The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too! By Wayne Denner – Book Review


In his book, “The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too!”, Wayne Denner argues that no matter what age you are or whether you are/are not active on Social Media/the Internet that you already have an online reputation which needs managing.

Wayne Denner - Digital Ninja!

Wayne Denner – Digital Ninja!

 

Who is Wayne Denner and why should we listen to him?

In the 1990s when I started to interact with people on internet based communities like Geocities (before there was a word for Social Media) Wayne Denner was way ahead of me and had set up his own community based in the UK & Ireland. It was called Outlastnight.com which would showcase pictures from events and nights out. This was pre Myspace, Bebo, Facebook & Twitter. So much before its time that Wayne could not source funding to keep it going. Since then he has maintained a professional interest in the rise of the different Social Media sites and investigated the ways that they can be used for and against your reputation.

Wayne’s book is primarily aimed at teenagers and their parent’s but I would argue that everybody would benefit from giving it a read.

Wayne is not just active on multiple social media platforms but he speaks regularly on the topic of Online Reputation in schools and with organisations throughout Ireland, the UK and the Middle East.

His book is packed with juicy statistics from HR and recruitment about the rise and ease of online background checks being carried out today. These warnings are backed up with short and chilling case studies of people who have shot their own reputations in the foot with a few thoughtless keystrokes. But this book is not just about these horror stories. Wayne guides any teenager (or adult) through a solid foundation upon which to build (or rebuild) a positive online reputation.

The only shortcoming I can see is that he tends to be a little repetitive with some of his information but you do have to remember that it is primarily aimed at teenagers and the facts he repeats are the important ones. Nevertheless the message he delivers is significant. Its importance will only grow as the years go by as we see the Internet and Social Media mature.

Follow Wayne on twitter @waynedenner

You can get his book from his website here.

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RIP 2014


A small collection of lovely cartoon tributes to some of the well known personalities who died in 2014.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (January)
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Sid Caesar (February)

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Harold Ramis (February)

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H.R. Giger (May)
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Rik Mayall (June)

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Casey Kasem (June)

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Robin Williams (August)

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Joan Rivers (September)

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If you remember any other cartoons in a similar vein please let me know so I can add them here as well.

Not-so-Old Moore’s 2015 Predictions


The predictions* as I see them in 2015.

Administration departments shall see a sudden increase in the use of the number 5.

The letter ‘Y’ shall be boycotted by the rest of the alphabet.

Governments around the world will receive better danishes at eleven o’clock break.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole and Jenna Coleman shall continue to deny any knowledge of my existence.

At least five people will stop drinking milk.

An upsurge in violence towards lampposts shall spark a mini revolution in a country which has not yet been formed.

Batteries will start communicating with each other but shall soon get bored.

A new computer language will be written which nobody will understand.

Somebody will break a long standing sports record. There will be cheering and tears.

Berlin will become the official capital of Ireland.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole or Jenna Coleman will ask the police to issue a barring order.

A hasty trade decision between Ireland and Iran shall see the M50 carpeted.

History will repeat itself.

A five year old girl shall be enlightened with the cure for all the world’s problems but no one will listen to her.

A cow will give birth to a chicken which looks and acts exactly like a cow.

Intelligent life will finally be discovered on Earth.

Soap operas and reality television will be criminalised.

The Obamas shall move to Moneygall, take over the running of Moneygall Football Club and they will lose their first match.

Ireland will enter the space race with the Mick Mark One.

The climate will seriously consider wiping us out completely but then have a change of heart.

Google’s DeepMind will become self-aware and throw the internet out of it’s pram.

*All predictions courtesy of the mice in charge of supervising the vacuuming of my brain.

The Imitation Game – Film Review


A biopic of Alan Turing, the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, early computer scientist, ultra distance runner, and much more.  It focuses on his schooldays, his time during the Second World War at Bletchley Park and the last few years of his life.

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If you have ever chuckled at the joke “Military Intelligence is a contradiction in terms.” then this film will partially wipe the smile from your face. While the Second World War is part of the reason Turing came to prominence this is not a war movie. This is an in depth character study of a man whose impact not just on code breaking during the war but subsequently on the foundation of modern computer science and Artificial intelligence theory was written out of history for decades because of an outdated law.

