A blog about things that interest me, politics, news, media, architecture, development, environment, local history, secularism, web, dublin ireland, tara

Contact me at expectationlost@gmail.com

Monday 15 December 2008

Leonard Cohen Hallelujah Live

Its ain't a christmas song but if you going to buy it by this one. can anyone find the extra lyrics extra sexy version from austin 1998 and cohen live 94 album online? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_(Leonard_Cohen_song)

Hallelujah - xfactor - sad kermits version

for no1

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Olympic censorship by IOC and RTE

IOC AND RTE out do China

RTÉ Radio Olympics 2008 Coverage

Due to International Olympic Council Internet broadcasting rights restrictions RTÉ is prohibited from making Olympic content accessible outside the island of Ireland (the territory).

These rights restrictions prohibit RTÉ from making any audio content broadcast live from, or recorded in, an accredited Olympic venue available outside the territory.

Because of the nature of RTÉ Radio’s comprehensive Beijing 2008 Olympic Games coverage the only manner in which RTÉ can comply with these rights restrictions is to regretfully make all our live Radio streams and the majority of our archived programmes available only within Ireland for the duration of the Olympic Games.

We do realise that this is of annoyance and inconvenience to our users abroad for which we sincerely apologise.

A limited number of programmes will be made available post-broadcast worldwide, in an edited format, during the Olympic Games. Please check the programme website to see if this is the case.

Further Explaination Q&A

Did you try and appeal?

Yes. The EBU made a number of appeals to the IOC, but was rejected.

Why not just block the Olympics themselves?

Because the restriction is not just limited to highlights of the Games, but it expands to any footage filmed within the 'accredited' area or interviews conducted within the 'accredited' area. For instance, if Pat Kenny was to interview an Irish person via a mobile phone and they happened to be in an official Olympic car, we cannot play that interview outside of Ireland.

Realistically, this means we need to block all live streams, radio and television, because we cannot monitor all of the streams 24 hours.

Question is will anybody else be monitoring this and objecting to Pat Kenny interviewing an Irish athlete live?

How about a program on censorious capitalist copyright restrictions RTE?

p Heres a good article on it from US reporter with an Irish husband who noticed the problem

NBC exclusive deal means no live ceremony on US TV

Another blog describing NBC lame coverage

Thursday 17 July 2008

Radiohead 3D LIDAR music video

Radiohead have used live Lidar laser scanning and recording to make a video for the new single House of Cards watch the music video the making of and then wait for the load up of the 3d video google gadget. 3d DataWhich you can download and manipulate yourself if you know how.

Mind blowing.

Antony Gormley Sculpture for Dublin Docklands permitted

The Antony Gormley Sculpture for the Dublin docklands has been giving permission by the Dublin City Council as noted in the Sunday Times.

The Dublin docklands has jumped on the big name fad but I think Gormley work like the Blind Light installation (where you can't tell the difference between people and sculpture among the smoke) and the pieces like the Quantum Cloud are exceptional and you can seen the engineering and craftwork much easier then in something like the bland Spire.

I like his description of it as a ‘like a charcoal drawing against the sky, changing as your position changes in relation to it’ as it will covered in black matt paint and think the use of complex angles to create something that the eye has to fill in itself is very clever.

View Orientation,structure and base plans

The sculpture is being made by the Advanced Geometry Unit of Arup Engineers, London. The science behind the sculpture which is based on TCD Weire-Phelan geometries of the bubble matrix!
to create and see through but sturdy lattice. It the same formula used for the Beijing Olympic swimming pool Other examples of his use of engineering on Body Space Frame and Quantum Cloud construction The right placement?

Quantum Cloud
Placement planning map

Its been placed on the south bank of the Liffey 12 metres from the quay and 30 metres down on seaward side of the Sean O'Casey bridge. It will be 46 metres high 12 metres its widest take eight months to erect and will cost €1.6m.

Some nearby residents objected the idea of towering over them and were They were on Liveline on Monday raising their concerns.

The DDDA say "The authority could have located the statue, which is 80% the height of Liberty Hall, in an area where it needed no planning permission, but chose to site it at City Quay on the seaward side of the Sean O’Casey bridge, to allow for public input."

Lombard and City qauy resident objections

The East Wall Residents' Association said it planned to object to the project because there had been no public consultation. Indo 07 I'm sure DDA would say they has been full public consultation and opportunities to object,a number of locations were listed for the sculpture in the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) but the DDDA chose it and stuck with it. The main consideration was it not getting the way of boat traffic.

I think it could have been put further down the bay. I don't know why they had to put it next to the few remaining old residential houses on the docks. They should have put if further out. The 'Quantum Matrix' above seems to be more in open industrial space, rather then among the new city. Although there are the old warehouse of the CHQ and the Georges Dock Iron contraption it may have been more suited to where there is still some industrial activity. As pointed out in the objections there a number of other sculptures nearby to lives lost at sea and the linesman on the quay and the sculptural shape of the Sean O'Casey bridge itself but this overshadows them. Although this statue is much more light weight other submissions have compared its height to the Statue of Liberty or Christ figure in Rio which are in far more open spaces. I think the artist wanted it near people but somewhere nearer Grand Canal dock would have been just as busy.An Taisce submission preferring another location.

