Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did he ask or did they tell?

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen has stated that no government minister is involved in the €300 million loan for share purchase in Anglo-Irish bank. How does he know this, did he ask them or did they tell him, or has he seen the list of the ten? It's a pretty straight forward situation, one of the three must be the case and we're entitled as the owners of the bank and the ones stuck for the bill to know which it was. But will he tell us?

Frank Fahey TD should invest in a bank.

Frank Fahey TD has so many houses he should think about investing in a bank. When thinking back to the register of TD's interests from last year, I can't help remembering all the property Frank Fahey had and the global reach of his interests. There were apartments here and houses there, he had a hairdressing business in Russia at one point if memory serves.

And I wonder to myself that he hasn't thought about getting himself into a bank instead of being in hock to them for so much all the time. I mean we all have to deal with the banks to finance our business but no one likes the idea of going cap in hand to them for another million or two when you've come across the sweetest little deal in some far off land. I hear Anglo-Irish is going cheap, I'm sure the government would let him have it for half nothing at this stage. He could even borrow the money to fund the purchase if necessary. I'm sure someone in the global financial environment that a mover and shaker like Frank moves in would be up for it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best blog posts of 2008 - bad dates

Last year I got myself into some hassle because I pointed out that the best post category for the Irish Blog Awards tends to suffer from that old Oscar problem of forgetting about anything decent that came out before the summer block busters blinded us. I'm not sure why people decide to take comments about a matter of process so personally but what the hey, I think process is important to warrant the occasional post.

So how does this year's line up compare? Well not nearly as bad though there is still a marked tendency to nominate material from the very end of the year. And as I noted last year unlike the Oscars people aren't deliberately saving their best work for the year end so this means good stuff is missing out. January is still a weird month for nominations, people really don't know which year they should nominate for. Nothing from 2008 makes it into the '08 list but one from 2009 does. Some clarity around dates wouldn't go amiss.

On the topic of dates, the return of the Swearing Lady was long over due to my mind and she was much missed by all but the rules for nomination were that people had to be actively blogging between July 15th and December 15th 2008*. But Sweary only returned to us the first week of December, and had five posts before Dec 15th so I'm not sure how stands up as active blogging Then we've the curious case of the new Irish Economy Blog which on the short list for specialist Blog and which is a work of real quality and something I hope will long be with us but it didn't start until Dec 23rd.

Update: as pointed out by Philip from Irish Economy the first post was Dec 2nd. Which is still less than 2 weeks before the Dec 15th date.

I'm not saying it's all being made up as it goes along but it sure seems like it to even the most causal observer. It is entirely possible that some people didn't nominate a particular blog because they thought they had to follow the rules. Or maybe the truth is only the little people have to follow the rules.

The numbers month by month for 2008 and then 2007 are

December 15/17
November 11/12
October 5/8
September 7/4
August 5/6
July 6/5
June 5/2
May 5/3
April 6/3
March 5/4
February 6/0
January 0/0

Jan of 2008 had 7 nominations compared to this year's 1.

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. The idea of the best post of the month has helped, but it still leaves us with a problem at the tail end.

If I was to consider what should happen here, it would not be feasible at this stage to remove either of the blogs involved from the running for their categories. Instead what should happen is the proposed rules for next year should be posted within the next 4 weeks and people given a chance to provide feedback on them. I would also suggest if no questions were asked about the eligibility by any of the judges for those sections that they shouldn't be judges again. I mean how superficial were the criteria and assessment that no one noticed that the blogs hadn't been blogging?

*A reminder of the rules:

A Blog can be nominated in any category by anyone, but the Blog owner can only accept nominations in one category (with the exception of Best Blog Post) to move the blog forward into the judging rounds. To be nominated the Blog has to have been actively blogging between July 15th and December 15th 2008. Winners of each category will be sent forward into the Grand Prix category where they will compete for the title of “Best Blog 2009″

Monday, February 16, 2009

For fans of Half-life - Escape from city 17 the movie!

Please someone give these folks a series!

It looks great given it was made for a fiver or $500 Canadian.

Not the final cylon - or I don't think I am at least.

I go away for a few days and traffic jumps massively. Why? all because of a few posts about Battlestar I did way back and the mere coincidence of a name. It's all rather odd and yet so obvious we knew there was an 8, why did we presume that the final five were part of the 12 in some sequential order?

One interesting connection between Baltar and Daniel is Baltazar who is in the book of Daniel. The smart money at this stage appears to be on Kara Thrace's father being Daniel though this makes her the first hybrid and apparently they have heavily focused on the primacy of Hera as the hybrid, the opera house and so on. I wonder if someone has parse what was said about Baltar not being a cylon or was it just not a member of the final five.

Given the stretch for Ellen I wonder if Daniel could be someone more minor rather than a major character. Anyhoo, I'm personally not the 7even, though there are those who think me a smidgen otherworldy or a tad alien at times.