ON A DAY WITHOUT wifi broadband and using a Nokia E90 that appears to have a smudged lens, I've recorded a short Qik video (in two segments because my memory was saturated) gleaned from reading the Sunday newspapers in Ireland. The first key frame comes from an underwater shot of the Spanish Olympic synchronised swimming team in Beijing.  It's part of an excellent selection of photos in the "Spectrum" section of the Sunday Times Magazine. True to form, the last Sunday in 2008 is a soft news day, with many items rewarmed from months before. Some would appeal to Tom Raftery. Across the papers, it's interesting to see how the recession affects green technology, start-up businesses and the knowledge economy in Ireland. Several of those topics get treatment today in the Qik video that I shot.I dropped a few minutes in this recording because of network latency induced by a weak O2-EDGE connection. I won't be editing the video to fill those minutes, just tucking away the lesson learned.
Why no bloggers or tweeple on chat shows? I've often wondered why the Irish national broadcaster has such an incestuous relationship with itself, and Colin Coyle raises the same point in a Sunday Times article that documents how RTE repeatedly invites is own presenters as guests elsewhere on the broadcast network. From my perspective, many of the RTE broadcasters hold Irish bloggers in low regard and sometimes vent outright contempt at those using Twitter. It's unfortunate because some of the blogging voices would be welcome breaths of fresh air if offered an opportunity to enjoy a broadcast minute.
Irish Business Trends. Expect broadband costs to fall , Irish growth to stagnate , Subway sales to continue strong , tourism to drop significantly , and eco-friendly projects to park while the flow of money subsides in the near future.
Sentenced to a Week without Facebook. Here's an excerpt of 14-yr-old Hannah Lovell's nightmare holiday, as printed in the Sunday Observer. 
As we drove round the corner, into yet another field full of bedraggled, grazing sheep, I thought, not again. The last glimmer of hope of a warm, sunny holiday disappeared with my rapidly retreating mobile phone signal. I looked around with dismay. The clouds were darkening, mist was rolling in over th e headland and raindrops were already splashing across the windscreen.
We turned up a narrow, mud lane, lined with brambles and fuchsia. Huge, drooping scarlet flowers hung over the hedgerows, a sure sign of a marine (wet) climate, dad informed us happily. I groaned. Beyond the hedgerows, the grass swayed wildly in the north-westerly breeze. Just looking at the dappled Connemara ponies huddled forlornly in one end of the field made me shiver. One raised his head, stared at us for all of five seconds, then returned to the grass. My thoughts exactly. We drew up at a gate.
"Go on, Hannah," said mum. "Open the gate for us."
I got out of the car, hunching my shoulders against the biting cold and stepped into a muddy puddle. I could see my parents trying to keep straight faces. My frown grew. Wet socks just aren't funny. As the car started through the next field of sheep, I reckoned it had been at least five miles since the last village. Five miles from civilisation, Facebook and emails fro a week? They had to be joking.
Key Questions for 2009. Observer writers raise a few interesting questions for the year ahead.  When will he recession end? Most people believe the economic downturn will not bottom out until well into 2009. Is organic food going out of fashion? Sales of organic food has dropped month on month from Easter onwards. Will we see the end of the Steve Jobs era? Yes, we will. Steve's declining health will force Apple to evolve products, without Steve at the helm to spark revolutionary devices.
1. The Spanish Synchronised Swimming Team photographed by Mark Terrill in The Sunday Times Magazine, 28 December 2008.
2. Colin Coyle -- "RTE chat shows like to stick to their own" in the Sunday Times, 28 December 2008.
3. Mark Paul -- "Broadband costs to be cut by 90%" in the Sunday Times business section, 28 December 2008.
4. David Smith -- "World set for worst growth in decades" in the Sunday Times business section, 28 December 2008.
5. J.P. O'Malley -- "Obesity expert goes to war against Subway" in the News section of The Sunday Times, 29 December 2008.
6. Stephen O'Brien -- "Ireland fights €300m slump in tourism" in the News section of The Sunday Times, 29 December 2008.
7. Aileen Hahesy -- "Decision on Tipp town bypass funding expected in new year" on the front page of The Nationalist, 27 December 2008.
8. Dominic Rushe -- "Times are lean if you're green" in the Business section of The Sunday Times, 29 December 2008.
9. Hannah Lovell -- "I'm 14, get me out of here!" in "Readers' Holidays" inside The Sunday Observer, 29 December 2008.
10. Observer writers -- "Key Questions for 2009" in "Facing the Future" inside The Sunday Observer, 29 December 2008.
11. Tim Webb -- "Demand for oil will fall by largest margin in 25 years" in the Business section of The Sunday Observer, 29 December 2008.
12. Emma Kennedy -- "An enterprising bunch of start-ups" in the Technology section of The Sunday Business Post, 29 December 2008.
13. Dick O'Brien -- "Digital still the way forward for Ireland" in the Technology section of The Sunday Business Post, 29 December 2008.
14. Gavin Daly -- "Google routed half of €16.6bn revenues through Irish arm" in the News section of The Sunday Business Post, 29 December 2008.