The decision mentions the request for it to be put in more open area(page 13,pg.2) but rejects it without really giving a good overriding reason.

"It is positioned at a point between the old and new development areas of Dublin City and on a prominent site when viewed along the Liffey Corridor and along one of the main thoroughfares down to the River Liffey. It is also at a location where north/south and east/west pedestrian movements intersect.

"In addition, the proposed site allows the sculpture to be viewed against the skyline within an area of Dublin that has low rise buildings on both sides of the river and it does not interfere with navigation on the river Liffey"

DDDA may use these sculptures to distract from thing like their plan for buildings on stilts jutting out into the Liffey with a canal (an open grey system) behind it(Archiseek). And the deliberate dereliction and speculation that the docklands redevelopment is based on.

DDDA Updates
Non Techincal Sumamry of the EIS
Full EIS
Planning searchReference code 0430/97
planning submission
View Orientation,structure and base plans
Irish Times interview with Antony Gormley

ps I don't think the money could be spent elsewhere for the homeless or the hospitals I just don't think they come from the same budget.

ps Why did the DDDA with all this derelict docklands space, only allow 7 story buildings, if you going to blame anybody for lack of high rise in Dublin don't blame nimbys or an Taisce blame the DDDA.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Grace Jones @ Meltdown 18 June 2008 Love is The Drug

vid author boris99gj's description:
The formidable Grace Jones performs Love is the Drug... The video is of the backing screen, she was stood centre stage with very little light with a silver mirror ball bowler hat, a strong lazer pointing down directly onto her head! enough said.

Legend and a great musician and performer.

Friday 20 June 2008

Conscription is militarism for mothers. They don't want either in Lisbon

was listening to yesterday rte radio again and hearing a lot of politicians talking about how they met these people worried about conscription,particularly older women,... and i thought by god these FF'ers are telling us they only meet are stupid disconnected no voters, that they are saying that the only no voters are imbeciles.

now im no-voter-who-abstained, im deeply anti-war , campaigned and marched against shannon etc, but i don't think conscription is on the horizon, but im am worried about merkel and and o'deas words about making the EU a global power player and 'exporting peace and prosperity to the rest of the world' echoing george bush's comment just a few weeks ago... and we all know what GWB means about exporting democracy, it means exporting capitalism and conflict and drill rigs.

But I was talking to my mother (an FG reluctant yes voter,most worried about immigration) who said she met a neighbour who said the very same thing about conscription, and i said well she's an imbecile... and she said well i don't think it'll happen right now but maybe my grandchildren...' but i said well im big anti-military head and even i don't think that will happen, imbeciles!

Then I heard Mary Hanafin talking about the conscription issue coming up again, but she describe how a young women came up to her and asked her about shannon, military and neutrality and hanafin said she went on to say how it didn't change our position on neutrality (which could be true but we're not neutral).

Dermot Ahern and Michael martin both said how they found a lot of older women were bringing up conscription and and that's what they found after doing polling after nice 1 that it was older women worried about military.

anyway my main point is i then realised that these women aren't imbeciles they just think in different way to me and other young folks on the issue militarism.

when i think of iraq or Afghanistan, i think of the 100,000 unnecessary deaths and the trauma and destruction Iraqis have to live in ( and also the pillaging of their resources) but when the so called general public think of Iraq, particularly older women think in sons...

this is why they use the word conscription to convey their worries about neutrality, while i would use militarisation.

you see all the time on the news in uk and usa they manly report the deaths of us soldiers, they barely mention t the deaths of even the iraqi soldiers on 'our side' even if they died in the same battle.

UK and US parents say bring the troops home, they don't say end the war or save iraqi lives, most don't think in that way.

both patricia mckenna and pana and SF mary lou mcdonald all said they weren't worried about conscription or weren't going around telling people about their sons being conscripted and it wasn't in their literature. It wasn't in any no groups leaflets.

M L McD said on tv3 other night that she wasn't using scaremongering about conscription but people were thinking 'longheaded' about it and she was most worried about militarisation. and when she says militarisation she means imperialism (cos she doesn't mind the other kind).

lots of yes vote advocates mention indian and china in threatening way, a distance menace that are will trying to dominate the world, which leave you to think how could we fight them without conscirption...

so that's a longwinded way to say something very simple and obvious, conscription (ie. military neutrality) is valid concern in this eu referendum.

that's why they exit polls said they lost nice 1 and so they made changes ith the seville declaration reassured people and nice 2 passed but it's still why they lost lisbon.

and it a valid concern because we're not neutral and never really have been, and were certainly not now with active facilitation of the iraq war at shannon and no matter what ff/fg say, many of their voters are concerned about militarism, because of our history of being on the wrong end of imperialism, which connected to the feeling for independence which connects with the general fear of loss of sovereignty,(its the reverse of the uk independence euroscpetics who are pro-military). we've seen this at one of the biggest ever protest marches in recent times against the iraq war and the use of shannon. you could say our position on neutrality wasn't going to change but we're not neutral so nobody can't trust their assurances on that. Our neutrality is threatened most by our own governments actions not some exterior EU bogeyman.

