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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

Sunday Newsround from Ireland

Click for VideoBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Image from Sunday Times  

THERE'S PLENTY FOR IRISH journalists to write about in the run-up to yet another bout of austere budgeting and the Irish Minister for Health is obliging by offering easy column inches around a politically-motivated decision to prioritise new primary health care centres in his constituency.

Minister James Reilly proves successful politicians bring home the bacon. It's not much different in any other country. I'm surprised voters thought a new coalition government would be any different than the way Irish politics have operated for decades.

I fingered a few other stories in both the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post, creating a short audio along the way. I've produced the video from the Financial Times since it contained information relevant to Apple and Foxconn, two companies we discuss in fourth year modules I teach for the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Sunday Newsround from Ireland

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Octaver on Audioboo

OctaverBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Image from Macolgan on Audioboo  

I PLAN TO SHARE tracks from the sound track of my life on Audioboo during the month of October and to save my contributes to a curated list.

The exercise is part of a crowd-sourced initiative involving daily audio blogging, music, copyright, commentary, and review at third level.

I've listened to music online since 2003, attracted to people who shared music and their stories. In fact, I've heard more diverse music through podcasts than through MTV broadcasts, YouTube videos or X Factor competitions. I think music forms part of the fabric of our lives and it's important to help artists sell more tracks by playing their stuff for others to purchase. So I'm in.

For most of October, I figure around 10 people will begin sharing their stories and the music that makes the stories reverberate. If you want to participate, to listen or to talk, please follow the #octaver tag on Audioboo.

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Maps You Like and Maps You Trust

The Gates in Central Park
Bernie Goldbach in a satellite over NYC Central Park

THERE ARE A LOT OF PRETTY THINGS to like about the awesome maps we carry in our pockets. I'm curious as to what kind of maps readers of my blog like.

So if you've a few seconds, how about hitting the radio button corresponding to the maps you like best at GoPollGo.com.

I cannot embed this poll on a Typepad blog because the Javascript is way too active.

Click to go to survey


Hat tip to Robert Scoble for showing me GoPollGo.

Bernie Goldbach needs to offer more surveys.


Remembering the King of Easy Listening

Andy WilliamsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Wikipedia shot of Andy Williams  

THE KING OF EASY LISTENING passed away this week and as tributes to his life flowed across the airways, I think of the countless hours I heard his music on our kitchen radio in Pennsylvania.

During the 1960s, when radio was the main contact point to mainstream media in our home, Williams had become one of the most popular vocalists in the States and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history. At one time, he had earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley. By the time I finished high school, Andy Williams had earned 18 gold album awards. Some of the tracks from those albums are in the clip below.

Remembering Andy Williams


Paul Gambaccini, Professor of Pop plays tribute to Andy Williams.

Easy Listening is a genre in the sound track of my life.


Signs of Autumn Twitter Project #anfomhar

October Red
Bernie Goldbach along the Suir | Photo from my Flickr

THE APPROACH OF AUTUMN in Ireland is a lovely time for another Twitter Project for Schools.

It's simple and straightforward: just tweet with your pupils any time during the first five days of October with any signs of autumn that you see in classrooms, school areas or localities. It's really nice if you can share links on Twitter to images, audio clips and video clips of the signs of autumn that pupils notice. The media should be made available under the Creative Commons so others can resuse and share the objects during and after the event.

You could tweet about:

-- leaves falling from the trees
-- windy autumn weather
-- seasonal fruit/vegetables
-- pupils playing conkers
-- pupils’ autumn art work

This low impact project is the perfect opportunity for teachers to see how the Twitter community interlaces with classroom work. As Damien Quinn explains, you can "let other schools/classes that you are in contact with through Twitter know about the project and invite them to join in. If you are in contact with a school abroad, get them to join in too to give the project an international dimension. To make the project collaborative, don’t forget to reply to/comment on the Tweet of another school".

This is a nice project, one that builds "a picture through Twitter of what the Signs of Autumn in Ireland 2012 are during the week". To be easily discoverable with your contribution, you should use the project hashtag #anfomhar on content you want to share.

