Monday, 31 March 2014

My week at Brown Bag Films

This week I was privileged with spending five days in the glorious Brown Bag Films buildings and it was truly amazing. At first I was nervous, a big organization with an impeccable reputation and that had an air of prestige whisk through the air whenever their name was uttered but from day one the people were so friendly and welcoming I was instantly put at ease. Everybody I met just had a contagious upbeat attitude that could make you want to laugh and dance like one of the characters in their many wonderful animations.

Day one consisted of me typing up conform-boards which was actually fun. I learnt that there is actually a ton of time consuming processes that go into creating, even just an eight minute animation. Time seemed to fly as I was submersed into this new word I had previously no experience with. There was not a lull or dull moment in the entire day and luckily the rest of the week would follow in the same style.

Day two was pretty similar although I was sitting in a different desk to the day before and would swap desks every day I felt comfortable, at ease and strangely at home. My work consisted of more conform boards and running around handing out post which was good because it gave me a chance to explore the builds and tackle the daunting task of meeting new people.

Wednesday brought me half way through the week and with it new jobs and new people. I travelled to the second build which Brown Bag Film employees inhabit. Every building, every office and desk and person is so colourful, bright and delightfully cheerful I got a new buzz and jolt of excitement with every new face and task, even with the mundane task of logging files and pasting signatures to drawings. It was nice though I felt really Involved and I really felt like I was helping which is was what I wanted. It up lifting. I also got the amazing chance to add to the Brown Bag Films blog site. I was grateful for the opportunity to flex my writing skills and thankfully I didn’t disappoint the people around me or myself.

Thursday was possibly my favourite day. I was honoured to be given the chance to spend the day writing about another passion of mine, cartoons. I spent basically my day writing about cartoons and what the mean to me and how the influenced my childhood. It was incredible. I truly loved it and it was so much I didn’t feel like I was working for a second of the whole day. I was just happy. It was my penultimate day and there was part of me just revelling in the environment just trying to savour every possible emotion and experience and conversation but I was just to enthralled in my so called work I was unable to soak it all up also there was just so much I could possibly retain it all.

Friday started off sombre and I lacked the spring in my step I had previously carried with me throughout the week. The train journey was filled with me with more of a melancholy temperament than usual. As I dolefully walk up to the building and up to reception I was again hit with the infectious smile of Meabh and the rest of the joyful bunch. Making the whole processes of saying good bye and farewell easier but in no way less disheartening. I flowed through the day with the thought of leaving out of mind and just enjoying the moment. I met more new people and learnt a lot more a lot the process of making a kids animated show. It was enlightening to say the least. Although the whole business is far from the career I wish to make my own I learnt that the distance is not all that big.

The entire week was nothing less than an immense pleasure and I can’t thank Brown Bag Films enough for everything, especially Meabh, Zoey and David who made the experience one that I will hold dear to my heart for ever.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Ravings of Love & Death An Anthology For Edgar Allan Poe Lovers

Ravings of love & death
An anthology for Edgar Allan Poe lovers

As a child David G. Forés discovered Edgar Allen Poe and became captivated and enthralled by the American who is credited as leading the American Romantic Movement. Now as an adult G. Forés has set his ambitions high by aiming to bring music and vision to the melancholy madness that fell from Edgar Allen Poe’s mind and onto paper. Two years ago David G.  Forés began illustrating Poe with both respect and terror as this project is the most intense task he has tackled in his career.
This is a fine tribute to Poe; The Master of Macabre as David G. Forés, along with others, affectionately crowns him.
This truly is a must have for any and all fans of Edgar Allen Poe and will surely entice the young and the old to discover and rediscover the much hailed poet.

Soundtrack Composed by Teo Grimalt.

My donate finger is twitching like mad.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sean Kelly On Introducing A Transfer Fee To Cycling and The Giro In Ireland

Sean Kelly has expressed his disappointment with the Irish Tourism Board saying it’s a ‘Scandal’ how little effort is going into promoting the Giro in Ireland.