so maybe these people aren't coir constituency either but COIR hit on the right word to use, conscription because it reflects women's and parents fears more then faraway conflicts that the PANA and the SWP talk about, so coir partly won it on SF,SP, PANA and SWP's issues with FF and FG voters.

that and uncertainty, distrust and immigration.

insert 'sons and daughters' and male parents where appropriate

Thursday 12 June 2008

Lisbon referendum results 3d map

Trying to see if its worth putting this in 3d and how best to visualize the votes. At the moment it hard to see the difference in yes and no. ETA June 13th. I've gotten the results for Lisbon treaty and added them to many eyes that I described in my previous post. Lisbon Treaty 2008 Visualisations

With the help of sgrillo's GE-Graph

The google earth in browser API is quite heavy so lets try another new thing from google, static maps. With the help of Peel me a grape coder blog

Nahh that work either starting map as ordinary sat view with earth browser option.

Updated with Lisbon 2008 referendum results: NO % constituency.

If you don't see any 3d maps you need a quick download and read of requirements of the google earth in browser plug-inDirect download

Updated with Lisbon 2008 referendum results: Yes % by constituency.

Results from Referendum Commission.

Compare with displays of results by rte.ie

What I like about google maps is that you can it use to produce 2d maps of good quality and variation too. No need to redo in flash.

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Many Eyes Visualisations of Ireland

I've been looking for ways to display Ireland election or referendum results dynamically live interested in visualisations and mapping of info and web 2.0 here are the two combined, Many Eyes an Visual Communication Lab IBM research project.

Anybody can upload data sets from various sources and use the visualisation models to visualise the date in various ways from graph to word clouds to heat maps.

Somebody called Colm has upload and visualised many interesting data about population, houses, politics and GAA.

The Shifting of Ireland's Population to Dublin

A Data Set of Population by County

Compare Bertie election 2007 acceptance speech and his resignation speech a year later (switch between 1 or 2 words on the Many Eyes sites).

Its a pity it doesn't have Irish electoral constituencies of other administrative districts if any has the shapefiles for them please add them.

Google had visualisation API for heat maps now to but only maps and recognises individual countries or administrative areas at the moment as far as I can see.

Im going to see if i find or add Ireland administrative boundary geonames.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Why move Dublin port to Bremore?

2009 Update
Added Details of port zone extension.

Application only available in police station under supervision?

Indymedia Bremore next to be destroyed. Background Info 2009
Port threat to passage tombs Irish Times FMcD
Major parts of new port to be built in Meath

Why would you take away a cities main purpose?

Tara Foundation video

Bremore on panoramio
Archaeologist raises fears over new port site
National Monument map viewer
Hidden artefacts at Bremore: RTE Nationwide
The Dublin Port Debacle
http://www.meathchronicle.ie/news/roundup/articles/2008/03/29/23872 megalithomania.com
Ancient site may delay Bremore port

Drogheda Port
merchants wharf
http://www.droghedaport.ie/cms/publish/article_231.shtml http://www.irishtrucker.com/articles/2005/january/drogheda.asp

Bremore Port
strategic infrastructure bill
Drogheda port brochure for Bremore

Rezoned Land map(pdf)

Fingal Council
Meath Council

Dublin Port
Gov report on future of dublin port http://www.newheartfordublin.ie/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panamax 12m
port depths
bremore 10.5?
dublin 12
drogheda - tom roes 6.5m
cork 12
bantry 23
Shannon Foynes Port 17

george owen tara foundation youtube balbriggan.net etc

sean dublin loftus, port extension

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Microsoft live Mapcruncher and birdseye view let down by aerial maps

Mircrosoft has added a birdseye view to micrsoft maps for parts of Ireland,they are amazing but its strange how their aerial/sat maps are _awful_, they seem to have skipped a process and gone for the four angled birdseye views, but you might not think to look at the excellent quality birdseye view for central Dublin after seeing the quality of their aerial maps...

I use flashearth to compare or just go to googlemaps or Live maps

Here are the brilliant birdseye view of Dublin which you can turn to see from four different angles(only two angles further out from city centres).(Click images to open maps).

Liberty Hall and customs house in Googlemaps.

This is how far in I can view Dublin city center! in MS maps.live.com

The problem is it makes it quite difficult to add overlay with mapcruncher(as I explain below).

Microsoft Mapcruncher
Microsoft Live version of Googleearth and Googlemaps/mymaps, its been around for a while but is still in beta and of limited use with low resolution images for maps.live.com for Ireland.

You have to download a small program and then find the area of interest on the map then load the overlay image and match points in the two images so Microsoft knows where to overlay it and account for curvature of the earth and terrain etc.(This with Ireland's low resolution images which disappear if you try to zoom in too far).

You click render, it then splits the top image into tiles to overlay on the server maps (which seems unnecessary on small maps?). You need a web space where you can upload multiple folders and files optimally your own web domain.

