The 2009 Darwin Awards Nominees are up, check out http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2009.html. My own favourite is the woman that died trying to save her moped.
With a bit of luck the Government will miss Gabon’s reform of Civil Service lunch breaks. It’s interesting that in what is supposed to be a knowledge economy that there is such a reluctance to have Civil Servants avail of teleworking. The Department of Finance claims that it is too expensive to equip our homes with office furniture and that there are health and safety issues (our houses become more deadly if we work there, apparently). And there is also a concern about remote linking to Departmental computer systems. However, if we really want a flexible work force equipped to deal with the demands of a fast changing society then we need to look at this type of working. Taking the last few days into account I wonder how many civil and public servants availed of annual or flexi leave to avoid battling the elements to work. At least if they had the option of teleworking they would have been productive.
It’s always sad when people who we respect have to take their leave but the last week saw two of my particular (and peculiar) favourites take their final bow. Michael Dwyer has been one of the more interesting and knowledgeable film critics of the past 25 years or so. I remember coming across him first in the In Dublin magazine many years ago and when he established the Dublin Film Festival with Myles Dungan. While I might not have agreed with everything he wrote I did admire his style of writing and the way he supported the film industry in Ireland. He was particularly good at interviewing film makers and the last time I saw him was at the 2007 Dublin International Film Festival when he presented Gabriel Byrne with a Volta and the following interview was fascinating. Dwyer set the bar for critics and he will be sadly missed although Daniel Day-Lewis said during his eulogy that he was relieved that Michael Dwyer never got round to seeing ‘Nine‘.
Another who turned his last sod was the landscape gardener John Cushnie. Cushnie had been part of Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4 for the last fifteen years. GQT is a typically English institution, combining wisdom with wit and eccentricity. Cushnie could be forthright in his opinions but he had a wicked sense of humour and wasn’t afraid to send himself or his fellow panelists up. As a working gardener he had a real insight into the struggles of the (extremely) amateur genus.
Bow the Knee
Biffo is a creationist. He’s also a master of spin – at a time when we are dramatically cutting our aid to Africa he is patting himself on the back about the work we are going to do to help prevent climate change in the third world. We would have been better served if Biffo had pointed out the inadequacies of the Pope’s response to the Ryan and Murphy reports of 2009. In fact we would have been better served if Biffo had just kept his big mouth shut.
We are all individuals
Bit of a kerfuffle over at Twenty.
Apparently, it is now illegal to blaspheme in Ireland.