Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Century Travel "Where does your world end"

Great travel ad...
Rather truthful though, there are definitely parts of Dublin like this for me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Anything you can do I can do better

Execupundit alerts us to a publication by author Arthur C Brooks on "What Really Buys Happiness".

In one study, two-thirds of subjects said that they would be happier at a company where they earned $33,000 while their colleagues earned $30,000 than at one where they earned $35,000 while their colleagues earned $38,000. In another, 56 percent of participants chose a job paying $50,000 per year while everyone else earned $25,000, rather than a job paying $100,000 per year while others made $200,000—forgoing $50,000 per year simply to maintain a position of relative affluence.

It hurts my brain to see that alot of the time people are solely motivated in being better than their peers rather than concentrating on being/getting the best possible for themselves. Sillyness I tells ya

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sweet Home Topeka

From wiki...
Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. (born November 13, 1929) is the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an independent Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas.

Since I started this blog nearly half a year ago I have recieved a total of ZERO hits from Topeka, Since my las post yesterday..7 all linking to my article on http://www.godhatesireland.com/ (worst.site.ever) ... perhaps im being tracked by the Phelps? or worse yet....GOD

I'm going to have to set Richard Dawkins and his god the flying spaghetti monster on them!

Fred you are NOT cool

Thursday, July 26, 2007

www.GodHatesIreland.com - maybe just a tad crazy?

Well who would have thought it, from the church that brought you www.godhatesfags.com, protests at US soldiers funerals (who are all dying because of Americas lax attitude towards gays apparently) and irrational hatred comes possibly the strangest site I have ever seen - http://www.godhatesireland.com/

I really thought most people liked Ireland, especially Americans, but supposedly God has it in for us big time! The church which consists almost entirely of the Phelps family and has dozens of followers, is headed by a nice man named Fred Phelps (pictured above), who claims that some students from my very own University had a plot to ambush him.

It begins to look like the fags and fag-enablers of the Literary & Historical Society of the University College Dublin have devised devices against me – phrased another way – they have contrived a plot – or conspiracy – to lure me to Dublin, Ireland, to speak at their 153rd Session on the subject of “Gay Adoption” – and then to arrest me for the crime of violating their law entitled, The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act. That Act is a draconian, antichristic cup of Satan’s slimy vomit straight from the maw of Hell. They know exactly what I will say on the subject of Gay Adoption. And they know that what I will say from the Bible about sodomites will land me in an Irish jail for two and maybe 10 years

And please don’t try to lure me into your vile, sodomite country, so you can arrest and jail me for doing the job God Almighty called me to do. And do you think it’s good to let these vile beasts adopt helpless little babies (called Gay Adoption Debate), to bring them up in a so-called “loving” home where sodomites eat each other’s feces

...Slightly Odd some might say

If you have time I HIGHLY recommend you watch this documentary where Louis Theroux of the BBC meets the phelps family for a week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New York - Who needs repeat custom?

In my short time spent in New York, NY, I noticed a lot of odd things, many of which were the way they did "business" around there parts.

I liked the spicy hotdog ploy because it was at the very least quite sneaky, subtle and clever, However my encounter with the rapper 5mics in Times Square was a great example of why you don't always have to be subtle, you can just...bully people into buying your stuff.

America is a large country with a large (in many ways) population, point being that there are SO many people that to a certain extent you can just forget about repeat custom as being an issue, as long as there are enough people who will buy off you once, especially if operating on a small scale. Times Sq is a great example of this, Mr 5mics stands there all day "selling" his CD, by intimidating probably exclusively tourists/idiots(me)/people that don't like the idea of gang beatings, but so many people pass through there each day that will never return, whether they buy anything off him again is immaterial. Consider this if he gets 3 people an hour to pay his recommended retail price of 20 dollars..that's 60 dollars an hour ($480 if he worked 9 to 5...115,200 if he works the average working yr in hrs), and considering his cds are home made and printed I would guess his only overheads are paying his "crew" to be near by.

I think I'm going to start a rap group...anyone in?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

These are some pictures I took not so long ago down the road from me in Sandycove

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Anything good on?

This was on the Economist website today... so I stole it.
The US is cruising out in front by an impressive margin, but really, who has THAT MUCH spare time?