Here I overlayed the current image of Dublin airport with what it will look like when the second runway is built.(Source)

See the map; Live maps: New runway for Dublin Airport Mapcrunch

Googlemaps Mapplets
Google have added photos and videos as direct options to overlay on googlemaps, so you can just view and area and see corresponding photos from flickr,panoramio etc, so you view photos like

or perhaps zoom into Croke park

and see videos taken by somebody (badly on their mobile phone) of some past-it rock band or even GAA if that's your sort of thing.

PS. A Canal Bank Walk by kregori

Thursday 8 May 2008

Arrogant Government archaeologists treat public like they are stupid

In an previous blog post I complained how a digital reconstruction of the Lismullin henge at Tara, the site of which was being controversially destroyed for the construction of the M3 Motorway, was being withheld because...

Virtual images will not be made publicly available for the moment as the high quality of the computer generated images may lead to misconceptions as to what actually exists at Lismullin.
Well here are the images.

dept of Arts Heritage and Gaeltacht- National Monuments Publications


Its clear the images were withheld because it would have given a visual aid, strengthening the case by the activist that the Tara valley was full of ancient sites, and whether or not much remained of the upstanding structures at this henge in a hollow showed how it was the landscape itself that was important and that should be preserved along with the central monument at Tara.

In June 2007 John Gormley told the Dáil he would release the file in the near future "to ensure the highest levels of transparency and accountability".. The reconstruction were first made in mid 2007 nits now mid 2008, so Gormley's idea of transparency is release vital images a year late.

The massive site with the post holes marked in the foregound. More images of the exposed site

A description

The site is a large (c.80m diameter) circular enclosure formed of a double row or ring of stakeholes. The two rows are 2m apart. The stakeholes are small in diameter (c.10-15cm) and evenly spaced (c.60cm apart) perhaps suggesting post and wattle construction. The enclosure appears to have an entrance in the east. A smaller enclosure c.16m in diameter formed of similarly closely spaced postholes (c.25cm diameter) is positioned centrally within the large enclosure. There are two radial rows of postholes forming a corridor between the entrance of the outer and inner enclosures. In addition there are what appear to be two slot trenches between the end of the corridor and the entrance of the inner enclosure

The enclosure is situated at the centre of a natural geomorphological hollow surrounded by a ridge of higher ground which overlooks all sides of the monument, which in turn is surrounded by lower ground.

Anyway the last camp has been evicted from the area Tara Vigil Camp Being Evicted with some violence by the private security construction company and police. Further reports from the Tara Pixie.

More info on Lismullin.

Delicate site destroyed when NRA archaeologist removed all the top soil off it

M3/NRA reports. Inlcuding photos of the site before during processing(pdf). and Full report on Lismullin excavations with line drawings(pdf)(html copy)

Dept of Environment releases on Lismullin etc

It doesn't seem like(to my amateur eyes) they used a height map to show Lismullin's position in the hollow of the landscape does it?

Article on Lismullin by Joe Fenwick
On the Significance of Lismullin Archaeological Method and Theory and the M3 by Dr Ronald Hicks.

Comparison images from Sacred Ireland

M3 gets green light through Lismullin site

Tuesday 29 April 2008

test tagged rss feed for irish atheist

if you follow my ramblings here http://www.atheist.ie/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=11864#11864 (playlist are cool but,i don't want to embed every video i watch onto a website!! i could add my favourites but i want to add amny peoples favourites and you can't really create a shared playlist apart from in a group and you can't create a playlist of videos added to a group or embed them :/ ) im trying to find a way to list videos of irish atheists or videos recommended by irish atheist on a website, embed... one seems to be able embed a list of videos you've watched or list by keyword but 'irish atheist' throws up too much rubbish, if people specifically wanted to add their videos they could add an, opt-in, addmetoirishatheist tag on their videos. and then create a feed which searches for that unique tag. which results in this, (which might possibly be added to atheist.ie front page, if the owner want to) http://www.freewebs.com/dublinstreams/a2partyoutubefeedexample.html but there's still no way to embed a list of recommended videos via group... :/ http://www.youtube.com/group/irishatheists a group is fine, i guess, but i wanted something more automatic and something you can integrate into a website well i got it working for opt in tagging youtube video list, now test of opt in tagging blog posts by adding addmyblogtoirishatheist as a tag

Thursday 24 April 2008

New O'Connell Street Development

ETA Photos of the wooden models at archiseek. And views of Moore Street tour I posted about on Archseek, keep following the O'Connell street sorry there.

Finally after years of legal wrangling and speculation and deliberate dereliction of our national main street plans have been revealed of new mall for O'Connell street. 'Dublin Central'

RTE: The plans cover a 5.5-acre area known as Dublin Central which stretches from O'Connell Street to Moore Street and from Henry Street to Parnell Street.
See Irish Times:€1.2bn mall scheme to transform O'Connell Street area and Property Week:€1.25bn Dublin mixed-use scheme planned for details.

Another Irish Times article: €180m spent assembling 'Dublin Central' site describes how they want about buying all the building on face and behind O'Connell Street, Henry Street, Moore Street and Parnell Street.

