Archive for August, 2008

Everyone *IS* blogging

… or so it seems.

One of the latest blogs drawn to my attention is that of the President of Dublin City University – Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski – entitled University Blog. He muses some, shares his hobbies and favourites (he is gadget-loving and also totally into A Fine Frenzy), and talks about education and stuff.

While everything is pretty in University Blog, there’s a disgruntled academic in DCU who has started blogging too (at more or less the same time). Academic Tenure in Ireland is bent on informing everyone of the precarious position an academic could face given the same Professor above-mentioned challenged the traditional sense of a “tenure”.

Interesting to see scandals within Irish higher education institution aired so publicly. It makes me wonder how much more juicy scandals there may be that we never know about… :rolleyes:

Update 2nd Sept : I was pointed to yet another blog, also confusingly/deliberately called University Blog, but with a tagline that this is the diary of an University Professor. This is a very young blog of a month old but its objective is similar to that of Academic Tenure in Ireland. Watch out, more bashing!

Pint and a Picture Show (with some shameless self-promotion thrown in for good measure)

The irrepressibly enthusiastic Howard Linnane restarts his Pint and a Picture series of free weekly film screenings in Russell’s of Ranelagh this Monday the 1st. September, with a program that includes two films by yrs truly. The screenings and Q & A’s are a lot of fun – if you make it there, please say hello.

Mon 1st 7pm programme: you’ll like Mondays now
We’re back to Monday nights at the weekly free ‘picture show’ screenings at our usual venue in Ranelagh this week, but we start at an earlier time this Monday. The programme for Monday 1st September kicks off at 7pm with the usual Irish Short Films Slot starting the show but at 7.30pm we show ‘Yellow Gate Women’ (dir Margaretta D’Arcy (2006); running time 60 mins), a documentary about the Greenham Common Women’s protest that began in the early 1980s against the siting of Cruise missiles at an airbase in England and went on for years. The film was screened at Galway Film Fleadh last year (and again this year, I believe) and it was shown a while back at the Portobello Film Festival in London and has been shown elsewhere.

The screening of the documentary will be followed by a Q&A with the director about the making of the film and about the Greenham protest at which she was present in its earliest days (which I’m old enough to remember and about which I have recently been reading a book written by former protestors – hence my interest in putting the film on, as soon as I read of it). I’m hoping it will develop into a full-blown discussion about Greenham, feminism, writing plays, filmmaking (esp documentaries), working for peace … and whatever else occurs to the audience on the night.

Following the Q&A and any ensuing discussion we’ll be screening ‘Happiness’ (dir Conor Horgan (2005); running time 27 mins), which involves a wide variety of people all around Ireland expressing their idea of happiness to camera. I expect this film to start screening at 9.30pm, if not earlier. We screened Conor’s award-winning first short ‘The Last Time’ on 26th May and again more recently. His latest film ‘About Beauty’, a documentary about Irish artist Dorothy Cross, is being broadcast on RTE1 later on the very same night that our ‘picture show’ is showing ‘Happiness’ ie this Monday 1st (at 10.30pm or thereabouts) and will be screened at the IFI during the forthcoming ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ Documentary Film Festival 2008 in late September. (Conor has kindly agreed to our showing ‘About Beauty’ after that festival screening and will be doing a Q&A about it with us then.) The rest of our programme for this Monday night will be detailed later.

Foggy Notions Ticket Bonanza!

Foggynotions have been busy lately with 3 gigs coming up in September. In what the Irish Times are calling “recession-busting gigs“. They’ve got 3 super gigs in September and they’re all cheap as chips AND we have tickets to give away!

They’re all in Whelans
Sep 10 – Ponytail
Sep 13 – Immanu El
Sep 25 – O’Death

read more to find out how to get your grubby mitts on them!

Maser not loved

Commentary on a mural by the ubiquitous Maser, seen on a hoarding beside the Bernard Shaw.


Shop at Lidl?

The last couple of posts by Sheena that touched on (non) recession and rip-off Ireland reminded me of this blog that I came across a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t quite occur to me to share the link because the blogger Kate Nolan is based in Kilkenny. Silly me. She may be based outside Dublin but what she blogs about is relevant to pretty much everyone in this country.