Speaking in Belgium earlier this week Sean Kelly said ‘It’s great to see the Giro coming to Ireland’ but feels a lot of the opportunities Ireland had to benefit from the arrival of cycling second biggest race have already slipped through their fingers. ‘Back in Ireland, we've heard almost nothing about [The Giro]. There's so little about it.’ ‘The exposure it’s getting and the promotion is very very poor’. ‘The tool is there.’ He says the Irish Tourism Board should be utilising Dan Martin, Nicholas Roche, Stephen Roche and himself and ‘It all should have been done already, over these past four or five months’. ‘It's going to be a long time before we get to host a big stage race again in Ireland.’ ‘I think it's a scandal that Tourism Ireland are not doing something.’ 
Kelly also discussed the idea of introducing a transfer fee system into the sport. Teams like his An Post – Chain Reaction Cycles, a continental team, are seen as a development team which means when a Pro Continental team or World Tour team come along and want to sign one of their riders the team loses a man from their roster and with that the riders performances, results, and funding so the smaller teams are the losers at the moment. This is‘for the health of cycling’ Kelly explains. ‘A fee of ‘50 or 75’000’ wouldn't impact on the larger teams but would make a huge difference to the likes of An Post.
It is something Kelly has aired in the UCI when he was on the road commission before himself, Stephen Roche and Michael Robb got ‘thrown out’ when the new president, Brian Cookson, came on board.’ ‘If you have a good continental team which is there for many years and who look after riders in the right way [you need to support that] because there’s a lot of teams who are “cowboy” teams they’re there for one or two years then they disappear, they don’t pay their riders the riders are left in the middle of the season or after two months with no team. ‘You look after a rider for a year or two years and then a pro team comes and they’re poaching him from you’ Kelly explained ‘If you go to a pro continental team there should be a fee if you go to a world tour team there should be a bigger fee'. The continental teams are ‘so important’ because they take riders on at a vital time in their development. The UCI have said they'd look into it but, as Kelly suggests, it isn't a priority and could be a while before we see this implemented. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sean Kelly and Sir David Brailsford discussed signing Sam Bennett to Team Sky

Sean Kelly discussed signing Sam Bennett with Sky’s Sir Dave Brailsford last year.

In an interview with Sean Kelly during the build up to the launch of his team, An Post – Chain Reaction, for 2014 he discussed how he was in talks with Sky’s Sir Dave Brailsford about signing Sam Bennett on two occasions last year.

Sean Kelly revealed that early last season when Sir Dave Brailsford was looking to sign climber Philip Deignan the two also discussed the possibility of signing another Irishman, sprinter Sam Bennett. At the time Sky were sifting through the team’s riders and their history with a fine tooth comb after the revelation revealing the irregularities in the biological passport of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. Brailsford approached Kelly to talk about Philip Deignan and discus what he was capable of and if he was a safe signing. Kelly reassured Brailsford that ‘Deignan is a good rider [and] a talented rider’. After Sky secured its contract with Deignan it no longer had room for another Irish rider explained Kelly.

‘I spoke to Brailsford again at the tour of Britain and he was inquiring about Bennett’ said Kelly who also pointed out to Brailsford that confidence is an issue with young Bennett. ‘You need to have a guy who works with him if he’s going through difficult times that he doesn't lose the confidence’. ‘I said that to sky I said “if you can work with him. Then you've a guy, Sam, he can win sprints he can get some good results.” Unfortunately with Sky they already had an Irish guy and they had too many riders’.
Sam Bennett’s move to sign a two year contract with German Pro-Continental team NetApp – Endura may be a blessing in disguise kelly explains as with Sky he wouldn’t really get the chance to shine like Sam has already, sparing no time in securing his first pro win early in the season at the Clásica de Almería (and with a sizable gap too).

Team NetApp - Endura were not given a wild card invitation to this year’s Giro de Italia which starts in Ireland on 9th of May but were invited to the Tour de France which Sam Bennett expressed “I’d love to be able to do a Grand Tour like that in my first season,” “I would absolutely love to start [the Tour].”