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Basic Office

Principled DeskBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Desk snapped with iTouch  

THE BEST WORK DESKS are simple statements of efficiency. I snap photos of hotel business centres, home offices and some desks of friends.

But I don't snap my own cluttered workspace. Except as a visual marker of things I haven't finished.

I like workspace as large as a kitchen table when spreading out stuff to do. But I prefer standing when typing, recording and editing.

I've a very good scanner at home but no printer. And I haven't replaced either the landline phone or the hands-free telephone headset. I've a handheld shredder that gives me great joy when reducing bills to recyclable strips. And I've some colourful artwork from the family hanging on the wall or leaning on easels.

Some day I will also have a photogenic and child-friendly home office.


Bernie Goldbach collects info on workspaces.

My Dad's Hands

Dads HandsBernie Goldbach in Ireland | Snap of Dad's Hands in action  

IT'S BEEN 10 YEARS since I last shook my dad's hands. I'll raise a pint glass to him today.

I think of dad's hands every time I bash my finger with a hammer because he often nursed a black fingernail during the summer months. I feel his hands whenever I shake the hands of Uncle Brian in Sligo because big Brian has big hands like my father had. As a teenager, I thought dad's hands were incredibly tough, rougher than those of the office employee dads in our housing estate. Dad made things with his hands. He raised and lowered massive canopies of canvas with his hands. He could sense the viscosity of lubricants between the fingers on his hands.

And he knew how to celebrate with his hands (see photo), both while drinking and eating shrimp, olives and peanuts. Dad would love knowing that his grandkids like those things too.

My Dads Hands


Bernie Goldbach has a journal of lost thoughts.

In the Bag

Tripod on TableBernie Goldbach in Mr Bumbles | Photo of iPhone on Tripod  

I HAVE A BAG that contains a lot of interesting cables, connectors and gadgets. I snapped a shot of one of the items.

I think it's important to deploy into live events with long-lasting gear that works right away. So I put a premium on Old Skoll stuff that works when you push buttons to record audio, video or images. I like having portable power, extension cables and sometimes a light panel. I need to unpack my bag on camera and document it's contents. It's something I plan to do with a group of Transition Year students completing some hands-on work in social journalism.


Bernie Goldbach likes Bihn bags.

Saving Polar Bears with Our Empty Oil Tank

SnugglyvPolar BearBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo of our polar bear  

RECENT TELEVISION NEWS images of the shrinking Arctic ice mass have encouraged me to think about what the cousins of our housebound polar bear might be facing.

In a past life, I flew inside the Arctic Circle several times a month. On many clear afternoons, we could see the ecosystem alive below. I know some of those cockpit views have changed during the past 30 years.

Imperiled polar bears sinking into arctic seas because of melting polar ice caps have become an iconic symbol of the devastating consequences of global warming but some of those video clips and much of the "scientific" evidence lacks solid peer review. [1] [2]

My hesitations stem from reading the community reaction to a 2006 issue of the journal Polar Biology--the issue that crested into the public domain with its baseless assumptions about four specific polar bear deaths. These assumptions became part of the foundational argument for the fight against global warming. In reality, the deaths may have had nothing to do with melting ice caps, and everything to do with a simple windstorm.

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Weekend Look at Irish Unemployed Youth

Not a Lost GenerationBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo of Irish Times  

A MAJOR IRISH TIMES series explores the plight of our third level students, many raised during the Celtic Tiger but now trying to carve their way through a major recession. The research documents resilience and optimism.

It's shallow to dismiss these kinds of broadsheet series as jingoistic because strong sociological evidence underlies the interviews conducted by the Irish Times [1] and intergenerational research by Professor Tom Inglis, sociologist from the University College Dublin. The Irish Times has assembled a group of young people to discuss what lies ahead. They are a mix of early school-leavers, college students and graduates. They spoke to Times journalists as a group and individually.

Weekend Review of Youthful Unemployed

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