Lidl Treats was started to dispel the “shame” in shopping at Lidl – it’s strange, in my opinion, to have people complaining about prices then would be ashamed of being seen shopping somewhere where the prices are reasonable – and to show, how products from Lidl can be comparable in quality and value to products in other supermarkets, if not of better value. However, it’s not always just downright approval for all the products from Lidl, and Kate does point out if she prefers particular products over another of the same line. Frank opinion is always a good thing.

For any sceptics out there, Kate also pointed out that she’s not on Lidl’s payroll (scroll down to comments section). In fact, she was a little sorry about the choice of the name for the site, because it’s going to be limiting on what she blogs about.

I wonder if there is someone out there writing about Aldi Treats…

In case you’re also interested in what a couple other bloggers are saying about value for money and other consumer related issues, have a look at Irish Times Pricewatch blog, Value Ireland and Money Guide Ireland as well.

UB Dublin Theatre Festival 2008

Just a quick heads-up for any theatre lover out there. The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is back, and will be running from 25 September to 12 October this year.

There are several performances that caught my attention, including Mozart’s The Magic Flute but in South African way, Barabbas’ Circus (this reminds me of The 7 Fingers’ Traces from last year, but more colourful and I suspect equally entertaining), and Kafka’s Metamorphosis which looks to be spectacular as the show collaborates with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

I understood from a couple of friends that the booking system went a bit crazy last week shortly after the online booking opened. A trip to the box office to clarify things up (i.e. to check if booking actually went through or not etc) ended up taking over an hour as there was quite a large number of people who were there after encountering the same issues with online booking, on top of normal theatre goers who were trying to purchase tickets directly.

It was frustrating and therefore I had opted to steer clear for a few days before making my move. Let’s hope all these are now sorted. At the very least, by the time I try to get my tickets. ;-)

Recession? What Recession?

Ladies and gents, feast your eyes on the latest little gem to grace the shelves of our local supermarkets. Spotted in Superquinn, Swords, in the midst of an apparent ‘supermarket price-war’, encased in protective plastic casing, this BOTTLED WATER will set you back a whopping €44.99.

According to Bling H2o’s website, the product is “strategically positioned to target the expanding super-luxury consumer market”. At almost €60 per litre, I’m curious as to what the ingredients of Bling H20 are to merit such a price. Perhaps it’s droplets of sweat from the foreheads of assorted Hollywood starlets? Maybe the water has been purified by filtering through 20 carat diamonds? Maybe it has a few shots of common sense thrown in there for good measure. Nope, it seems that you’re parting with your well earned 50 in exchange for nothing more than what we all have literally ‘on tap’ every day. Oh, and a fancy bottle. Whatever floats your boat.

Dublin Gingerism

Having been in a mixed-race relationship in the past, I’ve gotten some racial abuse (“Stick to your own kind!” etc.). This has only happened once in Dublin and a few times in Turkey (I was only there for 3 days, the racists!)

However, I couldn’t help but laugh when a group of skanger urchins gave abuse to a poor guy who was walking outside Trinity college with his girlfriend.

Ah look at yeh, yeh ginger bollix!
(and then to his girlfriend) Is he yer boyfriend? What are ye doing with a ginger lad!

I think its funny that one of the physical features of being stereotypically Irish results with abuse like some minority group.

Festival of World Cultures 2008

From Friday to Sunday, Dun Laoghaire is hosting the Festival of World Cultures. The event promises a mix of music, performances, markets, food and other eclectic fun.

Check out their website for a full programme of events. Some are free and some are ticketed (the awesome Seu Jorge is sold out) but it all looks fun.


Gone are the days of the 10 penny mixture…

I think I’ll start a regular ‘Rip-off Ireland’ name and shame spot, prompted by the fact that retailers in ‘Dublin’s fair city’ think that they can charge what they damn well please and get away with it. For an excellent example of this, see Conor’s post from a few weeks ago about rip off rice merchants.

Another shining example: I brought my 5-year-old son and 8-year-old cousin to Charlestown Shopping Centre during the week to run a few errands. After bribing them with anything their little hearts desired to ‘please behave for just half an hour’, I made good on my promise and told them to pick out 5 sweets each from the pick-n-mix vendor, Sweet Express. My jaw almost fell off when the assistant asked for payment of €7.90. Yes, you read right… €7.90. For 10 sweets.

More fool me for paying it you might say, but (note to self) doe eyes and quivering lips can be a powerful tool.

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