Monday, April 30, 2007


Fionn Regan at the Savoy

Last night I went to see Fionn Regan play in the Savoy. Fionn started his Irish tour on the 18th of April in Dundalk and finished it last night in Cork. He was supported by a guy called Ollie (I think) who was really good. He played a number of his own songs as well as an excellent cover of the Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. Fionn came on stage with a band and a butterfly net. He started off by playing and singing the first song without the microphone so that everyone was practically leaning forward to catch what he was saying. He then switched from this mellow quiet number to using the microphone for a lively song with great drums. After playing a number of songs and telling us some weird and wonderful stories he took a break to wave the butterfly net over the heads of the crowd. He then informed the audience that this was his atmosphere catcher, so that if someone asked him how the gig was in Cork he could produce some atmosphere bottled from the atmosphere catcher. It was that kind of gig, thoroughly enjoyable for all its oddness. Unfortunately I have a gripe, not about the music but more about the five or six idiots in the audience who persisted in talking during the whole gig. They didn’t even bother to whisper, it was like they were incapable of whispering. I don’t get it, why pay almost twenty quid to go and see a gig if you are just going to rabbit on about fecking inconsequential rubbish the whole time. It is so bloody annoying!!! (Double Grrr…)

Friday, April 27, 2007


Are You Right or Left Brained?

You Are 60% Left Brained, 40% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.

Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.

If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.

Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.

Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.

If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.

Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Are You Right or Left Brained?


Quote of the Week

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Carl Jung
Swiss psychologist (1875 - 1961)

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Whale Rider

This film was made in 2002 by New Zealand film maker, Niki Caro, and it’s a really good film. It tells the story of a young girl’s struggle to fulfill her destiny. The film is set in a small New Zealand coastal village where the Maori claim descent from Paikea, the Whale Rider. Traditionally a male heir is made chief of the village. Koro is the current chief of the village and his eldest son, Porourangi, has a daughter called Pai. Pai is one half of a twin but her brother died at birth and her mother died in childbirth. Her father leaves the village when his wife and son die leaving her with her grandparents. Koro believes that the tribe’s misfortunes began at Pai’s birth and so calls all the boys born at the same time as his granddaughter to put themselves forward as potential new leaders of the village. Pai must stand up to her grandfather and fight for her rightful place in the tribe.

On a lighter note and to quote Mag the only way to describe the actor that plays Porourangi is 'Bom Chicka Wah Wah’.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Women Ogle More Than Men

A study which was carried out on heterosexual men and women, using an eye-tracking device found that women are worse oglers than men. The participants were shown sexy photographs of a person of the opposite gender while their roaming eyes were monitored. The researchers found that men kept their eyes coyly on the women's faces for far longer than the women did. Women's eyes flickered downwards from the face first, although both male and female participants looked at genitals for a comparable length of time.
Did anyone out there think that women didn’t ogle men? I think the reason that guys have gotten such a bad reputation for ogling women is that they are so blatantly obvious about it. Women are fair subtler when eyeing up men, I think it has something to so with the fact that we have better peripheral vision. I read something about it weeks ago and apparently it dates back to prehistoric times when women took care of the children in the cave and needed better peripheral vision to help them spot approaching danger. Well, that’s one theory anyway!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Fields of Gold

I was driving to Doneraile one Sunday a couple of weeks ago when I spotted this field. It looked so colourful that I had to stop and take a few photos.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is an American TV series first shown on NBC in September 2006 which is now airing on TV3. The show was created by Aaron Sorkin (also known as the guy that created the West Wing) and it takes place behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show. The two main characters are Matt Albie, played by Matthew Perry and Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford. Matt Albie is the head writer of the live sketch comedy show and Danny Tripp is the producer/director. Bradley Whitford played Josh Lyman in the West Wing and Matthew Perry played a smaller role of Associate White House Counsel Joe Quincy later in the same series. I really like this programme because it’s funny and interesting. I like the characters a lot and it’s nice to see that both Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry have found credible roles after the demise of the ‘West Wing’ and ‘Friends’. Unfortunately many US television critics and analysts believe that the show will not see a second season. The possibility that his show will be canned so quickly really annoys me. Television is badly in need of some good entertainment and escapism not more reality TV programmes with people blatantly angling for 15 minutes of fame. I hope this show makes it to a second season and that reality TV dies off rapidly in the near future.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Quote of the Week

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.

Elmer G. Letterman

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Packaging Waste in the EU

A recent article on the New Scientist Environment Blog entitled ‘Packaging Waste: Facts and Figures’ caught my eye. Finland and Greece produce the lowest amount of packaging waste with Sweden, Austria, Belgium and Portugal close behind. Unfortunately Ireland along with France produces the most packaging waste in the EU. Ireland’s level of recycling is also pretty poor compared to other EU countries given the amount of packaging waste that we produce. Germany has the best level of recycling which doesn’t surprise me. I spent a couple of summers in Germany so I’ve experienced their recycling efficiency first hand. I am a little surprised that our level of recycling is so low. I thought that Ireland was doing a pretty good job of recycling now, especially compared to about 10 years ago. I guess Ireland’s motto from now on should be ‘Package less, Recycle more’!


