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Some interesting radio shows on science subjects.

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          Some interesting radio shows on science subjects.


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Click on:  I have a WHAT?



How do you know you are dreaming.

An interesting discussion on the facts, act, benefit of cognitive-dreaming.


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I have a what now?!

Show: Futureproof

In this week’s ‘I have a what now’ it’s the ‘Suprachiasmatic nucleus’ which controls circadin rhythms. In partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

I have what? – coccyx – via the skull.


DIY – Fly Trap

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Fly Trap – or feed the fish !
Description; Original article;

This section is from the book “Shop Projects Based On Community Problems“, by Myron G. Burton. Also available from Amazon: Shop Projects Based on Community Problems.

Fly Trap


Basswood (Chap. III., Par. 31).

8 pcs. 3/8″xl”xl2 1/2″ S 2 S Sides. 8 pcs. 3/8″xl”x 7 1/2″ S 2 S Cross pieces. 5 pcs. 1/2″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Top pes.

8 pes. 1/4″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Trim. 3 dozen 1″ brads.

3 dozen 1/2″ brads.

1 1/2 dozen 3/8″ corrugated nails.

1 yard 24″ screen wire.

9 dozen small tacks.

1 piece 5/32″ Bessemer rod 8″ long.

2 screw eyes No. 114.

1 pair 3/4″x3/4″ brass hinges. 1 small clasp.

Introductory Statement

Recent investigation has proven that the common housefly is a very dangerous enemy to human life. The fact that it spreads disease and is in every way undesirable is sufficient reason why everybody should be as careful as possible to prevent its increase. One of the most successful ways to wage war on flies is to screen our homes so as to shut them out, and then leave no uncovered garbage pails or any other feeding places for them.

In cities where everybody has been interested in disposing of flies the results have been very encouraging. School children have helped wonderfully by engaging in fly-catching contests.

You can do a great practical good for your own home and community by making this flytrap carefully and using it throughout the fly season.


The House Fly as Disease Carrier, L. O. Howard. Published by F. A.

Stokes Pub. Co., New York. U. S. Bulletin No. 459, and U. S. Bulletin No. 679, House Flies. Insects and Disease, Doane. Henry Holt & Co. Our Household Insects, Butler. Longmans, Green Co. Household Insects and Methods of Control, Bulletin No. 3, Ithaca, N. Y. U. S. Bulletin No. 155, How Insects Affect Health. Fly Traps and Literature. International Harvester Co., Chicago. Winter War on Flies, Willard Price, Technical World, February, 1915. Our Insect Friends and Enemies, John Smith. J. B. Lippincott Pub. Co.

Fly Trap

Suggestions For Original Design

Glass Fruit Jar

WlTh Opening In LlD

Fly Trap Specifications

The Side Strips

You will probably have to rip your material from stock; select the best surface of your stock for a working face (Chapter II., Paragraph 2); plane one edge for a working edge (Chapter II., Paragraph 4). With the marking gauge, gauge the width of the strips on both surfaces of the stock (Chapter II., Paragraph 6). Rip just outside the line; plane to the gauge lines. Prepare all the side strips in like manner. Saw them the required length. Notice that on two sides of the fly trap, the side strips are narrower than on the other two sides. This is done so the four sides will be equal when assembled. Miter the lower end of each strip, as shown in the drawing.

The Side Cross Rails

Rip out and plane the side cross rails in the same manner in which you have made the side strips. Cut all these rails the required length, as shown in the drawing. They may be easily and accurately sawed in the square cut of a miter box.

Assembling The Body Of The Trap

Each side is merely a rectangular frame. Lay two side strips flat on your bench top with the two cross rails in such position as to form a frame; make the angles square and fasten with corrugated nails(Chapter II., Paragraph 23). Assemble all sides in like manner. Cut screen wire the proper size and cover the inside of each frame; fasten the screen wire in position with small tacks. Assemble the four frames box fashion; they should be joined with a plain butt joint (Chapter II., Paragraph 60) at each corner; fasten with brads (Chapter II., Paragraph 21).

The Lid

The lid is a square frame (with a cross bar in the middle for the handle) joined at the corners with plain butt joints (Chapter V., Paragraph 60), fastened with brads. Square the stock for the lid (Chapter II., Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4); cut each piece the required dimensions; assemble as explained; cover with screen wire. Strips of wood 1/4″ thick are to be used as a trim on the lid, to cover the tacks and add to the appearance of the work; miter this trim at each corner (Chapter V., Paragraph 64); fasten it on with brads.

The Inside Wire Pyramid

In order to cut the screen wire for this piece you should make a pattern of paper; if you will draw fourtriangles (each of the size of one side, as shown in the drawing) adjoining each other, you will have a correct pattern. Allow about an inch to make the lap; bend into proper shape; with a piece of the wire weave the open corner securely together; place in position and fasten with tacks. These tacks may also be covered with a trim just as you did the lid.

The Handle

Bend the wire to form the handle; attach with two screw eyes. Fasten the lid in position with two small hinges and put on the fastening. Plane off uneven places if there are any. Stain some dark color (Chapter IV., Paragraph 54).

Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.

1. A very satisfactory and convenient fly trap may be made of any ordinary glass fruit jar, as shown in the Suggestions. The entire central portion of the lid is cut out. A slender cone is made of screen wire with a small opening at the point. This cone may be attached to the lid by having a number of small holes punched around the opening in the lid, through which a small wire can be so woven as to bind the cone securely. A thin piece of wood, with four tacks or small nails, so driven as to extend slightly above the surface, will make a satisfactory base. In a trap of this kind the flies may be easily killed by pouring in boiling water.

2. An all-metal fly trap can be made from the lid of an old paint bucket, a few scraps of heavy fence wire and a piece of screen wire. The screen wire is rolled into a cylinder just as large as the bucket lid, which is to form the top. The screen wire cylinder is woven to the rim of the lid through small holes, as indicated in the drawing. A hoop of fence wire of the same diameter as the lid is attached to the other end of the cylinder, to hold it in shape. The inside cone of screen wire is attached to a second hoop of the same size as the first. The cone is placed in position, and if properly made will fit so closely that it will not require fastening. Small pieces of wire may be attached to form legs about a half-inch long. A sheet of tin, or an old pie tin will answer for a base.

Web 3.0 – Marketing.

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As we leave Web 2.0 and move to Web 3.0 companies will face an ever-more demanding public. Web 3.0 will involve the public, as never before, as setting the agenda for consumer goods and services. One must ask how can we as accommodation suppliers provide adequate choice and comfort to guests without compromising quality, safety and still maintain profits.

Note Web 3.0 is based on the idea that the Internet ‘understands’ the pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them that is to say machines will recover and retain information and ‘match’ our meanderings on the web with possible ‘wish-list’ advertising/articles in a forward-thinking way. Web 3.0 will troll pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them. This will ‘enhance’ the the optimilasation

‘With Web 3.0, it’s about the Web becoming smarter, getting to know you better from your browsing history (and all you’ve contributed to it during Web 2.0) and automatically delivering content to you that is relevant.’ (BIZCOMMUNITY.COM 13TH MAY 2010)

According to sites such as and

Sustainability in Older Buildings.

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Improving the Insulation on Older/Poorly-Built Buildings.

AKA Raising the B.E.R. on (older) buildings.

The B.E.R. Rating. Building Energy Regulations of a building means to improve it’s insulation and ultimately to lower its eco-footprint and cost in terms of fuel-consumption. It’s a frightening thought that buildings bought before the UK building boom of the ‘80’s (Ireland of the late 90’s) now cost more to heat per year than the initial cost of the building itself. Fuel prices have risen at 1.5 times the rate of inflation over the last 30 years.

It is generally accepted (B.E.R. standards, LEED (US), SAEI- Ireland, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); UK) that 35% of heat is lost from a building via poorly insulated walls.

Heat is lost in ALL directions.

Heat is lost in ALL directions.

The overall heat loss from a building can be calculated as

H = Ht + Hv + Hi   where H = overall heat loss (W)

Ht = heat loss due to transmission through walls, windows, doors, floors and more (W)

Hv = heat loss caused by ventilation (W)

Hi = heat loss caused by infiltration (W).

Heat-loss in buildings (or heat0gain in warm lands demands the value of the building every generation or less nowadays. (Protek-usa. Heat-Gain-Loss-Buildings.pdf). this pdf starts with a very good definition of heat loss via radiation, conduction and convection.

N.B. Sand-cement render on the exterior of a building (especially if insulating the interior) will result in the building ‘sweating’ and possibly developing Merulius lacrimans – dry rot – or -Serpula lacrimans – ‘Real-Dry-Rot’). Both will destroy a building and even its neighbours. If a house is to be ‘sealed’ great care must be taken that it remains “breathable”.

There are two (generally) accepted ways of insulating a building (insulating the envelope);

External; “Bubble-wrapping” the exterior – e.g. polystyrene slabs fixed to the exterior walls (using plastic ‘mushroom’ plugs) and plastering with a patent-polybond-skim over a mesh that holds all in place. This technique ‘defaces’ the exteriors and ‘technically’ needs planning permission.

Cross-section of external insulation.

Cross-section of external insulation.

Internal; fitting patent pre-insulated slabbing to interior walls (ceilings too if possible) to retain the heat generated within the building. Fixed as above or with laths between wall and slab this system is usually seen as the best as it retains heat before it hits the exterior wall and is absorbed (before being lost if there’s no external insulation). This system is often eschewed as it reduces the volume of the room (room-size) considerably in small homes/offices. It is seen as the most desirous in larger buildings as the heat is retained and in fact rather like any light-weight structure (boat-caravan) is easily heated very quickly.

In both cases however the incidence of leakage (drafts) and of course doors, window, and especially glazing must be considered. Poor glazing techniques (ie single-glazing or poorly designed/compromised/faulty) can cost 23% heat loss normally but even far more if the rest of the structure is well insulated.

