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Monthly Archives: October 2010

>I found the other day and it’s a really fun tool for creating your own animated movies, based only on your typed script. In addition to your script, you can easily add camera movements, gestures, sound effects, etc., in a simple drag-and-drop interface.

I made this little movie, inspired by the current crazy state of the Irish economy and the Irish government’s mismanagement. No politicians were harmed in the making of this movie.

>The Lovely Weather Donegal Artists Residencies, a ground breaking art & science project examines the issues of climate change in County Donegal, Ireland.

In 2008, Virginia Institute of Marine Science Professor Robert Diaz showed that the number of “dead zones”—areas of seafloor with too little oxygen for most marine life—had increased by a third between 1995 and 2007. Diaz and collaborator Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that dead zones are now “the key stressor on marine ecosystems” and “rank with over-fishing, habitat loss, and harmful algal blooms as global environmental problems.” The study, which appeared in the August 15, 2008 issue of the journal Science, tallied 405 dead zones in coastal waters worldwide, affecting an area of 95,000 square miles, about the size of New Zealand.

It is currently estimated that there are 20 such ‘dead zones’ in Ireland and two ‘contested dead zones’ were identified in the study at both Killybeg’s Harbour (1999) and Donegal Bay (2000). With a number of unique and purpose designed statistical algorithms and heuristics, Softday (visual artist Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström)  have translated the scientific/environmental data of the Dead Zones into abstract ‘live’ sound sonifications and vocalisations.
On Saturday the 16th of October 2010, at 19:00, Softday will stage the world premiere of ‘Marbh Chrios (Dead Zone)‘, a live performance of a unique multimedia sound art work, in Mooney’s Boatyard, Killybegs, County Donegal. The computer generated music composition that the Donegal Youth Orchestra and the Softday Céilí Band will perform, is constructed utilising eight years of related marine data. Admission to the event is free, please contact Terre Duffy at the Regional Culture Centre, Letterkenny for further information:, mobile: 087 2508373

This project was made possible with the support of the Regional Cultural Centre / Donegal County Council Public Art Office in partnership with Leonardo/Olats, Met Éireann, Marine Institute of Ireland, Aquafact International Services Ltd, County Donegal VEC, Donegal Music Education Partnership, Killybegs and District Chamber of Commerce Ltd, the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation Ltd, Mooney’s Boatyard, and the Marine & Heritage Centre Killybegs. Further project information from: Softday.


Irish Rail have problems and is actively ripping off their customers.

I traveled from Limerick to Maynooth the other day. My colleague had pre-booked and bought his ticket online and had no problem getting his ticket based on his reservation code. His ticket covered Limerick Colbert – Dublin Heuston [Luas tram] Connolly Station – Maynooth.
I really don’t trust Irish rail’s pre-booking system as it has failed me in the past, a couple of years ago. Anyhow, the way things used to be was that the Good Olde Manual Ticket Office would always open 10 minutes before departure, even at the ungodly hour of 05:30 in the morning. Not anymore…. This left me trying to book and buy my ticket from one of the ticket vending machines in Colbert station. The big surprise was that the machine refused to show Maynooth as a destination, probably because the journey would require a change in Dublin, from Heuston to Connolly station, via a tram journey on the Luas

I asked two sleepy staff at the station, who were present only to check that passengers actually had tickets, but these two rail-workers could not, manually, sell me a ticket, hence my only option was to buy a ticket for just going to Dublin, and buy the next ticket when I got there.

In Dublin, at Heuston station, the ticket machines could not provide a ticket to Maynooth either. 
Eventually at Connolly station, the machines listed Maynooth, but were offline and could not handle payment with a debit or credit card, but finally I managed to get a ticket from the manual ticket sales.
Later, during my return journey, I verified that the reverse was also true, i.e. that you can’t buy a ticket for Limerick in the Maynooth or Dublin Connolly stations.

I asked the staff in Maynooth, and was told that Irish Rail have at least three different, separate, not interconnected, ticketing systems. The manual ticket offices have the oldest ticket machines that cannot print an integrated ticket. The web-based ticketing system can sell you any possible kind of ticket, as an integrated ticket that can include train and tram, changes, etc. Such a transaction results in a booking number that you then enter on the ticket vending machine in the station, and your ticket is printed. But… on the booking screen of the vending machines in each station, only stations connected directly to the station your originating from are listed. 
Finally, analyzing the cost, my colleague who bought his ticket online paid €67, including Luas. 
If you buy all three tickets offline as you go, like I was forced to do, the cost is  €47 + €2.90 + €6 = €55.90
So why would Irish Rail charge their customers almost 20% more if a customer buys their ticket on-line? Not even Ryanair would be so daft.
I think this is yet another simple and clear example that Irish semi-state companies are not joining the dots, live in cloud-cuckoo-ballygobackwards land and just focus on ripping us off.