Archive for May, 2008

The referendum for Treaty of Lisbon

We have seen the posters for the upcoming referendum all over the place, a majority of them urging on Yes vote, and a small handful promoting No vote. Set to take place on 12 June 2008, Ireland is the only country that is holding such referendum (the other European states are based on parliamentary decision) that may or may not lead to the ratification of this treaty.

Yet, when asked, not many people really know what this treaty is about. I have yet to see any leaflets aimed to educate the voters about the treaty and allows them to make informed decision prior to going to poll. We have a voice, but we need to know for what purpose are we exercising our rights! To date, some 47% still doesn’t know what to vote and I’m certain a majority of them are confused voters.

The following sources are good starting points for those seeking information:

I hope you find these links useful.

A gift for globetrotter

I was hunting for birthday present for a friend recently, but without any idea of what to get. So for the first time in quite a while, I went shopping rather aimlessly. I know my budget (under €50), I know who it’s for, but to browse from shop to shop until I feel something is the right gift, that’s a bit of a challenge.

Lo and behold, it was actually easier than I thought I would be. In the very first shop that I dropped by (The Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street) I found just the gift for her!

Radley Bubbles passport cover

Maybe this is a good time to tell you that this friend of mine loves travelling and had just came back from a year abroad, and planning to be travelling a bit more in near future. I certainly hope she will like this but just in case, I also asked for a gift receipt so she can get it exchanged for a different colour or different item in the shop.

Methinks I will also go back and buy one for myself. :-)

Ps: Yup, she does like it, hurray!

Please Donate Now

for Chinese Earthquake Relief Fund.

In Ireland –

Oxfam Ireland (click here)

Red Cross Ireland (click here)

—–

On 5-12-2008, at Beijing local time 14:28pm, a historically rare earthquake of 7.8 magnitude devastated southwestern China, killing close to 14, 866 people by far and trapping thousands of others under schools, factories and houses, while the worst-hit area was still cut off from rescuers today. Now we are facing a crucial time period of rescuing those needy people and helping them with disaster relief. Children are wandering homeless on the street, young people are being buried by their tearing elder parents with unspeakable sadness.

The victims need your help urgently !!! Each dollar/euro from an individual may not have a big impact. But together, it can make a GREAT difference!!! Your generosity is highly appreciated! PLEASE make your contribution to help the earthquake victims!

Irish Global Competitiveness

The World Economic Forum released its annual Global Competitiveness Report (here) yesterday led by the following top 3 –

United States 1 5.67
Switzerland 2 5.62
Denmark 3 5.55

Ireland has an healthy score of 5.03 and stands at No. 22 in the world. Ireland ranks 4th (5.41 out of 7) and 5th (5.91 out of 7) in Goods market efficiency and Financial market sophistication respectively in the world. And ranks lowest at 49th position for (no price for guessing this one) Infrastructure (4.03 out of 7). Highest points for Health and primary education at 6.28 out of 7.

The most problematic factors for doing business were as follows (here):

  • Inadequate supply for infrastructure
  • Inflation
  • Inefficient government bureaucracy
  • Restrictive labour regulations

Some of the notable advantages mentioned it the report were:

  • Strength of auditing and reporting standards
  • Telephone lines (hard data) [under infrastructure]
  • Quality of the educational system
  • Business impact of rules on FDI
  • Brain drain
  • Nature of competitive advantage
  • Availability of scientists and engineers; Quality of scientific research institutions; University-industry research collaboration

Some of the notable disadvantages mentioned it the report were:

  • Wastefulness of government spending
  • Quality of port infrastructure
  • National savings rate
  • Flexibility of wage determination
  • Hiring and firing practices
  • Broadband Internet subscribers (hard data)

Also yesterday report by ESRI said, the Irish economy has good chances of rebounding after the global market slowdown ends (offcourse with right policies by the new PM).

SAVE Hill of Tara

Last night, we were at Globe on Georges Street and we met some people who wanted to get the word out n loud about Saving Hill of Tara (i.e. opposing the routing of the motorway through the Gabhra (Skryne) Valley in Co. Meath). If you support the campaign, follow some of the links below for more information.

Wikipedia article on Hill of Tara.

Another useful link – savethetara

Or sign the petition here.

Day trip – Bray Head

Bray Head is a hill between towns of Bray n Greystones and it has a beautiful hiking trail along the coast and has wonderful landscape and great views of Dublin City from the Cross on hill top. We did a hike there yesterday, it was quite surprising weather. As we arrived there (nice n sunny from city center), there was thick mist n fog all over the place and freezing wind.
2008-05-05 Bray Head Hike 006
But we can still see the clear blue skies above, so headed towards the hill and its just crazy over the top – nice, warm, sunny, less windy, gorgeous views of town n Dublin Chimneys rising from the mist.
2008-05-05 Bray Head Hike 027
2008-05-05 Bray Head Hike 062

Dublin Twin Chimneys n Houth – Over the Mist

If you around Dublin and the weather is good, take the DART line to Bray and enjoy the beautiful settings, beach n hike of Bray Head.

Acapulco – Disappointing Mexican

Acapulco is a Mexican restaurant on Georges Street. I haven’t seen many mexican restaurants around city (drop me a line if you know any good one), apart from Burritos n Blues in Ranelagh which is closed for last few months for reasons unknown to me.

We have been meaning to go to Acapulco for sometime now, last week I went with a group of friends. In one line – it was disappointing overall.

We ordered some Margaritas to drink and they were just ok (cheap icy tequilla). And the main dishes (ordered different varieties of Chimichanga’s, Burritos etc.) and again, the food was like it was heated in a microwave, the fillings were sort of cold inside, it was bland, didn’t felt fresh at all and price was bit high for quality of food. Thou I must say, our starter was quite good (Mexican Combo), fresh n tasty. The service was nice n friendly. But mostly, the food n drinks were disaapointing esp. from a place I’d heard about so much and wanted to have some good tangy Mexican. I would avoid going there next.

More reviews here and here.

New feature on metblogs – Video Commenting

Last week, our team in LA, released a new feature for commenting on metblogs network and now you can send us your comments through Videos – “Video Commenting”. Personally I don’t have a webcam so I couldn’t test it, but if you like or dislike something about our site, please let us know. The service is powered by Seesmic.

On related note, some people did complain about the signing up part for commenting, but that feature is here to stay, we had loads of discussion on forums about it but its for good and it is rolled on for the entire metblogs cities network, one of main reasons being that it will help us in identifying some good commenters and promote them to authors (off-course only if they wish too :D). You can still be anonymous as it only requires a valid email address without name.

We hope to hear more from you.

Maser Loves You 2

Following on Lil post on Maser Loves You. Yesterday, while walking on George’s Street, there were stickers of Maser Loves You on most Traffic Light post for “Maser Loves You”. Maser is a graffiti artist, but does these post have any meaning or just random promotion.

Maser Loves You 2

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