Now we have The Return of the Volcano, the sequel following last month's drama which starred stranded celebs such as Kiefer Sutherland and Whitney Houston. Up to 55,000 Dublin airport passengers are affected this time round. Ryanair says it is emailing and texting passengers about cancellations. A horrible thought occurs – Michael investigating reverse charge texts and emails.
Only those ash-stranded in Outer Mongolia would have missed the most covered story of the week. Gerry Ryan is laid to rest, with a send-off the equivalent of a state funeral to the sounds of an un-Ryan Line-like string quartet from the National Symphony Orchestra, Westlife, a gospel choir and then U2 sending a special message from New York via With Or Without You. "Goodbye Gerry, see you down the road," said Bono at the end.
Still where the streets have no name, but numbers, U2's Adam Clayton wants a New York court to stop his former PA from selling an apartment in the city which she bought for €360,000 in 2007. It's all part of an ongoing court battle between the bassist and Carol Hawkins. He says she misappropriated £1.6m of his money, spending €600 twice daily for 13 months on cars, holidays, jewellery, the apartment in New York and membership of a horse owning syndicate. She denies it.
He moved in mysterious ways but Faisal Shahzad, arrested for the failed car bomb attempt in Times Square, is either "the dumbest terrorist in the world" or "purposefully hapless" gauging how New York police responded to the bomb plot, according to Michael Wildes, former prosecutor. NYPD officers, in contrast, are favourably compared to a certain fictional and gravel-voiced anti-terrrorism agent for their speed in apprehending Shahzad. "Jack Bauer can do it in 24 hours," says commissioner Ray Kelly. "But in the real world, 53 is still a pretty good number." Two of the longest (and a bit) days in their lives ...
It could be a Dan Brown story – only funnier. The prestigious auction house sold a Da Vinci drawing in mistake for a 19th century German work. The 15th century picture, now attributed to the Renaissance master, is valued at £100m but Christie's is being sued by owner Jeanne Marchig for selling the drawing for a measly £11,400. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Donegal Old Master, ministerial 'pensioner' and absentee TD Jim McDaid is priceless. He's so good, he says, he doesn't even have to be in the Dáil to earn his €98,000 salary. Well, when's he going to spend all that money if he has to be in Leinster House a whole 100 days a year? Then there's those time consuming radio interviews ….
Barack Obama praises the "profound personal decency and integrity" of the late President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar'Adua. Like elsewhere this week, it's sometimes only when people die that nice things get said about them. The new president's name has a nice ring to it though – Goodluck Jonathan, whose aims include an end to corruption. Good luck with that one, Goodluck….
The Greek debt crisis becomes a Greek tragedy during protests at the cuts ordinary people will have to deliver as an 'eff-haristo' (thank you) for their €110bn IMF/eurozone bailout. Three people die in a fire-bombed bank. The civilisation that gave the world democracy has to re-master those principles at home.
Even Wall Street may have to ab-Zorba the fall-out from the debt crisis, but the workings of the global financial crisis is all Greek to us mere mortals. Much easier to get our heads around is the story that a Wall Street bank's computer "had attempted to sell $16bn of shares – instead of $16m". You need to upgrade, guys…. Aldi had really cheap ones recently…
The British electorate has spoken – or at least those who got in before returning officers promptly shut up polling stations. The result is a hung parliament. And if you were to ask the hundreds of furious people who didn't get to vote, that's what they'd like to see happen too.
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