Chartered Land are the developers who built the new Dundrum Town Centre, the refurbished Ilac Centre and Grand Canal Square and South King Centre.

New Street Layout in Green
Malls in Blue
I wanted to see how the area would look with the new streets of the Dublin Central and Arnotts development together.

Heres a Google Earth Version and a Googlemaps version. You download the Googleearth Version or view it in

Googlemaps and save it to your 'mymaps' and collaborate and add info.

And a microsoft live maps birdeye view to

to follow the walking routes through the proposed development of the streets behind O'Connell street.

Where would be without Architecture Ireland site. It has details of the Arnotts Northern Quarter development and new streets and there are also details of the Original Arnotts buildings. HKR Architects are the site developers for the 'Northern Quarter'.

Somebody has created an interesting tour of Moore street. Here's how it looks in live maps with bird's eye view.

See it in googlemaps

I can't find where you enter the kml's address so I just add it to the url in the address bar after "http://maps.live.com/?mapurl="

More Google Sketchup Buildings for Dublin

I was looking for 3D Google Sketchup buildings for Dublin I had remembered that a few were made years, but was always surprised with google having its EU headquarters here that there is not more google things for Dublin, but I found the old collection of buildings but I also found new one been worked on currently under the Dublin google Sketchup collection.I know there a good mock up of Dublin in second life, and I've seen part of Dublin recreated in 3D in an old TCD graphics department and there are plans to do a new dynamic one, but apart from laziness I figure that I never really attempted to add my own because like the TCD projects its already been done somewhere its just not put up on google.

Dublin Buildings by Domhnall

An outfit called Inshore surveys have as part of business demo show a number of well made models of dublin buildings. and also a animated preview of windmills in Sligo

Also partially complete Dublin Airport

Saturday 19 April 2008

Corrib Gas Rossport Google Map

I started this map a year ago or more but the area on googleearth wasn't high res enough and was too distorted to overlays maps, more of the area is covered now but not all of it, but I used other sources of maps to mark things. I consider it just a draft now but needed to get it up.

Corrib Gas Embed Map more up-to-date.

I want everything relevant to the issue on the map so please correct and add things. by emailing me or using googlemaps to make new placemarks.

For a primer on the Corrib Gas Project and protests go to wikipedia article on the issue

Need an overlay of the terminal and it place in the former Coillte lands.

Google Earth or Googlemap version - Refined and updated version April 08


Shell in Ireland - Corrib Natural Gas http://bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=22299
Ireland Gov Marine Notices

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Separated religious teaching in schools, it might sound like the only good compromise but it doesn't work.

After the notion that the church could have a veto on each teacher in a primary school full of many different religions was rejected (that I blogged about previously) the debate moved on to how it will be actually thought in the new schools and the consensus among the religious and the mainstream was that children could be separated during the school day and guest clergy could teach each religion denominationally rather then teaching an overview of religion and ethics to all students at the same time.

David Quinn (Indo's religious hack) writes of three options

As to the second question, how should religion be taught, there are three basic options. One is to teach the children their own religion separately and during school hours. The second is to teach them a generic religion course, and the third is to teach them their separate religions outside of school time, but on the school premises.
And says he rejects the third and writes that the second is the only option...
So it looks like there is little practical alternative to teaching the various religions to the various sets of children during school hours.
Yet in the very same paper Educate Together CEO Paul Rowe refutes this and actually gives example of how when ET's started they were forced to do in-school separate religion teaching and he explains it just didn't work...
In some of our early schools we were compelled to adopt an approach similar to that being proposed in this pilot. It proved to be educationally unsound and led to difficult and complex negotiations that have resulted in the current Educate Together model in which children are not segregated according to religion within the statutory school day. In contrast, the VEC pilot as announced involves the compulsory registration and separation of children from the age of 4 according to their parents’ religion. Such practices have been shown to be socially divisive, unethical and educationally flawed. In a primary school class, they critically impinge on the socialisation of children and are counter-productive to the aim of preparing young people for a society in which religious discrimination is illegal.
He expands on the ad hoc setting up of here new VECs on the ET website and points out the DQ third option is the only workable option they found in practice.

A COI priest writes how segregated teaching of multiple religious would be chaos and describes the practical difficulties in his experience of it at a secondary VEC school...

Firstly, the pupils were often from different classes, so while in some cases the Protestant pupils would be receiving religious instruction at the same time as the Roman Catholics, in other cases they would be missing a maths, Irish or English class...
Although there are some differences between the teaching of secondary and primary we must keep in mind.

John Carr general secretay of INTO is personally in favour of non-denominational teaching but hasn't been clear enough enough on this issue as a representative of the teachers.

In this recent RTE interview he asked three times did he want religion though outside of school hours and he didn't proper answer. In 2007 he said...

Mr Carr said the INTO favoured a broad religious education programme for all schools on, perhaps, four days a week, with the various churches coming in on the fifth day to "add their own stamp", in accordance with parental wishes
In a another recent Irish Times article he fudges again

Separate religious teaching during school is just not practical and it comes back the issue that a more secular system suits most parents and is most social and cost efficient.

