06. November 2008 - Black is beautiful ... so it seems ...
Today democratic Senator Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States ... wow ... the American people have made a fundamental statements, that they are profoundly unhappy with the status quo. Obama captured the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Florida, Virginia and Colorado.
01. November 2008 - Windows 3.11 retires on its 18th birthday
Microsoft finally withdraw its ancient operating system, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, today from the embedded market. Windows 3.11 for Workgroups outlived its successor, Windows 95. Windows for Workgroups 3.11 needed at least 640KB of RAM, 7MB of hard drive space and support for a CGA, EGA and VGA graphics card. It required an 8086/8088 processor or higher, with a clock speed of up to 10MHz ... challenging hardware in that times, as I remeber.

For those who shed now a tear or does who want to basked, ones more, in the glory of Windows 3.11 just one very last time again ... or even does who have no idea how far we have come today (blue screen and all) ... for does ... me and Michael Vincent have a little treat for you (works not with Internet Explorer) check it out at: [Click here for Windows 3.11 at your service]
18. October 2008 - Uups ... 70bn$ to be paid in discretionary bonuses
Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash ... the Guardian has just published.
15. October 2008 - Hey ... Ireland ... wake up
Having found my voice again, after yesterdays uninspiring budget, I have to confess that I am now very afraid that ireland, the Irish, will "feck" it up entirely. There is a wild and unreflected perspective of what the Boom, here in ireland, was all about and the denial, of what will happen next, could not be bigger (oh well, we will have some 3 to 5 years of slow down and then all will be back again) ... Well, here is what I think: "It's not going to happen" ... and I'm not going to kill me neither (sorry Bertie) ... for me being so pessimistic (realistic) that is ... Today Ireland has little to offer that could attract any industry. The EU money runs out, property prices and wages are the highest in the world, services and infrastructure are really, really bad and inefficient. The "glorious" trick with low corporate taxes has been learned and copied by other, now competing, states and cost of living is just ridiculous. So what next. If there would be a government that would earn this position and would lead, and leadership is required, it should act decisively and quick to fight these uncompetitive conditions. Since Irelands currency is the Euro and can't be devaluated on will (as the Americans and Brits do so cleverly) the government must declare a national wage cut of (let's say) 25% as a matter of national emergency (emergency legislation). Lower wages will mean lower prices as well. And since the banks are mainly to blame for the debacle we are in, interest rates for borrowed money will have to be reduced and fixed (for a while), on all contracts and rents, to care for the lower income. There will be hardship, especially in dealings with foreign countries and some state funds will have to be assigned in some cases, but this is an national emergency and acting in this way will distribute the necessary change to everyone. Of course there has to be a tax increase (especially for high earners) but VAT must be lowered (not increased), to encourage spending and strong pricing control and anti competitive legislation will have to be enacted. The government will have to communicate this very strongly and invite financial specialist from all political coloure to be part of the solution finding.
14. October 2008 - Today officialy ends the "Celtic Tiger"
Brian Lenihan’s Budget calls for "Patriotic Action" ... and I am shure every one, here in Ireland, will feel the urge to participate and to tighten there belts (again) ...

We find ourselves in one of the most difficult and uncertain times in living memory. Turmoil in the financial markets and steep increases in commodity prices have put enormous pressures on economies throughout the world. Here at home, we face the most challenging fiscal and economic position in a generation.

Summary of Budget Measures [PDF]
10. October 2008 - What ??? "Iceland is bankrupt" ... says Arsaell Valfell
It's amazing but hard to believe, a western state, Iceland, is "bankrupt" and all the (many) money is gone ... lost and gone, maybe, forever … I went to Iceland, in 2005, and couldn't but wonder where all that, openly displayed, wealth was coming from. Now we know, from international credit gamble based on high gain return and no security. All trading on the stock exchange was stopped today and the state nationalized the country's largest bank, Kaupthing … wow … I wonder now what might happen to Ireland ... where I as well "couldn't but wonder where all that, openly displayed, wealth was coming from".
30. July 2008 - Uups ...
"Most Americans would probably be surprised to learn that there is no provision of the Constitution or federal law that affirmatively guarantees all citizens the right to vote. The absence of an explicit federal provision conferring this fundamental right has left Americans at the mercy of state constitutions, state legislatures, local bureaucrats, and the judiciary." Penda Hair, Co-Director, Advancement Project.

(July 30, 2008, Washington DC) - Today, Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization, released, In Pursuit of an Affirmative Right to Vote, a preliminary examination of the need to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to explicitly guarantee that all citizens have a fair, equal, and inclusive voice in US democracy. [Click here to read the report]
09. July 2008 - Séamus Brennan died today ...
Tribute has to be paid to Séamus Brennan, who died today, which was a very capable and courteous politician (one of the few I might say). He most certainly played a major role in the building of modern Ireland and was known "in getting things done" ... and ... most likely be remembered for his role as Transport Minister, in the early 1980’s, in developing the two airline strategy (Ryanair AerLingus), here in Irealnd, which laid the basis for low cost air travel in the whole of europe.
04. July 2008 - Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis
It seems, following a secret study of the Internal World Bank, Biofuels has forced global food prices up by 75% ... and, jet again, this figures contradict the US government's claims that Biofuel (plant derived) actually contributes only to about 3% to food price increase. And it's believed that this report, completed in April, was not published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.
26. June 2008 - REMEMBERS HAPPINESS (Ireland in distress) ...
Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.
Quote by Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)
18. June 2008 - Here is a sentence not to be forgotten ...
"When I look behind me at the motley crew of right wing UK colleagues wearing green jerseys, and calling for respect for Irish voters I ask myself 'How the history books could have been rewritten if only the British had respected the wishes of Irish voters in the past.'"

