Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds

The soundtrack of my childhood was on at the O2 last night and it was awesome!
A 30 piece orchestra and 10 piece band conducted by Jeff Wayne himself.  His conducting style included changing clothes during the intermission and dancing a lot.  2 members of the original cast (Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and Chris Thompson) reprised their roles aided by a fantastic Jason Donovan as the Artillaryman, Rhydian Roberts (of X Factor fame) as Parson Nathaniel - the role originally played by Phil Lynott  - and one of the Atomic Kitten ladies (Liz McClarnon) as his wife.  There was a cool giant tripod martian model which did impressively bright pyrotechnics.  And of course, the Richard Burton hologram....even though he's dead and was never filmed doing the narration, they got an actor who facially resembled him to speak the words, filmed him and superimposed Burton's face over it.  It's nowhere near as lame as it sounds.  They had a video screen behind with a large cast and lots of nice animation.  The Martians really reminded me of Cthulhu.

The real star of course is the iconic music, which I personally think might have redeemed that awful 2005 Tom Cruise film...they should have paid Jeff Wayne any money he wanted to use it.  Hopefully the tour will make a return visit next year and I would be quite happy to see it again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow!

Now this is what I call seasonal! Those Taste of Christmas people must be delighted. Let's hope the weather clears later today: the city could look beautiful.

O'Connell Street + Snow = win.

I call this "Girl in Blue Coat getting Snowed On". I need to work on my naming conventions.

Women think snow is romantic. Men think snow can be fashioned into a crude but effective missile weapon. They're both right.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Protest March

Any views expressed are my personal opinions only and not those of other contributors or anyone else.

Earlier today O'Connell Street was filled with thousands of demonstrators expressing their anger at the Government. Estimated numbers vary widely, from 50,000 to over 100,000. Although the protest was organised by ICTU (the Irish Congress of Trade Unions), the ordinary marchers were not necessarily there on behalf of the unions. Their shared motive was to express frustration and disgust at the Government, especially Fianna Fail.

Protesters assemble.




Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Fintan O'Toole addresses the crowd and is well received.

Ruth McCabe reading extracts from historical documents. She and Fintan O'Toole have found a strong line of attack on Fianna Fail. The party has long gloried in a soft form of nationalism, but how will they celebrate 1916 when they have done such damage to Ireland's sovereignty?

Jack O'Connor of SIPTU. He was greeted by booing. The protest was organised by the unions, but clearly many people feel that the unions - as social partners - share part of the blame.

Francis Black as she prepares to sing Legal Illegal.

Marie Doyle talks about how pensioners have been affected. (Her speech delighted an elderly lady beside me who had been very unhappy up to that point that pensioners' issues weren't being discussed.)

Unemployed plumber Keith O'Driscoll.

Siobhan O'Donoghue.

Berry Flemming, a Laura Ashley employee.

Felix Lennon sings about healthcare.

David Begg of ICTU. Perhaps hoping to avoid the booing Jack O'Connor received Begg gave a forceful speech strongly attacking the Government. He mostly succeeded in getting the crowd behind him.

Christy Moore.


The protest was well organised and there was little or no violence, so much so that the Gardai seemed cheerful rather than tense.

Although I accept that we're in a bad way and that cuts and tax increases are unavoidable - and would be even if we didn't have a banking crisis - there's no denying that a lot of innocent people are going to get hurt. After the protest I spoke to a homeless man and (miracle of miracles) a woman who recently moved from being homeless to having a home. I'll write more about that in another post. All I'll say here is, it made me feel like paying more tax. And ICTU: your members might be suffering, but they're not the most vulnerable in society.

Taste of Christmas at the Convention Centre

 So I went along to the Taste of Christmas today.  The weather was obligingly Christmasy with the sun shining on a light dusting of snow.  The setup is very similar to the summer Taste of Dublin event, with florins instead of real money and many of the same restaurants taking part.

There's a larger element of exhibitors than the ToD with demonstrations of cookery and equipment.  Marks and Spencer are a major sponsor and they have 2 large central sections with Christmas stuff to buy - everything from food to wrapping paper.  They were also giving out free samples of mince pies (standard) and wine.