This post is collation of my and other thoughts and info from discussions on atheist.ie and on Boards.ie PS. It interesting to note that the Church of Ireland as a minority is happy to continue teaching COI primary schools kids religion outside of schools hours at Sunday schools etc.

Sunday 13 April 2008

Irish GeoRSS News feed: YahooPipes vs GoogleMaps

Testing to see if I can embed a geoannotated news rss feed into my blog, and testing the difference between Yahoopipes version and Googlemaps version on an Irish breaking news feed.

Feck yahoo pipes doesnt offer embedding for free yet, I'll should just try georss and yahoo map api, hmm need a server access for that, sure everybody outputs the result to google maps anyway. Here's what a Yahoo pipes map looks like Irish Examiner breaking geonews Yahoo pipe

Back to google maps thanks to nearby.org.uk and lots of detailed but basic how-tos at Mike at Blackpool Community Church Javascript Team!?.

okay so got that working its pretty simple but making it usable for an Irish website its what I want to do, so I can put it in the corner and a small list of the stories below from the same rss feed and be able to click those links with a # tag and have a small icon where you can zoom down to street level which would make it useful for local blogs.I figure out how to put a link in the infowindow directly to the story. So it doesn't work very well, but there are different versions and if you go to georss homepage you can add the locations as they come up so you can improve its hit rate yourself. There are also javascript api that allow for infowindow to display outside the map so you don't have to scroll to read it etc.

Here's a few attempts at refinement A GeoRSSS plus clickable sidebar list

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Wholesale education reform Ireland

RTE teachers union conference round-up

Hearing that teacher union conference season was coming up I checked the ASTI,INTO and TUI websites for motions to conference, there are few there but no mention of religion or wholesale education reform.

We had to depend on David Quinn and John Walshe to inject and reform religion into the conferences.

Bishops seek religion veto on teachers in new schools

Parents demand right to pick schools for children

David Quinn is desperately trying to create a particular conflict between state and parents that doesn't exist. I wrote more about it here when he brought it up a second time his his drivel column. The RED C poll he bought says 48% percent don't want catholic schools, he claims that 47% want catholic run schools but I doubt they want to pay for them all themselves, thus the state takes the taxes and redistributes the money in a more equatable way including setting up secular schools that suit most people.

In the RTE interview the bishop says he wants church vetted catholic teachers to teach Catholicism to primary school children during the school day, but as the interview points out as opposed to secondary schools there's only one teacher per class in primary school,so are they suggesting they've had to employ a Jewish Muslim orthodox, bahai, Hindu, Baptist, protestant teacher for each school? but hey it'llprobably end being Catholic teacher won't it.

Church Vetting

“When a post is advertised for a teacher of religion, an interview board is set up, usually made up of five people. If the post is for a teacher of religious education, the patron has a right to have one nominee on the board. That is not a veto but an input” he said.

How could this possibly work in a diverse school?

Mary Hanafin the Minster for Education and the church keep saying they want to provide schools that cater for every creed but its clear that she and the Bishop are continuing to presume privilege for Catholicism in Irish schools.

Also John Carr of INTO is asked 3 times in the RTE interview whether denominational religion should be taught during the compulsory school day in the new style VEC's or outside like ET schools, he never answers clearly either way.

The teachers have chosen to raise one important issue that is which would be benefit to them and students the reneging on promised class sizes reductions.

But where's is the call from the unions for wholesale education reform, tinkering around the edges won't solve the problems. Some might say that there is more important things in schooling in Ireland then arguing about the half-hearted religious education they get nowadays but so many of the problems stem from the abdication of responsibility by the state. From water charges (cos the schools are private rather the public buildings) to underfunding, to employment contracts, BOMs, liability, to lack of schools for new populations etc, etc.

Forum to study how primary schools are managed

So Hanafin has announced a one day forum to review management structures...,Does she think they have it sorted in a couple of hours?

Where are the green and white papers, the Oireachtas committees, the Bills of legislation being drafted debated in the Seanad and Dail the public meetings the manifesto proposals for local elections?

The pilot VEC schools are moving ahead because of the desperate need and none lack of specific legislation on this shouldn't delay them but where is the democratic and political processes that are needed to change this twisted system!?

As an knowledgeable commentator says in reference to lazy claim in the Indo editorial

Quote: "Even atheists acknowledge the splendid role played by the Irish Catholic Church in education over the decades."

Quote: Ahem, I'm an atheist and I object to that outrageous statement. The Irish national school system was originally setup to be non-denominational and treat all children as equals. It was gradually taken over by the various churches, including the catholic church. This was not out of charity, but to monopolise education to ensure that undesirable ideas, like women's liberation, were not taught.

Posted by Kevin Byrne

There still this inexplicable softness towards the spiteful Hanafin, Sean Moloney said on Newstalk that education system was a 'victim of its own success' which is similar to how Frank Fahey said Irish traffics jams were a 'sign of success'?. No they are sign of lack of forward planning, while the Irish education system does seem to be capable of teaching most how to read and write and add its creaking at the seems for decades.

Now Hanafin tells us there an economic downturn and there is not as much money available while some schools have probably been waiting (in prefabs) for improvements during the 10 year boom and before it.