From ; “Internal insulation systems involve using insulated dry-lining boards. These boards comprise of 12.5mm of plasterboard with insulation bonded to the back with a vapour barrier between the two. The insulation ranges in thickness from about 25mm to approximately 60mm though this depends on the make and availability. A lot of these boards would have similar levels of thermal conductivity because the main types of materials that are used, i.e. polyurethane and polyisocyanurate, have very similar thermal properties. However, it has the disadvantage of placing the thermal mass of the wall outside your heating envelope. External insulation is another option, which would have the added advantage of keeping the thermal mass of the concrete walls within your envelope. It is very popular method in Europe, and is becoming more common in Ireland. With external insulation, the insulation panels are applied to the walls, then a protective mesh that protects the insulation against impact damage is applied, then a basecoat and usually two coats of render”.

Floors are often disregarded as it’s generally thought that heat rises – which is true. But as temperature rises within a structure the heat will always seek to find a way out; even downwards. Floor insulation must reflect what is planned above. 15% heat loss is the accepted figure but again as the better insulation of the upper areas improves the rate of loss through the floor will increase.

Air Seal

A gap of just 1/8 of an inch under a 36-inch door lets in as much air as having a 2.4 inch wide hole in the wall. Since people often adjust the thermostat and leave heat running longer when they feel a draft, preventing air infiltration can greatly reduce energy usage. See ‘Notes’ below.

Air-pressure-tests and infra-red video cameras

will show leaks and vents as well as ‘cool-spots’ in covered areas that are lacking insulation.

Detailed business information on Air Pressure Testing Companies located in the UK, including photos, contact details and customer reviews.

Heat-Exchange Systems. aka Heat Recovery System.

No discussion on heating/cooling any building can Not but consider ‘heat-exchange-system’ see; Heat-Exchange Systems.




‘Geo-thermal’ means absorbing some of the latent heat from the earth (or running water/large body of water) and enhancing the heat by passing it through a heat-exchanger – the inverse of a milk pasteurising system. It’s usually used for underfloor systems (at about 33ºC) though new radiators are coming on the market to work with low-heat-radiators.

Geothermal-Heating-Systems simple


I opened a website on heating on old home and one thing jumped out at me – I hadn’t mentioned the last time – THE most obvious and the FIRST thing ones does – AUDIT. If it ain’t measured it won’t count (or get done).

It’s the most important thing to do – with any structure. Don’t waste money/time until you know where the leaks are. An ait-test and infra-red camera wre the best way to see where the warm air is leaking and where the insulation is needed. Before and AFTER remedial work; More information on blower door tests>>
See; Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency – Start With an Energy Audit!
  • Search for articles on old house websites such as the Old House JournalExit EPA Disclaimer
  • Reference books such as Greening Steam: How to Bring 19th Century Heating Systems in the 21st Century (and save lots of green!) by Dan Holohan
  • Ask a question online at
Get this article – very American but less chance that your lecturer will have seen it, excellent resource;  
It’s really difficult to super-seal an older structure though with stone there’s a better chance than wooden/timber-framed however there are a large number of green features and design principles are simply impossible to incorporate in any building after the fact. 
Scotland – links and news; Scotland.national-retrofit-programme 
Heat requirements for the building; Can I fit underfloor heating in an old house?
‘A major factor with UFH in a renovation project is the heat requirements for the building. A system will have a specific max. output, dependent on floor type, and if insulation is limited – e.g. if you have period single glazing and solid walls – it will be difficult to get comfortable room temperatures in very cold weather. Any company you work with must carry out a full heat-loss calculation room by room. It’s also best to have a temperature controller for every room.
‘The two main floor types in old buildings are screeded and timber-suspended. The screeded floor will give a higher heat output, but you will have more difficulties installing UFH, because you will have to dig out the original floors – or lose a lot of headroom putting down a new floor on the original. A timber-suspended floor will accept UFH onto your original joists and give a floor lift of about 1.5cm and so, in many ways, offers an easier option.’ However the insulation must be ‘top-notch- foil-backed etc to ensure heat doesn’t take the easy option of ‘heading South’ – literally. Heat will ALWAYS go to the cold(er) areas.
UK ‘Green Deal’ offers ideas, grants and actual help; Once again they start by demanding one gets an AUDIT first. If it ain’t measures it can’t be counted!! However there are pitfalls to be negotiated; See Gardian article;
Whilst double glazing and carpets are a good start, draught proofing and insulation of suspended floors will be a benefit and for solid floors, the addition of thick underlay and/or insulation. Internal or external solid wall insulation are required to make flats really low energy and will make them really cosy and eliminate many of the condensation and mould issues associated with cold walls, but this should be considered as part of a comprehensive low energy strategy, that in-cavity wall insulation can lead to damp issues in rare cases. For example, the insulation could offer a path for wind driven rain if the external wall is highly porous, poorly pointed or cracked, or the building is extremely exposed. This risk may be reduced if bead insulation is used instead of fibre, but there isn’t much research on this. Breathability is essential !!
In buildings where part of the wall is solid, for example in ring beam construction, the warmer insulated walls may accentuate condensation at the corner of the wall with the floors and ceilings. Finally, the insulation may reveal building faults such as blocked weep holes or missing cavity trays.cludes heating, ventilation, lighting, appliances and renewable systems.The most cost effective way of minimising draughts from a disused chimney is to use a chimney ballon. 1010global./energy-saving-old-homes;
Doing a bit is better than doing nothing – wearing a hat and no gloves is much better than no hat & gloves.
Schools, UK;  Here, Robert De Jong, LessEn programme manager at the ULI, explains the findings, outlines how Dorset topped the table through its sustainable property team and provides schools with tips on how to become more energy efficient.
Climate debate
A basic misunderstanding skews the entire climate debate. Experts on both sides claim that protecting Earth’s climate will force a trade-off between the environment and the economy. According to these experts, burning less fossil fuel to slow or prevent global warming will increase the cost of meeting society’s needs for energy services, which include everything from speedy transportation to hot showers. Environmentalists say the cost would be modestly higher but worth it; skeptics, including top U.S. government officials, warn that the extra expense would be prohibitive. Yet both sides are wrong. If properly done, climate protection would actually reduce costs, not raise them. Using energy more efficiently offers an economic bonanza–not because of the benefits of stopping global warming but because saving fossil fuel is a lot cheaper than buying it.

Passive-Solar Heating. (aka the No-Brainer).

What is a Passive House? It is a building in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems. The house heats and cools itself, hence “passive”. By good design and an average 10% ‘extra-spend’ in design and building will eventually save many 10’s of thousands of Euro or Pounds in fossil-fuel heating-bills (and airconditioning). See;

However as we are discussing older buildings we must assume that other than physically turning a building on its axis to avail of ‘solar-gain’ and to build (sympathetically) around it possibly with a forest to cut-down on chill-factor to NW, N, NE. We must concentrate on apertures, walls, roof and flooring. Further measures – keeping the heating-bills down by reducing the temperature by a degree or two can be found in this pdf;

A book issued hand-in-hand with the Anglican Church offers help; Creed and Creation: A simple guidebook for running a greener church. 2007.

Flooring: When insulating the floor is it possible to add underfloor heating? Underfloor heating uses water heated to 33ºC as opposed to ‘normal’ heating (radiators) which runs at 65ºC.

Notes on insulation and ‘off-grid’ homes;

Australia; A push has been made to help homeowners in providing their own power.

In France A push has been made to tax energy wasters and feed that money towards homeowners insulating and providing their own power.;

A newly constructed apartment complex in Newport News, Va., proves that that future may already be on the way. The Radius Urban Apartment complex windows fabricated with Solarban 70XL glass and SunClean self-cleaning glass by PPG Industries. That’s right, windows that will shrink your energy bill and clean themselves. And they’re both Cradle-to-Cradle certified.

According to the company, Solarban glass is a transparent solar-control, low-emissivity glass that lets light through while also acting as thermal insulation. By transmitting high levels of daylight while blocking the sun’s heat energy, windows made with Solarban 70XL glass can reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 25 percent. PPG also claims that Solarban 70XL glass can cut furnace heat loss through windows in half, which can lower heating bills significantly in the winter months.

And now for the best part: SunClean glass is formulated with a proprietary coating that becomes “photocatalytic” and “hydrophilic” after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Photocatalysis enables the coating to gradually break down organic materials that land on its surface, while hydrophilicity causes water to sheet when it strikes the coating so that decomposed materials are naturally rinsed away when it rains.



Creed ; Creed and Creation: A simple guidebook for running a greener church, Gillian

Straine & Nathan Oxley, Aldgate Press, 2007

Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC);  Accessed 25/01/2013

Heat-Exchange Systems.

National Archives; Accessed 25/01/2013.


RESATS; Accessed 26/01/2013

Telegraph – radiators  Accessed 27/01/2013.

Links and Resources;

Dublin Heritage-Conservation

Heat loss for engineers;

How to get free cavity wall and loft insulation; It’s not too late to get free insulation installed in your home. And if you’re on a low income or benefits, you could get cash or vouchers as well.

Don’t qualify? You can still save on insulation: If you don’t qualify for free insulation for whatever reason, you can still get discounted installation with all of the major energy companies, and others such as Sainsbury’s Energy.

A detailed guide to insulating your home. ExternalWall Insulation Systems (EWIS) can be used on new or existing buildings;

Sempatap Thermal Solid Wall Insulation Materials & Tools;

Passive House (Passivehaus); For passive construction, prerequisite to this capability is an annual heating requirement that is less than 15 kWh/(m²a) not to be attained at the cost of an increase in use of energy for other purposes (e.g., electricity). Furthermore, the combined primary energy consumption of living area of a European passive house may not exceed 120 kWh/(m²a) for heat, hot water and household electricity. The combined primary energy consumption of living area of a standard house is approximately 220 kWh/(m²a) for heat, hot water and household electricity. External Links for more information: and  More info on ‘passivehaus’; The main design features of passive homes include: –

  • Positioning of homes and buildings to avail of free solar energy. Orientation and selection of the correct site for your home is imperative. Proximity to and height of adjoining buildings can reduce your solar gain.
  • Higher levels of insulation help reduce the cost of heating.
  • Air tightness of your home is crucial in keeping all that free solar energy within the home.
  • Locating the majority of your windows on south facing elevations and reducing the size of any north facing windows.
  • As your home is now extremely air tight, mechanical ventilation will need to be introduced. By ensuring that this ventilation has heat recovery the incoming fresh air shall be preheated by the extracted air. This simple measure helps keep your home warm without having to reheat the fresh air.
  • Correct detailing of junctions between the external fabric and windows and doors to reduce heat loss.
  • Introducing solar panels will help produce approx. 70% of your required hot water once sized correctly and positioned to face south to optimise the solar gain.
  • Other simple measures such as using A rated kitchen appliances and fitting low energy light bulbs will help ensure your new home is both comfortable and warm to live in.


