The joys of allnighters

Haven’t been in the living room for more than 30 seconds since Thursday night… well, it ended Friday morning sometime a little after 11.10am. ‘It’ being the first allnighter in, thankfully, sometime. It was 2,695 words to be exact, while rereading far more than that again.

The allnighter wasn’t planned – the plan was maybe finish around 2.30am, 3am at the latest. Get sleep. Get up in loads of time. Head into college. Read over the assignment – edit it, clean it up. Even make it better. Have loads of time before the midday deadline.

Ended up starting later than expected. Far later. Then – worst still – losing a ton of work while just about half way finished didn’t help matters. Brilliant.

So. It ended something like this: Write, drink some coke (don’t drink coffee, may need to start), write, drink, write, take a break, fall asleep (accidentally), wash face, write, edit, write, edit, wash face, run, get taxi, tell taxi driver what freelancing is, agree it is a bit like taxi driving (at least in ways), trot out ‘hiding from recession in college’ line for 100th time, pay, run, run, logon, get told to leave room because there’s a class on, print quickly, get lend of pen, sign, run, drop assignment in submission box. Made it in time, just.

Why soccer was played after this rather than going home to bed is a mystery. It wasn’t like I hadn’t already over excised in the seven days before this. It was fun tho. Anyway, the living room, nothing moved since the other night.

Ok, it would be more freaky if stuff was moved. And it’s not like there was time to clean up before leaving, nor was there the incline before heading to bed in the evening, but it has acted as a bad reminder. What a week, I guess.

“Ladies and gentleman of the press” leave now of face arrest

Just looking at the G20 coverage on Maybe more sinister than police attacking peaceful protesters — because it may show intent — is a video where an office addresses the “ladies and gentleman of the press” and asks them to leave the area or they will be arrested.

The officer from the City of London police, who was only following orders in fairness, said the senior officer is using the UK Public Order Act to move them. The Public Order Act, along with the Irish act of the same name, is often claimed to be often misused. As the Guardian says, the law was “intended primarily to disperse potentially disruptive or violent gatherings.”

The newspaper also reports the “Metropolitan police, which led the G20 operations, later apologised for using the measure on members of the press.” But is that good enough of a response to blocking the media from watching how the police were to “resolve the situation”, when the “situation” is a peaceful protest?

There is also another video clearly showing the police charging a group of photographers and camera operators.

In general, the Guardian, and members of the public who help them, have to be commended for some great coverage of London police attacking peaceful G2o protesters, people trying to get home, and the media.

It’s coverage of the death of Ian Tomlinson — who was just trying get home after work — in print and online has been excellent. The newspaper’s pages of photographs and text put the spotlight on the police’s attack on Tomlinson just moments before his death. And it put the Independent Police Complaints Commission to shame for not launching a full investigation from the start.

Tomlinson died of internal bleeding and not of a hart attack as first reported. He was an Evening Standard newspaper seller who was apparently finding it hard to get home because of blocked streets. A police officer attacked Tomlinson from behind and struck him to the ground while he had his hand in his pockets and was walking away from a group of officers.

An editorial today in the Guardian’s Sunday paper, the Observer, “The public are fast losing patience with thuggish policing” talks of the police in the UK over stepping the mark in more than just the G20 policing. I only found it while writing the above, but it sums up what I want to say far better than I could have:

This aggression is no doubt linked to the government’s nasty habit of writing laws that prefer the convenience of security forces to the rights of free citizens. But the police are public servants, not government enforcers. Their job is to keep the peace, not clear the streets of dissent.

46km yesterday

Did over 46km yesterday, including the 6.5KM commute in the morning. From DCU went out direct to the coast, then to Howth harbour on the main road then back to town by going over Howth Head — with some killer hills — and back along the coast.

Haven’t done much outside the normal commute lately, must keep up these longer cycles.

DCU and the USI

The latest edition of the College View (not online yet) has a poll suggesting students at Dublin City University want the student union here to rejoin the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). There are, however, good reasons why DCUSU is not in the USI.

The outgoing SU president Niall McClave explains why here. Basically, he says it would cost €50,000 per year (what amounts to DCUSU’s entire entertainment budget for a year). Adding the USI is not influential, and are bureaucratic and wasteful.

On why DCU left in the first place, he says it was because “when we tried to point out these inefficiencies, but we were ignored”.

Cycling helmet laws cost billions in net health terms

(VIA Piet de Jong, Professor of Actuarial Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, has worked out cycling helmet could cost billions in net health terms. His research, Evaluating the Health Benefit of Bicycle Helmet Laws, found:

Using estimates suggested in the literature of the health benefits of cycling, accident rates and reductions in cycling, suggest helmets laws are counterproductive in terms of net health. The model serves to focus the bicycle helmet law debate on overall health as function of key parameters: cycle use, accident rates, helmet protection rates, exercise and environmental benefits. Empirical estimates using US data suggests the strictly health impact of a US wide helmet law would cost around \$5 billion per annum. In the UK and The Netherlands the net health costs are estimated to be \$0.4 and \$1.9 billion, respectively.

Dublin Cycling Campaign’s annual lecture

Dublin Cycling Campaign’s annual lecture takes place later this month:

Koy Thomson, CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, will give this year’s Annual Cycle Planning Research lecture on Thursday 23rd April at 7:40pm in Cultivate centre. The title of the talk is “Making Cities Bicycle Friendly – Lessons from London for Dublin – Technical Fixes, Political Leadership or Vision. What Really Counts?” Free entry but arrive early to be guaranteed a seat. For poster and details of pre-talk film, see Spread the word to all of your cycling friends and acquaintances.

Those funny old caption writers

The caption writers on the photo galleries on would be hated by our politicians here in Ireland. Apparently our politicians think a lot of them selves and, oh, think strange things like everybody must respect them. What a strange bunch.

Anyway, those Guardian caption writes have funny bones. For example on a ‘G20 partners’ photo gallery:

USA: Michelle Obama
Married to that nice chap. You know, thingy.

India: Gursharan Kaur
Described as “devoutly religious [and] with a melodious voice”, she is well known among Delhi’s Sikh community for her performances of traditional Sikh chanting. Rumours of a turn on Singstar after dinner as yet unconfirmed.

France NOT COMING Carla Bruni
That’s right, no Carla. Apparently she was determined that when she first met Michelle Obama it would be on French soil, just the two of them, none of those other dumpy women in cerise suits getting in the way. Or that might all be rubbish. Either way, she’s a no-show.