Sunday 23 March 2008

Corrib Gas embed map

Friday 7 March 2008

Tara: Rath Lugh tunnel built ,what you do when they won't admit they're wrong.

Watch this great video of the creative defenders of Tara, the stupid aggressive contractors and the clueless colluding police.

This worker doesn't get paid to try and run people over so what is he doing?

Gardai turn their heads and walk away every time contractors get rough with the protestors

What are is digger doing, marking its territory?


Between CPO lines till legal injunction is heard, diversity of tactics in action

Love the bit where the police women says go to the boundary and immediately regrets it because there is chorus of people asking, where is the boundary? shows us the boundary!, they won't show the maps, the lines have been changed so many times, shows us the line and we might get behind it.

Situation update About 8.30am two men arrived and served a trespass notice on the Rath Lugh camp asking them to vacate immediately. Coillte responded saying that the land had been CPO'd and that it was now the property of MCC/NRA. However, campaigners who had visited the Land Registry Office at Navan discovered that the NRA were trying to extend the original CPO line but that the extra land was still in the name of the Coilte and that the CPO transfer had not yet taken place.

I can't believe ACS Ltd surveyed the motorway based on maps they knew and the department knew may be inaccurate, they never double checked, and they sent that to the EIS report, a report that the Minister of Transport Dempsey keeps pointing too, Well the survey is full of errors which they now admit, reason enough to be considered a material change in circumstances, we keep telling them and keep ignoring it,so how do you make somebody listen,(build a tunnel?) and the spin it by saying preservation which really means facilitation of the motorway. See Rath Lugh finally on a map


Note that because of errors in the locational information for sites in the Record of Monuments and Places we are withdrawing this information from this website

Here admits they got a monument position wrong http://groups.yahoo.com/group/savetara/message/2954

I have been asked by Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to refer further to your recent correspondence in relation to Rath Lugh.

I should point out that the location of the monument at Rath Lugh is shown incorrectly on the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) map. The location is, in fact, closer to the M3 than shown. Earlier this year, following discussions with the Department and the National Museum of Ireland, the NRA and Meath County Council commissioned a detailed topographic survey in order to confirm its precise location in relation the M3. The survey confirmed that the monument is approximately 20m east of the motorway fence line. Special measures are being put in place to ensure that the monument is not under-mined or endangered in any way during construction or when the road comes into operation.

In light of the above, the previous temporary fence line on the Lands Made Available boundary has been removed and a new temporary fence line has been erected approximately 10m inside the Lands Made Available boundary and surrounding the esker base. The monument, then, will be over 30m from the motorway carriageway.

Yours sincerely,

___________ Eddie Kiernan, Private Secretary

A reprint of mail I wrote showing the arrogant attitude of archaeologist both for and against the road to the general public.

Virtual reconstruction of the upstanding structures of Lismullin Henge being withheld from the public.

I don't know when these files were put up but I only read them now I amazed to discover that a image of what Lismullin would have looked like when used has been created but witheld from the public. http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Heritage/NationalMonuments/

Minutes of 11 October 2007 (doc, 84 kb) http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Heritage/NationalMonuments/FileDownLoad,16345,en.doc

Virtual imaging RS circulated images of what the upstanding enclosure might have looked like.

The chairman was concerned that the computer generated images looked so realistic that they could be mistaken for photographs of actual upstanding features. Because we're stupid or what???? It was agreed that there was a need to show what is actually there alongside what might have been there in the past. GC suggested that the actual photos be shown together with the reconstruction images and that the captions should be very clear as to the nature of the images.

CN pointed out that such reconstructions were a valid archaeological tool but suggested that the colours be changed to make the reconstruction obvious. He also asked that the spoil heaps be taken out and that, if possible, the reconstruction images should show the funnel entrance and passageway from the outer to the inner enclosure.

RS said that he would amend the images and circulate to the committee again before making them publicly available.

Minutes of 18 September 2007 (doc, 92 kb)


Virtual imaging Further images will be circulated to group. Virtual images will not be made publicly available for the moment as the high quality of the computer generated images may lead to misconceptions as to what actually exists at Lismullin.

We know what remains are just shadows of wooden post and ditches and some small artefacts, we'd still like to see what it looks like, I thought this road archaeology was for Ireland's educational benefit and Gormely promised to be transparent but constantly with Lismullin etc they have held back information until its too late. They continue to suggest that Conor Newman recommended destroying Lismullin when they simply ignored his expert advice not to route the motorway through the value which would has avoided the need to dig it up. We know that Lismullim is just one example of why the road shoudn't have been routed through here. Its not the be and all of the campaign. Maybe they won't release the images because they know how effective it would be to show the activity of the Tara area.

Its a pity that there isn't anyone who could review these docs and make presentation on them. The archaeologist both against and for the motorway route don't seem to be very willing to explains things to the public.

Other info. from earlier meetings

Lismullin Advisory Committee Meeting – 5 September 2007 http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Heritage/NationalMonuments/FileDownLoad,16347,en.doc

Dr. Wallace and Mr. Newman re-stated their views that the souterrain was a national monument because of its location and its associative value with Tara (see updated minutes of previous meeting) but that it could not be preserved in-situ given the constraints of the current route.

