Sinead Ryan: 'Cathedral has visitors on the slippery slope'
In marketing, it's important that campaigns get bums on seats. Paying punters matter and just putting your message out there and hoping customers buy it is no longer enough.
When the message you're selling is from a 2,000-year-old book, well it's even harder. All the same, Norwich Cathedral may be heading down the slippery slope with advertising its latest, ahem, 'installation art' … a helter-skelter.
The 50ft stripy slide, literally sending parishioners' bums hurtling down the church's vast nave is billed as an initiative termed 'seeing it differently'.
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And whizzing past the ancient architecture and the ninth-century bishop's seat or zooming around the 1,000-year-old vaulting might certainly get you thinking about the afterlife.
It "creates opportunities for reflective, God-shaped conversations", says the cathedral's canon, Andy Bryant.
The calling out to Jesus as you fling your body around the apparatus might not be in the traditional fashion expected, however.
Still, anything that gets you thinking how short life can be is probably a good thing.
You'd definitely need a nice sit down in a darkened pew to thank a higher power for your survival, putting a few bob in the basket for good measure.
Ireland breathes easier as smoking declines
Surviving a little longer these days are Irish smokers, who have cut their cigarette consumption by almost a quarter in five years. The Euromonitor International report shows the benefits began after the workplace smoking ban was introduced 15 years ago.
Since then, it's simply been made harder to start the habit.
Plain packaging, sickening imagery of rotten lungs and an enormous tax has meant smoking has never been less attractive.
We've dropped from an average of 37 packets a year each to 28 in a few short years, ranking us 100th in the world for smoking.
For the diehards (literally) it probably hasn't made a huge difference, and 6,000 of us are still dying from it every year, through largely preventable diseases.
In fact, there isn't a single medical condition that isn't made worse by smoking.
It's good news that more are finally getting the message, and hopefully it's the case among younger people in particular.
Leaving Cert was a 'never again' experience for me
Would you do your Leaving Cert again? If you absolutely had to - your job depended on it, for instance, or it was mandatory like re-sitting the driving test when you're getting a bit doddery. How many of us would give it a go? Me? I'd prefer to change job, lose my job or stick pins in my eyes as relatively preferable options.
The class of 2019 is revelling (or commiserating) after yesterday's results. I hope it's the former, even for those who didn't get what they wanted.
I was one of them (when we had bigger things to worry about, like dinosaurs roaming the earth).
I wanted (or my father wanted me) to get enough points for science. I wasn't allowed to put down "waffly" courses like arts, English or (Holy God, wash your mouth out) journalism on my CAO, or anything that had BA beside it.
Choices in those days for girls from my convent school were nursing, teaching, nun-ing, or, for the brainy ones, the civil service or possibly law, but only at UCD.
I get asked all the time by students which "media" course or college is the best or how to become a journalist (or, depressingly, 'get on television'). I tell them I have no idea, as I never did those things, deliberately at any rate.
So all I'll tell the Leaving Certs is (a) do something, anything, you really like, and the other stuff will follow, (b) it'll be fine, and (c) I'd have been a really bad scientist.