Ireland; Better Energy Homes Scheme; see:-

UK; Solid wall insulation – Energy Saving Trust

Solid Wall Insulation Grants, Home Insulation Grants;

Cavity wall insulation –  Homes – Energy Saving Trust;


Air-pressure Testing;

Reasonable behaviour;

Make sure that there are no unnecessary obstructions in front of radiators, heaters and air ducts. · Bleed and clean your radiators on a regular basis to ensure water circulates properly. Clean off the fluff and dust from the grill and filters of convector radiators and heaters.  Install thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to prevent spaces from becoming overheated.

Air Seal

A gap of just 1/8 of an inch under a 36-inch door lets in as much air as having a 2.4 inch wide hole in the wall. Since people often adjust the thermostat and leave heat running longer when they feel a draft, preventing air infiltration can greatly reduce energy usage. Sealing up those cracks will make you feel comfortable and keep more money in your pocket. Remember for every cubic foot of heated or cooled air (that you have paid to condition) that leaves your house, one cubic foot of outside air enters!

Looking for just one thing you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency? Significantly reduce air infiltration. Gaps or cracks in a building’s exterior envelope of foundation, walls, roof, doors, windows, and especially “holes” in the attic floor can contribute to energy costs by allowing conditioned air to leak outside.

Most Common Sources of Air Infiltration:

  • Bypasses (attic access door, recessed lighting, plumbing stacks, dropped soffits, open frame construction, duct penetrations, electrical penetrations, etc.) in the attic floor regardless of the presence of insulation, which by itself is not an air barrier. If you see dirty insulation, air is getting through.
  • Between foundation and rim joist
  • Crawl spaces
  • Around the attic hatch
  • Between the chimney and drywall
  • Chimney flue
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Cable TV and phone line service entrances
  • Window AC units
  • Mail chutes
  • Electric outlets
  • Outdoor water faucets entrances
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Under the garage door
  • Around door and window frames
  • Cracks in bricks, siding, stucco and the foundation
  • Mudrooms or breezeways adjacent to garages

How radiators work; Telegraph (UK);

As the water flows through the radiators it gives up its heat to the rooms, thus returning to the boiler at a lower temperature. Designed by the Prussian-born Russian; Franz San Galli

A Low temperature heating system requires a larger surface area to provide enough heat energy. Radiators need to be up to 100% bigger to compensate for the lower temperatures. In other words it contains more mass and area.


London Care of Churches Team

November 2007

The Engineering Toolbox; provides;

1. Heat loss through walls, windows, doors, ceilings, floors, etc.>

The heat loss, or norm-heating load, through walls, windows, doors, ceilings, floors etc. can be calculated as

Ht = A U (ti – to)         (2)

Where; Ht = transmission heat loss (W)

A = area of exposed surface (m2)

U = overall heat transmission coefficient (W/m2K)

ti = inside air temperature (oC)

to= outside air temperature (oC)

Heat loss through roofs should be added 15% extra because of radiation to space. (2) can be modified to:

H = 1.15 A U (ti – to)             (2b)

For walls and floors against earth (2) should be modified with the earth temperature:

H = A U (ti – te)             (2c)

Where; te= earth temperature (oC)

Overall Heat Transmission Coefficient

The overall of heat transmission coefficient – U – can be calculated as

U = 1 / (1 / fi + x1 / k1 + x2 / k2+ x3 / k3 +..+ 1 / fo)             (3)

Where; fi = surface conductance for inside wall (W/m2K)

x = thickness of material (m)

k = thermal conductivity material (W/mK)

fo= surface conductance for outside wall (W/m2K)

The conductance of a building element can be expressed as:

C = k / x         (4)

Where; C = conductance, heat flow through unit area in unit time (W/m2K)

The thermal resistivity of the building element can be expressed as:

R = x / k = 1 / C         (5)

Where; R = thermal resistivity (m2K/W)

Using (4) and (5), (3) may be modified to

1 / U = Ri + R1 + R2 + R3 + .. + Ro             (6)

For walls and floors against earth (6) should be modified to

1 / U = Re + SR             (6b)

2. Heat loss by ventilation

The heat loss due to ventilation without heat recovery can be expressed as:

Hv = cp ρ qv (ti – to)         (7)

Where; Hv = ventilation heat loss (W)

cp = specific heat capacity of air (J/kg K)

ρ = density of air (kg/m3)

qv = air volume flow (m3/s)

ti = inside air temperature (oC)

to = outside air temperature (oC)

The heat loss due to ventilation with heat recovery can be expressed as:

Hv = (1 – β/100) cp ρ qv (ti – to)         (7)

Where; β = heat recovery efficiency (%)

An heat recovery efficiency of approximately 50% is common for a normal cross flow heat exchanger. For a rotating heat exchanger the efficiency may exceed 80%.

Irish Celtism – the big lie.

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 Assignment 2013
 PG CertTrinity St David, Wales Sense of Place  Peter O’Connor, 1202618 Lismore, Co Waterford, Ireland.
[“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’.  How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?]


“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’ Lowenthal, 1985, p41)

How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?


Introduction; 2

Folk Memory; 2

Some History. 3

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries; 3

Bob Quinn. 4

The Mainland Celts. 4

Celtic languages. 5

The sail boats . 6

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship. 7

DNA findings; 7

Oxford Scholars. 7

References; 8

Notes;. 9

Photography. 9

Collective Consciousness. 10

Lateen Sails;  a note. 12

Ireland’s Golden Age;. 12

DNA Tests;. 12

Resources;. 13


Authenticity and bias in engineering a sense-of-identity or a sense of place may seem at first glance a trite way at poking fun at historians who become set in their way and refuse to allow for external considerations or influences. There’s more than historians at fault for some-bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place.

Doctored images can affect what we eat, how we vote and even our childhood recollections. A book Ireland Photographs of 1800’s show staged photos. We all know about how the Soviets unashamedly added (or more usually) ‘extracted’ images of people in photos – even in their encyclopaedias.

New York Metropolitan is currently featuring some 200 photographs created between the 1840s and 1990s in the service of art, politics, news, entertainment, and commerce and the changing relationship to visual truth; Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age[1]; More recently changes were made to photos of Hurricane Sandy approaching New York. (Fake Sandy[2]). These images were used to heighten emotions for callous or possibly financial-reasons.

Even more disturbing is the fact that we can manipulate people close to us and others by providing evidence-of-events that simply have not happened. In a study by Elizabeth Loftus Make-Believe-Memories. 2003) it became apparent that old memories seem to be the easiest to manipulate. In one particular study, subjects were showed images from their childhood. Along with real images, researchers snuck in doctored-photographs of the subject involved in particularly memorable-events. After seeing those images, 50% of subjects recalled some part of that hot-air balloon-ride – though the event was entirely made up. (Springer Link pdf).

David Lowenthal points out that “Where history remains remote and critical of its view of the past, heritage thrives on persona- immediacy and embraces the past as building-blocks of identity” Macdonald, S. 2006 International Journal of Heritage 22.  This is especially important to remember when considering photographs of war where “augmentation” is used to manipulate scenes to galvanise public and military alike to great force. Soviet photos of the war on their soil were changed to show Germans in the worst possible light.  Even the Allies showed a short clip of Hitler ‘dancing’ when in fact it was him walking – but the film was ‘looped’. Probably we should never trust any photos of wars.

Folk Memory;

Throughout the history of mankind folk-memory has played a huge role is passing on knowledge and wisdom. It can be in the form of nursery rhymes explaining the effect of the plague (Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosy) to folk songs warning of lovers-tiffs to suicidal tendencies (Barbara Allen). Or it can be in the stories we all learn about the early settlers arriving over the sea and settling in the South and West. But then for 300 years we’ve been told that our ancestors come from central Europe.

Even the ‘collective conscience’ as described by Emile Durkin [i]can hold memories that provide succour and comfort as well as fortifying a ‘national spirit/stiff upper-lip’.  It can also sustain a nation that feels cut off from mainland Europe in a time of crisis.

However what happens when there is a serious push to rearrange the history of a country and its people? What happens when there is serious bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place for an entire nation?

Some History.

The Norman/Welsh chronicler-geographer Sylvester-Giraldus Cambrensis often comes in for a lot of criticism for his misrepresentation of people and places and he was not above presenting ‘facts’  as such even though they were blatantly untrue as that the Welsh invented the longbow. (Dr Andrew Halpin, 2012). Others though in more enlightened-ages have created more disservice to academic-research.

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries;

Around 1707 when Edward Lluyd dreamt up his notion that all indigenous inhabitants of the British Isles (sic) were of ‘Celtic origin[3] it was purely to distinguish between British and Welsh.. This however in his eyes allowed for no input from the South-West. What Lluyd (and many others including William Stukeley 1687-1765) seemed incapable of understanding that sea-roads were infinitely easier to traverse than ‘roads’ that were of little more than animal tracks.

Before Lluyd and Stukley none of the peoples of the lands now referred to as Celtic had any collective name [4]at all. Irish, Scots, and Manx referred to themselves collectively as Gaels, while the Welsh use the term Cymry. (Welsh is a Saxon-derived word meaning “stranger.”). Ironically one Irish word for a stranger is gall which is often associated with Wales and in place-names translated as Ballydavid, (Irish- Baile na nGall).