Champagne lifestyle

I was at a restaurant yesterday in the City center with the crew from my new job and was leafing through the wine list for a bit of a laugh. Seems that if one was so inclined they could purchase themselves a bottle of €3500 bottle of champagne....Who buys that stuff...and more importantly WHY.
I know part of the reason is that it make them feel good because they can then show everyone how great (they think) they are, but when you think of what that money could do, especially for someone who needs it (think famine victims) surely it just isn't right.

Wearing my business hat, I must say the profit margins for the producer must be quite high, last time i checked grapes weren't all that expensive.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New York - Hot dog SHAZAAAAM

I’m usually not a huge fan of buying meat products off people on the side of the street, especially from a dingy little shiny box (did it once in Spain, my stomach didn’t thank me for it), but there was something about the humble hotdog stands in Manhattan that proved irresistible. In my five days in the big apple, I developed somewhat of an addiction to hotdogs and all the strange ingredients within.

Over those few days of munching my way through those hotdogs I developed a certain amount of respect for them in a business sense, it seems they had developed one of the most ingenious business plans for maximising sales EVER (might be exaggerating)

The first part of their plan was to just be…EVERYWHERE, you might avoid one or two stands, but after a few blocks of walking the smell would take hold and you would have to buy one, after all it is just there on the side of the street right?, how convenient

The second part of their killer plan was the product itself. The first time I went to a hotdog stand was with my friend Alex, he bought one dog, then enjoyed it so much he bought another, this time though as a reward they gave him an extra big one (perhaps a reward for his loyalty?), the second dog was however, spicier than a spice girl and within seconds Alex was forced to buy a coke or else his mouth would probably implode…BRAVO.
They might seem like innocent weiner men…but you must beware, they all hold MBAs from Harvard business school.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Recruit this!

A wise man once said...

Allow me to let you in on a little secret here - employers H-A-T-E hiring. It is a difficult, time-consuming and expensive pain in the ass, and it rarely results in the perfect appointment
When I heard this, I thought it must be a slight over exaggerate and that surely they don't mind it THAT much. On my first day at my internship they gave us various presentations on various aspects of the company. One of the bits that proved me wrong was their policy on referrals.

If you refer someone to the company and they are deemed good enough to be employed you get €2,500 and if you were a manager you get €5,000...That is A LOT of dough for the sake of avoiding the recruitment process...I stand corrected
Although I would imagine this could get a bit dangerous if the managers near the top hold a lot of power in the recruitment process and might look to rush THEIR referrals through so as to get the bounty

Exercise your Power

My grandfather used to love gadgets and whorded them accordingly, although having been born in Ireland in the 1920s the word gadget probably had a much broader meaning than it does now, I suppose back then a ballpoint pen probably constituted an exciting new gadget. I was in the old Fidgeon residence a few weeks ago and came across a gadget that even I thought was really quite impressive. It was a radio...that you wind up, with 30 seconds worth of crank, the radio worked through a pretty loud speaker for 10 mins! Now that is pretty impressive.
More recently this type of basic power generation has been tested on the "$100 laptop scheme" that aims to bring laptops to the worlds poorest people in areas where electricity may not be available and will be available as an external periphary for the machine.

I think that this from of manual power generation is fantastic idea and to be honest should be rolled out on a much grander scale.

Take a quick peek inside any regular gym you come across and you will see dozens of people cycling on excercise bikes and running on cross trainers on a road to know where, with the aim of just expending energy (calories), both of these activities require manual exertion to a much greater degree than the simple cranking of a radio, my idea...rather than just waste the energy, hook them up to batteries and use the energy generated to power the gym or store the energy and bring it home. If one person cranking a little radio for 30 seconds can power it for ten mins, I would assume that the amount of energy generated from a 30 min cycle on a machine modified to store it would be imense.

I am not saying that it is feasble that someday our entire grid will be powered by fitness fanatics, but even the small contributions can help make a difference and at the very least it will get some of Irelands overweight people on excersise bikes killing two birds with one stone.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Air Canada

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Canada and all the friendly Canucks that live there, but I read some news today that makes me think that they might not be as intellectually gifted as I had once thought.

It seems that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority deemed it necessary to issue a bulletin to security officers at airports throughout the country, advising that they soften up on their policies on jokes about terrorism. A spokesperson stated that "screening officers were not discerning the context in which the declaration or the statement was made. And they were a little bit too quick on the trigger."