By Avril Doyle (EU MEP) in response to right wing UK MEPs from the Tory and UKIP party flag waving and commenting about respecting the Irish voters on the future of the Lisbon treaty. Remember UK MPs had never shown much respect for the Irish in the past.
13. June 2008 - What to say about this EU Constitution ...
"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly" ... "All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."

V.Giscard D'Estaing Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution - Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007
31. May 2008 - Ian Paisley, 81, quits as Ulsters First Minister
Once I considered this man to be the most evil person in my lifetime ... far worse than the atrocious IRA and loyalist paramilitairs ... because he's suppose to be a man of intellect and knowledge and he used the worlds most dangerous and effective weapon in a very violent way ... words ... words of hatred, fanaticism and fundamentalism. And now ... I am confused ... I am confused, because I'm sad to see him go, as the first prime minister of the once battered northern Ireland.

Click here, to watch Tommie Gorman's documentary: "From Troublemaker to Peacemaker". Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, examines how Ian Paisley rose from a fundamentalist preacher to become the First Minister of Northern Ireland, sharing office with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness.
09. May 2008 - Nuala O'Faolain died last night, aged 68 ...
Last month (12 April 2008) I listened to an emotionally charged interview on the Marian Finucane morning show on RTE with the Irish journalist Nuala O'Faolain where she revealed that she was diagnosed with malitious cancer, only six weeks ago. The honesty in this interview had an deep inpact on me and keeps me thinking about it still today. And, since I've found a transcript about the whole interview, I thought I should have it here.
‘I don’t want more time. As soon as I heard I was going to die, the goodness went from life’
[Click here to read this transcript]
06. May 2008 - After 10 years, 10 Month and 10 Days ...
Taoiseach Patrick Alan Bartholomew Ahern (Bertie) is history. Bertie Ahern has, of this day, steped down as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil. Amid mounting pressure about his personal finances, Mr Ahern said: "I have never received a corrupt payment...I have done no wrong and wronged no one" ... However the tribunal investigations have thrown up questions on lodgements to Mr Ahern'spersonal accounts in the early 1990s. The total value of lodgements and other transactions that have to date been queried by the tribunal in its public inquiries into Mr Ahern's finances, exceeds £452,800 (equivalent of €886,830 in today's money). The lodgements and transactions occurred between 1988 and 1997.

Watch Bertie Aherns Interview presented by David McCullagh, Political Correspondent, on Tuesday, 19 February 2008. David McCullagh speaks to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern about his upcoming trip to speak before the joint houses of Congress in the US and the Mahon Tribunal.
29. April 2008 - Albert Hofmann takes his "final" trip ... and it's not LSD ...
Swiss pharmacologist Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized and in 1943 accidentally discovered the hallucinogenic effects of LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), has died at the age of 102 in his hometown Burg im Leimental (BL) in switzerland.

Hofmann worked at Sandoz until 1971, when he retired as director of research for the Department of Natural Products. In addition to his discovery of LSD, he was also the first to synthesize psilocybin (the active constituent of "magic mushrooms") in 1958; and he discovered the hallucinogenic principles of Ololiuqui (Morning Glory), lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide.

Albert Hofmann served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee. He was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and a member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

In 1988 the Albert Hofmann Foundation was established "to assemble and maintain an international library and archive devoted to the study of human consciousness and related fields".

Albert Hofmann's wife, Anita, died in December last year. He was also predeceased by one of his four children.
28. April 2008 - Irland Bericht Nr.10" is finished ...
Hofmann's Erzählungen (Nr.2) in all-zu-vielen Seiten. Wo bewiesen
wird, dass das Irlandberichteschreiben in Sommern, Herbst und
Wintern ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit ist ...

[click here to read it ... (PDF)]
01.April 2008 - April is born today ... not kidding ...

  April April April April
05. March 2008 - Joseph Weizenbaum died at 85 ...
Joseph Weizenbaum was a "Vordenker" and aculeate critic of humans obsession and beleive in techonology. As a programmer he is best known for have written "ELIZA" (1964) ... a simple program to mimicke Artificial Inteligence (AI). The program made it seemingly possible for a person to interact with a machine, typing a conversation in plain English at a computer terminal. The software parodied a Rogerian therapist session, frequently reframing a client’s statements as questions. Weizenbaum later said that he was stunned to discover that his students and others became deeply engrossed in conversations with the program, occasionally revealing intimate personal details. “It was amazing the extent that people did not understand they were talking to a computer,” The seductiveness of the conversations alarmed Weizenbaum, who came to believe that an obsessive reliance on technology was an indication of a moral failing in society.
To get an idea how ELIZA works you can try our "Talk OnLine to one of us"