Belfast Telegraph

Screen talk: scrolling through uplifting stories on your iPad is a great way to pass an hour

Let me tell you the good news about spending time on Facebook 

God bless Facebook. It's the one place where you can consistently find stories that lift the heart. If the mainstream media was our only view onto the world, we'd be convinced we're living in the nastiest, most corrupt, frightening epoch since fish walked out of water and onto land (or since God created everything just the way it is 6,000 years ago, depending on whether you use your brain for rational thought or just as a device to store nonsense).

Finger pointing: our general human instinct is to always put people down

Life turned upside down two years ago today, but I'm still standing 

Due to lots of re-decorating in the house, my writing position has been shifted around a fair bit in the last few weeks. So instead of sitting up in bed to write on the laptop, or sitting at a desk in the back room upstairs looking out over trees and playing fields, I'm this week sitting at a desk in the front room upstairs looking out at people and cars and vans coming and going on the street below. It's a different perspective altogether.

Street life: crowds in Belfast’s Holylands on St Patrick’s Day

Boozing student hordes need to learn lessons in decent behaviour 

The good people of Newry and Mourne District Council area were offended last week by an advertisement encouraging people not to let their dogs defecate in public without cleaning up after them. Loads took to the council website to protest the video of a man squatting and appearing to poop on the street. The strapline saying, "STOP! You wouldn't crap in the street, so why let your dog crap on Newry and Mourne?", was deemed too extreme by many rate-payers.

In the frame: the elderly are often the first to suffer during budget cuts. Picture posed

Maybe leaving old folk to starve is recipe for financial success 

Might I make a modest proposal, in this time of economic austerity and swingeing (not swinging, swingeing, it's a totally different ball game) budget cuts to public services? Since "cost-effective" is the latest target/guideline/over-used phrase in the public sector, I think this proposal stands a good chance of being well received by the uberbelt-tightenfuhrers, sorry, bosses in charge of the purse strings, up on the hill and in all the over-warm offices of middle-tier officialdom across the province/statelet/occupied six counties.

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