Annoying Ads

At the moment the advertisements that I find most annoying are the radio and print ads for Irish Life with Steve Davis in them. The first time I heard the original ad I thought it was amusing enough but after that it just started to get on my nerves. Steve Davis waffles on about all the different years that he won professional snooker titles and the tagline is that ‘being predictable can be brilliant’. The advertisement is for Irish Life Consensus Fund which has given a return of over 10% a year over the past ten years. Of course this claim also comes with the following warnings – 1. ‘The value of your investment may go down as well as up’, 2. ‘This fund may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates’ and 3. ‘Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance’. I don’t have a problem with Irish Life advertising investments that may or may not give you a good return on your money. I think it boils down to the annoying sound of Steve Davis’ monotonous voice booming across the radio waves at regular intervals. I wonder if an ad has ever been denied airplay because it was too annoying. :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The Happiest People in Europe

BBC News today is reporting that the Danes are the happiest people in Europe. Apparently the Danes are a happy bunch for the following reasons:
• Denmark has a 37-hour week.
• Parents get 52 weeks of maternity/paternity leave to be shared between them (24 weeks is usually at full pay, with the rest often at as much as 90% pay and much of it can be spread over the first nine years of the child's life)
• Childcare is subsidised with no parent being asked to pay more than 25% of the cost.
• Most people leave work at 4.30pm and there is no pressure to work overtime
• Family oriented and consumer oriented
• 78% of Danes consider globalisation to be an opportunity
• Generous unemployment benefits
• Life long learning
• Faith in government as an institution
• Authorities are normally competent, uncorrupt and approachable
• Effective public transport
However there are some people that believe that the Danes happiness is down to low expectations. One researcher believes that Danes are more realistic about life compared to other nations where they have higher expectations. He also believes that the Danes are just happy that things didn’t go as badly as they may have feared!

Monday, April 16, 2007



I went to see ‘Once’ in the cinema last Friday night. It’s an Irish film written and directed by John Carney and made on a shoe string budget of about €100,000. The film has a small cast and the main characters are a guy and a girl (literally – that’s what they are referred to in the credits) played by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. It’s the story of a busker and an immigrant and their shared interest in music as well as their interest in each other. There is some wonderful humour in the film and the music is great. It’s a simple film with an ending that is completely free from Hollywood clichés. It was released almost four weeks ago but if you get a chance to see it it’s worth a look.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Quote of the Week

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.

King Whitney Jr.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Sunset Series

I really like sunsets, I'd probably like sunrises too if I was ever up that early. :-)
I took these pictures on the same day as the previous picture that I posted of the 'Sea and Sunlight'.
It was great to be able to watch the sun slowly setting over the sea. Sort of makes the small annoyances of life melt away for a little bit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Sea and Sunlight

This photograph was taken last Friday in West Cork. Sitting in the sunshine and listening to the sea has got to be one of the most relaxing ways to spend a day off.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Quote of the Week

A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.

Dorothy Parker
US author, humorist, poet, & wit (1893 - 1967)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


A Family Affair

I’ve only been to four full weddings thus far in my lifetime. The first was at the tender age of three when I was a part of my Aunt’s wedding (I held her veil along with my cousin who was similar in age). The next wedding was my cousin’s wedding when I was eighteen and this took place on the weekend before my chemistry pre-exam. The third wedding was a friend’s wedding that took place about two years ago. It was a lovely wedding with lots of friends around. The most recent wedding was my sister’s wedding last weekend. She got engaged last July and had most of the important things like the church and the hotel booked within two weeks of getting engaged. I was the only bridesmaid on the job, except on the morning of the wedding when our cousin stepped in as an honorary bridesmaid and did a great job of keeping the show going. I have to commend my sister for not being in the least bit a bridezilla. She was remarkably calm for most of the run up to the wedding and on the day itself. There were even several occasions when she would have been entitled to freak out but she didn’t. When our mother misplaced part of her wedding outfit and one shoe the week before the wedding she calmly drove her to West Cork to get a replacement outfit. When our mother fell in town on the morning of the wedding and had a big gash on her knee my sister said nothing about it although this is probably because she didn’t know that it had happened until I let it slip by accident shortly after the meal. Finally she remained calm even when the bridesmaid and the flower girl almost ended up in Kanturk on the morning of the wedding. This unintentional detour resulted in the bride arriving at the church before her bridesmaid and flower girl. None of this detracted from the day and the bride gave a great speech at the wedding. She also managed to stay up until 4am, partaking in a sing song in the resident’s bar despite having being awake since 4.30am that morning. For weeks before the wedding people had being saying to me ‘there is nothing like a family wedding’ and I think it’s true!