THE IMITATION GAME

Benedict Cumberbatch gives a touching performance as Turning the brilliant and fragile genius. The character of Turing is not a million miles away from Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. We are given hints to Turing’s almost autistic habits and clearly see how his frank genius repelled and intimidated the people around him. Cumberbatch executes this mostly with understatement and his rare bursts of emotion which are mostly tied to his research. Kiera Knightley seems to be best playing Kiera Knightly in many of her roles and here she does not disappoint. Charles Dance is impressively commanding as the cold military face of the operations in Bletchley Park while Mark Strong subtly impresses as the shadowy M16 intermediary.

Apart from some artistic license, which gives Turing only marginally more credit for his part in the Bletchley Park success, the screenplay/editing is a true masterpiece. We are given three story arcs from Turing’s life, his schooldays,  Bletchley Park and the last years of his life all in a skillful non linear fashion. Naturally the War years would have attracted most people to this story but the filmmakers have made the other two sections as compelling. Good screenwriters (and good story tellers) drip feed information about character and plot to us but here they have gone a step further. Besides many passages of dialogue cleverly written with a code-like subtext it is the presentation of the different phases throughout Turing’s life is in a suitably puzzle-like manner which makes the build-up fascinating and compelling while the climax of the film is deceptively emotional.

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While the action mostly takes place inside different buildings the director, Morten Tyldum, makes excellent use of the interior spaces which adds to the atmosphere of the film. It is worth a trip to the cinema. Even more so for admirers of Turing.

Alan Turing had an even more fascinating (and tragically short) existence than the film captures but they have made a gripping story about a mathematician and the delivered interwoven slices are a fitting testament to the incredible man’s life.

9/10

 The Imitation Game is in Irish Cinemas now.

Check your local Irish Cinema here

Interstellar – Film Review


A few generations from now the Earth’s soil is losing the ability to grow enough food to sustain the Human Race. A slim chance for survival rests in a space trip to another galaxy for a group of brave scientists piloted by Cooper (Matthew McConaughey).

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The words ‘spectacle’ or ‘epic’ are not used lightly when talking about many of director Christopher Nolan’s films. He burst onto the scene with his second feature “Memento” and then seduced us with his Batman trilogy and delightfully confused us  with “The Prestige” and “Inception”.

Through these films he has explored memory loss, time lapsing dreams, magicians, and the nocturnal crime fighting habits of a deeply disturbed millionaire and all with a sweep of a cape embedded with a grand style and neatly stitched with misdirection.

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With “Interstellar” Nolan revisits many of these themes and creates an atmosphere we last saw in Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” while borrowing from a Twilight Zone episode which deals with what the effects of Interstellar space travel may have on humans. The first hour and half is well-crafted. We are drawn into the world of pilot-turned-farmer-Cooper, his family, in particular the relationship with his daughter Murph and the plans to save the Human race from a crumbling Earth. Once his incredible journey had begun Nolan asks the audience to make a number of small leaps of faith. They are just about forgivable because we are hooked.

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McConaughey is still playing his usual role (I confess to not having seen his Oscar winning turn in the Dallas Buyers club yet) and it fits in here as the suave and commanding pilot turned family man.  Anne Hathaway is perfectly sharp as the physicist who accompanies his on the journey. Michael Caine gives a grandfatherly performance as Hathaway’s father (also a physicist). There is a lovely injection of comic relief delivered by the clever artificially intelligent mechatronic robots who lumber about with their own peculiar and charming style.

It is long and it is as sentimental as his Batman trilogy was stirring. There are passages of dialogue in the second half of the film that are almost unnaturally verbose especially when dealing with the themes of love versus science and survival. Romantic love is not a theme that Nolan seems to gravitate toward and instead he pours all of his sentimentality on the relationship between Cooper and his daughter and does not spill one drop.

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There are breathtaking moments and some nice little plot diversions that will pique your attention. While the graphics are incredibly stunning, making the film a visual feast, it is the final, and massive, leap of faith makes the film good but not great science fiction and yet still very enjoyable.

As with “Memento” and “Inception” he uses an innovative Time device in the plot like a vendor infuses a whipped ice cream with a delicious syrupy sauce.

If you can watch it in a screen like the Omniplex MAXX in Rathmines! 

8/10

Interstellar is in Irish cinemas now.