The autocad set of the technical drawings used by the engineers for the briefing are to be sent to the chairman as soon as possible for circulation to the committee. Mr Newman wishes to consider further the curvature of the road in the area. It was agreed that there is still time to consider these issues, as there will be no engineering works in this area for quite a while.

The issue of using virtual images to show what might have existed at Lismullin in the past was discussed. The chairman asked to see the existing virtual images (prepared by NRA) and Mr. Swan agreed to circulate them to the members of the committee. The potential use of virtual images will be considered further at the next meeting.

Mr. Cooney and Mr. Newman raised the wider issue of the way in which national monuments are designated as such under existing legislation. Mr. Duffy outlined the present position which is, essentially, that statutory protection as national monuments only extends to national monuments – as defined under the Acts – which are in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a Local Authority or in respect of which a preservation order is in force. The committee agreed that the issue of designation as a national monument and proper professional assessment of what is a national monument needs to be addressed in the proposed review of policy and practice in relation to archaeological protection generally.

Great letter handed to Gormely

To Minister John Gormley, via Cllr. Michael Regan.

For your Urgent Consideration.

Dear Minister

We received with great welcome the news that you intend to put a Permanent Protection Order on Rath Lugh in the Tara/Skryne Valley. We are writing now in regard to the present situation there.

The area has been endangered by recent activity by Siac Ferrovial whereby heavy machinery is regularly encroaching upon the esker, as recently as today.

The NRA have publicly admitted that their Ordnance Survey maps and co-ordinates are wrong. Due to the presence of heavy machinery, concerns are increasing that irreversible damage will incur should it be allowed to continue.

Siac Ferrovial are trying to proceed and make claim to the land that has been proven to be incorrectly defined. There will be no point to a Permanent Protection Order if there is nothing left to protect.

We now appeal to you to come and see for yourself first hand what is actually happening at Rath Lugh.

Without a complete independent archeological report and independent survey of the Rath Lugh complex, the integrity of Rath Lugh will be destroyed beyond repair. The PPO needs to be implemented without delay.

In the meantime, the Temporary Protecion Order is being challenged at best, flouted at worst. A complete stoppage of all works there must be implemented until the survey can be completed and correct boundary lines established.

Please do not hesitate at this critical time. We beseech you to use your power to ensure that the order is respected. Not just the area covered by the TPO, but the ENTIRE Monument needs to be preserved without delay.

Thursday 31 January 2008

Save Tara vs M3 protest update

The scene of ???struction at Soldiers Hill Meath.

I haven't been following the issue at Tara/M3 very much lately it just seems doomed (M3 route likely to open ahead of 2010 deadline), although when people reference the nature reserve in California that had roads and lamp posts installed yet was saved from development it does hearten me, as does the video of people still disrupting the work of the construction sites.

See in this video how to handle constructions workers who misdirect their aggression.(Skip to 13 mins).

You get paid either way so why are you trying to run me down, huh?

More videos

The protest haven't been getting very much coverage even by the tabloids in alarmist way. You wouldn't know it but they have been people standing in front of bulldozer every other day for weeks, disrupting work for hours until the police come take their names and they leave voluntarily, today people locked on to a bulldozer and had to be cut out they were arrested. You can follow updates from the direct actioners and campers at their blog at http://www.tarapixie.net

What was left of the Lismullin Henge has been destroyed and covered over.

Here's more photos of Tara/M3 sites on 27th to January 08 and 28th jan via MNiB

There seems to be some people and environemtal NGO groups lobbying to get UNESCO conservation for Tara but it just doesn't suit the government to submit it, they are the only body that can. (Irish Times: State fails to use heritage site register). Email them.

Excellent letter to the Indo debunking the myths about "best archaeological practice".

Debunking Tara debate myths

Wednesday January 23 2008

It seems times haven't changed since former minister Michael Smith bravely faced, with "no practical evidence", a decision to act on allegations of planning corruption and untoward pressure being put on councillors on re-zoning.

All communication with the government on the M3 planning tribunal explaining the errors made during the process has also been met with anger and denials based on the following incorrect facts.

1. The decision was made with the best archaeological advice -- incorrect. both the Discovery Project and Conor Newman objected at the tribunal

2. It is further from Tara than the old N3 and therefore better-- incorrect. The intrusive 52-acre Blundelstown Interchange is the same distance from Tara. The Lismullen monument is just over a mile from the Hill. The motorway is a mere 20 metres from Rath Lugh. Does this sound better?

3. It is good to excavate. Let me quote from the Time Team in 2003 when they revisited Athelney, in Somerset, after 10 years. Looking at the new geophysical survey, they extolled the advances in the technology since their first visit in 1993. They remarked: "In a few years we won't need to dig".

Sadly this is now looking too late for Tara. There is still time for our politicians to take a stand, based on their own personal consciences, and bestow the greatest gift they can to their grandchildren, a remodelled Lismullen national monument interpretive site and an pristine, intact valley.