Eurovision 2014: Semi-Final 2 Qualifiers

The 2nd Semi Final has just finished in Copenhagen. Here are those who follow Montenegro, Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Ukraine, Sweden, Netherlands and Iceland in the final as well as Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Denmark who automatically qualified for Saturday!

Well done to DR on a great show and Australia on an amazing interval!

Joining them are

  1. Switzerland
  2. Slovenia
  3. Poland
  4. Romania
  5. Norway
  6. Greece
  7. Malta
  8. Belarus
  9. Finland
  10. Austria

So I managed 8/10. Ireland and Israel didnt qualify. Surprised at that.

So the final is on Saturday at 8pm on RTÉ1 and BBC 2! See you then!

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36 Countries to take part in Eurovision 2014

At least 36 countries will be taking to the stage in Copenhagen, Denmark for the 59th Eurovision Song Contest this may. Slovenia have been given a few extra days to decide. This is down on the 39 countries who took part last year. The contest Semi-Finals are on May 6th and 8th while the final will take places on May 10th.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Serbia have all decided to stay home this year, while Portugal and Poland have decided to return have their absences.

The full list of those taking part:

  • Albania (RTSH),
  • Armenia (AMPTV),
  • Austria (ORF),
  • Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV),
  • Belarus (BTRC),
  • Belgium (VRT),
  • Denmark (DR),
  • Estonia (ERR),
  • Finland (YLE),
  • France (France 3),
  • Georgia (GPB),
  • Germany (NDR),
  • Greece (NERIT),
  • Hungary (MTV),
  • Iceland (RÚV),
  • Ireland (RTÉ),
  • Israel (IBA),
  • Italy (RAI),
  • Latvia (LTV),
  • Lithuania (LRT),
  • FYR Macedonia (MKRTV),
  • Malta (PBS),
  • Moldova (TRM),
  • Montenegro (RTCG),
  • The Netherlands (AvroTros),
  • Norway (NRK),
  • Poland (TVP),
  • Portugal (RTP),
  • Romania (TVR),
  • Russia (RTR),
  • San Marino (SRMTV),
  • Spain (TVE),
  • Sweden (SVT),
  • Switzerland (SRG SSR),
  • United Kingdom (BBC),
  • Ukraine (NTU)

As 6 countries are automatically qualified for the final (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) there will be 15 acts in each semi-final, with 10 of these qualifying for the final. With only 5 countries not going through from each semi-final, it certainly gives everyone a better chance of getting into the final.

The voting shall be as in previous years and be a mix of Jury and Public vote, which has certainly been welcomed by most countries and fans.

The draw for semi-final allocation will take place next Monday, but Israel, Sweden and Norway have already been allocated their Semi Finals. Sweden will compete in Semi-Final One and Israel and Norway in Semi-Final Two.

Four Counties have already picked their entry, Albania, Belarus, Macedonia and Ukraine . Another 5 countries have picked their artist but not their song, these are Armenia (Aram Mp3), Austria (Conchita Wurst), Montenegro (Sergej Ćetković), The Netherland (The Common Linnets) and San Marino (Valentina Monetta).

Ireland will pick its entry February 28th in a Late Late Show Eurosong Special and will again follow the mentor system from the last number of years. More on that closer to the date.

All eyes of course are on the National Selections now, but I hope it will be a good year for Eurovision.

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Th!nk4 Post: Will COP16 Succeed Where COP15 Failed?

This time last year the buzz was beginning to build around COP15 that took place in Copenhagen last year. This was going to be when Europe stood up to the rest of the world and set out its plan and hoped to get everyone else on board.

Did it work? Nope. Will COP 16 be any different is the big question.

We have witnessed 15 Conference’s of the Parties since the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 1992. The only things that have come out of these meetings is the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Montreal Action Plan in 2005.

Kyoto is soon to run out. COP 16 will be another talking shop. But do we as a planet and a people have the time to wait? Can we leave things as they are till COP 17 in South Africa in 2011? or COP 18 in Qatar or South Korea? Can we as a race take that risk or will we have reached tipping point?

COP 16 attendees will have to prove themselves. I know prepatory meetings are currently under way in China, but can world leaders agree in Cancun between November 29 to December 10 to actually do something. To change how we act towards our environment. Can we protect our planet before its too late.

In a year where it is only now we have found a planet that could possible support life, Gliese 581g, it shows how few and far between this planet and the life we have is. We have been lucky as a race to make it this far. Are we going to be our own worst enemy and destroy our planet. Here is hoping COP 16 will be different and something will come from it.

Originally post on the Th!nk4  website

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Euroblog round-up #2

Sweden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

Heres another round up of issues making the rounds in the eurobloggerosphere at the moment, with thanks to BloggingPortal.eu

Swedish Presidency

The Swedish Presidency of the European Council is coming an end, and Spain gets ready to share the reins. A number of blogs look back at the 6 months of the Swedish Presidency.

Mats Engström calls the Presidency “Effective” but it wasn’t exciting. (then again name one that was!)

The Swedish Europe Minister (and Commissioner Designate), Cecilia Malmström, updates us on the last few weeks of work that are still ahead.

Grahnlaw thinks it was an effective and professional presidency.

EU Institutions

Grahnlaw highlights the issue of the 18 “ghost MEPs”

Brussels Sunshine highlights the issue of the preception of corruption in the EU.

