Archive for February, 2008


Spotting a Foreigner

The folk I work with have disturbingly good English and it leaves me feeling quite inadequate. Nevertheless, I’ve picked up on some common mistakes that I hear occasionally:

  • Pronunciation of launched.
  • Referring to a bowl of cereals, and not just cereal. Fruit, and not fruits.
  • Pronunciation of tired (tīrd).
  • Using American pronunciations, especially data.
  • Misuse of lend, lent and borrow.
  • Mispronunciation of silent letters, such as in salmon (săm’ən) and iron (ī’ərn).
  • The Irish say appreciate and genuinely in a funny way and are bananas about using the word avail.
  • Saying 2 billions and not just 2 billion.
 Tags: Random   Published: 27th February '08

Wacky Ways to Land a Job

In a desperate attempt to get an internship, I once sent a large box containing a few helium balloons attached to my CV to the head honcho of a company. I never did get the job, but it made for an interesting conversation with the recipient when I met her some months later.

After a wee visit to the bathroom, I’ve dreamt up some other wacky ideas to try and get a job:

  • Send a strip-o-gram to hand deliver / sing your CV.
  • Get a courier to deliver you inside a box.
  • Hide inside a really large cake and jump out with your application.
  • Dress up as a product or company mascot.
  • Send your CV with a shoe tagged with the message “I just want to get my foot in the door.” (OK, I did steal this idea).
  • Send your application with some flowers.
  • Wrap up the CV like pass the parcel.
  • Plant your application somewhere in the building or town, and send a clue to the company so that they can ‘find the treasure’.
  • Create a covering letter with words cut out of newspapers.
  • Get the application professionally printed as a booklet.

Post a comment with your ideas.

 Tags: Random   Published: 27th February '08

Street Wars

A bit of a random thing that I randomly stumbled upon that kinda looks interesting. Here’s hoping that it comes to Dublin.

 Tags: Random   Published: 26th February '08

Meta Charity

With such a plethora of worthy charities pleading for your monthly commitment, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out how you can make a difference. It’s not possible to give to all the causes that you care about and this may play a part in why so few of us give at all. It’s a poor excuse – but I feel that it’s a reality for many.

This gave me the idea for a new way of giving; a ‘Meta Charity’. Individuals make a monthly pledge to this single entity, and utilise a web platform to dynamically decide how their donation is employed; based upon their value set.

Each charity is held in a database and attributed with all of its charitable activities. Users are questioned how they rate the relative importance of some specific social and economic issues, and this information is processed to provide a bespoke suggestion of how their donation could be distributed. With a large group of users, charities will still receive a worthwhile lump sum each month, whilst the individual feels that they are helping many issues in a way that was not previously possible. Moreover, the platform would allow the user to instantly redistribute funds; reflecting for current affairs and changing needs.

Technically, the concept is not overly complex. Furthermore, user submissions, ratings and volunteer moderators could be leveraged to reduce operational overheads. A single corporate sponsor should be easy to recruit given the lack of ties to any one organisation and help ensure that 100% of proceeds are put into use.

Meta Charity

Update: I submitted the idea to Facebook’s fbFund in late February. No response as yet.

Update #2: Facebook rejected my proposal for a fbFund grant. Too bad. Anyone else fancy donating some angel-level investment?

Update #3: I’ve purchased the domain name metacharity.com just in case I ever get around to developing this idea and can’t think of a better name.

 Tags: Business, Ideas, Internet   Published: 5th February '08