| 23.6°C Dublin

How about dumping some hard cash instead of a bucket of ice?

The Ice Bucket Challenge ticks every box for the publicity hungry minor celeb. It's cheap, easy to do, requires no particular skill and has a cache of 'charidee'.

Its apparent selflessness smears a veneer of altruism over what is essentially a terribly shallow act of self-publicity.

Even better than the veneer of altruism is the fact that really famous people like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have done it, thereby removing the air of desperation which normally attaches to an act like pointlessly dumping a bucket of ice water over yourself on Youtube.

Paradoxically, the presence of these celebs is what most proves the silliness and self-indulgence of the endeavour. In theory the whole point of the craze is to raise money for Lou Gehrig's (Motor Neuron) disease. Problem is, when it comes to raising money, Oprah, Zuckerberg and Gates are well placed.

Between them they are worth roughly $111bn. Imagine if, instead of putting buckets over their heads, they put their hands in their pockets?

If the average Irish person gave one percent of their net worth, the charity would benefit by roughly a thousand euro. If Oprah, Zuckerberg and Gates, give one percent of their net worth, the gain would be more than one thousand million euro.

And they ain't alone. Most of the celebs who have undertaken this 'challenge' could make a massive financial contribution to the cause without ever appearing on Youtube or getting even slightly damp.

So if famous people want to video themselves doing stupid stuff, let them at it. But let's not kid ourselves that the motivation is a new-found interest in Motor Neuron Disease.

It isn't. It's a long-established interest in public attention.

Here's the drill for dentists

A survey just published looked at the cost of dental care in Ireland and found that Westmeath is the spot to go if you want a cheap dentist. Although even Westmeath is still very expensive compared to some foreign spots.

Thing is, dentistry is one of those areas where cost possibly shouldn't be the defining factor in your choice of supplier.

If you're going to open your mouth and let a stranger make permanent changes using a pneumatic drill and Novocain, maybe you should pick that stranger based on their qualifications, not their ability to work for cheap.

Jen's one to talk on looks

Jennifer Aniston (right) garnered a lot of praise for her recent comments about accepting age gracefully and her criticism of those who use botox and surgery to try to turn back the clock.

It's misplaced praise.

Aniston is a very pretty woman, who as she ages is remaining a very pretty woman.

Not every person out there is pretty. Not every person ages well. The notion that someone who is not blessed with Aniston's genes is somehow lesser if they try to maintain or improve what they have is as specious as it is patronising.

Would it kill her to just say she happy with how she looks and supports whatever anyone else does to make themselves equally happy?

One stat we can't ignore

Over the last few years we've been fed a lot of numbers illustrating the state of Ireland. This week brought some numbers we really can't ignore - on third level attendance rates in the Dublin postcodes. In Dublin 6, 99pc of kids go to college. in Dublin 17 it's 17pc.

We should put as much effort into changing that set of numbers as we do into the ones relating to the IMF.