The act advises that staff should more carefully make the distinction between what would be considered a “false claim” which is illegal, and a "careless statement".
In case there was any confusion as to the difference between the two, they even released a few examples of what would and wouldn’t be acceptable…

"I am going to set fire to the airplane with this blowtorch" (false declaration) : (
"What do you think I look like, a terrorist?" (careless or inflammatory). : )

"He is going to hijack the aircraft" (false declaration): (
"Hi Jack!" (careless or inflammatory). : )

To date 117 people have been detained for “false claims” and have face penalties of up to $5000. One such person convicted under the CATA law was an Iranian professor who told an Air Canada host that his briefcase might explode if she tried to push it under the seat…classic

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dick "shooter" Cheney

I realise I seem to be picking on the US a bit recently but some of the stuff is just to good to let go... today on the ch0pping board - Dick Cheney

Mr. Dick Cheney has been the Vice president of the US in recent years under the great George Bush, not the brightest spark we have seen command the great ship America. As a result many people claim that he is the real decision maker behind the government and has exercised the most power of any VP in the history of the US.

Cheney has had his fair share of troubles though, having been caught drink driving as a young man on two occasions, however more recently he got in trouble… and very publicly, for….SHOOTING HIS FRIEND IN THE FACE.
While out hunting Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner and long time contributor to the Republican Party Harry Whittington, in the chest and face causing scarring and a minor heart attack. Perhaps my favourite bit about this story is the odd turn the story takes soon after the shooting, three days later the victim Mr Harry Whittington obviously a fan of the Republican Party, APOLOGISED TO DICK CHENEY! He announced that
"My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his
family have had to go through this week,"
...too weird, also the fact they were hunting for QUAIL(different spelling I know) made me chuckle

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


To coincide with the stateside launch of the much heralded “The Simpsons movie”, the convenience store chain 7eleven has launched a superb publicity campaign, rigging out their stores to look just like the fictional Kwik-E-Mart from the cartoon series, complete with products from the popular show including squishees and “Krusty O” cereal available on the shelves.

The above picture is a branch located in Burbank, California, and actually gives an eerily similar replication of the cartoon equivalent. I must admit if I was in the US right now, the Simpsons nerd within me would have at the store straight away taking many hundreds of photos, but alas I must make do with Spar.

Dan "potatoE" Quayle

Dan “potatoE” Quayle
Dan Quayle was the Vice President between 1988 and 1993 under George Bush snr. Not the smartest man, he made an unusually regular habit of displaying his intellectual feebleness to the nation. Many great quotes can be attributed to him such as “quite frankly teachers are the only profession that teach our children”, and addressing nasa staff as “fellow astronauts” more hilarious ones in the video below!
As a result of his seeming incompetence at life the entire nation prayed for the health of the aging Bush Snr as they most certainly did not want to seem Quayle at the helm of the country.

Quayle left behind a legacy that included being slagged of in Ms. Doubtfire, the Simpsons and numerous other sources. And in the game Civilisation the lowest rank achievable is Dan Quayle, higher up the list is Augustus Caesar.
The one moment that can encapsulate Dan Quayle was during an elementary school spelling competition when he corrected a child who had spelled potato correctly, informing him he had left out the E that is usually at the end of the word...

Who let him get that far, was everyone to embarassed to tap big George on the shoulder and say get rid of him?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Taxing on the brain

My buddy who is currently in San Diego wrote the other day about his dislike for the American way of incorporating sales tax into their prices...they just don't.

For example if you go into a shop and see a nice deal like "coffee + muffin = $2" (which I did) guess what, its not two American dollars. Once you get to the till, they will give you the price with tax added AFTER the display price. (when quizzed about it the sales assistant told me "we dont display the full price becasue if we did no one would buy it")
In fact the only place I found that were decent enough to add in tax were the hotdog stands by the side of the road in New York, god bless those weiner men.

The practice of not factoring tax into the display price strikes me as being particularly and inexcusably lazy. In Ireland for example, when determining the sale price of a product, the retailer has to be aware of how much revenue will actually be made by the sale of the unit, a €1.50 bottle of coke will only really give them €1.18. In our system the retailer takes on the burden of factoring the tax into pricing, Seems in America most retailers are happy to leave the confusion, effort and inconvenience on the customers side...nice.