Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tour de France 2010 ics calendar #tdf #tdf2010 [1]

UPDATE: For the 2012 version check here.

UPDATE: 2011 calendar available here now.

UPDATE: This version of the calendar has each stage as an all-day event and includes only basic details of the stage (start and finish locations; plain, hilly, high mountains, etc.). For a more detailed version grab this version.

UPDATE: See our 2010 Paris-Roubaix calendar here.

This is a basic version of the Tour de France calendar in ics format. At this point full schedules and stage descriptions are not available so this version just gives you start and finish locations for each stage and a very basic description of the character of the stage. Each stage is set as an all-day event, but that can easily be edited in your own software.

As usual, you use and take and on an as-is basis, no warranty, etc. If you want to check it's legit then open it up in any text-editor and you can inspect the code. It's as accurate as we can make it (we'll be using these calendars ourselves) but we can't guarantee that it is error-free. If you spot any mistakes then do please let us know through the comments.

We will release more detailed versions of the calendar as further information becomes available.


Download: Tour de France 2010 Calendar version 1


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Members' conflicts of interest

Buried in an article on the 70% pay rise for the head of NAMA is some information on Oireachtas insiders covering their own asses: conflict of interest, anyone? The lists of members' interests should include liabilities as well as assets.

Meanwhile, claims that the new financial regulator has been engaged in a sharp exchange of words with some members of the Dáil and Seanad have not been denied by the financial regulator.

Brian Lucey, associate professor of Finance at Trinity College, said he understands the financial regulator was heavily rebuffed by some of the members of the Dáil and Seanad when he inquired about loans they had with the banks that were transferring to NAMA in the months ahead.

Prof Lucey said the basis of his allegation came from within the Oireachtas. "I got this from a Dáil source", he told the Irish Examiner.

The public is entitled to know if TDs or senators have loans of "mortgages" that are part of the funds being transferred across to NAMA, he said. The first tranche of loans totalling €17bn is due to transfer to the bad bank by the end of the month.

Reports of the standoff with regulator Matthew Enderfield come days after he gave his first public speech. He promised an intrusive approach to regulation and enforcement at systemically important banks.

Banks can now expect 15-20 regulatory staff per bank looking at their operations, analysts said.

Prof Lucey told RTÉ it was "always going to be the case in a small country that there are political figures involved in banking".

His information was some TDs and senators reacted negatively to a line of enquiry being pursued with the members committee in the Oireachtas.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cardinal Errors

This statement from the Catholic Church's Communications Office is a fine example of the art of missing the point.

It seems to be trying to suggest that Cardinal Brady, then just Fr Brady, had such a low-level administrative role in the 1975 cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by Brendan Smyth that he can bear no blame for the fact that Smyth was not brought to justice for a further 19 years and was instead at liberty to continue his abuse of children, which is exactly what he did.

The Cardinal says it wasn't up to him to report the matter to the Gardaí. He was also present when two children were sworn to secrecy about Smyth's abuse. Allegations of serious criminal offences against children were all kept in-house by the church and nothing was not reported to the proper authorities. (Of course, given the accounts of Garda failures in the Murphy Report, there are other questions about what exactly the Gardaí would have done.)

Let's imagine that instead of the church this was a private company providing educational and childcare facilities and an allegation of child abuse was made against one of its employees. The company's response is to get the lawyers in, don't report it to the Gardaí, keep the whole matter secret (even swearing the 14- and 15-year-old victims to secrecy), and redeploy the employee to a non-public-facing role. Is that an adequate response? No, it's a cover-up in anyone's language (except Seán Brady's, that is).

The Mail has this:
Cardinal Brady said today that he would not be resigning because he had done nothing wrong.

‘I did act, and act effectively, in that inquiry to produce the grounds for removing Father Smyth from ministry and specifically it was underlined that he was not to hear confessions and that was very important.’


Even if (and it is quite an if) we accept that Fr Brady, as he then was, had such a minor and junior role in the 1975 cover-up that he couldn't possibly have done more than he did, and even if (another big if) we generously forgive his naive dereliction of the moral (regardless of the professional) duty to ensure that the matter was put before the Gardaí, we are still faced with the fact that even now His Eminence Cardinal Brady doesn't understand that this was a cover-up and can't see what he did wrong.

It's a bit like the getaway driver claiming to have had nothing at all to do with the bank robbery. In fact, it has been suggested that Fr Brady's actions in 1975 might have been criminal in themselves: see Colm O'Gorman's discussion of this.

If he remains so blind to his own errors then the fault lies in 2010, not in 1975, and it is Cardinal Brady's, not Fr Brady's, and that is why he can have no credibility.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Paris-Nice 2010 ics calendar download

The timezone is set to Paris. S is a sprint, C is a climb - so "C3 15km Côte de Saint-Aignan 141m" means a Category 3 climb up the Côte de Saint-Aignan, 15km into the stage and to an altitude of 141m.

The file is supplied as is, no warranty, use at your own risk, etc. If you want to check it's legit then open it in a text reader and you can see exactly what's in there. It's as accurate as I can make it - I'll be using it myself to help me follow the race - but I can't guarantee it's error-free.

Paris-Nice 2010 ICS Calendar File

Monday, March 01, 2010

The art of banking

Allied Irish Bank has an art collection of over 3000 items, including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and tapestry. (See some more detail here [PDF, 76kb])

Bank of Ireland, too, has a substantial collection of artworks, "over 2,000 pieces, comprising paintings, sculptures, photographs and ceramics" (here).

Anglo Irish Bank's collection "includes work by Stephen McKenna, Yona Caffrey, Mark Francis and Tony O'Malley".

We're not the first to suggest it, but those collections should be publicly owned: the banks should be, ahem, vigorously encouraged to hand them over and to cover the costs of preserving and exhibiting them.