William Stukeley also did work that led to the term “Celtic” being applied to pre-Roman sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and various tombs and standing stones. Most of these pre-date the Romans and ‘Celts’ by many millennia as we now know.

Alongside the genuine serious achievements in the Celtic languages by the likes of Lluyd and Zeuss there was a huge rise on nationalism in ‘Celtic’ countries (Cunliffe, Ancient Celts 11-16; Piggot, Druids123-182, 1968 ).There were three influential propagators of ‘imaginative-romantic-view’ of the Celts; namely William Stuckley, James Mac Pherson and Iolo Morganwg. These men are now considered to have “poisoned the wells of genuine scholarship  …for years to come” (Piggott  1968).

Stuckley’s work is now largely discredited but not before the ideas were firmly implanted in the minds of the public and the idea of ‘British druids’ romping around Stonehenge and other monuments is well embedded. MacPherson was soon discovered to have forged his study by simply writing poetry and passing it off as Poems of Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760) supposed genuine Gaelic epic. Germans in particular loved this idea of ‘fellow-Aryans’ (Quinn 2006) A more successful enterprise was that by a stonemason called Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg) who promoted the idea that he, and other ‘bards’ had preserved, virtually intact, a continuous tradition of lore and wisdom going back to prehistoric times (Piggott, Druids ). This fabrication whilst romantic was able to be passed off as scientific-evidence, something all serious-scholars now rue. It’s not so much a bias as a twisting of facts.

Later in an attempt to make the disenchanted/disenfranchised people of “West & North Britain[5]” (sic) more ‘British especially after the terrible series of famines in 1840’s the notion of a Celtic Nation was revived.  Even the newly emerging theatre of Yeats and Gregory embraced the lie and staged ‘Celtic’ plays more reminiscent of Wagner’s Ring-Cycle.

Bob Quinn Irish (Gaelic) speaker, writer and film-maker in both the trilogy-documentary and his book Atlantean attempts to prove that Ireland’s heritage and culture has come not from the ‘Celts’ (From the Greek-word Keltoi used to describe any ‘barbarian’ who was not Greek – this was perpetuated by the Romans). Quinn, a former director of RTE Ireland’s public broadcaster, rejects the notion that the Irish are ‘part of the Celts’ but argues that they are an “energetic mixture of many peoples and cultures inhabiting what for thousands of years has essentially been an island trading post” (Quinn, Atlantean, 1986).  In their traditional music, boats and art they are a lot closer to Mediterranean peoples including Arabs and Berbers than to the oft-time quoted myth of them stemming from Celtic or Aryan peoples.

The Mainland Celts

The Celts “…can be traced back for at least twenty-five centuries” beyond the very beginnings of any literate civilization north of the Alps.( Jean Markale; The Celts: 1978; p 14). Markale goes on to write that archaeologists have claimed “with scientific certainty” (Kevin Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; 1999; p 2) that the earliest direct ancestors of the Celts were the Urnfield people. They originated in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland around 1300 BC and lived in the area for about 500 years, until 800 BC

Walking over land carrying all one’s worldly goods would take centuries to cross the mainland from modern-day Czech Republic/Austria/S. Germany. For what? Getting from Egypt to Gibraltar (Pillars-of-Hercules) would take about 10 days. Rome to Gibraltar 7 days base on ancient sailing log-books (Speed_under_Sail_of_Ancient_Ships ).  Another example shows; Rhodes-Alexandria 3 days 4.5 knots in “favourable wind speed”.

Although the study of Celtic-people (Keltoi) started as early as the 6th century (Hecataes) the modern field of study has its origins in the 16th & 17th C with the re-discovery of Greek and Latin texts (Diodorus Siculos (Greek historian writing 60 – 30BC), Julius Ceasar and Strabo (63BC – 24AD) of Greece. There is a brief reference to the Northern Islands in Ezekiel according to Dr. Ian Adamson OBE; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic Language: …the words of the Prophet Ezekiel in his 27th chapter of the Book of God written about 500 B.C. “Where Ezekiel speaks of the rich purple dyes from the Isles of Elishas we may have the first written reference to the British Isles.  The purple dyes of our Islands were celebrated among the later Greeks and Romans and were very expensive”.  Around the time of Christ Ptolomy writes (Hansard, J, pg 3, 1870) that a tribe of people settled in Wexford and Waterford called the Menapii who  were pushed out of Gaul by Ceaser (having been forced out of Germany by Usipites and later seems to have crossed the sea to Ireland “For the sake of preventing their ancient liberty and of avoiding the insolence of the Romans”.  Later writers used such details to enforce the idea that the British Isles were ‘all one family’ in-spite of the obvious massive influxes in races – even in relatively modern times where we have good understanding of population numbers in Britain from around the 10th century. (Josiah C. Russell, Population in Europe: 1972) and where they came from. And after 10th century there is no evidence of an explosion growth in ‘Celtic areas – quite the opposite as Britain’s population rose from 0.5million 10th century to 5million in 1340. The Anglo-Saxon population “augmented” by Vikings followed later by Norman invasion meant that British Celts were pushed ever further West and North. Perhaps from thence sprang the idea that Ireland was settled by British Celts.

“Despite their bias and occasional inaccuracies, the classical accounts of the Celts have formed the foundation of the modern discipline since the fifteen hundreds”. (Rankin,D Celts and the Classical world, Croom Helm-Rutledge, Oxford 1996). As the study of these classical texts continued linguists began to make progress in the field of ‘Celtic’ languages. Celtiberian or Northeastern Hispano-Celtic is the now-extinct language is directly confirmed in nearly 200 inscriptions dated in the 2nd &1st century BC, mainly in Celtiberian script, a direct adaptation of the north-eastern Iberian script, but also in Latin alphabet. Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called Q-Celtic (like Gaelic), and not P-Celtic like British and its parent Gaulish. Celtiberian would therefore appear to be the ultimate parent Celtic tongue of the Gaelic language. The elephant in the room hasn’t been mentioned however – the closeness of Morocco and Spain – held apart by Atlas.  This is picked up by Bob Quinn again in his writings (The Waiting Room; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, 2012) when he pointed out that “Tartessian” a language that ‘died even in Roman times (Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic 2013) under the influence of Latin. Anderson later in the same paper tell us that the “The first great leader of the Feni (later “Gaels”) in Ireland, Tuathal (Teuto–valos) Techtmar, was probably a Roman soldier, commanding Q-Celtic speaking auxiliaries from Spain”. The Tartessian language is now understood to be Paleohispanic language found in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula mainly in the south of Portugal but also in Spain (south of Extremadura and western Andalusia). In fact the earliest known source of this “invasion” from Spain into Ireland is a poem by Mael Mura of Othain in 885AD showing how the folk memory (or collective consciousness) can exist over a millennium. As an aside to this; there was published in The Dublin Penny Journal of 1834 an account where a gentleman in Antrim noted that some weather-bound sailors from Tunis were able to converse with locals who spoke only Gaelic (Quinn, 1986, pg 81).

Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium AD. (MacEvoy DNA tests, 2004)

The 5th and 6th centuries saw very rapid growth of Gaelic language (records from that time make Gaelic the oldest written vernacular in the western world) and it’s become obvious that the language was quickly adopted by the original inhabitants. Heinrich Wagner points out that “Gaelic had become one of the most bizarre branches of Indo-European since it’s syntax and structure ….non-European”. Quinn simply points out that like Arabic there is no – yes and no in Gaelic, there is no ‘simple’ way of saying good day (like the Arabic – it’s a long-winded process of bestowing blessings) and the verb is at the beginning of the sentence – unlike any other Indo-European language. Examples of common words; Gaelic-Arabic; Íosa-Issa, (Jesus), scian-sekina, (knife). Rosary beads so loved by the Irish are an Arabic invention and the traditional garb of a nun (itself an Egyptian word) is Middle Eastern in origin. In the great epic tale of An Táin Bó Cuailgne (approx. 3 millennia ago) there is a reference to one of the heroes sporting a helmet made in Syria, while Rí Conchubhair (king O’Connor) is credited with hiring Libyan mercenaries, (along with a Barbary ape).

In music of course some of the greatest similarities show up – from the goat-skin single handed bodhrán favourite of the Berbers to the sean-nós singing of West Ireland that when offered to the Middle Eastern they invariably will claim that it’s “their” music – but they can’t understand the words. When this author first heard Galician music he responded that it was Irish music played by foreigners – as there is a certain non-Irish accent.  The Galician’s too have an elbow-powered (uillean) pipe.  The same author played at Arab weddings where his Irish music was danced to and appreciated.  In 1850’s a Lebanese visitor to The Royal Irish academy was chanting from the Qur’an when the eminent antiquarian and native Gaelic speaker Eugene O’Curry took up the refrain singing sean-nós. Those present could not distinguish between the two. They came to the conclusion that the two were related. (Quinn 1986, pg 29

Much art used in Ireland a millennium ago show a direct influence from Arab.  Unlike the twee-folksy “Celtic-art” of angels and ‘goddesses’ the Book of Kells, Lismore Crosier (Findley, Ian. 1973) and other more ‘pagan’ forms (Seela-na-Gigs. Kelly Dr E, 1996) show how close old-Ireland was to the art from Moorish Iberian-peninsula as well as N.Africa itself.

What is totally forgotten is that the seas were not seen as an obstacle to transport but were the highways of the time and as Bob Quinn eloquently points out sea-journeys were much faster and able to shift vast loads compared to overland journeys (NB the English word travel comes from the French travailler to work). Recent studies of old ships logs throw up fascinating figures and stories of extremely long sea-journeys. Patrick Power noted too in his History of Waterford that huge loads can be easily transported via water, (Power, P.C. 1998) He also writes of the ancient Sea-people fo-mhuirigh in connection with ancient Irish sagas.

