Digest – May 30 2010

Another day another digest…


Sunday Independent news feature on a teenage girl from Romania who Gardai believe was lured to her death by a ‘southside sex predator‘…

Marioara had been in Dublin for just three weeks when she disappeared. She was begging with her little brother on Lombard Street in the south city on a Sunday afternoon in January 2008.

A dark-haired man pulled over in a silver Ford Mondeo and Marioara approached him for money. Her brother watched as he rolled down his window to chat to his sister. When he saw her get into the car, he went over to see what was going on.

The driver gave him €10 and although he couldn’t understand exactly what was said, the boy heard the word “McDonald’s” and assumed the motorist was taking his sister for something to eat.

Marioara’s family never saw her again. She managed to make one chilling phone call the day after she disappeared. She called a brother back in Romania, because none of her family in Dublin had mobile phones.

Michael Taft takes on the Backroom column in the Sunday Business Post...

Just when you think you’ve read it all, along comes someone to present us with a statement so devoid of understanding that all you can do is be amazed that this stuff actually gets published. If the government had not taken harsh steps would our deficit have risen to nearly €35 billion? Of course not; but don’t take my word for it – here’s what the Department of Finance had to say about the matter.

The systemic banking institution… ehem… err… EBS…yeah… has been nationalised. Oh didn’t you hear? Constantin Gurgiev has the details. €875m over the next ten years… no bodger boys, give us a shout when you want another chunk’a’change!

Anyone ever watched something on BloggingHeads? Similar new website for debating Irish affairs, just launched, Stephen Kinsella and Joe Garde want your help. Minister Ciaran Cuffe is the first participant, he talks about proper planning. Check it out on Irishdebate.com.

Are the markets missing the elephant in room? asks Gekko.

[…] So to the data. The following shows the more comprehensive pciture of relative indebtedness across some European countries, including our fellow “PIGS”. Now think about whether you would rather be exposed to Greek debt or Irish debt?

I wouldn’t be so smug and probably wouldn’t swap Greek bonds for Irish bonds, despite the contrary view that market is placing on the relative credit worthiness of the two countries at the moment.

Oh dear, someone told Twenty about the SBP poll figures

We’ve been lied to, cheated, defrauded, financially violated as a nation and as individuals, and in the latest opinion polls FF are up 1% instead of being set on fire, the whole fucking cunting lot of them.

Jason O’Mahony views it differently.

FG is still basing its campaign on not being FF, and Labour are still sending such mixed signals on public spending cuts and public sector reform as to neutralise FG. As a voter, if I bother to vote at all, I’m drifting towards FF (whom I really despise) because I at least know what I get with a vote for FF.


BP advert from 1999, according to University of Oregon physics professor. Ouchies.

Easily the best review of anything. Ever; Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, reviews the new Sex and the City. Also, Spencer Ackerman with five things you won’t learn about the UAE from SATC2. Nice URL, there.

Classy journalism. CNN has produced an interactive map which relates US casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq between where they happen and where the soldiers are from. Via Flowing Data. Map can also be filtered by age location and date.

If you’re not reading Adam Curtis’s blog, you’re some fool. Like his style or not, he gathers some intriguing information and presents it in interesting ways. Latest post

Paula Loyd’s horrific death brought into the open an extraordinary project she was part of. It had been set up by the American military to try and change the way both sides in the Afghan conflict see each other.

It is called The Human Terrain System.

The idea is simple. Instead of concentrating only on fighting on the “physical terrain” – the cities, deserts and mountains of Afghanistan – the aim is get inside the minds of the Afghan people  – the “human terrain” – to find out how they see the world, how they think and feel. And then, with that knowledge, to exploit and control this “human terrain”  by engineering new ways of thinking inside the minds of the Afghan people.

The project was created by an American anthroplogist with a fantastic name.

Montgomery McFate…

Have you seen ‘The Cove‘? You should. It’s a documentary shot by anti-dolphin-hunting campaigners in Japan. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Won the audience award at Sundance 2009 and an Oscar for best documentary earlier this year. Take 75 minutes and spent them well, embedded below.

Not got 75 minutes? How about 45? Try ‘Guns for Hire: Afghanistan‘. Award winning foreign correspondent Sam Kiley (sometimes seen on Unreported World, Channel 4) looks at the mercenaries – excuse me, ‘private security providers’ – in Kabul. See below.


Eight month old baby who’s never heard a sound before has his cochlear implants switched on for the first time.

This whole video is a brilliant metaphor (metaphor? Possible irony alert there) for a career in journalism. I love what happens the window on the last attempt before it breaks…