Personal Kyoto: Achieve Your Own Personal Kyoto Protocol!

December 30th, 2006 by

what a cool idea!

of late I have found myself switching off lights that are currently not needed (e.g. the toilets at work if there is no one using them) or being more aware of the amount of water I put in the kettle when I boil it up for a cuppa). probably due to hearing of (not having read the full thing yet… of the Stern Report wikipedia entry

the idea of something like this service is rather excellent – and I wonder how complicated it would be to arrange for a similar service to be set up here in Ireland!

Personal Kyoto: Achieve Your Own Personal Kyoto Protocol!

By analyzing your ConEd electric usage information, we can calculate a Personal Kyoto Goal for you that represents the amount you need to reduce your electric use to to achieve something like what the Kyoto Protocol would require of you.

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A List Apart: Articles: 12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards

October 9th, 2006 by

apart from the fact that this (good) article is about CSS, I reckon the following lines are very apt and apply to a whole range of situations:

resolve to remove “but” and “should” from your professional vocabulary for a while. Replace them with “how” and “why” and commit to meeting your project objectives.


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Bionics – or bionical creativity engineering

September 19th, 2006 by

wow! (via Wired)

Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. Also a short form of biomechanics, the word ‘bionic’ is actually a portmanteau formed from biology (from the Greek word “βιος”, pronounced “vios”, meaning “life”) and electronic.

Lotus leave and drop of water

Read the rest of this entry »

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AIDS Vaccine on the way?

August 20th, 2006 by

The news of the successful trials in China of an AIDS vaccine , via slashdot, brings interesting news on a medicine that has been long waited for.

AIDS – it is hard to argue, is a killer disease – claiming 2.8 millions of lives around the world, this year.

With the other news that Kenya is forging relations with China. Kenya’s foreign minister,Raphael Tuju, was outraged at western attitudes

“I find it outrageous that this question of China keeps coming up, especially in the international domain, when it is in the interests of Kenya to work on strengthening relations with China,”

If indeed such relations are forged, plenty of scenarios spring to the mind (more in the above article), but one that is also potentially true, is that the vaccines developed by the Chinese – should it come to full production – might make it into the Kenyan, and hence African – market place,  a good deal faster than through the channel of Western organisations.

If the news hold true for the next round of trials, lets hope that it makes it into the final.


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on stem cells

July 19th, 2006 by

with the news the George W. Bush excercised his veto today, story here, this Stem-Cell Cheat Sheet, from wired, fills in the blanks and explains some of the terms used in this hot topic rather well.


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little things that jingle

April 19th, 2006 by Richard

fantastic very much worth watching,

Short film on Richard Feynman‘s famous quip about fundamental physics as seen via quantum mechanics. Touches upon Einstein’s E=MC2, Newton’s law of gravity and the motion of planets, and the future of science”

p.s would gladly have embedded – but there seems to be an issue with embedding google video…   

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ADT & the catch-and-release distraction program | 43 Folders

April 19th, 2006 by Richard

tomorrow, I am going to try this Mindfulness exercise: The catch-and-release distraction program!

Spend one workday hour today or tomorrow self-consciously aware of each single task you’re working on at a given time (try it: I’ll bet it’s a lot harder for you than it sounds).

it does sound hard, but could also prove interesting. this distraction thing seems to be a common facet of the IT industry nowadays, and other industries too. i see two tangents springing from it, loss of proper creative and technical work due to distractions imposed by the environment and the processes involved.

hallowell:…If you don’t allow yourself to stop and think, you’re not getting the best of your brain. What your brain is best equipped to do is to think, to analyze, to dissect and create. And if you’re simply responding to bits of stimulation, you won’t ever go deep.

the second would be in the loss of the apprecication of the things in life that are worthy of more time than a simple momentary glimpse, or quick feel (for want of a better expression!).

the warnings we could take from that, are for me summed in this

hallowell: … It’s the great seduction of the information age. You can create the illusion of doing work and of being productive and creative when you’re not. You’re just treading water.

there are links for further information on the 43 folders site.


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girl band for sale???

April 17th, 2006 by Richard

the article – This is the girl band you can buy – Sunday Times – Times Online (via Danger at tcal.net, is scaring me on so many levels.

the music industry has found ways and means of promoting their latest wonder hit in many ways over the years, but this is something new – and not to put too fine a word on it – insidious. perhaps I am being cynical, correction, I am intentionally being cynical, as this is what is happening. the bands they seem intent on promoting, are in too many cases devoid of talent, and seem to want to portray an idealistic world whereby all is good if you are faithful to this band and their promotional tours, merchandise and trite music. not being into this band/group makes you odd and you feel left out, until you get in on it. incidentally, this is not only endemic to the music industry, but that is a whole other story and not for this post.

music is a business, big business. as in any business, making your product the be-all and end-all, is the aim of the game. sadly in the case of the music industry, this makes for a wholelotta painful listening. in fairness, its not only the music. it is also the imagery and lifestyle that is portrayed. when popular girl bands, whose fan base includes young children under a certain age say, 13 (not being in a family way, it is hard to judge when the protective instinct really kicks in…), why must they insist on wearing clothes and behaving in a manner that is way above the targets audience’s range of experiences and stage in life. this must sound like I am an old prude, but I think it is part of the symptom of a greater ill.

our way of life is evolving, and part of that evolution has meant that we are now at a stage, when having the latest and greatest is a must. ways of life are leading to an overly excessive lifestyle, in food, drink, health, social inequalities. so many of these are interlinked, in a such a pervasive manner. we all fall into the trap, one way or another.

here is an amusing quote from the article,

Any resemblance to existing brands in the stage names of the girls — Mercedes, S-Jay, Rockwell and Chanel — is said to be entirely coincidental.


it really makes me wonder at times, where we are headed. all the items i mentioned above have such deeper significance than they might appear at first glance. at times I pause and take a look at each thing mentioned, and I ponder about them, and a lot of what I see troubles me. I have just had a great weekend, plenty of outdoors for me, and it was good, really good, I’d hate to loose it.


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The Development Abstraction Layer – Joel on Software

April 11th, 2006 by Richard

An interesting read, which makes sense in a number of ways

The Development Abstraction Layer – Joel on Software

Your first priority as the manager of a software team is building the development abstraction layer.


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An Taobh Tuathail (RnaG)

March 27th, 2006 by Richard

An Taobh Tuathail is a fantastically good radio show that I discovered one night many moons ago, as I wandered home one night through an unknown part of the area I lived in at the time. Discovering this new area, I was distracted by the music playing on my walkman, as if captivated by the musical journey I was hearing, I continued through the night.

Since then, listening to it is a near every night occurence if I can help it. The show is between 23:00 and lasts until 1am.

The blurb below is from the ‘An Taobh Tuathailwebsite.

The programme is unique among Irish national radio shows in that it pursues a leftfield music agenda, drawing on quality music worldwide, be it house, electro, hip-hop, drum’n'bass, techno, post-rock or nu-jazz. It is one of the only shows on the national airwaves that is passionately devoted to broadcasting brand new electronic music from across the globe, from Dublin to Tokyo to Rio De Janeiro.

it is also with pleasure that I see that they have a dropdown of the track listings played for the last couple of months, and not only that, the last weeks shows availble as audio feeds! these links are available from the site.

An Taobh Tuathail‘ is usually the precursor to my listening of Donal Dineen’s show on Todayfm(previously mentioned here. Donal also has track listings of the artists he features, as well as a live feed of course, and is heard between the hours of 00:00 and 2am.


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