The sail boats – The Pucáns of the West coast of Ireland and the Arab Dhow are the only boats that use the lateen sail. Dr John de Courcy-Ireland one of the greatest sea-farers of the modern world decared: “An té mbionn long aige, gebheann sé coir uair éigin. (He who has a boat invariably gets a breeze.)…there is blood in every one of us… that came from across the sea …the first people people came here by sea and laid the foundations of a maritime tradition …that is richer and older than almost any country in Europe”. Thirty-seven years after the Spanish Armada disaster Galway’s govenor described Galway as “next to Spain and trading with it” Hardly surprising then that Arab maps of the time show Ireland lying south of England, illustrating how Ireland was perceived by sailors. As early as 600BC Hanno of N.-Africa had sailed around Africa- Herodotus. As early as 425BC N.-Africans were writing extensively about the Atlantic coasts (Quinn pg 42). Consider too that when the Vikings reached the Hebrides, Faros even Iceland they found that the Irish had been there before them (Tim Severin The Brendan Voyage, 1976). “St Brendan’s travels were as well known as the wanderings of Ulysses” -Severn 1976. Severn set out to prove that “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis” the Voyage or Wandering of St. Brendan was a possibility.  He did.

It must be noted that when the last of the Irish royalty left in 1607 (The Flight of the Earls) they sailed from Lough Swilly at the top of Ireland they took all their goods and treasures with them sure of their sailing-capabilities.

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship.

What is most remarkable about the whole story of how Ireland ‘became’ Celtic is that it’s taken until very recent to expose the sham. A scholarly volume of essays from archaeologists and linguists et al via Oxford “Celtic from the West” and is edited by Barry Cunliffe and John T Koch. In 2006 Cunliffe (former Professor of European Archaeology, Oxford) wrote the preface to Quinn’s Atlantean.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. He argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural-identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, going back ten-millennia. These peoples lived at the edge-of-the-world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara.

DNA findings;

DNA findings of Trinity Collage Dublin microbiology department has traced our common Y chromosome to Spain and Portugal and found that “any evidence for gene-flow from the North-Apline-Zone  .. to Ireland is conspicuously absent”. This includes what Dan Bradley, professor of population genetics in Trinity’s school of genetics and microbiology describes as the “Atlantic-façade”, places along the Atlantic seaboard where the Celtic-languages were spoken including Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and also northern Spain, particularly in the Basque-regions. Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Sunday Times, The Irish are not Celts, say experts, Jan Battles, 2004

THE long-held belief that Ireland’s population is descended from the Celts has been disproved by geneticists, who have concluded that they never invaded Ireland. The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into the origins of Ireland’s population found no substantial evidence of the Celts in Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en masse. (MacEvoy et al 2004)

It would seem that we need to re-think our entire idea of what it is to be a Celt.

There are a number of genetic-markers related to blood groups that link the “native-Irish” and these Atlantic-façade populations, which means they all share a common-ancestry, says Bradle. It may be that settlers from these regions were the ones who originally migrated to Ireland to settle an otherwise empty land. And despite their closeness, it seems that Ireland was settled in a much different way from Britain. Research has shown that there was very little genetic-overlap between the two populations. And while Britain shares genetic-markers with continental Europeans, there was much less continental mixing in the Atlantic-façade populations.

The Oxford scholars now support Quinn’s theories and accept that anything celtic in Ireland may have actually originated on South coastal-fringes of the Atlantic. When modern North-African universities develop their own genetic-analysis-techniques we may find out that we ‘Celts’ have a lot of cousins down there.


Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Times, 05-11-2004,

Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic  Posted on May 13th 2012. Accessed 28-12-2012.

Battles, J. The Irish are not Celts, say experts, The Sunday Times, (Ireland). 05-09-2004, 6.

Cunliffe, B. Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature, Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK, 2001.

De Courcy Ireland; Ireland’s Maritime Heritage, An Post, Dublin,1992

Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; Heritage Books, Inc., 1996 Barnes & Noble, London, 1999.

Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Fake Sandy;  Accessed 28-12-2012

Findley, Ian.  Celtic Art. Faber & Faber, London, 1973

Galician Music; Accessed 02-01-2013

Halpin, A. The Longbow; Terror Weapon of Europe, Lecture, National Museum of Ireland 2012

Hitler ‘dancing’; YouTube; Uploaded on May 31, 2010. A Mechanical Icon film; Accessed 26-12-2012

Joyce, P. W. (Patrick Weston), Irish local names explained; 1827-1914. Dublin : Educational Co. of Ireland, 1922.

Kelly E.p. Seela-na-Gigs, Origins and Functions, National Museum of Ireland/Ard-Mhúsaem Na hÉireann, publisher; Town House, Dublin.1996.

Kerry, J ; Kerry_Fonda_2004_election_photo.  and Doctored-Kerry-photo-brings-anger-threat-of-suit  Accessed 23-12-2012

Kinsella, T. Táin Bó Cuailgne, Oxford Uni. Press 1969.

Lluyd E. Archaeologia Britannica: Texts and Translations. 1707, unknown publicist.

Loftus, E. Make-Believe Memories. American Psychologist, Vol 58(11), Nov 2003, 867-873. and Psycnet psychological study in memory manipulation; 

Macdonald, S. International Journal of Heritage Studies. Vol 12, Nr 1,pg 22. 2006

McEvoy B. Richards M, Forster P, Bradley DG. The Longue Duree of genetic ancestry: multiple genetic marker systems and Celtic origins on the Atlantic facade of Europe. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;75(4):693-702. Epub 2004 Aug 12.

Markale; The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture; Inner Traditions, International, Rochester, Vermont, 1978; p 14).

Metropolitan Museum Exposition on Doctored Pictures before Digital Age press-room/exhibitions/2012/faking-it

O’Cathain Detta; Ireland is embedded deep in the DNA of its diaspora, Irish Times, Opinion and Analysis, 24th Dec 2012.

Photographs of Irish/picture scenes; Ireland Photographs 1840 – 1930 Sexton, S. 1994, Laurance King Publishing, London.

Piggott, S. The Druids, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1968.

Power, P.C. The History of Waterford, City and County, de Paor, Dungarvan 1998.

Quinn, B. Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Quartet Books; NY & London. 1986.


Severn, T. The Brendan Voyage, Random House New York, 1978. See also;

Soviet v German photography WWll; photo-manipulations-in-the-ussr/ Accessed 01-01-2012

Springer Link pdf;  A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies, Kimberley A. Wade, Maryanne Garry, J. Don Read, D. Stephen Lindsay.  Psychonomic Bulliten & Review 2002, 9 (3), 597,603.

Tartessian” (tarshish-and-the-origins-of-the-gaelic-language-2/) Accessed 28-12-2012.

Waiting Room Magazine; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, Feature; Summer Journal 2012



Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age.      Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop is organized by Mia Fineman, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs.

Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987; soviet-image-editing-tool-from-1987 nacturation writes”Three years before Photoshop 1.0 was released, computer engineers in the USSR were already retouching photographsusing some surprisingly advanced technology. A video shows how the Soviets went about restoring damaged images with the help of rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and trackballs.

More recently pictures have been doctored to portray politicians seemingly hob-nobbing with other people that are deemed to be less-savoury – one example of this, is the infamous photograph of Senator John Kerry is sitting next to Jane Fonda, with the caption explaining that both Kerry and Fonda were at a Vietnam war protest. The New York Times cited the image, and many anti-Kerry blogs and sites displayed it prominently. The problem is that the photograph is a fake. Kerry and Fonda were never at any anti-war protest together – someone had combined two different photographs. (San Francisco Chronicle “Doctored Kerry photo brings anger, threat of suit / Software, Net make it easy to warp reality). Of course something similar happened to Mitt Romney’s children mistakenly standing in a line spelling out the word “MONEY[6]”,

Kerrry-Fonda photos; Ken Light (copyright-owner of original Kerry-image) sued Richard Taylor creator of (faked) image in NY federal court. The case is still under appeal. Other doctored photos show Kerry sitting next to a Viet Cong flag (Free Republic website ). Accessed 24-12-2012.

Lessons on photo-manipulation may be found on the web, for instance;  /

Collective Consciousness

The Division of Labour in Society, David Emile Durkheim (Epinal, France 1857-1917) considered to be the father of sociology introduces a concept that has become a cornerstone of sociological vocabulary, collective consciousness. Durkheim introduces this phrase as a label for “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society” (Durkheim 39). He will be remembered as one who feared the mechanisation of life. He felt that the division of labour as well as mechanisation and technology would lead to ethical and moral produced alienation among workers, and feared the greed inspired by increased prosperity. His books include The Division of Labour in Society, Suicide, and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Bob Quinn; (Born 1935). Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Publisher: Quartet Books. Publication Date: 1986″ argues that Ireland’s ‘sean-nos’ singing is directly related to Arab music and describes further evidence of cultural ties between Ireland and the Middle East.” ISBN 13: 9780704325241. He has played tapes of Irish singers to Turkish and Asian as well as Arab musicians and they usually respond that that is ‘their’ music. Our dancing too has renonance of the Moorish/Spanish influence of the flamenco. When we start our stories we invariably preface with Fadó fadó – or long-long ago. But Fado is the Portuguese word for a ballad – and a ballad tells a story.

Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the discovery of the Celtic languages and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707, of a first-hand study of the ‘Celtic’ languages and four-year journey through the different countries where they were spoken.  Celtic Studies Publications 2009. Language: English- with some translations. ISBN- ISBN-13: 978-1891271144.

Born probably in 1660 in Loppington, Shropshire, Edward Lhuyd was brought up by his father, Edward Lloyd, in Llanforda, Oswestry. Edward Lloyd is often described as a colourful character, and is usually portrayed as a dissolute, hot-tempered man seeking to avoid bankruptcy through loans and by a number of commercial ventures. He was, however, an informed horticulturalist who employed a professional gardener. (

Gall; Foreigner (Gaul) one from the East; Gall, Gael, Gaelic word meaning ‘strangers’ or ‘foreigners’. (Weston 1922).  For example, Donegal (Fortess of the foreigners).  Though the official Irish term for Wales is Breathnach (also a family name in Ireland).  And we mustn’t forget that Wales is one of our nearest neighbours and provides the greatest land-bridge to the mainland of Europe. Yet protected us from European invasion of Keltoi and later Romans when the Gales were trading with Iberia/Africa.(Bob Quin, 1986). In another twist of fate the Greeks either invented (or adapted) origin myths about these Keltoi and their progenitor was given as Celtus, a son of Heracles, and Celtine, the daughter of Bretannus.

