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Topics - Eamonnca1

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General discussion / Miriam O'Callaghan: would you ...
« on: Today at 09:59:33 AM »
vote for her for President?

General discussion / The "on this day in history" thread
« on: June 19, 2015, 04:01:23 AM »
June 18th, 1994. 21 years ago, Giants' Stadium, New Jersey. Ray Houghton's goal - Ireland 1, Italy 0.

General discussion / The US policing crisis thread
« on: April 28, 2015, 07:10:37 AM »
Just read an article in the Atlantic about so-called "rough rides." Apparently there's a plethora of nicknames for the practice of cuffing someone, throwing him in the back of a van, not strapping him in, and then driving around like a maniac to rough the victim up. "Bringing him to the front" is the act of sudden braking to slam him against the front panel, also known as a "screen test." In Philly they call them "nickel rides" after amusement park rides. If they've got that many names for it then it's a good bet that it's a fairly common practice.

For all this talk of condemning the rioting in Baltimore, which you have to do, I feel a bit uncomfortable with this American culture of hero worship for anyone in a uniform. If someone serves in the military you have to refer to them as a "hero" and thank him for his service, even if you know nothing about him or what he did when he was on tour. You don't know if he spent his time as a mechanic in the base or shooting up civilians on the street. And I certainly don't get this habit some people have of saying "I support the police." As far as I'm concerned I'll be grateful for when they do a good job the same way I'm grateful to the waitress who gives good service that I'm paying for.

I'd make an exception maybe for the likes of firemen since they're not generally armed and not in much of a position to abuse any power. But this doctrine of porcine infallibility makes me very uncomfortable and it will be America's undoing if they don't do a better job of policing the policemen.

General discussion / China
« on: April 14, 2015, 09:37:58 PM »
Some amazing acts of defiance here. This is what you call holding out for the best possible deal!

GAA Discussion / Rule idea for Gaelic football wrt high fielding
« on: April 03, 2015, 08:01:31 PM »
Idea - The “flying mark” or the “555 timer” rule:

  • Ball is kicked a distance longer than 20 meters.
  • Players go up, one of them makes a catch.
  • Player who makes the catch cannot be tackled for another 5 seconds, and his opponents have 5 seconds to put 5 meters between themselves and the point where the catch was made. Failure to comply by any one player results in a free to the man who made the catch, and the free has to be taken from the hands immediately. 


  • Incentivizes longer kicks
  • Rewards high fielding
  • Discourages blanket defenses
  • Blanket defenses can now only happen with shorter range passes (usually hand passes), so it’s a disincentive to overly rely on the hand pass
  • The five second rule incentivizes the catching player to quickly get rid of the ball, or start making a run if he has room.
    Keeps the game flowing without necessarily the interruptions you get in Ozzie Rules where there is a free awarded regardless


  • How do you measure five meters in the heat of a game? Could be one more thing for referees to remember when they’re already loaded with responsibilities.
  • If the catching player holds onto the ball, everyone has to start counting to five to be able to tell when he can be tackled again. Adds another level of complication to the game, but we might be able to live with that.


General discussion / Sci Fi
« on: April 03, 2015, 07:42:44 AM »
This week I discovered that Blakes 7 is on YouTube. I think it's all up there. My productivity has plummeted and binge-watching has commenced. I never saw all of it the first time around either, so I'm seeing all the early episodes for the first time. Superb writing and acting. I wish the BBC or someone would do what they did for Star Trek TOS and re-do the special effects for the space shots.

General discussion / 2015 UK general election
« on: March 26, 2015, 09:12:04 PM »
PMQs was good crack yesterday. Funny so so much of the media missed the rise of the SNP over the years.

General discussion / The dress
« on: February 27, 2015, 08:06:04 PM »
It's gold and white, so it is.

General discussion / Polygamy
« on: February 26, 2015, 12:30:21 AM »
I say legalize it.

General discussion / US Media
« on: February 12, 2015, 02:48:06 AM »
If Fox News were held to the same standard that Brian Williams is being held to now, they'd have to fire the entire staff.

As for Jon Stewart, I don't think this is the end of an era at all. He has effectively created a whole new genre. Colbert had a good run on his own show. John Oliver's just hired another load of investigative journalists for his show. I hear Larry Wilmore has his own thing going with his new show. Two critically acclaimed spinoffs and another probably underway. Established as a launch pad for comedy careers. Not a bad record.

What I like about the Daily Show spinoffs is they're all unique.  Colbert was a caricature of a blow-hard conservative TV pundit who's absorbed by his own righteousness. Last Week Tonight takes complex issues and presents them clearly and hilariously with a long segment that still manages to keep your attention. (Dunno what Larry Wilmore's show is like yet because I haven't seen it.)

