Monthly Archives: December 2010

Postgraduate Essentials 1

My external harddrive that I used to back-up all my files for the last couple of years suddenly died a couple of months ago.  Needless to say, I was pretty devastated.  However, I still had all my files on my computer so I wasn’t too bummed out.  But, since then I have been a lot more careful about making sure I have copies and backups of all my important documents and all the work that I am producing/submitting.

I still haven’t got round to purchasing a new external hard-drive, mostly due to the fact that I just don’t have any fluid cash right now because I am paying so much in fees, but I would of course recommend strongly that everyone has one.  I am currently saving for one.

In the interim however I discovered the joys of DropBox.  DropBox gives 2GB of free online storage, also the files stay loaclised to any machine you download your DropBox program to.  That way, you’ve always got access to your important files online, or indeed any computer with your DropBox.  You can also set up shared files.  So, for example, my wife and I have a shared file where we are able to store copies of our important documents (e.g. Marriage Certificate, Passport Details, etc.) this means that each of us can access these files quickly and easily anytime we like.  You can of course complete certain tasks to earn more storage, but because I use it, mostly, for storing University or Work related documents I find the 2GB ample and generous.

Please, sign up to DropBox, give it a whirl.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

I was not solicited, or paid to write this post.  This is a no obligation review of a service that I enjoy.  Links provided to DropBox are affiliated with my account.  This means that, in the event of you subscribing via one of the links above it will credit my account with more storage.

Israel/Palestine Barrier

Today I have been studying the controversy surrounding the ‘peace barrier’ in Israel/Palestine. I’m not going to bore you with facts, figures and graphs that are readily available in abundance on the internet, but the subject got me thinking about the woder issues of Peace Barriers and Peace Walls.

Being from Belfast, Northern Ireland (North Belfast no less) I am no stranger to seeing these barriers. I have witnessed the division that they have caused in communities.

‘It seems that conflict resolution has been forgotten, whilst the concrete industry is thriving’ – The Guardian (full citation to follow).

It seems to me, at least in the case of Belfast that these barriers do nothing but deepen and further entrench ethnic cleavages. Perhaps it’s still too early to have any concrete evidence on Israel/Palestine, but I dare say we’ll see the same thing here. I realise this is a very idealistic approach and that the world of International Politics is still very much dominated by a sense of realism – so I certainly don’t propose arbitrarily and hastily tearing these walls down to the detriment of the communities through which they run – but – simply can’t help but wonder would the peace processes be quicker in coming, more stable in the long run and more viable that they have been had the walls never been built. Were the powers that be – those who built the walls – acting simply with short solutions in mind, did they even consider the wider ramifications?

Once again I’m writing from the bus so please excuse any spelling mistakes, and I cannot link anything or provide footnotes because I don’t have all the necessary materials with me. I will try and add these at a later time.

Special Relationships in International Relations

I am currently writing a paper for my Politics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict class exploring the so called special relationship between the US and Israel and whether or not it would be in Israeli best interest to end the relationship.

At the beginning of my research for this paper my answer seemed simple. A special relationship was one formed around a common enemy and the protection of shared interests, but upon further exploration it certainly doesn’t seem quite so cut and dry. Or, perhaps as my research has progressed I’ve become even more idealist. But, the whole Irish Crisis, I’ve become acutely atuned to the fact that a special relationship is not formed in opposition to a common enemy (state) but in opposition to a common threat, or in unity to a common benefit.

All this thinking for a bus journey…man I’m deep!

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