Wales – What’s in a name? Edward Dawson is of the opinion that ‘Wales’ and its cognates in Germanic languages probably derives from an earlier form of the name that the Celts used for themselves. The ancient Greeks recorded that the northern barbarians were Keltoi, and Julius Caesar reported that the Gauls called themselves Celtae in their own language. Recorded tribal names of Galati and Galaci existed. So how did ‘Celt’ become ‘Wal’? The Celtic habit was to take a ‘w’ sound and stick a ‘g’ in front of it (G and K are usually interchangeable). This occurred before the first century AD at least once with another word, that for forest (wood in English, coed in Welsh). This first shift apparently placed a ‘k’ instead of a ‘g’; possibly due to regional dialects. If one postulates that the original name of the Celts was ‘Walt’, then the Celts placed a ‘k’ in front of it to produce ‘Kwalt’, which was shortened to ‘Kelt’. The Germans would have continued using the original Walt, softening the ‘t’ to a ‘th’, then dropping it entirely to produce ‘Wal’. If so the Welsh were not ‘foreigners’ as such but were literally the Celts.

Sailing; The author has sailed the Irish hookers, (lantern-sailed)pucháns, and (sailing) currachs (while researcher for An Meithal Mara currach-builders Cork) and has sailed Arab dhows (Egypt) and many West European  boats (long-distance delivery) as well as having been cox-swain on the Irish Sail-Training Boat Asgard ll on several occasions. The author has proven on live TV that a weight tied to a rope overboard from a boat can provide more immediate/accurate information on speed than the latest GPS. (VPRO, Dutch TV 1990) as well as having been the driving force that changed the law in Ireland about wooden v steel bulkheads.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. Following on from the seminal work of Bob Quinn he argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, an identity which stretches back almost ten thousand years. These peoples lived at the edge of the world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara (by the sea). Finisterra, and looked out on a bountiful but terrifying expanse of ocean, a roiling, merciless infinity beyond which there was nothing. Their profound relationship with the ocean set these communities apart from their inland countryman, creating a distinct Atlantic culture. Cunliffe culls the archaeological evidence to illuminate the bonds that developed and intensified between these isolated communities and helped to maintain a shared and distinctive Atlantic identity.
Attractively designed and vibrantly written, Facing the Ocean offers a striking reassessment of a people who have usually been regarded as peripheral to European history. It will send shock waves through the history world and will radically change our view of the European past.

Lateen Sails;  a note.

Conventional interpretations give the lateen sail an important place in the history of navigation as a transitional sail–a link between square sails and fore-and-aft sails–that Europeans adopted from the Arabs. The conventional view is that this acquisition endowed European ships with greater manoeuvrability and thereby made possible the new ship designs and voyaging accomplishments of the Renaissance and later centuries. The conventional view also holds that superior sails evolved from the lateen, leading to a lasting transformation of sailing ship technology. This article maintains, on the contrary, that the Arabs neither invented the lateen nor transmitted it to Europe; that it was a specialized sail, the wider importance of which has been generally exaggerated; that it did not lead to further sail evolution; and that lateen-style sails were developed in the Pacific independently of those in the west Asian and Mediterranean culture areas.

Ireland’s Golden Age;

Ireland’s Golden age was from 6th to 10th centuries – which coincides exactly with the Arab golden age. We share much of our art and music.

A Note on Language:

Archaeologists do not believe that the Celts were one homogeneous people but were composed of many tribes speaking a similar language. How these different tribes came to speak a common language is not known, but these various peoples, referred to as Celtic, spoke a language which was a predecessor of modern-day Irish. Thus the word “Celtic” became a way of describing the people who spoke the Gaelic language: In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English, by Leo Eaton, Carmel McCaffrey


DNA Tests;

Am J Hum Genet. 2004 October; 75(4): 693–702. Published online 2004 August 12.


By examining the genetic variation in present day Irish people we can learn about our origin and history. Previous work in our lab looking at the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, suggests that most Irish trace their origin to the initial settlers of Island several thousand years ago. We are now looking at maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA to see if our female history is the same or different to that of our male ancestors.

The paternal inheritance of the Y chromosome is the same pattern typically followed by surnames. In other words, both surname and the Y chromosome are passed from father to son down the male family line. By comparing the Y chromosomes of many different men with the same surname, we are seeking to find out how many men were involved in starting prominent Irish surnames (names under study include McGuinness, Ryan, Kennedy, Murphy, Kelly, O’Neill, Byrne, O’Sullivan and McCarthy amongst others) and how names from the same regions of Ireland relate to each other.

Stone circles from the Early Bronze-Age are comparable to similar work found in Middle-East. [7] Was Drombeg’s stone circle designed using skills learned in Babylon?

Late Iron-Age finds point to N. African ‘visitors’:

Interestingly, the remains of a second probable ‘immigrant’ were also identified at Bettystown. Again this person was a male, who had been buried in a crouched position, sometime between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Isotope analysis of the man’s teeth revealed an origin in either southern Portugal or along the north African coast (Cahill Wilson 2014, p. 131).

Mammals in Ireland:

A recent book by Prof Ian Montgomery of Queen’s University of Belfast Mind the Gap published by Irish Naturalists Journal has shown that small mammals – “pigmy-shrew, badger, pine martin, and so on” – taken (accidentally) into Ireland have NOT come via Britain as was long suspected but following the DNA trail he has shown that they have come from Iberia and Scandinavia. Again this points out the use of longer open-sea travel and direct contact/connect with sea-faring nations well before ‘Celts’ were travelling here to trade.


[1] First Major Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age Opens at Metropolitan Museum; October 11 —January 27, 2013

[2] “Apocalyptic-looking clouds over Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy”-

[3] Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the “discovery of the Celtic languages” and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707

[4] It’s also worth noting that many indigenous people have more than one name. The first was a magical and secret name known only to family/close friends, a second name for ‘general usage’ and sometimes even a third name for use with those outside the clan-tribal-village circle. Growing up in Ireland it was very uncommon 40 years ago to know someone’s ‘first’ name until they offered it as a sign of closeness. The American brashness of everybody using the praenomen [4]is a very modern occurrence.  We are apt however to say – I’m one of the Cork(onian) Murphy’s.

[5] Scottish Whisky was referred to as North British Whisky and Irish as West British Whiskey. To this day to call someone a West Brit is about as insulting as one can get without resorting to common-swearing.


The Phisical Geography of the Sea by Bernard Bailyn; Belknap Press of Harvard, Mass. 1855 until authors-copy 1963 – Explains about how ancient mariners could ‘read’ the sea and assess tides, current and drift. See also Henry Stommel, The Gulf Stream; a Physical and Dynamical Description Berkley and Los Angeles 1960.

Birth of the Participative Web

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Birth of the Participative Web

Great Expectations: Sustaining Participation in Social Media Spaces; Museums and the Web; Angelina Russo, Swinburne University of Technology, and Darren Peacock, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Original (and much longer) article;

The second generation Web, or the ‘participative Web,’ can be dated from shortly after the turn of the millennium, although the term Web 2.0, by which it is also often known, was not coined by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty until 2004.  In 2007, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) offered the following definition of the participative Web as,

…characterised by increased participation and interaction of Internet users who use it to communicate and express themselves. The most prominent concept to describe this evolution which uses the Internet’s inherent capabilities more extensively is called “participative web”. It represents an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent web services based on new technologies empowering the user to be an increasing contributor to developing, rating, collaborating and distributing Internet content and developing and customising Internet applications. (OECD, 2007: 8)

O’Reilly, in an earlier attempt to burn off some of the fog around the Web 2.0 term, offered seven principles that described the key features of Web 2.0:

         The Web as platform

         Harnessing collective intelligence

         Data is the next intel inside

         End of the software release cycle

         Lightweight programming models

         Software above the level of a single device

         Rich user experiences (O’Reilly, 2005)

O’Reilly’s list focuses on the conceptual and technological building blocks, rather than the social phenomenon of Web 2.0 which has been discussed extensively elsewhere. The capabilities described by O’Reilly and the programming practices and infrastructure built upon them provided the foundations and the impetus for Web 2.0’s ‘architecture of participation’.

Yet something unexpected emerged when the building began in earnest. Between 2003 and 2005, as the wave of Web 2.0 gained momentum with the rise of social media stars such as Facebook,MySpace, Second Life, Flickr and YouTube, a paradox surfaced in this brave new world of the mass-participation Web. What Usability guru Jakob Nielsen observed in these services late in 2006 was the phenomenon of “participation inequality”.

All large-scale, multi-user communities and online social networks that rely on users to contribute content or build services share one property: most users don’t participate very much. Often, they simply lurk in the background. In contrast, a tiny minority of users usually accounts for a disproportionately large amount of the content and other system activity. (Nielsen, author’s emphasis, 2006)

This lent support to the notion of a ‘90:9:1 rule’ for new social media, as described by Nielsen:

         90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute).

         9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.

         1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.

Nor was this phenomenon new. It had been observed in other collaborative on-line environments more than a decade previously (Nielsen, 2006).

Such imbalances and the disproportionate efforts of the few may in fact be a common feature of social systems. The Pareto principle or ‘80:20 rule’ is an economic formulation that was first described early in the twentieth century and popularised in the 1950’s by Joseph Juran. It is often used to explain frequently observed imbalances between supply and demand, activity and effort, or the distribution of wealth, (i.e. the tendency of a small minority to hold the majority of a nation’s wealth). The 80:20 rule is sometimes also described as the ‘law’ of the ‘vital few and the useful many’ (Juran, 1951). While the Pareto principle is a well established construct in social and economic life, the participation inequality observed in social media appears to tend to even more extreme imbalances.

