Yes2AV Broadcast

I am on the mailing for Yes2AV and today they sent out a preview of their broadcast tonight for the referendum on May 5th. This will be the first broadcast and it will be aired at 5:55pm on BBC 1 and an hour later on BBC 2 and ITV.

I think it is a really smart broadcast and focuses and all the relevant stuff. Must say it has impressed me hugely.

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Rethinking Dialogue: International Policy Debate

British Council
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I got this in the email account today and could be of interest to UK Readers.

It is our pleasure to announce ‘Rethinking Dialogue’, an international event aimed at reassessing approaches to building cross-cultural relations within the UK and across societies in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Tuesday, 7th December 2010 (Registration from 9.30)

One Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London

‘Rethinking Dialogue’ begins with the UK launch of the Anna Lindh Report 2010, a pioneering study based on the very first Gallup Public Opinion Poll on the evolution of perceptions and values between people in Europe and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region.

The panel debate, which will be chaired by the BBC’s Bridget Kendall, will feature leading commentators on international affairs, including André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation and Counselor to the King of Morocco, and Martin Davidson CMG, Chief Executive of the British Council.

Places for the event are limited, so please register as soon as possible by writing to the British Council’s Louise Phillips at: rsvp(dot)events(at)britishcouncil(dot)org

The ‘Rethinking Dialogue’ event is organised by the British Council and the Anna Lindh Foundation, in association with Gallup Europe, the European Commission and the Foreign Press Association in London.

It looks like an interesting event.

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Ireland ‘in talks’ with EFSF

Symbol of the currency Euro, Black. Exact math...
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The BBC are reporting that Irish officials are in preliminary talks with EU officials about accessing the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) for a bailout.

The talk is of a loan between €60-€80 billion to keep Ireland going.

The government has yet to deny that it is talks and officials have stated “it makes no sense” according to the BBC.

One Eurozone official told Reuters, “Talks are ongoing and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) money will be used; there will be no haircuts or restructuring or anything of the kind,”.

Next week is going to be an interesting week in Irish Politics.

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This is confusing me!!!

As you all know, I am blogging in the competition on Climate Change, well during the course of wandering through facebook, I came across a link to a BBC article (via Sam Bowman, thank you!) about how Global Temperatures are cooling.

Now this kind of goes against alot of what I was told in Copenhagen and from what a lot of books tell us about Climate Change and Global Warming. So I am utterly confused. Do we have more time do we think? Will oil run out before we melt all the ice? What role are the oceans playing?

Anyway take a look at the post I wrote over on thinkaboutit and please do enlighten me, if you can!

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Eastenders had a Gay Kiss???

Okay so this happened yesterday and I found out about it via a friend who linked me to a French Gay blog so apologies about the French but do have a look at the video. “Un bisou gay sur la BBC déclenche des protestations” – Of course the BBC have received 150 complaints, one of whom stated

J’ai dû expliquer à mon fils de 7 ans ce qu’il se passait. Maintenant, il pense qu’il est gay parce qu’il embrasse son père

Which translates as, I had to explain to my 7 year old son what was happening. He now thinks he is gay because he kissed his father. I think that is just a case of bad parenting rather then the fault of the BBC.

My first though when I say the clip was “Poor Dot!” 😀 But good on the BBC and Eastenders! Lets hope neither characters end up as tokens or stereotypes.

Boris is Mayor!

I am delighted! This tops off an excellent Local Election cycle for the Conservatives. Boris won with 1,168,738 first and second preference votes, compared with Mr Livingstone’s 1,028,966 on a record turnout of 45%.

Also all the council results are in now. The Conservtaives have gained 12 councils and 256 councillors. Labour lost 9 councils and 331 councillors. The Liberal Demorcrats held there own and gained 1 council and 31 councillors. Plaid Cymru lost control of its only council but gained 33 councillors.

On the London Assemby, the Conservatives lost 1 Constituency AM to Labour but gained 3 on the List Vote. Giving them 11 seats, Labour are on 8, LD 3, Greens 2 and BNP 1.

The BNP made a few gains this election. They surpassed the 5% threshold in London to get 1 list seat, they also gained 10 councillors to give them 37 in total. The BNP are an issue not just for Labour and the Conservatives but all mainstream parties. They need to be watched closely. I dont see them winning seats at the Next General Election but thay could come 2nd or 3rd in a few seats.

So YouGov got it right, as did ConservativeHome and the London Standard who all called it for Boris.

So my predictions:

* Boris will win the London Mayoralty
Wooo! Yup

* Conservatives will win the highest vote share nationally but will lose Coventry and gain Reading.
Yes, Yes, No. Reading did go to NOC from Labour control

* Labour will come second nationally but do better in Northern England.
Nope, they came third, did slightly better in the North but gained control of Slough in south. They were decimated in Wales which I did not see happening.

* LibDems will lose Loverpool but stay in third with a net loss of seats.
Lib Dems cam 2nd and had a net gain of seats. They technically lost Liverpool for all of 10 mins, stupid defections

On to the BBC coverage, while the David Dimbleby and the Bloggers bit was great, Jeremy Vine was useless. It was the wee early hours of the morning, only people interested in elections would stay up that late. No need for dumbing down. Its a pity they felt the need to do that.

I also discovered a a lovely bit of software during the elction that was used by ConservativeHome, Guido and Slugger O’Toole. Its called Cover it live. Its free and I will be using it during the Eurovison Semi’s and Final so stay tuned

Anti-Depressents: My Views and Experience

Yesterday one of the BBC’s top stories was of a report from the University of Hull researchers the popular brands of Anti-depressents (Prozac and Seroxat, among the four studied) are no better then “dummy pills” or placebos.