Climate Change

Lots and lots of climate change blog posts appearing as the Copenhagen conference continues.

Graham Watson MEP (ALDE) is updating us on the goings on in Copenhagen.

Dr. Sean tells us of the (confusing) stance taken by the Czech ODS.

The German Marshall Fund Blog highlights why some countires like Kyoto and are clinging to it.

The Open Europe tells us a bit more about who is gaining from the EU’s ETS scheme.

The German Marshall Fund Blog tells us about the confusion at the talks.

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Taoiseach to Attend COP15

Edited version of Brian Cowen.jpg, an image in...
Image via Wikipedia

During the week I got confirmation that the Brian Cowen will be attending the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December.

Does this mean that Ireland is placing a large amount of importance on the conference or is Brian just playing along and supporting his Danish colleagues?

I wonder could it be down to Green Party pressure that is attending or does not want John Gormley to get all the media attention, well Irish Media attention.

I know Simon Coveney  of Fine Gael is planning on attending also, but I must reconfirm this. I must also see if Labour’s Dominic Hannigan or Liz McManus will be attending. Watch this space!

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Cabinet Meetings: Under Water and on top of Mountains

A post from the Thinkaboutit.eu Blog!

Last month the Maldives Government held a Cabinet meeting under waterto highlight the threat of global warming to the island nation. This month Nepal’s Government will hold a Cabinet meeting at the Mount Everest base-camp to highlight the threat to glaciers. While both of these events are being reported around the world, will they do anything in the lead up to the talks in Copenhagen?

While both events can be used to place moral pressure on other states to do something at the COP15 summit, I don’t very much if it will be a clincher to a deal. These events have great media potential and both Governments have created a brilliant media event around these meetings and have gotten headlines. But whats the point if they don’t produce a deal in December?

The Maldives will still be at risk of flooding and Nepal’s glaciers will still be in danger of melting even faster.

There is a lot of razzmatazz and drama being built up around the COP15 conference, for the benefit of the World’s media. Some of it is by poor countries, and more of it is by NGO’s in various countries. While in some cases this media around the conference us good as it raises the awareness around the conference and things we can do to lessen our impact on the environment. Will it have any effect on the Governments that represent us?

Will Merkel, Obama, Brown and Cowen become converted to the cause of what is actually needed due to the actions of the Maldives and Nepal Governments? I frankly don’t think so.

Something more needs to be done to convince them of the right path. But I fear it will take an environmental catastrophe for them to be convinced. I fear it will be too late then.

October 24th: Day of Climate Action

October 24th is a world wide day of action on Climate Change being organised by 350.org. Why are they doing this?

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

They are focusing in on the parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere. So why a day of action?

In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we’re harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action on October 24, 2009.  We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world – from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community – and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.

Sounds like a good idea. It might provoke debate at a local level about this and rasie awareness about the Copenhagen Summit.

There are two events happening in Cork. One is a film screening by Ethical Development Action. The Film is the “Future of Food”. The other is a theatre event by Playback Theatre in the Unitarian Church on Princes St.

There are other events in Ireland too!

Do turn up to an event, who knows what you might learn!

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Copenhagen – Some thoughts

God Morgen ud Kobenhavn! Good Morning form Copenhagen!!!

So today is the day I leave Copenhagen from the Think about it #2 launch event. It has been a great few days where I have learned an awful lot and made new friends. There are 92 bloggers form 40 countries re[resenting every continent in the world at the event and I am really looking forward to the blogging.

Yesterday was really interesting. We visited the Dyssekilde eco-village outside Copenhagen and got to interview the some of the residents. I filmed my interview so expect that to be up soon, when I sort out the editing.

On Monday, we had a range of talks from a number of people involved. From those organising the COP15 talks in December to the EU Commission and NGO’s.

There is a live blog of the Confernce on the Monday here so I am not going to repeat it and Alda of the Iceland Weather Report Blog has a great post about the event also!

My first post for the blog is up if you want to check it out! Its on China and Hu Jintao’s speech yesterday

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A Climate Change Agnostic

UNFCCC logo.
Image via Wikipedia

So the COP 15 summit is coming up in December in Copenhagen. I will be blogging about it in the lead up to it both here and on the Think About It blog when launched. Like Joe I have a bit of a manifesto going, for example learning more about Climate Change, COP15 and finding out Ireland’s poistion and expert and NGO poistions on it.

For me though this is will personal aswell. While I applaud government efforts in the area of Climate and I applaud Governments who will meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and the original United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. What I am not sure of, is can we do anything do change for good?

While I don’t think meeting targets under Kyoto is a waste of time or anything like that, we do need to lower emmission and reduce dependence on fossil fuels as they are running out. But will these changes do anything to stop or lessen the impact of Climate Change?

Is human action only adding to what would happen naturally? Thats what I want to know?

Also will the big countires like China and the USA sign up to this deal? Will the targets be effective and acheivable? Will it actually make a difference?

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Time to Learn about Climate Change

Remember round 2 of the blogging competition I was in that I blogged about? Well I have been selected! They were looking for 81 bloggers from around Europe so it will be interested to see in who else gets selected.

The competition will be a bit different for me this time round, we will all be given cameras (I need to sort out my shakey hand) and the number of posts per month has increased to 3.

I am really looking forward to going to Copenhagen and learning more about Climate Change and the COP15 conference.

So I will be off to Copenhagen at the end of September for the launch event, I can’t wait!

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