When asked how he felt about NetApp – Endura not receiving a wild card from the Giro organisers, RCS Sport, Kelly said ‘I think the Giro mightn't be a good one so early in the year [for] Sam. I was thinking later on in the year the Vuelta.’ ‘[Sam] is twenty three he is going on twenty four this year I think to do a big tour [would be good for him], he doesn't have to do it all of course, and he’s the sprinter of the team so there is a possibility of him going there for ten days.’ ‘We could see him doing that at the tour.’ With the Vuelta route presenting twelve mountain top finishes Kelly said although ‘as sprinters go he is able to climb pretty well. He’s stronger then the really top sprinter’ Sam won’t be able to cope with the volume of climbs in this year’s edition of the Spanish race. ‘I haven’t looked at the programme seriously but in the early part of the race there’s surely a number of days there with flat stages, the mountain days you just get through.’ ‘The Vuelta wouldn’t be a problem for [Sam] to go there for ten days’. But the organisers of the Spanish Grand Tour announced its wild card picks yesterday and unfortunately Net App-Endura were not one of the four teams named so if Bennett is to make a Grand Tour appearance this year if it will be in Le Tour were The German Pro continental team were already invited.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

An Post - Chain Reaction Cycles 2014 Team Launch

An Post - Chain Reaction Cycles 2014 Team Launch 

The 2014 cycling season is underway and with the spring classics just around the corner the An Post – Chain Reaction Team, headed by Sean Kelly and Kurt Bogaerts, is ready to show off its new kit and rising Talents. The Irish team based in Belgium launched its seventh year on the road in Brussels’ Shamrock Hotel, yesterday evening in front of sponsors, Irish and Belgian journalists and Jeff Liffey head of Cycling Ireland. With new signings, Irish riders Conor Dunne and Marcus Christie and Australian native Robert-Jon McCarthy, fresh motivation and an indomitable attitude 2014 is set to be a good one for An Post - Chain Reaction.
The team is setting out to improve on the success of last year with two stage wins in the RAS and A stage in the Tour of Britain, With former team-mate Sam Bennett now riding for the German team NetApp – Endura, it’s a tall order but with the talent of Jack Wilson and Sean Downey it is not out of reach. Trying to improve on last year’s performance may be ‘Pushing the boat out too far’ but ‘I feel we can do something the same, we have the pool of riders that are capable of doing that.’ Said Sean Kelly. With the Tour of Britain moving up to new race category (1.1HC) the Team no longer get handed a spot and need to fight hard for a place in this year’s addition. But with talent such as Jack Wilson and Sean Downey both Sean Kelly and Kurt Bogaerts believe they can do it.
The Team has signed a new two year contract with title sponsors An Post and ‘we are a very happy with the deal’ Kelly said. Co-title sponsor CRC are entering their second year with the team ‘Chain Reaction is very important because if we did have Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) these past years we wouldn’t be able to [run] the team, we’d have to make cut backs somewhere. We’ve upped our training camps and our race programme, without CRC’. As Co-Manager Kurt Bogaerts illustrates ‘There is no certainty with cycling’ sponsors come and go. CRC also provided the Vitus bike for the team which Sean Kelly and the team have lent a hand in designing. The Whole team seem motivated and in high spirits, with a very relaxed atmosphere but one thing is for certain they won’t be taking it easy on the road or their competitors.

Friday, 24 January 2014

90% of the Giro peloton were doping the other '10% don't care about the Giro d'Italia'.

90% of the Giro peloton were doping the other '10% don't care about the Giro d'Italia'.

Winner of the 2007 Giro Danilo Di Luca (who will probably have that title taken off him now) said in an interview with Italia 1 that 90% of the peloton were doping during the sports second largest race, the Tour of Italy, which aired on Wednesday night. This has sparked outrage throughout the cycling world between professionals, journalist and fans. Team Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky got some attention when he tweeted '[Di Luca's] statements are delusional. I feel genuine hatred towards Di Luca. He's a worthless lying scumbag'.                                    
Doping is a subject that has been of main concern for cycling for decades and the world got a very large and bitter mouth full of it in January of last year when Lance Armstrong admitted to doping throughout his seven Tour de France victories in an interview with Oprah. Now, 12 months later, Danilo Di Luca has gotten the cycling community up in arms with his 'delusional' accusations. Without naming people he has ignited a flame that could potentially burn a lot of people and with plans to release a book I'm sure there are some worried people out there in cycling community. Prime Italian newspaper Gazzetta have asked what does Di Luca want out of this. 'A high-profile trial with shocking revelations? Tyler Hamilton like attention? 'This could become the Armstrong affair of Italy, considering the level of person [Di Luca is, in Italy].' I don't think people would waste money by paying for a book written by a disgraced and widely hated ex-professional who has recently been described as 'an idiot' by many people including Luca Scinto who was Di Luca's directeur sportif last year before he was fired for a positive EPO test. 'I was against hiring him' says Scinto, claiming he only hired him to secure funding for the team. I guess with statements like 'The best thing would be to legalise drugs so the entire peloton is on a level playing field' it is hard to disagree with Vincenzo Nibali( current Giro champion) that Di Luca is 'at the end of his tether' and 'has become a little brain-damaged'. That is contemptible talk but it seems like he doesn't care. 'It doesn't change a lot.' 'I feel I can say anything. Whoever was my fan will remain my fan and whoever wasn't a fan won't be a fan now' Di Luca said when being questioned about his statements on Wednesday night. A man comfortable with himself and obviously doesn't care what others think of him. With three doping violations to his name he has not apologised to the sport and it fans, it's almost safe to say remorse is not in Di Luca's vocabulary or whatever the Italian is for remorse (rimorso. I looked it up). Danilo Di Luca was banned for life on December 5th 2013 by Italian National Olympic Committee.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Are you happy?