The event runs over all 5 floors of the Convention Centre but the top floor auditorium was off limits for pleb tickets.  There was a top-up amount to be paid to see the celebrity chef demos.  The 2 main floors featured a small selection of restaurants (10 by my count) offering 3 different dishes for a variety of florins.  The portions were tiny, smaller than its summer sister event but the standard of food was overall good.  My favourite dish was a peanut satay chicken skewers from Swai, a Malasian restaurant.  I also sampled dishes from Town Bar & Grill, Pieminister and Pichet.

 The views of Dublin from the centre are spectacular.  The sunshine helped of course.  You can see Lansdowne Road, or whatever we're supposed to call it now, and the Millennium Spire and the Calatrava designed Samuel Beckett Bridge.

One of the best deals going was at the very large O'Briens (the wine people not the sambos).  For a refundable 3 florin deposit, you got a tasting glass and could sample all the wines on offer from the 11 different suppliers.  Getting drunk would have been pretty easy once you started tasting here, though they did have bizarre cardboard spittoons for serious wine buffs.  They had a price list for everything on offer but you couldn't buy it there.  This was a flaw, there was at least one wine I would have bought on the spot but the chances of me finding an O'Briens to buy it in while I still remember the name are less good.


The higher up floors featured bars and different sponsored areas.  Franc, that wedding planner guy has branched out into interior design and his stand featured this lovely white deer...I wouldn't fancy it in my house!

Good Food Ireland had a big stand upstairs with plenty of home-grown samples on offer.  I tried and subsequently bought some fantastic goats cheese from Knockdrinna in Kilkenny.  The view below is taken from as high up as I could get without spending more money. 
Overall, it's a good event but it's costly and I feel out of step with what people are willing to spend for a food fair.  For example, nearby parking in Jurys was €3 an hour, the coat check was €2 and the cheapest dish I ate was €4 (florins even).  My mother and I went through €40 of florins in 2.5 hours and we could have easily eaten more food.  However, it was well supported.  I felt it didn't have the great vibe that I've experienced at the Taste of Dublin.  They did have live music going on each floor.  The evening sessions may be different, of course.  It's running all day tomorrow too and if you are going along, I advise buying tickets online because there was a long queue of very cold looking people outside the centre at the box office.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Artists' Studios Open Day in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios

On Saturday 27th November Temple Bar Gallery & Studios are having their annual open day:

"The artists’ studios at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios are usually for private use by the artists’ membership who occupy the studios daily for varying periods of time. Artists vary from the emerging, young artists in Project Studios to established and mid-career artists in the Membership Studios. Almost all of the thirty artists will open their doors to the visiting public and will demonstrate through their work and dialogue the breadth of ideas, media and materials that make-up contemporary visual art. Visitors can expect to learn lots about installation and new media work as well as painting and sculpture."

The open day runs from 2 pm to 6 pm.

At 3 pm there's a panel discussion on Intellectual Property rights, featuring Jim Carroll (Journalist for the Irish Times), Conor McGarrigle (Internet Artist and Gradcam researcher), and Keith Donald (Chairman of the Irish Music Rights Organisation).

No booking is necessary and these events are free.

Swords Comedy Club

Social butterfly that I am, I also went to a comedy night in the Peacock in River Valley, Swords last night.  It's a monthly event.  I'm not sure how long it's been going on but this was the first time I heard about it.  And of course, I was dubious and wondering if I would need to duck out at half-time.  Happily, I was wrong.  The night was hosted by Andrew Stanley and he was local to Swords.  He took a lot of his comedy from slagging people in the audience, which worked, though I'm often not a fan of that style.  The second comedian had a quite chauvinistic approach to comedy, and though plenty of people were laughing, it wasn't for me at all.  The headline act was John Colleary and he was worth the wait.  He seemed to ad-lib the first 15 minutes of the act based on his surroundings and was a master of accents.  He's from Sligo and did an excellent line in culchie bashing, which worked well with a North County Dublin audience.  And necessarily for these times, he did some fantastic government bashing, taking off the two Brians brilliantly.  The gig went on until midnight, quite late for a school night, but everyone seemed to go home happy.

They're on Facebook as Swords Comedy Club and their next event is 16th December.  There is a cover but deals can be done if you're bringing a group.