Now in the past (until November 2007) I was taken an anti depressents for an associated condition (panic attacks). When I first went to my doctor I was but on Seroxat, which I personally hated. It allows feel nothing normally, and when you do feel something its extremes. I can often remember going for walks and going from extasticlly happy to crying, in the space of two minutes.

The listed side effects are as follows:

Common side effects of Seroxat may include suicidal thoughts, headaches, decreased sex drive, agitation, anxiety, nervousness, difficulty with ejaculation, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, upset stomach, appetite loss, insomnia, rash, sleepiness, and vomiting.


I suffered from the following side-effects:
*decreased sex drive
*difficulty with ejaculation
*upset stomach
*appetite loss

Out of 16 side effects I got 10! I know not everyone gets the side effects but as someone who did they are not fun. Thankfully I have a good doctor and I went back to him after two weeks, and he changed my perscription to another SSRI. At the same time as this I was receiving (eventually) help from the HSE in the from of a Consultant Psychiatrist, with whom I have one more appointment with when I return to Ireland, and a Psychotherapist which was an excellent resource for me and helped a great deal. I also had peer support from friends, family and Schizophrenia Ireland’s Basement Resource Centre in Cork. This to me was properly more important then the drug I was taking which the drug I was taking (which had similar side effects but which didnt affect me!)

There needs to be more education about depression and mental illness in Ireland. Nobody talks about it. Its taboo, hence this post. Unlike say in the US people think its normal that you got to a “shrink” or whatever, but here in Ireland its a common view that only ‘wackos’ etc need to go to one. The talking therapies can help everyone get through difficulties. Some days after my therapy I would feel as if a load was taken from my shoulders and I learned effective ways of controilling my anxiety.

In my expeirence of working in a Pharmacy, (April 07 – Dec 07) Irish doctors need to be better educated on SSRI’s and other Anti-depressants. Some Docters perscribe without referral and I think that is wrong. If you a prescribed an anti-depressent you should be reffered for talking therapy also as this is the only way you can over come your problems.

The report, which led to me posting this, is avaible on Open Access from the PLOS Medicine wesbite. Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration
Kirsch1, Deacon, Huedo-Medina, Scoboria, Moore and Johnson

That interview on Newsnight – 1 question x 12

Nuclear Era Underground City

Via BBC and Damien Mulley

Wiltshire’s Secret Underground City
Burlington: The 35 acre, secret subterranean Cold War City that lies 100 feet beneath Corsham.

Welcome to Wiltshire’s Secret Underground City… the 35 acre subterranean Cold War City that lies 100 feet beneath Corsham.

Built in the late 50s this massive city complex was designed to safely house up to 4,000 central Government personnel in the event of a nuclear strike.

In a former Bath stone quarry the city, code named Burlington, was to be the site of the main Emergency Government War Headquarters – the hub of the Country’s alternative seat of power outside London.

Over 60 miles of Roads

The Telephone Exchange
Over a kilometre in length, and boasting over 60 miles of roads, the underground site was designed not only to accommodate the than Conservative Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, but the entire Cabinet Office, civil servants and an army of domestic support staff.

The site was so top secret that many of the civil servants, who had been allocated a desk at Burlington, had no knowledge of it.

Blast proof and completely self-sufficient the secret underground site could accommodate up to 4,000 people, in complete isolation from the outside world, for up to three months.

Although never actually used, the New York grid-style city of roads and avenues was equipped with all the facilities needed to survive. From underground hospitals, canteens, kitchens and laundries to storerooms of supplies, accommodation areas and offices.

An Underground Lake

An underground lake and treatment plant could provide all the drinking water needed whilst 12 huge tanks could store the fuel required to keep the four massive generators, in the underground power station, running for up to three months. And unlike most urban cities, above ground, the air within the complex could also be kept at a constant humidity and heated to around 20 degrees.

A ward in the hospital
The city was also equipped with the second largest telephone exchange in Britain, a BBC studio from which the PM could address the nation and an internal Lamson Tube system that could relay messages, using compressed air, throughout the complex.

For 30 years Burlington was in operation but at the end of the Cold War, in 1991, the still un-used city complex was finally taken over by the MOD and kept on standby in case of future nuclear threats to the UK.

But last December, with the underground reservoir drained, emptied of fuel and supplies and with a skeleton staff of just four, the site was finally decommissioned

Morning Briefing, 31st December

Well its the last day of 2006 and my final Morning briefing of the year 🙁 not that I’ve been doing them for very long, but I’d like to take this moment to wish all the readers of this blog the Best for 2007! Have a great night and be careful!!!!

An nuacht ar an maidin seo!

CNN reports on Kofi Annan’s Legacy saying he left a ‘mixed legacy’ reports on the destruction of prisoner files in the North before the Freedom of Information Act came in. I’m surprised that didn’t happen down here. Reminds me of an episode of Yes, Minister, the one where Sir Humphrey’s mistake is hushed up by saying the files were destroyed in a flood!

McDowell is spouting off again, saying the PD’s will be successful in the next election according to Who do you think will win the next election? Vote on Cllr Seamus Ryan’s Blog

Now its time for year 2006 round ups!

France 24: Retrospective 2006

BBC: Stories of 2006

Thats all i can find for the moment! so enjoy what is left of 2006!
Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit.