Happy St. Paddy’s Day…Wally


Yup. You’re in Ireland.

Oversleeping can cause all sorts of problems. Just ask this walrus — who seems to have fallen asleep on an ice floe and drifted at least a thousand miles from the Arctic Circle to Ireland.

The walrus was first spotted along the coast of Valentia Island in County Kerry, one of the westernmost points of Ireland. Alan Houlihan and his 5-year-old daughter, Muireann, were walking along the beach this past weekend when they noticed the creature lounging on some rocks.

“I thought it was a seal at first, and then we saw the tusks,” Houlihan said. “He kind of jumped up on the rocks. He was massive. He was about the size of a bull or a cow, pretty similar in size; he’s big, big.”

Walruses rarely appear in Ireland, so how did this one end up on the coast? According to Kevin Flannery, director of the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in County Kerry, it may have been an accident.

“I’d say what happened is he fell asleep on an iceberg and drifted off,” Flannery said. “Then he was gone too far, out into the mid-Atlantic or somewhere like that — down off Greenland possibly. It’s incredible. It’s a one-off as far as I’m concerned.”

At least he won’t be hassled by passport control.

Who cares about Clark Kent?

With the arrival of the mobile phone, phone boxes are now obsolete. So, what to do with all those boxes and their infrastructure? Ireland is applying adaptive reuse of the well-positioned phone booths by turning them into EV chargers.

Irish telecoms company Eir and EV charging network EasyGo will replace 180 phone boxes with EV rapid charge points. EasyGo will use DC rapid chargers developed by Australia-based Tritium.

Gerry Cash, director of EasyGo, explains the reason for the innovative collaboration:

We’ve a culture of going into towns and places of convenience. Typically, the locations of the phone boxes are in those types of places. And that’s what we want to do — make the experience of charging a car easy, comfortable, and safe for people.

Way too reasonable a solution to satisfy Americans. Or someone really important…like the board of directors of AT&T.

Drive-thru confessional helps prepare for the Pope’s visit to Ireland

❝ SIN TO WIN Paddy Power erect giant drive-thru confession box in Dublin ahead of Pope Francis’ arrival on Irish soil…It allows motorists to confess their sins in a timely manner so they can attend the mass without any Catholic guilt

❝ The huge confessional is situated on Conyngham Road near the Phoenix Park entrance.

❝ The box is 13 metres wide and 12 metres high – ensuring it is big enough to withstand the full spectrum of sin…

Pope Francis is set to grace Irish soil this weekend with crowds of around 500,000 expected for his open-air mass in the Phoenix Park.

Same as it ever was. Christians can always count on being “forgiven” if they play by the rules of one or another incorporated representative of their god.

“One whiff and you’re stiff!”


Who needs an excuse?

An Irish town claims that the vapors from a Viagra factory have filled their local men with an unexpected vigor.

Residents of Ringaskiddy claim that there has been “something in the air” ever since a local Pfizer factory began producing the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra in 1998, reported the Sunday Times.

“One whiff and you’re stiff,” local bartender Debbie O’Grady told the paper.

RTFA and judge for yourselves. Any credibility to the “Pfizer Riser”?

Blasphemy probe into Stephen Fry dropped after Irish police fail to find enough outraged people

❝ An Irish police investigation into allegedly blasphemous comments made by Stephen Fry has been dropped after detectives decided there were not enough people who had been outraged by the remarks.

❝ Police launched an investigation into the presenter, author and comedian after he described God as “capricious”, “mean-minded”, “stupid” and an “utter maniac” during an appearance on Irish television show “The Meaning of Life” in February 2015.

The comments were widely reported but did not become a legal matter until a man complained last year, prompting a police enquiry.

Under Irish law, it is illegal to use words that are “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred to any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion”…

❝ Under Ireland’s 2009 Defamation Act, anyone “who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence” and liable for a fine of up to €25,000…

The man who made the initial complaint about Mr Fry is said to have been satisfied that Irish police had investigated the matter fully and told detectives he was merely doing his civic duty in reporting it.

Just in case you’re wondering what the religious nutballs providing most of Trump’s chump brigade of voters will probably receive as a gifted executive order…sooner or later.

Thanks, Honeyman

An emerging area of medical science we’ve only known about for a century or so


Professor Coffey

❝ A University of Limerick, Ireland, professor has identified an emerging area of science having reclassified part of the digestive system as an organ.

The mesentery, which connects the intestine to the abdomen, had for hundreds of years been considered a fragmented structure made up of multiple separate parts. However, research by Professor of Surgery…J Calvin Coffey found the mesentery is one, continuous structure.

❝ In a review published in the November issue of one of the top medical journals…Professor Coffey outlined the evidence for categorising the mesentery as an organ…“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,”…

❝ Better understanding and further scientific study of the mesentery could lead to less invasive surgeries, fewer complications, faster patient recovery and lower overall costs…

“…Up to now there was no such field as mesenteric science. Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science…the basis for a whole new area of science,” he said.

“During the initial research, we noticed in particular that the mesentery, which connects the gut to the body, was one continuous organ. Up to that it was regarded as fragmented, present here, absent elsewhere and a very complex structure. The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect. This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure,” Professor Coffey explained.

So cool, the publishers of Gray’s Anatomy have already included the research as an update to their classic.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia and others

Ireland jails three senior bankers for their role in the 2008 economic crash


Denis Casey on his way to the JoyClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Three senior Irish bankers were jailed on Friday for up to three-and-a-half years for conspiring to defraud investors in the most prominent prosecution arising from the 2008 banking crisis that crippled the country’s economy.

The trio will be among the first senior bankers globally to be jailed for their role in the collapse of a bank during the crisis.

The lack of convictions until now has angered Irish taxpayers, who had to stump up 64 billion euros – almost 40 percent of annual economic output – after a property collapse forced the biggest state bank rescue in the euro zone.

The crash thrust Ireland into a three-year sovereign bailout in 2010 and the finance ministry said last month that it could take another 15 years to recover the funds pumped into the banks still operating.

Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Denis Casey was sentenced to two years and nine months following the 74-day criminal trial, Ireland’s longest ever.

Willie McAteer, former finance director at the failed Anglo Irish Bank, and John Bowe, its ex-head of capital markets, were given sentences of 42 months and 24 months respectively.

All three were convicted of conspiring together and with others to mislead investors, depositors and lenders…

None of the defendants reacted visibly to the sentencing before being led away by officers to Mountjoy Prison, the country’s largest…

Overdue. Throw away the key.

Banks in the United States and Britain have paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements connected to wrongdoing over their handling of subprime loans that helped cause the crisis. But no senior industry executives in those countries have been sent to jail.

Pic of the day — Brexit

THE IRISH coast guard has today issued a nationwide warning for the East Coast as hundreds of thousands of British refugees risk their lives to cross the Irish sea in an attempt to flee the impoverished and unstable nation…

We have rescued hundreds of people from crafts due to overcrowding,” winchman Derek Ryan of Rescue 117 told WWN today. “It’s a terrible situation as many of these people are only hoping for a better quality of life in the EU”.

Har.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Ireland plans to make high-speed broadband a right for all citizens


Beautiful rural Eire – with slow internet if anyNeil Tackaberry

Politicians in Ireland plan to make fast, affordable broadband a legal right for every citizen…The country’s new communications minister Denis Naughten said on Wednesday, June 1 the government will ensure fast internet is enshrined in the country’s Universal Service Obligation (USO). Naughten compared fast broadband to electricity. “We want to ensure people have access to broadband as a right,” said Naughten in Silicon Republic. “I want it as an enforceable right.”

The EU country, which has traditionally lagged in national connectivity, is finalizing a $312 million National Broadband Plan that will accelerate broadband universal access to its 4.6 million citizens by 2022. The move would add the 30Mbps baseline service standard to Ireland’s 40-year-old USO which currently mandates copper telephone connections. In rural areas, 20% of the population lack such access. The plan is scheduled to break ground in 2017.

Rolling out the necessary infrastructure for high-speed internet parallels the rural electrification effort of the 1930s and 1940s. New cables and fiber optics must be strung on poles, or laid down in ditches, and to get last mile access to homes, new telecommunications equipment must be hooked up. Those projects are complicated by a patchwork of local authorities and legal requirements that give regulators headaches. Once the rural network is complete, the government said it would formalize high-speed broadband as a formal right.

A couple of decades later, I expect we’ll get round to doing the same for rural America.