Richard Hearns

Richard Hearns is an up and coming North County Dublin artist.  I attended the opening of his current exhibition "Like a River Flows" in Fingal County Council's offices in Swords last night.  The mayor of Fingal did the honours.  The work is quite diverse, mostly still life; he obviously has talent.  Personally, I think he needs to settle on a style.  I see elements of Yeats and Roderic O'Conor in his work but other smaller pictures look a little clunky.  I wouldn't be mad about his framing style, which can make or break a painting for me.  The exhibition is free and runs until 16th December.  It's in the lobby of Fingal County Hall, which in itself is a building worth seeing.  Built on the site of Swords town park, it was controversial but I like it.  The lobby is all glass with exposed steelwork and has lovely light, even at night.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"You're FFired" - silent protest

This is not a politics blog, but (for better or worse) politics is a part of our culture. Even if were not, even if you don't care in the slightest about politics or economics, you're still affected by it. And right now, the political-economic crisis is unfortunately the story of our time.

Actor Morgan Jones organised a silent demonstration outside the Dail today. Called "You're Fired", it's been heavily discussed on Twitter under the hashtag #youreFFired.

Photos from the demonstration:

Morgan Jones tells the Government they're fired.







It saddens me that the numbers involved were small, only a few dozen. This was such a well-mannered protest; no loud, angry ranting and self-interested demands for this or that interest group to be given special treatment. Perhaps we as a people are still only willing to protest en masse when it involves noisily protecting our own personal interests; and so perhaps our politicians ignore those who protest in a calm and reasonable way not for themselves but for society as a whole.

National Crafts & Design Fair

The National Crafts & Design Fair is on from 1st - 5th December in the main part of the RDS.  Entrance costs (like everything in the RDS) but this is a lot more manageable than other Christmas-y events at €10.  I've been this fair a couple of times over the years and I always picked up presents that were different and unusual, and importantly, entirely Irish.  Traders will range from art galleries to potters to jewellery to knitwear and ornaments. There's also a food section to gorge yourself in between shopping.  Best to go on a weekday if possible, it can be quite crowded at the weekends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Taste of Christmas

A quick reminder that the Taste of Christmas is on this weekend.  I think the tickets are fairly expensive (the basic is €19).  The concept is the same as the Taste of Dublin (epic annual gluttony fest) but hopefully with a lot more mince pies.  The "no mince pies before 1st December" rule may be broken.  I won a ticket to it so I'll reporting back at the weekend.  I'm actually more excited to see the inside of the Convention Centre!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photos of Festival of Light on O'Connell Street

High-flying street performance before the Christmas tree lights are turned on.

Child watching the light show projected onto the GPO.

The GPO (left) and the Christmas tree.

Christmas lights officially switched on on Henry Street

A few photos from Henry Street earlier this afternoon...

Santa greets kids on Henry St.

The photoshoot for the switching on of the lights by the children. Of course in reality the lights had already been turned on several minutes earlier.

And here's the actual moment when the lights were turned on.

The marching band. Fair play to them, they knocked out a few crowd-pleasers.

At 6 pm there's the main event: the official switching on of the O'Connell St lights. Even at 5 pm there was a crowd gathering, so expect a large crowd by the time the ceremony starts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunlight Chambers on Parliament St

The Sunlight Chambers are one of my favourite buildings in Dublin. A walk up the quays is always brightened by seeing them. They were built in 1902 as the Dublin office for Lord Lever (of Lever Bros fame) and designed by Edward Ould, who was from Liverpool. The name comes from the still manufactured Sunlight Soap. It's Italianate style and has two colour terracotta friezes between the floors. The frieze depicts a history of hygiene, which makes sense if you own Lever Brothers. There's also 3 bas relief roundels with curious looking heads.
Like all good architecture, people were polarised by it and "The Irish Builder" declared it to be one of the ugliest buildings in Dublin. People also disapproved of a foreign architect designing in Dublin, which is hilarious when you consider that a) we were all the same country in 1902 and b) there's a long history of British architects designing in Dublin (hello James Gandon, William Chambers, Edwin Lutyens) It was really dirty for years but thankfully is now restored to its original glory. You can't go inside because it's let out to solicitors but it's easy to walk past for free!

