BARACK OBAMA gets nearly as much ink as the embattled Taoiseach of Ireland today. Bertie Ahern's photo appears prominently on the front of several newspapers, often with a confused look. The glossy coverage for Obama is worth reading, especially the Sunday Times Magazine cover story.  I flicked through several stories while making a short 3:33 video about the most interesting items, using my Nokia E90 and Qik. One item documents that Ireland's Health Services Executive has lost 55 laptops during the past three years, including one which contained the personal details of 500 patients.  The issue of third level fees in Ireland won't go away and it arises in the Comment and Analysis section of the Sunday Tribune again today.  Core funding per university student in Ireland has been reduced by a third since 1995. That funding shortfall would not be as significant if Irish students contributed to the cost of their third level education.
Ireland's Burn Rate. In an article about alternative energy, the statistics show "90% of Ireland's energy is derived from ported fossil fuels." That tranalates into 165,000 barrrels of oil a day.  The opposition in Ireland wants a debate on nuclear power. 
Buying Twenty. The Order of the Phoenix Park ISBN 978-0340952870, the first book spawned from an Irish blog, has sold only 536 copies so far, according to Nielsen BookScan. We have purchased two for use in a Media Writing module on the creative multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute. "In the UK, it has sold 28 copies and is already available at a discount price," reports the Sunday Times.  We have a carton of Twenty Major's autographed books in the boot but are holding firm on our asking price, even though some have panned the work.
1. David James Smith -- "The Ascent of Mr Charisma" is the cover story of The Sunday Times Magazine, 23 March 2008.
2. Ali Bracken -- "HSE Reports 55 laptops stolen over the past three years" in the Sunday Tribune, 23 March 2008.
3. Michael Clifford -- "Free education comes at high price" in the Sunday Tribune, 23 March 2008.
4. Nicola Cooke -- "The future may be bright and green" in The Sunday Business Post, 23 March 2008.
5. Stephen O'Brien -- "Time to debate nuclear power" in The Sunday Times, 23 March 2008.
6. Colin Coyle -- "Blogger fails to click as novelist: Twenty Major has minor sales" in the News section of The Sunday Times, 23 March 2008. The boxed books are autographed with a recognisable set of cigarette burns on several pages.