Do you use debit cards much?

This may interest you.  In the Irish Independent

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Take the green consumer challenge

In the Irish Independent today.

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Shopping in Northern Ireland

I grew up in Lisburn, Co. Antrim but my folks now live in Derry city. This means I have more opportunities than most to avail of the cheaper prices in Northern Ireland.

Given the current recession, it’s a little harder now to feel sorry for retailers in the Republic whose businesses are suffering because of the rise in cross-border shopping, but the sheer expense of Christmas means that the flow of traffic northwards is unlikely to ease for at least the next few weeks.

In the Irish Independent today.

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Death and digital assets

When it comes to having an online presence, I’m a bit of a late developer.

Although I’ve had an email account since 1999, I only signed up to Facebook and LinkedIn last year.

And after resisting for a matter of months, I’m now on Twitter and I’ve also just set up my own website/blog, without being 100% sure exactly why I’m doing it.

However, I do know I’m not supposed to doing either of these things just for the sake of it. There is a purpose. I just don’t know what it is yet. But hopefully it will be fun figuring it out.

The long-winded point of this post is that in the process of starting all this, I had an idea for an article about what happens to your digital assets when you die, which has appeared today in the Irish Times.

Many thanks to Darragh Doyle, Grannymar, Ellybabes, Will Knott, Niall Kitson and Michele Neylon for their input.

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Irish Deaf News in ISL

I first started learning Irish Sign Language (ISL) more than 15 years ago while at college and have used it sporadically since then, but I’m still not as fluent as I would like to be. This is mainly because I only have a few deaf friends and don’t see them very often (partly due to my own laziness, it has to be said, but also because of where I live now).

This is unfortunate because the only way to become fluent in any language is practise, practise, practise. Nonetheless, I’m constantly fascinated by it and try to get as much exposure as I can.

Now, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) has created a new video ‘news channel’ on YouTube, which contains all kinds of short videos in ISL.

The main service on the channel is a weekly round-up in ISL of all the news stories that dominated the headlines during the week. It’s presented by members of the IDS staff, and is sent out on Fridays. Watching it is great practice.

It looks at first a bit like the RTE New for the Deaf, but there is a big difference. The most obvious one is that there are no subtitles, but the another big difference is that the news is delivered in ISL.

Now, you might assume that the sign language on RTE’s service is in ISL too, but it seems that as far as most people in the deaf community in Ireland are concerned it’s not. This includes most ISL linguistic experts.

This is a bit of a controversial issue, but in a nutshell, the view is that the RTE deaf news is more like Signed English than ISL. In other words, the signs are based more on the English language structure rather that of ISL, which is completely different.

The ISL on the IDS Deaf news certainly looks and feels more authentic, even in the eyes of this less-than-fluent user.

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The ‘Fair Deal’ explained

In the Irish Independent today.

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Great excuse to use a bicycle more often

I very much enjoy bicycles and cycling, but I’m not hugely fussed about the racing or sporting aspect of it as I am about bicycles as transport.

I’ve owned a few bicycles in my time, most of them with practical but very unfashionable accessories such as mudguards and racks. But the one item that has revolutionised my cycling is the front rack you see in the pictures.

Cetma front rack

Cetma front rack

It was bought from a very small US firm called Cetma as there is nothing else like it on the UK/Ireland or even European market to the best of my knowledge.

It means I can more or less cut out the car for short journeys around town, which mainly means trips to the supermarket/convenience store, and to pick up my 2 year old from childminder.

Most shopping loads are doable. I’ve even managed to cycle 1km from the petrol station back to my house with a heavy load of peat briquettes.

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    Milan Petrovic