Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Profundity of the day


Seen in the window of Russell’s pub in Ranelagh

Experimental Film Club

While walking around Temple Bar one evening, a poster for Experimental Film Club caught my eye.

The experimental film club is an afternoon of discussions and screenings of classic and rare alternative cinema conceived as an informal arena where diverse practitioners can meet and explore avant-garde film culture. It takes place once monthly upstairs at the ha’penny bridge inn, dublin.

It sounds very tempting since i was looking for Dublin’s underground Cine scene; did a quick search on Interweb and found out that they have simple yet neat blog too. What it says,

The Experimental Film Club is founded by Aoifa Desmond, Alan Lambert, Esperanza Collado, Donal Foreman and Katie Lincoln. They are each involved in different aspects of filmmaking and share a desire to create a forum for exploration of diverse film works. It is perceived that there are a large number of people interested and engaged in aspects of experimental filmmaking in Dublin but no meeting point to build on this shared interest ans knowledge. The club is open to all and will present a different series of screening each month.

Anyone had a chance to attend any screenings? Could be very interesting if you are into parallel cinema.


Lets do it – Metblogs Dublin

To give our readers better content and experience visiting MB Dublin, we have got some new stuff for our readers this week and also in doing this we want to make MB Dublin as happening as some of other big cities in MB network like LA, NY, London etc..

First of, we have a new author – Thomas Lau. Welcome to MB Dublin Tom.

Secondly, we have a new facebook group (LINK) [need to be a member on facebook]. Some people have complained about the signing-up for leaving comments but as that issue is not in my hands, we thought we might setup a fb group to start with and take it to next level from there :). Join us on facebook.

Thirdly, we also setup a “Restaurants in Dublin” Google Maps (LINK) for all the restaurants we blogged and reviewed. All in one place for our readers to easily find and read about it.

View Larger Map

Last but not least, we are brainstorming on various other topics to improve MB Dublin and the readership experience, and we would release them in coming weeks. If you wanna be a part of it, join the discussion on facebook.

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.

Loving Mother Earth

Today is the first day this year that I left my house without a coat, in my tank top and putting my sunglasses on. How glorious to feel the warmth of sunshine and just basking in the joy of a beautiful day like this. En route to work, wanting to maximise my time out in the sun, I even strolled over to St Stephen’s Green park and sat there for a wee bit.

I’m still smiling at the memory of such little pleasure.

Perhaps this is how Mother Earth is trying to gently remind me that today is Earth Day and we really should be more proactive in looking at this planet that we’re living in. Just being aware is not quite enough anymore.

Wicklow Mountains
Wicklow mountains in spring

Ireland in general has been very good in staying green, with various initiative over the years including free recycling facilities (although we could do with more, at convenient locations), “green transportations” namely the Luas, and plastic bag levy (it does encourage more people to bring reusable bags with them).

However, are they sufficient?

We still have a long way to go in educating people to be more involved with green initiatives. There is still too much traffic on the road, often with just single occupants within the vehicle. Why not encourage car-pooling between colleagues and neighbours? There is still too much paper waste in the city, particularly with the free Metro or Morning Herald distribution, not to mention a whole lot of flyers and leaflets. Why not provide green bins in around the city that people can leave these paper waste in, instead of throwing them in the regular bin or worse, just leaving them anywhere.

It is easy to think that a small effort to go green has little overall effect. That could not be more wrong! Every little contribution goes a long way accummulatively. Moreover, that also means one less person who thinks his/her effort is going to naught. That should be viewed as a very positive move.

Happy Earth Day folks!

Smart marketing?

A friend of mine forwarded this link to me, and at the first glance, my thought was “surely this can’t be true – a property in Mars?”… Of course you would be curious too as to what they are offering. So go on, click on the image and have a peek at it yourself!

Red Horizon

I have to say, this is a well thought out marketing strategy. Intriguing idea, fresh look. The website is sleek and simple yet beautifully designed, deigned to capture one’s imagination. I wish I can do some web designs that are this sophiscated. Well maybe one day, when I finally take the time to learn how-to properly.

And no, I am not paid to promote this site. It’s just the whole idea that appeals to my geeky side that I couldn’t resist bringing this to your attention. ;-)

Irish "céilí" Dance

Last weekend, I went to céilí (Irish dance) with friends of mine. We went, which I believe looked like a community center in Monks-town, don’t know the name. Until after we payed and enter the hall, I had no idea that we would actually be dancing, I thought it was more of a show like “little Riverdance”. But no.

In the beginning, there were just too many people and everyone was just bumping into each other. It looked like a Intro to Irish Culture sort of thing, as there were lot European students from Germany n France etc. in there, as you see below.

One of really cool thing and a bit funny too, had a tea & scone break from organizers in between all the drinking we were doing :). The best part, after the break, half of people left and the dance part became lot more fun and by the end of we are enjoying it a lot.

The pic below shows the dance routine called The Siege of Ennis (if i am correct) and i liked it a lot.. very cool :D. It was great fun by the end of the night.

I can highly recommend you to try céilí, its a lot of fun and lot of moves :)


In next few days, i’ll write (read: rant) about different queues, that i have noticed in/around dublin, which are not going anywhere.

Stay tuned (post ideas/comments in the meanwhile).

Not Too Nice Things

Continuing my last post, in addition to nice things I also noticed few not too nice changes.

One of them is very obvious insanely large queues and not sufficient space in check-in areas. With every visit, it seems that either the space is shrinking or the people are on travel spree, I hope something will be done in near future.

The other not too obvious change is around immigration process for non-eu citizens; til last year, it was just a matter of showing GNIB card and passport only. I understand that there’s a great influx of non Europeans for work or leisure reasons, but the recent two trips left a bad taste i.e. after being here in Ireland for seven years. In my last trip, on arriving to immigration counter, the guy just took a look at my passport, not even opened it or checked the GNIB card and asked me to go to adjacent counter. This other counter was closed and there was no way to return thru my original queue, anyhow, after I showed up to other counter, had to wait for a while for somebody to appear. The guy asked me straight away, without checking passport or GNIB card, “what is the reason to enter Ireland?”, for a split second I thought I am in states, “I live here”, I replied. Then a series of question, “What do you do?”, “How long you are here?”, “What kind of work?”, “What is the name of the company?”, etc etc, finally he opened the passport and took a brief look at visa and stamped the entry as if he is granting a personal favour to me. Now, he didn’t scan/read the registration card…? and I was wondering is he a moron psychic or psychic moron?

I wonder if and how this immigration madness will continue…?

Needless (and most probably useless too) to say, the Schengen countries has far more smoother process when it comes to enter the country; and that’s a total different debate that what make the Irish immigration so special that its not possible to enter Schengen zone. It will be interesting to see in 2009 when UK will introduce electronic border control system and CTA (Common Travel Area) will end.

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