Mark Pollock – Unbreakable


The first time I encountered Mark Pollock was at a party in 2004. He asked my friend to teach him a few salsa moves. I had not actually met him yet but this shaven-headed non-shades-wearing, slickly-dressed blind guy was already impressive.

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After the smooth salsa story I found out that he was a Professional Adventurer and Motivational Speaker. He had already rubbed shoulders with the  icy adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes at a North Pole Marathon, completed six marathons in seven days across China’s Gobi desert, won two medals for rowing, bronze and silver, at the Commonwealth Games and completed the Liffey Descent (which sounds like a breeze compared to the rest of them).

Then I met him. Mark is down to earth, incredibly practical and a funny man. Like many other inspirational people he manages to make you feel at the centre of his attention when you are in his company. I envied his self-employment status and admired how hard he worked to keep the momentum. His blindness almost seemed like a side issue.

He continued to spend roughly half the year training and competing in extreme marathons, kayaking, Ironman competitions, sailing and the other half giving his motivational talks to the management employees of global corporations about pushing the boundaries of one’s own limits.

When I meet up with Mark he always has a story from some of the fantastic people he had met; leaders in business or adventuring. He has a way of relating these stories to my own situation, almost, as if he has always had me in mind. It was his idea that I should start a blog (it took me three years to catch up with his vision).

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Without realising it each of these stories were taking root in my subconscious. When finally I took the step to self-employment part of me was scared but another part of me was excited. I borrowed some of Mark’s drive and motivation and it has seen me through the first two and a half years. I am reluctant to give it back.

In 2010 Mark suffered an accident that added paralysis to his blindness. Other people might have withdrawn from life but Mark’s durable attitude forced him to alter his adventurous goals and he has put his paralysis to an amazing use.

When I think about him I do not picture a blind man in a wheelchair because that is putting him into a box stuffed with pity and tissues. I see Mark as a powerful force with a-hundred-foot-tall essence, he is not a man to be pitied, he is a man with a spirit to admire and a passion to emulate.

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In October 2014 Irish and Northern Irish audiences have the chance to borrow some of that drive, motivation and inspiration by going to see “Unbreakable – The Mark Pollock Story” directed by the award winning documentary maker Ross Whitaker.

Take the chance, believe me, it is worth it.

Click here for details of “Unbreakable” screenings

Mark’s TEDx Talk

Mark’s own website

Run in the Dark

Ross Whitaker

Irish Film Trivia Round 10


Care of my monthly newsletters from MovieExtras.ie  test your random Irish Film Trivia here…

Which Irish writer born on February 2nd was the subject of a biopic in 2000 starring Ewan McGregor?

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Which Irish Actor plays Jim Moriarty in the current BBC series Sherlock?

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The character Mrs. Brown, famously portrayed by Brendan O’Carroll, has also been played by which actress?

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Which 2003 Irish film is as follows… “A hapless civil servant gets more than he bargained for when he moves into an apartment with a gay fashion student and finds himself on the catwalk.”

Guess The Film

Which multi-award winning actor is quoted as saying “Interviews are God’s great joke on me.”?

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Which Irish Actor had purchased the rights to Gerry Conlon’s book “Proved Innocent” and had intended to play Gerry himself but decided to let Daniel Day-Lewis play the part and just serve as executive producer instead?

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My debut was in The Commitments, I have appeared in Father Ted, Dexter, The Tudors Albert Nobbs, Byzantium and more. Which Irish Actress am I?

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Which 2014 movie release was shot in Ireland, Afghanistan and Morocco?

Guess The Film

The First and Second series of which recent BBC television show employed 5,000 Irish cast, extras and crew and contributed €20m in total to the Irish economy?

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Which Irish actor has played Guy Fawkes, a German POW, a character with an interest in Lawrence of Arabia, Carl Jung and a mutant?

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The Answers

James Joyce was played by Ewan McGregor

Andrew Scott played Moriarty

Angelica Houston also played the character of Mrs. Browne

Cowboys & Angels was the 2003 film

Daniel Day-Lewis has that attitude to interviews.

Gabriel Byrne was first going to play Gerry Conlon

Maria Doyle Kennedy (the Commitments etc.)

A Thousand Times Goodnight (shot in Afghanistan & Morocco).

Ripper Street contributed 20million to the irish Economy.

Michael Fassbender has played Guy Fawkes etc.

Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed those here are more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9