With minor variations, the phenomenon of participation inequality holds true for most of the major social media sites. In some cases, such as YouTube and Flickr, active participation (i.e. creating and uploading videos) has been measured as being as low as 0.18% and 0.12% respectively of all visits to these sites (Hitwise, 2007). Despite the huge traffic to these sites and the media hype about their social effects, the opportunities for active participation as creators, commentators or editors that these sites provide have not been taken up by the overwhelming majority of their users. While the ‘architecture of participation’ potentially allows users to upload, comment, tag and blog, very few do. This too is in keeping with recent research which suggests that the skills required for participation in the network of user-generated content are often beyond those of most users (Russo & Watkins 2006).

One of the most significant mass participation Web initiatives, Wikipedia, launched in 2001 and described by the Pew Internet Project as “one of the poster children” for Web 2.0 (Pew, 2006) provides an interesting case in point. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, was been quoted as observing that 50% of all Wikipedia edits are done by just 0.7% of its users (Swartz: 2006). Just two percent of users accounted for more than 73% of all edits. Although the number of unique visitors to Wikipedia increased by 181% between 2005 and 2006 alone, this massive use did not necessarily equate to mass participation (OECD: 12). The ‘1% rule’ – shorthand for Neilsen’s 90:9:1 formulation –  has come to stand for this predictable yet still surprising phenomenon of participation inequality in popular on-line social media platforms.

Do these examples put to lie the idea(l) of the participative Web? Is mass participation an illusion, with simply a new elite of social media amateurs usurping the old professional elites? Or does it suggest we need to reconsider our understanding of how participation works?

Investigating wiki-entry editing patterns more closely, Aaron Swartz observed an interesting division of labor within the Wikipedia community:

…an outsider makes one edit to add a chunk of information, then insiders rack up thousands of edits doing things like changing the name of a category across a whole site—the kind of thing only insiders deeply care about. As a result, insiders account for the vast majority of the edits. But it’s the outsiders who provide nearly all the content. (Swartz: 2006)

Without comprehensive research, it is difficult to establish what proportion of the work in Wikipediais done by what proportion of its users. Overall, it is certainly a tiny minority of users who ‘actively’ participate in on-line social media, but the dynamics of their participation are a little more nuanced than the 1% rule would suggest. Furthermore, additional research suggests that over time, after the initial three years of Wikipedia’s existence, “there was a dramatic shift in the distribution of work to the common users with a corresponding decline in the influence of the elite” (Kiturr et al, 2007: 7). Clearly, as the ‘.0’ in ‘2.0’ is meant to remind us, the participative Web is permanently beta, always a work in progress.

Perhaps the best way to understand these findings is as a ‘long tail’ of participation; with a small minority of participants (the ‘vital few’) shouldering the bulk of the creation and organisation work and a much larger and broader group of less active participants (‘the useful many’) spending small amounts of time and effort. [The Long Tail was originally described in an article in Wired Magazinein October 2004. At the time, Chris Anderson suggested that when dealing with products and services, the ‘tail’ of variety available to consumers is far longer than we realize; it is now within reach economically; and all those niches, when aggregated, make up a significant market.] Like the Pareto principle, this phenomenon demonstrates a ‘power law’ at work in on-line participation (Mayfield, 2006). But as Chris Anderson has argued in respect of on-line content consumption, the ‘Long Tail’ phenomenon may have eclipsed the Pareto principle in the Internet age (Anderson, 2008: 135). The long tail of participation concept might help us better understand the phenomenon of participation inequality better than Nielsen’s 90:9:1 rule.

There are also significant observed differences in participation between different demographics. Across a number of reports published by the Pew Internet Project (Pew, 2007; 2009), younger users of social media have been shown to participate more frequently and more actively in the creation and distribution of original and ‘remixed’ content. This has led to various generalizations such as Tapscott’s argument that not only do Net Generation (or Gen Y, born 1977-1997) use technology differently from previous generations, but also Gen Y brains are in fact wired differently from their elders because of it (2009:29).

Other studies, such as Linda Zimmer’s (2007) analysis of user participation in Second Life, drew attention to different patterns of activity amongst Baby Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y users, applying a framework of participation developed by Forrester Research that defines six categories of social media participant: Creators; Critics: Collectors; Joiners; Spectators and Inactives (Li, 2007). Zimmer found Gen Y’ers or ‘milennials’ were more likely to be creators inSecond Life. Although Gen X’ers were high joiners, they were more likely to be spectators than creators.

Yet some other recent work from the Pew Internet Project raises questions about generational typecasting when it comes to on-line behaviour. Patterns of use are not always as predictable between generations as is sometimes assumed. Gen Y is not the only ‘Internet generation’ (Pew, 2009). Based on such evidence, it would appear that there is no longer such a thing as a typical user of any technology, as generation, life stage, skill, experience and access to technology increasingly fragment user populations. Nonetheless, the temptation to create reductionist user typologies is strong.

The Forrester framework applied by Zimmer, which was named rather grandiosely ‘Social Technographics,’ is represented as a “Ladder of Participation” ( groundswell/2007/04/forresters_new_.html) with participants ranked from Inactives (lowest rung) to Creators (highest). Yet when put to the test with real users in at least one instance, the neat categories and segmentation of the Forrester ladder were found wanting. Focus group research with Australian Internet users aged 18-30 conducted by the Australian Museum demonstrated that the categories defined in Forrester’s ‘ladder’ did not fit that user group’s experience and patterns of on-line behaviour. Instead, people shift between activities and roles, “movi[ng] in and out of categories depending on their age and personal/social circumstances, as well as on their levels of comfort with using technology” (Kelly & Russo, 2008).

Another framework for analyzing participation in Web 2.0 activities – within a museum context – has been proposed by Nina Simon in her Museum 2.0 blog ( Simon’s ‘Hierarchy of Social Participation’ suggests an escalating progression comprising five levels from passive reception of content to social interaction with content (Simon, 2007).

Fig 1: Simon’s Hierarchy of Social Participation


This is another attempt to bring order to the messiness of Web 2.0 participation. But the participative Web has many parts and many ways in which users may take part. Participation cannot be defined in any single or simple way. Individual user needs and behaviour cannot be understood through demographic or ‘technographic’ stereotyping. Designing and sustaining participation in on-line environments in all its many forms requires an understanding of the complex dynamics of individual motivation, incentive and reward, as well as the processes of group dynamics. In the ecology of the participative Web, there are many different niches and interactions that sustain the system; many of these we are only just beginning to comprehend.

Linear, lockstep models of participation ‘ladders’ and ‘hierarchies’ obscure and discount the complexity of individual and group behaviour as well as idealising some forms of participation over others.  Such models disregard the myriad diversity in how people participate in social media spaces. The ladder and hierarchy metaphors also hide the randomised and viral nature of participation in networked social spaces. Instead of individuals climbing ladders and pyramids, the social media phenomenon relies on the network efforts of joining in- in whatever capacity (Benkler, 2006). Simply being part of that crowd produces an effect; the crowd both enables and sustains the phenomenon. Google is still perhaps the finest example of this ‘wisdom of crowds’ at work in the on-line space (Suriowecki, 2004).

Social media give people many ways to shape their own experiences and those of others, some through deliberate acts such as contribution, commenting, rating or re-mixing, others incidental to their use (i.e. through searching, subscribing, being counted toward most visited or other recommender systems.) As O’Reilly observes, “One of the key lessons of …Web 2.0 is: Users add value. Web 2.0 companies set inclusive defaults for aggregating data and building value as a side effect of ordinary use of the application. [T]hey build systems that get better the more people use them” (O’Reilly, 2005). This is another manifestation of what Dan Bricklin described as the ‘cornucopia of the commons’- where, “the act of using the database adds value to it” (Bricklin, 2000; Mayfield 2006). In the Web 2.0 world, to use is to contribute.

The old dichotomies of active and passive participation inherited from the traditional mass broadcasting paradigm are too simplistic to analyse user goals and experiences in participative networked systems. Linear ladder or pyramid constructs are equally inadequate for the task.

In any case, we should also always bear in mind that the use of social media technologies is evolving rapidly. What was true of 2007, or last month, is likely to have changed by the end of the year. It’s difficult to pin down a moving target with any accuracy. What we need are explanatory methods that are fluid, flexible and multi-dimensional rather than rigid and uni-linear.

Constructs of Participation

The tendency to describe user activity in social media spaces within narrow, linear models of participation appears to be the result of a conflation of organisational objectives with those of users. Forrester’s ladder and Simon’s pyramid suggest that users will gravitate to more or to more intense participation, because that is the hope of the organisation: to increase the intensity and benefits of participation to ever greater levels amongst ever greater numbers of people.

From the users’ point of view, it is not that simple. Participation is infinitely more flexible and reflects people’s needs and purposes at differing times. Modes of behaviour are not fixed nor mutually exclusive. Forrester’s overlapping segments recognize this; yet their ladder implies something much more rigid.

While such models reflect a legitimate concern with capturing and measuring organisational value from user participation (whether financial, promotional, or social – for the public good), their emphasis is on pushing more users up the ladder or the pyramid. That may be the organisation’s ‘reward’ for a successful on-line strategy or a cool Web 2.0 service but, for the users, motivations and rewards are far more complex. We suggest instead that it is essential to separate the organisational and user perspectives on participation in any discussion of the purpose and achievements of social media.

The museum view: from interaction to participation and relationship

Museum constructs of audience participation have a long and complex history, which predates social media, the Web and computers generally. For decades museums have wrestled with the baggage of past constructs and conceits about ‘visitors’, ‘users’ and ‘audiences’ and their relationship to the museum (McPherson, 2006; Peacock and Brownbill, 2007). Web 2.0 is simply the latest catalyst to foment those debates and challenge established patterns of relating.

One of the earliest attempts to grapple with the concepts of what a more participative Web environment would mean for museums was suggested at this conference in 2003. Gail Durbin observed a tendency to confuse and conflate terms when describing the experience of new media.

