Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: October 2011

Weeknotes #517-525

So August flowed into September into October, and I have little to report. Such is life.

The highlights: David O’Doherty at Vicar Street / Ruins Alone at The Twisted Pepper / Dava Sobel at the Science Gallery / Dinner at the new Nando’s in town / Packing for Mars / Losing another few pounds to hit the 2 1/2 stone mark / Hearing ‘There’s a Ghost in My House’ on the radio / Getting deep into the new Murakami / Receiving an @reply from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

The lowlights: Being sick for a week and missing Mike Watt + The Missingmen. Sure, I saw them over the summer, but still. Sad face.


Green screen: what’s happening to Irish cinema

What they don't really get into here is that Irish cinema, as it is, is really about marketability and profitability. If worthy art is made, that's fine, but it's not the primary driver -- there's too much fear of taking a chance on something that won't find mass appeal. Which is a Bad Thing, in my estimation. #link


Just Like That but Funny

Comedy writer Todd Levin on lessons learned working in the hothouse writers' room for Conan O'Brien's NBC shows. #link



As in, 'if this then that'. Basically an easier-to-understand version of Yahoo! Pipes, taking something from one site (usually an RSS feed) and making it do something else more useful. The list of ready-made recipes is growing fast. #link


We're all terror suspects now

"They're patting us down now, my friends object, and they're confiscating our contact-lens fluid. They're forcing us to travel with tiny tubes of toothpaste and moving us to wear loafers when usually we'd prefer lace-ups ... I listen to their grousing and think that the one thing the 9/11 attacks have achieved, for those of us who spend too much time in airports, is to make suspicion universal; fear and discomfort are equal-opportunity employers now." #link


The naming of things

Bobbie Johnson doesn't like the term '3D printer', and neither does Tom Armitage. Both are correct that it doesn't reflect what such machines actually do. Bobbie suggests a few alternatives, like 'rep'. I prefer the unshortened 'replicate' myself; it already has some cultural cachet via Star Trek. #link


A referendum conundrum

It’s a big polling day next Thursday. Not only do we get to elect a new president (you can follow all the #aras11 shenanigans on Twitter), there’s also a by-election here in Dublin West (most notable for the sad fact that Barry Caesar Hunt — that tosser from The Apprentice — is in the running) as well as two constitutional referenda, on the pay of judges and inquiries by the Oireachtas, that have received virtually no significant media coverage in recent weeks. I mean, I read the news online every day and I only found out about them a week ago!

About that second referendum… I’m broadly in favour of the Oireachtas being allowed to conduct its own inquiries into matters of public interest, but this bit about ‘findings which affect a person’s good name’ has me concerned.



JobBridge to Nowhere

Naming and shaming companies listing jobs under the JobBridge internship scheme that they should be paying people for. #link


From Kindle to Fire: Why Amazon Needs to Go Global

With everyone gushing over the new Kindles, Tim Carmody's the only one who noticed that for the most part, they're US-only (particularly the Fire, which matters diddly-squat to anyone who can't access Amazon's streaming media). #link


The End of WikiLeaks

Analysis of the recent full release of unredacted cables, in what seems to have been a spiteful fit over a dispute with The Guardian. #link



A free and open source HTML5 video player. Filing this for future reference. #link


Junior Programmer Season at the Screen Cinema

The Screen is really becoming the kind of sassy rep house that Dublin badly needs (the IFI is great, but come on, it's quite fuddy) and this scheme is a fantastic idea. I'd contribute myself but I'm completely paralysed by choice. #link


HiLobrow on Objectography

'We demand a great deal from our objects: that they be functional, that they be meaningful. And yet they also stand apart from us; like creatures at the edge of a clearing, they peer off elsewhere in feral disregard.' I think the Japanese have a better understanding of objects in this regard (cf Matt Webb muses on tsukumogami). #link


qrtime.com - a QR Code Clock

Reminds me of the self-destruct countdown at the end of Predator. I guarantee you someone's already working on a watch with a QR display right now. #link