's shoes brought down John Bruton's Fine Gael government and yet it appears that scandal after scandal with regard to health services in this country are allowed to go on and on with no-one facing any consequences or taking any responsibility (other than 1 Radiographer - who let's face it cannot be solely responsible for the farce that cancer screening in Portlaoise Hospital has become!).

It is sad reflection on the way we, as a society have gone in the intervening years since 1982. Obviously the mighty pound or euro was always king, as the bottom line of the VAT on children's shoes was of course money, however, I do think that the scandals we have witnessed in the last number of months would surely have brought down governments in the 1970s and 1980s. Our total obsession with the Celtic Tiger economy and fast-paced life in recent years has undoubtedly had some horrible side-effects on our sense of morals, equality, community and doing what is right.

It is unbelievable that we as a democratic society have not yet demanded more. When Fiannna Fail was returned to power in the last election, the majority of Irish voters refused to hold the government responsible for the shambles that is our health service. The truly appalling and outrageous state of our health service and the numerous scandals with regard to the likes of mammograms, ultrasounds, dirty hospitals and indeed the constant reduction and elimination of various services in many hospitals around the country were ignored because in general most people are relatively well-off and comfortable today in comparison to the the 1970s, 1980s and even the early 1990s.

Mary Harney has said that she will not resign but that if the Dail fires her that is a different matter, which lets face it, is as likely as me becoming a svelte size 10 this side of Christmas!

We should all hang our head in shame;
  • shame for those who have lost their lives because they were turned away from hospitals,
  • shame for women who lost their wombs because of one doctors ego-mania,
  • shame for the far too numerous women in this country who have spent the last number of weeks waiting for re-assessment,
  • shame for those women who now have finally had a cancer diagnosis,
  • shame for those patients who have died or live with the after-effects of MRSA and other super-bugs,
  • shame for those currently fighting cancer who have on the one hand been told that treatment in centers of excellence improves their chances whilst on the other hand none of the other requisite infrastructure for accommodation and travel to back up their treatment has been put in place

and shame that we will undoubtedly allow the new health strategy for larger regional hospitals to be put in place again without the requisite infrastructure (adequate numbers of ambulances and trained paramedics, air-ambulances etc.) to back up the improved chances of treatment in these centres of excellence with the critical mass of population.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

35 approacheth and way too fast!

So I'm not going to do one of those "reflective" posts - I'm pretty clear on the important things that are missing from my life (a life partner and children) and of course the many blessings I am lucky to have in my life (fantastic family and friends, the joy of nieces and nephews, a job I like with great colleagues, living in a community I like with wonderful neighbours, my own home....)

Rather I just wanted to warn ye all in plenty of time so I can get lots of pressies! And to state I'm well prepared for day my potential fertility starts to officially nose-dive big time.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

And that's why he is the Stig!

So I missed Top Gear's first episode in the current series a few weeks ago and am just playing catch up via the BBC Sign Zone's graveyard shift this morning. (Ok, I have no life sitting at home alone at 3.30am drinking glass of wine and watching Sign Zone but what the hell!) During the episode they road test the new VW Golf W12 650 bhp which I have to say wouldn't rock my boat - ugly car, honestly and I really like Golfs but leave them as they are thank you very much!

Anyway, Jeremy takes the W12 for a few laps and completely fails to take any corner in the thing without ending up facing the wrong way. Undoubtably this is because the thing doesn't corner (for us mere ordinary mortals). However, despite the obvious problems with cornering at speed with the W12 the Stig manages not to end up facing backwards on any corner.

It is a clip that demonstrates his (or her!) sheer genius as a driver compared to the rest of us or indeed compared to even Mr. Clarkson, who, let's face it, has driven a wider variety of cars than most of us can dare dream about. Classic!