Like ‘access’, the word interactivity is used loosely. For some it means anything in a museum context making use of new media. To me it is any use of new media where the user can influence the outcome, although the degree of interactivity may be limited by the programme. Participation in a web context is a particular kind of interactivity which encourages a sense of involvement. Here outcome is dependent on the opportunities individuals have to exercise their imagination and creativity. (Durbin, 2003)

‘Interaction design’ has its origins twenty years ago as the study of computer programming routines that would interact with human behaviour. It follows in the tradition of human-computer interaction (HCI) research which during its halcyon years from the 1960’s to the 1980’s brought forth such crucial inventions as the on-screen manipulation of objects, the mouse, ‘windows’, text editing and hypertext (Myers, 1998). In museum spaces, computerised ’interactive’ experiences were, first and foremost, closed systems with a fixed array of potential pre-scripted outcomes. As Durbin intimates, the idea of interaction that the participative Web presents is something different, an open-ended one, shaped more by the user than by the program presets.

Participation, Web 2.0 style, has the qualities of emergence and self-organisation common to all open-ended, complex systems (Gribbin, 2004). In creating or contributing to social media environments, museums can no longer program the outcome of the interactions around them or between them and the public. Designing for participation means enabling rather than scripting the outcomes.

‘Participation design’ should not be confused with ‘participatory design’ which has a longer history, beginning as a collaborative process within workplaces, particularly in Scandinavia in the 1960s (DePaula, 2004). Participatory design is more of a methodology for ensuring those affected by design decisions are able to have input into them.

Designing for participation is, instead, as much an act of faith as a rational planning method. It represents and requires a ‘radical trust’ in the fluid, unpredictable and open-ended dynamics of community (O’Reilly, 2005; Spadaccini and Chan 2007). And conversely, on-line communities that are facilitated or supported by museums must also trust the museum to act in good faith. Participation depends on a sustained pact of mutual trust and reciprocity, rather than the pre-scripted and didactic communications more characteristic of museums. Here participation starts to sound much more about relationships than simple interactions.

While there are a rapidly growing number of museum Web 2.0 initiatives, the benefits of participation have mainly been discussed from an organisational perspective. Seb Chan (2008) has gone some way to providing an insight into possible measurements of success. In this analysis, he alludes to four ways in which organisations can measure the success of their social media initiatives:

Self management: the extent to which the community participates in sharing and creating knowledge;

Ambient presence: the frequency and/or consistency of organisational presence on other social networking sites (ie: other blogs, Flickr, YouTube etc) and the amount of information available on aggregator sites such as Technorati;

Strategic conversion: mechanisms for tracking the convergence and connection between physical and on-line visitation; and

Citations: the frequency and quality of citations in sites such as Wikipedia, in academic papers and in commercial settings.

Chan’s analysis provides a useful correlation between organisational effort (human resource, budget and timescale) and reward. From this perspective, user experience is not nearly as important as the value of the venture in organisational terms. The issue here is that should organisations only use measures such as those suggested by Chan, they continue to run the risk of creating content and infrastructure which does not meet user needs.

If we are to shift from an organisation-centric to a user-centric view of the Web 2.0 museum experience, we need new methods for understanding the user experience and new ways of relating to individuals and the on-line ‘crowd’. Richard Lanham, in The Economics of Attention (2006) describes the transition of contemporary society from an economy of ‘stuff’ to an “attention economy” where information is in super abundance and what is in scarce supply is human attention, not goods. In Lanham’s view the challenge for organisations is to create and sustain compelling ‘attention structures’ (Lanham: 21). If museums are going to capture and hold attention with our participative Web initiatives, we need to pay a lot more attention to what users think and do.

Why participate? The tangle of user motivation and rewards

Any discussion of user motivation to participate in social media will inevitably trace its roots to the discipline of psychology. Much of what we understand and assume about human behaviour has been grounded in the precepts of behaviourism and its successors. One of the most contentious and long-running debates within psychology arises from the attempts within the discipline to shrug off the reductionist, mechanical assumptions of behaviourism (Kohn, 1993; Reiss, 2004). Breaking away from determinist constructs such as Thorndike’s ‘law of effects’ (1898) and Skinner’s focus on ‘operant conditioning’ and ‘schedules of reinforcement’, a more complex view of human motivation emerged in the 1940s and 50’s (Maslow, 1943; Herzberg, 1959). Instead of the belief that people simply respond to the promise of reward in a mechanical way as the behaviourists asserted (eg. ‘The Incentive Theory of Motivation’ or ‘Expectancy Theory’), the concept of intrinsic motivation took shape. Intrinsic motivation is the idea that people choose behaviours to meet internal drives or needs. It is typically contrasted with extrinsic motivation, which has its source outside the individual; eg. the promise of praise or material reward, or conversely, fear of punishment.

These concepts are now commonplace, although sometimes confused and still much debated by psychologists. People such as Alfie Kohn have argued that even the concept of intrinsic motivation is contestable. “What appears at first blush an uncomplicated idea reveals itself as a tangle of possibilities, all of which have substantive implications for what we counter pose to the use of rewards” (Kohn 1993: 276). Kohn and others have also pointed to repeated experimental evidence that shows extrinsic rewards appear to diminish levels of intrinsic motivation and satisfaction. This, contends Kohn, is proof that the ‘carrot and stick’ reward systems which predominate in education and management are ineffective and probably counterproductive in motivating and satisfying people.

Reiss (2005) however argues that the bifurcation of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation represents a false dichotomy. The tendency to divide the recognised reinforcers of human behaviour such as play, competition, autonomy, food and sex into one or the other category also leads to a confusion of means and ends. He argues that “motivation is fundamentally multifaceted and cannot be reduced to just two sources” (2005: 7).

There is also much confusion over pleasure as the motivation rather than the reward for a particular behaviour. According to Reiss, “Enjoyment is rarely intrinsic to behaviour; rather, enjoyment almost always depends on the satiation of a desire, need, or motive of the individual” (2005: 4). His own theory of motivation identifies 16 basic drives motivating human behaviour (Reiss, 2004: 187).  The six most relevant as possible motives driving on-line participation are power (mastery); curiosity; status; social contact; order; and acceptance.

Museums have long wrestled with the question of motivation in seeking to understand on-site visitation. We would argue that the complex reasons for engaging with museums are often difficult to define because of our ongoing confusion about the nature of motivation. A different perspective on motivation, particularly when it is not related to employment conditions or security, personal safety and well-being, or family issues, might position on-line participation in a social realm more easily explored through notions of entertainment and experience (Gilmore and Pine, 2007).

Ellenbogen et al (2008) have concluded that in respect of museum visitation, ‘psychographic variables’; that is, those which describe people’s psychological and motivational characteristics, are far more predictive than demographic variables (Ellenbogen et al:188). They have proposed seven categories of motivation for visiting museums:




Life Cycle;



Context or content.

These motives too might be classified according to notions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and reward, or within the entertainment and experience formulation of Gilmore and Pine, or within Reiss’ framework of basic drives.

As another perspective on motivation in on-line spaces, Lanham (2006) offers a three-point ‘motive spectrum’ for human behaviour that he uses to explain people’s participation in the ‘attention economy’. At one end, labeled ‘game’; he describes the competitive “struggle to survival and prevail”; in the middle, ‘purpose’, describing the practical motives of everyday life; and at the other end, ‘play’, the things that people ‘just like’ to do (ibid: 169). The important thing about Lanham’s typology is how it allows for the flow of motivation and behaviour between these three states. Motivation is multi-faceted; a single activity may invoke all three states.

In terms of motivation as it affects on-line participation, Waterson (2006) has summarised the findings of five case studies examining participant motivation in on-line communities. Those studies highlighted ten common motivations for participants in nine different communities which ranged from usenet groups to wiki-based communities of practice:

Seeking information for personal benefit;

Opportunities to exchange ideas and find solutions to problems;


Opportunity for dialogue;

Opportunity to help others;

Chance to gain respect and visibility within a community;

Seeking to build social cohesion within a group;

Shared sense of identity and belonging;

Raise profile with peers;

Commitment to shared values and norms. (Waterson, 2006: 334)

These observations strongly echo the types of motives cited above from Reiss’ list of basic desires. Interestingly too, some of the studies analysed by Waterson also observed how motivations (and rewards) evolved over time. This makes clear once again the shifting, dynamic nature of individual motivation and its interaction with the group dynamics of on-line communities.

Bishop (2007) argues that we need to focus on goal-driven rather than need-driven explanations of user motivation and behaviour.

Theories that suggest that individuals are needs-driven and so-called needs are met in the order of a hierarchy are not suitable for online communities. It is quite likely that community members will desire to do two things at the same time, something that needs-based theories do not take into account. Theories that suggest that individuals are goal-driven are more appropriate for online communities as users will develop and change goals based on their interactions in the online community. (Bishop, 2007: 1890).

Perhaps because of this confusion, we are yet to research adequately the possible motivations for participation in museum initiated on-line communities. Initial findings from the tagging project ( have suggested one apparent motivator that may be particularly relevant for museums, that of institutional affiliation. In her analysis of participation in that project, Jennifer Trant observes that:

Motivations for tagging are often unclear. While the literature of tagging and folksonomy points initially to a selfish motivation for personal information management, the members of the team have posited another, more altruistic motivation for tagging museum collections. People may just want to “help out” museums. (Trant, 2009: 37)

Further research is required to identify and test such motivations and to examine their interaction with other factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic.

In looking for theoretical guidance to explain, model and evaluate museum Web 2.0 initiatives from a user point of view, we face several obstacles and gaps. Traditional media and communications theory struggles to accommodate network dynamics in its conceptions of user behaviour, as it is grounded in a functionalist rather than a social view of technology (Schrock, 2009). Similarly, the discipline of psychology is caught up in its own wrangling over the core constructs of motivation and reward. What is needed to explore and explain social media more effectively are new theoretical models of user behaviour in social media spaces that take account of the social dynamics of these spaces and of the motivations and rewards shaping individual behaviour.