They haven’t gone away, you know…

I see that the party that came up with the policy of moving government departments and offices to their ministers’ constituencies – at the cost of efficiency, corporate memory, careers, effective public service and €238,000 per job – still think it’s a good idea.

Facepalm. And obligatory Einstein quote.

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Einstein

Except that’s not quite apt. It’s more accurate to say that a Fianna Fáil politician will do or say absolutely anything to get elected or re-elected, and hang the consequences for the country in the medium to long term.  Which is, of course, just like any other party.

Between this, and the utter stroke politics being attempted by Enda Kenny in the past week, I’ve come up with new guidelines for Irish elections:

1. Don’t vote for any candidate from a party with an Irish-language name.

2. See who is left.

3. Sigh. Select the least worst.

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Qualified?

The woman in the video has the opposite “problem” to me.  Applying for a System Administrator’s job, she states “As my resumé indicates, I have a Masters degree and a lot of education in non-technical topics.”

The satirical video is, ironically, exactly what much of the Irish public service is doing when it recruits.  If you don’t have a degree, you don’t get in the door for an interview.  It doesn’t matter what the degree is actually in – you just need to have gone to college for three or four years and passed an exam.  It doesn’t matter that you’re already doing exactly what the job requires.  That you have been for years.  That you do it consistently well.

No “qualification”, no interview.  A degree in Agricultural Science, or French Literature, or – as one’s qualification doesn’t have to be Irish – a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Comic Art – gets you in the door of, for example, the Office of Government Procurement, who were recently recruiting specialist ICT buyers.

If you’ve actually been working in the ICT sphere, administering hardware, software, systems and policies, for over a decade – and been buying the stuff you use, too, for all of that time! – but have no degree?  Nah, not interested, no interview.  Grr.

#kenringwatch results for June, July and August!

#kenringwatch is like waiting on a bus – nothing for ages, then three come along at once. Results for June, July and August are finally here – apologies for the delay.

In related news, Jamie points out in the comments on the May results post that Ken Ring is actually less accurate than a coin toss.  His work is available on the Silly Beliefs website – where an article on Ring’s pseudoscience has resulted in over 550 comments being posted!

Those comments are an interesting read… disappearing posts after the fact, other major misses, and failures to predict major events.  But then that’s only to be expected.

Ring has also popped up again recently in the comments to my original 2014 #kenringwatch post, where he says:

“I have also had a fair degree of success for this year with my Ireland almanac. I said no records would be broken this year and no extreme events would be likely.”

 

He forgot Christine and her sisters… the most severe storms to hit Ireland in years. Or that his accuracy for 2014’s Irish weather predictions is currently languishing at 20%.

Anyway – June, July, August. The predictions were:

Jun
19. Last week of June the hottest.

Jul
20. Last week of July the hottest.

Aug
22. Lot of wet days interspersed with dry days.

So, two easily testable predictions, and one completely vague one.

June: “The majority of highest maxima were recorded between the 16th and 18th during the mid-month period of high pressure, with the highest maximum of 27.1°C recorded at Newport, Co. Mayo on the 17th.” Zero marks.

July: “Nearly all highest maxima were recorded between the 23rd and 25th, with the month’s highest temperature recorded at Carlow (Oak Park) on the 25th with 27.6°C.” Ooh, close – the 25th is seven days from the end of the month, so one of the hottest days was technically within the last week. Let’s be generous and give half a mark.

August: How do you interpret “Lots of wet days interspersed with dry days”? The Met Éireann monthly report has a one-line summary: “Dry in parts but extremely wet in the East; cool everywhere ”  Other stations in the Dublin area and at Mullingar reported their wettest August days in 28 to 64 years, with rainfall analysis of their 24-hour totals reporting the events to have rainfall return periods of between five and 20 years. Dublin Airport, in the east had 20 rain days, 11 with no rain. Claremorris, in the west, had 26 rain days, only 5 with no rain.  So, certainly, “lots of wet days” is correct. I think Ken gets this one.  But it would have been nice if he’d said “Wettest August in years!”

June, July, August: One and a half for three.

Total: Four and a half out of eighteen.

We’re up to 25% accuracy!

Sigh…

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in ages. Sorry. Life has been busy, and then there were holidays, and then there were distractions…

This weekend, I’ll be updating with not one, not two, but <em>three</em> months’ worth of #kenringwatch!

Speaking of dodgy pseudoscience, Dublin City Council had at least one (if not two) motions calling for the banning of water fluoridation, on the agenda of tonight’s Council meeting. Thankfully the motions weren’t reached, so they’re kicked to touch for another future meeting.

Jen ‘Buffy’ Keane explains much better than I can why the anti-fluoridation campaign (led by angel healers and homeopaths!) is bunkum. Please get in touch with your councillors before the next meeting, and ask them to vote to retain what the World Health Organisation describe as one of the ten best public health initiatives of the 20th century.