A lot of variety in there compared to the standard late night US TV shows which all seem to have the exact same format. (Live band makes a big deal about the presenter, lead singer/musician of the band banters with the presenter once in a while, presenter starts with a stand-up routine monologue discussing the issues of the day, lists the guests, then brings them on one at a time. Presenter sits behind a desk on the right with a big fake classic microphone on it, guest sits on a chair on the left. Each show is identical. I can't even remember which one is which TBH.) 

The Daily Show crowd has been nothing if not innovative. It'll be interesting to see how it evolves now. And I can't say I blame Stewart for getting burned out.

General discussion / Australian politics
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:14:25 AM »
There's a bit of crack now down under. Looks like that wingnut Tony Abbott could be on his way out. I'm not familiar with whoever's lining up to replace him but surely anybody would be an improvement on that intellectual zero.

General discussion / Anybody know anything about violins?
« on: February 01, 2015, 04:39:49 AM »
I'm interested in learning to play the violin, wanna take lessons and all.

I was in a music shop today asking about them. From the homework I'd done on youtube I was under the impression that you could pick up something of a reasonable enough entry-level standard for between $50 and $100. The shop didn't have anything for less than $550, and the fella reckoned that anything you see on eBay or Craigslist for less than $400 is going to be utter crap, hard to tune, won't sound right etc.

I have every reason to believe him because it chimes with the advice I give to people who ask me about bicycles, I tell them anything less than $900 is false economy for it'll be a shite riding experience and probably put you off the sport.

So, any violinists out there? Should I invest about $400 in a good violin? Would a cheap-and-nasty model make it harder for me to learn?

General discussion / Anime / manga
« on: January 24, 2015, 09:37:33 AM »
Any anime fans in the house?

I just re-watched all of Cowboy Bebop. Watched it once several years ago and was blown away then. Watched it all again over the last few weeks and was even more blown away this time. I'm still reeling from the ending two days later. Such incredible writing. It's amazing how you can feel for characters that are that well developed even though they're "just drawings". Great sci-fi concepts too.

The movie wasn't bad either. Not as dark as the TV episodes but the opening scene is up there with anything Tarentino could produce.

GAA Discussion / Attempt to scrap the hooter: typical GAA defeatism?
« on: January 22, 2015, 09:43:23 PM »
By all accounts the hooter system, which congress has approved twice, is to be scrapped before it was even implemented if Central Council has its way. Is it just me or is the GAA one of the most defeatist organizations out there? Ladies football has had the hooter for years. So have plenty of other sports. What is it with this giving up before we even reach the first hurdle and scrapping projects at the first sign of problems? Gawd!

On a related note, when the LGFA comes under the GAA umbrella, the organization will become a lot more progressive. It'll be the biggest change to the character of the association in its history, mark my words. If Camogie ever comes under the GAA wing then that'll make things even better.

General discussion / Why communism doesn't work.
« on: January 13, 2015, 08:44:20 AM »
Someone asked me why communism tends towards dictatorship so I'll do my best to answer.

The commie system started off well intentioned, with technocratic government elected by a hierarchy of small committees. The problem with technocratic government is that someone still has to decide who's qualified to be leader. So in the beginning everything might be fine and dandy as everyone sets about building the socialist order. But over time, without the checks and balances of universal suffrage, committees gradually get filled with people who rise to the top on the strength of their personal connections and ability to bribe rather than on the strength of their qualifications.

With democracy, a larger number of people are involved in the decision-making process, hence the chances of making an error are smaller. The chances aren't eliminated of course (cough cough, George W Bush, cough) but incompetent people usually rise to the top of democratic systems because of failures in the electoral process. In the case of George W "shit for brains" Bush it was the electoral college and his brother in Florida that got him into office. In the case of the lunatic asylum of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives it's down to a combination of Democrat apathy in the mid-term elections, and blatant gerrymandering that would have made the unionists in 1960s Derry jealous. In the case of Tony Abbott in Australia it's down to the vagueries of parliamentary systems that can throw up some odd choices of Prime Minister from time to time (cough cough John Bruton cough). But in a parliamentary system it's a lot easier to get rid of a bad leader since you can have confidence votes.

The bottom line is all systems are prone to a certain amount of corruption, it's just that democracy is better equipped to cope with it, whereas a technocratic system is a dictator's paradise since it's very hard to dislodge bad people once they get in.

That's my theory anyway. I have a lot of theories...

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