Traffic

As part of Innovation Dublin, I took a tour of Dublin City Council's traffic control room yesterday. By chance, I was the only person on this particular tour, so I ended up with much more personalised visit which was given by Andrew Harris, though I also met the rest of the people at work. The room was like I imagined: a big room full of video monitors, maps and computers. They are open 24/7 all year round, which a team of 11 working in shifts. They work in conjunction with Dublin Bus, AA Roadwatch, the Gardaí and they have the twice daily radio program (Live Drive: listen for the traffic reports, stay for the music and the lack of depressing recession talk and sport news). There's 170 cameras in different spots around the city. They can scan the whole M50 in 15 seconds! They do have some gaps in their coverage like Merrion Square and Baggot St. I was surprised to hear that they don't actually record with these cameras, it's a live feed only (which makes sense - the storage they would need otherwise). So don't waste your time ringing them if you have a contentious accident looking for footage. We talked about the sheer awesomeness of the Port Tunnel (the very first time I went through, it confirmed my long-held opinion that *tunnels are cool*) and what a difference it had made to the city centre.So what other important things did I learn? Well, we know integrated ticketing is finally making its appearance next year but I hadn't heard that we are soon to get GPS live bus updates at bus stops! I've seen this at work in other countries and it has been long needed in Dublin. Though it does make me wonder what the readout will say when the reason the bus hasn't appeared is some dubious Dublin Bus reason like "a driver didn't show up so we arbitrarily decided this particular bus wouldn't run". Dublin Bikes is being expanded massively (which has already begun) and is apparently the most successful scheme of its type in the world!
If you're a driver or a cyclist, I highly recommend doing this tour if you get the chance at some point.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Chocolate Christmas in Temple Bar


If you like chocolate, check out A Chocolate Christmas in Temple Bar. The festival runs from Friday 3rd December to Sunday 5th December, featuring a variety of chocolate-themed events. There'll be a chocolate cooking demonstation, a talk about the history of chocolate, outdoor movies, and lots more - many of them free.

Although I don't usually eat much chocolate, I really like the sound of the Co Couture’s Chocolate Connoisseurs Club tasting session:

Taste some of the finest chocolate in the world, learn about its culture and most importantly its flavour. Indulge in some of Co Couture’s creations and cleanse your palate with a glass of champagne.

It'll cost €10 but that includes a goody bag to take away.

Events can be booked from 9 am today, Monday 15th, at www.templebar.ie, in person at the Temple Bar Cultural Trust building on East Essex Street, or by phone (01 677 2255).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Innovation Dublin

I'm doing a tour of the traffic control room in Dublin City Council. Yes, I am that nerdy. Further information on all their tours is here. Many are running for several days - I'm not doing the tour until next Tuesday but don't let that stop you!

Theatre: Happy Days

My first experience of Beckett was many years ago, when I saw Waiting for Godot. I felt a great deal of sympathy for the main characters - poor, bored Vladimir and Estragon - waiting endlessly and in vain for something to happen. I was not impressed. Would Happy Days change my mind about Beckett? Perhaps I would instead discover that Beckett had just done another cut & paste job on the second act.

The Project Arts Centre website describes this production of Happy Days by Corn Exchange as "an hilarious, luminous and sublime portrayal of human resilience". It's a play about a woman buried in sand; a play about her daily routine; a play about her happy, unhappy days. As in Godot, it's not obvious what's going on, why it's happening, or what underlying meaning or message Beckett intends to convey. Is this just the theatrical equivalent of Lost, one mystery after another with no true purpose or plan except the commercial imperative to keep the audience watching?

No, it isn't. I think I've finally realised how to watch a Beckett play: just take it for exactly and precisely what it is, without forcing meaning or implication or allegory from the play. One of the few very clear and obvious messages from Beckett in Happy Days is that his audiences always demand meaning. Individual elements of the play might well be references or metaphors, but the play as a whole? Damned if I know what it's meant to mean - and perhaps it doesn't mean anything at all, any more than abstract art does. Or for that matter, when Damien Hirst preserved a shark in formaldehyde, did anyone ask "what does it mean?"

Clara Simpson (pictured) as Winnie. Photo by Johnny Savage.

There are two acts. The first was the more lighthearted, and while I enjoyed it I wouldn't go so far as to describe it as "hilarious". The second act though was gripping - Beckett ups the intensity, the tempo, and the contrasts within the scene. There's no plot in the conventional sense, but there's a lot to appreciate and think about.

So: is it worth seeing? That depends entirely what you're looking for in a play. If you want a fun, light-hearted night out full of easy laughs, see something else. (I haven't seen Big Ole Piece Of Cake yet but it's getting good reviews.) However, if you're willing to take a chance and enjoy a play as art instead of purely as entertainment then yes, I would certainly recommend seeing this.

