Lesser students of Ireland rally together to save Web Summit 2015 from WiFi meltdown?

A group of students with less than a 1st class honours degree from UCD, UCC, NUIG, DCU, UL, NUI Maynooth, are believed to be begging Paddy Cosgrave to consider them for starring roles in next year’s Web Summit. So concerned at Mr. Cosgrave’s warning that he might take the tech wizards dream conference to another location outside Ireland, the students are offering up their very bodies in the cause of saving the country’s reputation.

“We are taking our lead from the homeless hotspots idea which caused some controversy at the SXSW conference in 2012.”, said Fíachra Nílafhiosagam, founder of the group, Students of a lesser degree: WiFi Action Group (SOLD:WAG).

“We want to show the world that this is most definitely not a country for old dudes or city centre venues without 100% robust WiFi for up to 50,000 devices in a concentrated area. A lot of important deals go down at this conference, and it is imperative for this nation that the absolute cream of the world’s population solving important problems for humanity (such as where to sit to get the best sunshine) have the ability to tweet at will. Anything else is just not acceptable to us, and we cannot stand idly by with the threat of the conference leaving these shores.”

Just as the homeless people did at the SXSW conference, the student volunteers propose to become roaming WiFi hotspots and will be easily indentified to Summit attendees.

“We have already come up with the idea of wearing large triangular shaped hats with a D on them. That way, people can identify us from a distance without having to come up close and read a sign on a t-shirt”, said Ninja Rockstar Designer Maireád Clewless.

Asked whether or not Trinity College students could sign up to volunteer, the P.R.O. for the group told us that, “Look, we will consider any and all offers of help. We are an equal opportunities group and will look at the individual merits of all volunteers and do them the courtesy of looking at their CV. A key metric for us is the ability to stand and walk for long-ish periods of time, so we would want to see some evidence of that in the application. For a Trinity student, the walk from front gates to the Pav 3 or 4 times a week, will probably suffice as evidence. It’s no guarantee of being accepted into the group, but it will enable us to get through the applications a lot quicker”.

Interested students should contact the group through their Facebook page. I would post the link, but the WiFi link I’m on isn’t great and the page is timing out. Still, a search for students of a lesser degree should turn it up, I’m sure.

Punctuation is so important

You may be familiar with the internet meme, “Commas save lives”. It’s the one where a single sentence can mean entirely different things based on where it is punctuated with a comma.

Let’s eat Grandad.

Let’s eat, Grandad.

You know the one now, yes?

A recent post on boards had a subject line of:

“caught a company trying to dump revenge ideas needed”.

Nothing really unusual in seeing badly punctuated sentences on internet forums. Even less unusual is the inevitable “grammar nazi” correcting the original poster. The following response on the thread from one of the afformentioned grammar nazis was priceless and hilarous.

Here it is :

Caught a company. Trying to dump. Revenge ideas needed.

Caught a company trying to dump revenge! Ideas needed.

Caught – a company trying to dump. Revenge? Ideas needed.

Caught, a company trying. To dump revenge? Ideas needed!

The Celtic Alleluia

Upcoming matrimonial ceremony had me searching for a good version of the Celtic Alleluia today. Check out the super rendition of the music in this video – made all the better by the bobble head Jesus visible to the right of the middle manual. Love it 🙂

On your bike – thoughts from a newbie cyclist


Saw this video posted on the boards.ie cycling forum and thought it was really good. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about cycling and the video has given me the push.

Dear Motorist,

I’ve returned to cycling in the last 3 months after a 30 year gap. The last time I rode a bike would have been in my early teenage year. Getting back in the saddle is one of the best decisions I ever made, and I wish I had done it sooner. It wasn’t easy at first. My legs ached. I panted and sweated. Younger and fitter cyclists whizzed by me with ease. 3 months on and all of that has changed. There’s still a bit of panting and sweating, but now I’m the one passing others out and that feels great.

I really look forward to my morning and evening cycle. It is truly liberating to be able to travel a distance without paying a fare, putting petrol in the tank or having to watch a timetable. I don’t set the alarm clock for the morning any more. Nor do I feel rushed like I used to. Whizzing past long rows of traffic and packed buses on a wet and windy day makes the weather pale into insignificance.

Having said all that, every time I hit the road it is always with a slight sense of nervousness that I never get with other modes of transport. It’s a feeling of vulnerability. I’m out there sharing the same bit of tarmac as hulking big lumps of metal that my flesh and bones are no match for if ever we met in some unfortunate circumstance. As I leave work in the evening I find myself paying attention to the Angelus bell and taking a deep breath before I head home. It’s a way of mentally bracing myself for the short (10 km) ride ahead.

In the 3 months since I got back to cycling, I’ve had a few near misses, all caused by motorists not paying enough attention. That’s not to say that cyclists are angels, far from it – but I think motorists in general aren’t as aware of cyclists as they should be. Most don’t appreciate the space cyclists need to cycle safely. They are viewing the road from one point of view only; one that has only ever seen the road from inside the safety of a car. Most car users have never cycled on the streets regularly enough to know the dangers and they see cyclists as a nuisance to be negotiated around as quickly as possible.

As 2013 comes to a close, my wish is for everyone on the road to just respect each other and slow down. Please, slow down. I don’t want to be all Gay Byrne about it, but you have no appreciation for speed until a car whizzes by you on the road when you are on a bike.

Cyclists. Respect the rules of the road. A hand out is not a magic wand. Red lights mean the same thing for all road users. Cycling at speed in wet weather is mad.

Motorists. Please be aware that the twinkling light of a bicycle that you see ahead of you on the road on the dark mornings and evenings is someone that matters to someone.

Father. (*Waves* at my precious Sam)


Husband (or future husband in my own case – January 3rd since you ask. Love you Lisa)


Brother. (Hey Paul, Elaina and Glenn)


Uncle. (Hi Ross, Darren, Karina and Shauna)


Child. (Hi Mam and Dad)

Let this season be one where no one on this island has to face the future without their someone that matters because of a careless moment on the road.