Imagine, one day you have it all together and the next you don't. It's scary right? Well, that is what happened

You wake up, you suffer through traffic, you get to work and you let the day pass you by, you watch in agony the minutes tick way on the clock. This is your life ticking away, counting down to the end, your end. You die a little bit everyday. We're all heading to the same place. Is it what you want? Sitting in your office, wishing time away, is this what you wanted when you were a kid. Is this the life you envisioned for yourself? The world is becoming a bigger place everyday. It's becoming easier to get lost. It's becoming easier to be forgotten. Everything is becoming manufactured, mass produced, products and people. Young people are dressing the same. Teenagers all wearing the same clothes and same hair styles as if they've just fallen out of a River Island catalogue. And it's getting worse. You don't want to just blend in like these mindless victims of advertising and P.R managers. You don't want an expensive tie and shirt because you saw Leonardo DiCaprio wear it, you just think you do because you are unhappy in your own life and you think if you wear the clothes and own the watch that you will be just like Leonardo DiCaprio, a happy and successful man but you won't. Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken. I hope you are beginning to learn that fact. Following a leader is dangerous. Fuck that, be your own leader. You need to throw away everything you know about the importance of material possessions, forget your assumptions of civilisation and let go. Just let go. It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
Ask yourself right now are you happy? You don't know? Ask again. If you still don't know then I'll tell you. No you are not happy. You now need to make changes. This will not be easy but you've done what comes easy and look where it has landed you. Today you've seen the light and you will start your transformation.
Start with little changes and move on to bigger more life altering changes. But the most important of all, first think of what you really want, think hard. Now start thinking of a plan. How you are going to get there?Make it a mission statement. Make one small step closer to your goal everyday.
Now I'm not saying go out quite your job, not right now anyway. Locate your target, set a game plan and put that plan in motion. If your plan is to quite your job and acquire your dream job then find what skills that job requires get them and then quite your job and don't look back. Fear is a great motivation tool.
People on their death beds always have a list, they always have fear in their eyes. You don't want to be like that. You are going to die. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. It is the only certain thing in your life right now. You need to know this, not fear it, know it. I'm not going to vomit some fucking crap about live each day to the fullest or live each day as if it were your last but I will say don't die with a to do list and don't fear death. Easier said then done but it is possible. You can and will be happy but only you have the power to make it happen.
Do you want to wear the same clothes as everybody else? Do you want to be a leader or a follower? Weak or strong? Loser or winner?  I don't and I rather be a leader, a winner. Do you want to wake up tomorrow and relive that sickening feeling, that "Oh fuck this is my life" feeling? Do you want to go back to your shitty job, your dull apartment or empty house and watch T.V just because the noise drowns out the loneliness. No! Fuck that. I won't do it and neither will you.
Maybe being a minimalist is the way to go. It would certainly cause us less stress. I mean there is near war over next generation games systems. It makes me sick. It's not essential to our lives, to our happiness, to our worth or survival but we crave it. We have become weak as a race. Humans have become dependant on each other to the point where we are constantly on Twitter, Facebook and every other site (sometimes simultaneously) looking for attention and companionship.
Can you really have friends if you don't even know who you are? I don't think so. Not true friends anyway. Be a fucking human being not a by-product of some lifestyle template. Be an individual not another member of some conformity. BE HAPPY. Be truly happy. Never wish time away again. Never do anything without thinking "Is this really what I want". Don't fear death, be ready. Then maybe, just maybe, you'll be remember