Conclusion: Happy Days is a work of art, and Corn Exchange have framed it beautifully.

Happy Days continues in Project Arts Centre up to and including 20th November. Tickets cost €22/€18. There will be a post-show discussion following the performance on 17 November - I strongly recommend this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Innovation Dublin

Innovation Dublin starts today and runs until 21st November. Watch out for Dublin By Bike Tours if you're willing to risk cycling in the city.

I like the look of the Dublin On The Rocks tour, and not just because it's a good name.

If you're into Joyce, the Finnegans Wake all-day workshop on Saturday sounds pretty awesome. I don't think I'd be able for it, personally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Walking Tours of Dublin: Docklands

As mentioned previously, Architecture Tours Ireland are about to get going with several different walking tours of Dublin. This weekend, I did the Docklands tour. The weather was, well, rubbish. We met at the Customs House. Our tour guide, Eoin, introduced himself and we got started, talking about the docks in general, and of course the Customs House. Then sheets of rain appeared and we had to hide in the portico of the Customs House, which actually doesn't provide that much shelter. We stayed there for about 10 mins, due to the uncanny ability of one man to tell us exactly when the rain would stop. RTÉ should snap him up! We pretended it was Busáras as well so that we wouldn't get ridiculously wet while we heard about it. The rain stopped after 10 mins and we moved off through the IFSC, weaving out on to the docks occasionally. We examined different residential and office blocks in there and talked about the new Spencer Dock bridge, which is shaped like a manta-ray. We crossed the Liffey on the Samuel Beckett and then faced it to hear all about it and the new convention centre ( I like to call in the Coke Can building). We walked up Admiral Brown walk (yes, that Irish guy who set up the Argentinian navy) past a perfect little playground to Grand Canal Square and talked about all the buildings there. The tour ended there, again coming in around 1 hour 45 mins. The only downside of the tour was that it's not circular so I had to walk back up the quays to my car. It was far too wet for Dublin Bikes! Despite the rain, for this time, I managed to forget the state the country is in, and for the most part, heard about buildings made in the last 15 years - proof positive that some good things have come out of the Celtic Tiger.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coffee: Nick's Coffee Company

Is this the best coffee in Dublin?, asks the sign outside the new coffeeshop on Tara St, Nick's Coffee Company. This is the second Nick's coffeeshop (the other more established one being in Ranelagh) and it opened just over a week ago.


"Best" is a difficult concept in the world of coffee, not just because individual tastes vary but because there are so many niches within the coffee business, so many subtly different types of customer. And of course anyone hoping to be the best faces many tough rivals, and in particular 3fe (Third Floor Espresso) on Abbey Street.

My impression of Nick's got off to a good start. Their coffee is strong and well prepared, so much so that walking along the street I could smell the acidity before I had even tasted the coffee. Nice - most coffee in Dublin doesn't have much of a zing. The coffee (Nick's "sweet espresso" blend) reminded me of Ariosa coffee. The decaf is also good and passes the "actually tastes like coffee" test.

Service is prompt and very friendly. There are a few nice touches: the Irish Times and other papers are available for reading, and the names of the day's baristas are written up on the chalkboard.


So how much does this all cost? One of the wierd things about coffee is that cost and quality are largely unrelated. OK, so you'll always pay a lot for a cup of Esmeralda, but time after time I've found that many of the highest-quality coffees available in Dublin are also very reasonably priced. In some cases, this is because the baristas selling quality coffee are based out of stalls instead of fixed premises; or like 3fe they use an unconventional venue. In the restaurant business, a fancy venue and good food often go together, with a corresponding price: in the coffee business, a spacious and expensively decorated interior or high prices do not indicate anything about the quality of the coffee.

It's possible that the recession has actually helped the growth of Dublin's "coffee culture", by offering baristas the chance to get shops at affordable rental levels. Whatever the reasons, Nick's is currently the best value coffee in Dublin. Why? Firstly, it's very good coffee. Secondly, they currently have a special offer for anyone working in the area: €1 for a coffee. Even at their normal prices they'll be extremely competitive.

I'm not sure yet if Nick's can claim to be the "best coffee in Dublin" but at €1 a pop to try it out, anyone around the Tara St who likes coffee should give it a go.

