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Showing posts from August, 2017

A downward cycle? On the declining state of Coca Cola Zero Bikes in Cork

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Okay, I’m the first to admit that I’m biased when it comes to cycling, but even more than two years after Coca Cola Zero Bikes in Cork started operations, I still consider the system to be one of the biggest assets to the city’s transport system, and easily the biggest improvement to come into the city in the 21st century, together with a small, but expanding network of bike lanes. While current roadworks in the city have temporarily made cycling quite a bit more treacherous, the impact it has had on Cork is noticeable, and the adoption rate nothing less than phenomenal. Just two weeks ago, figures published by Ireland’s National Transport Authority showed that Leesiders had taken just under 720,000 trips with the black and red bikes since the system started operations in December 2014. In comparison, Galway and Limerick just about managed 43,000 and 90,000 trips respectively in the same timespan. There are currently just over 10,000 active subscribers in Cork alone, and the number ha…

The LinkedIn Paradox

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Social Media - Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t really avoid ‘em these days. It appears everybody and their aunt is on at least one social media platform these days. Whether it’s Twitter, Snapchat, whatever that may be, or Facebook, the social network that everyone loves to hate, but that no one seems to be willing to leave or replace, there appears to be a platform for just about everyone, and everything. And like every major new trend, these platforms have not only attracted their fair, and sometimes patently unfair, share of criticism, but have also cultivated their own microcosm with its own etiquette, and social norms. However, the purpose of these platforms has always been pretty much the same: To enable their users to remain in contact with friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and if need be even relatives; to allow users to present and express themselves in ways that seemed almost impossible previously. With that specific aim, and the extreme proliferation of such platforms over…

Livin' the tug life

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The German version of this article can be found here.
This is a story about me, my parents, and a tugboat. Yep, sounds weird, doesn’t it? I can assure you there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, though. And it isn’t just because I was born into an absolutely crazy family. Okay, okay, I admit it. It IS because I was born into an absolutely crazy family. You see, my family didn’t move into the house I grew up in until shortly after I was born. Before that, they rented a place in a nondescript housing estate in another part of the same village. One of their neighbours in that other part of town was one of those old-style mariners, one who had scaled back to commanding a tugboat in the port of Hamburg for the last years of his career. To be totally honest with you, that guy scared the hell out of me when I was a boy. His handshake hat all the force of of a hydraulic excavator, and his gruff manor left me distinctly uncomfortable during my younger years. He did get on great with m…