Update: the €1 special offer is over, but Nick's will soon be introducing loyalty cards.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Theatre: Wyrd Sisters

Wyrd Sisters is a play based on the Terry Pratchett novel of the same name, as adapted by Stephen Briggs, and is being produced and performed by No Drama Theatre.

I have to admit straight out that I'm entirely biased. No Drama is an amateur drama group and the people involved are just plain lovely. I've been along to their regular workshops twice and I'm sure that having met them before enhanced my enjoyment of the show.

And I certainly did enjoy it. Maybe it was the atmosphere - the opening night was sold out and there was a real excitement to the crowd. Or perhaps it was the play itself, which moves along at a nice pace, particularly in the second act. Whatever the reason, every few minutes I'd realise I was grinning like an idiot.

By far the most surprising and impressive aspect of the production was the casting. Wow. All bias (and liking pretty actresses) aside, the casting was superb, matching or exceeding many professional productions. Getting the right look for the three witches was essential to the play. Ann Hogan was perfect for the Granny Weatherwax role - stern, austere, not to be challenged. Ellen Hallinan was similarly spot on as Magrat Garlick and Maria Dillon has the soft, friendly facial features to play Nanny Ogg (although it has to be said that she is too young for the role). Rachel Byrne, as Lady Felmet, was also an excellent choice. I don't have any mental image of the character Tomjon from the book, so I don't know if Joe Kearney looks right for the part, but he was hilarous.

Maybe I'm a big softie or just enjoyed the whiskey in the bar, but I particularly liked that the members of the drama group who weren't on stage were very actively involved in a variety of ways, from selling tickets to handling lighting and stage preparation. As a group they have a great attitude.

One area where the production didn't match a professional production was the size of the stage. It was a little cramped, squeezing the characters together and restricting them slightly. (The cast is large and at times there's a lot happening on stage.) Fortunately this was handled well and didn't interfere with the story.

Wyrd Sisters runs in the Teachers' Club on Parnell Square up to and including Saturday 6th November. As I said, I'm biased, but it really is great fun and well worth seeing.

The tickets being sold on-line for Wyrd Sisters are now sold out for all nights of the production. However a limited number of tickets will be available on the door each night. The play starts at 7:30 pm so arrive early to ensure you get a ticket.

PS Sir Terry Pratchett is in Dublin this week and dropped by to say hi to the cast and crew. Nice one, Mr Pratchett.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Millbank Theatre, Rush

I've been meaning to mention this fantastic place for ages. It's the home of the Rush Dramatic Society, who are "professional" amateurs, and regularly win prizes. The theatre was purpose-built with community funds in the 1980s. They have a full program of events throughout the year. Tickets are always reasonable and parking is free. There's a nice little bar too. Their upcoming production of Brian Friel's "Philadelphia, Hear I come" begins on 17th November for just shy of a month. Their website is here and bookings can be made by phone or email.

Photos from Defuse Dublin

DublinCulture.ie, bringing you the latest in badly edited photos with possibly unhelpful or inaccurate captions. Thing of it as a game - try to match the pictures to the information about the speakers over on the Defuse Dublin website.

A full house in the Sugar Club

Randall Snare can just get lost (and enjoy the experience)

Colm Brophy makes the wise decision to include Sid Meier in his presentation. Frankly, this is an underused presentation technique and I for one would like more Sid Meier-related slides.

Brendan Knowlton make a very good points about paying attention to what's really needed by clients. Big fancy hats.

If I worked for Stalin, I would.

Séamus T. Byrne tells us a story about humans. Personally I think we'd benefit from being a more analytical species, but we are what we are.

Ian Walton & Marcel Twohig

We have a winner! Graphical proposal for Dublin's greatest tourist idea, ever: add a slide to the Spire.

On a side-note, isn't that a lovely shade of blue?

Behavioural economics is discussed by Dr Pete Lunn. Also, doesn't he remind you of Wash from Firefly?

Ants, bees and design: Antonella Sassu

John Wood is a design Nazi.

Ellen Dudley talks about how the internet's ability to make us feel inferior by exposing us to the success of outliers.

Eoghan McCabe talks about the formula for success, which turns out to involve suspiciously easy algebra rather than functions.

Well done to everyone involved and to the sponsors.

You can follow @dublinculture on Twitter. Ah go on.