Peter's Blog

Just commenting on things that interest me

Month: July 2015

Seafield House, Donabate

I drive around Malahide Estuary on a regular basis and I have long been fascinated by the large house which is visible on the other side of the estuary.

Google Maps reveals that this is “Seafield House”.

Included below is a photo which I took with my phone across the estuary (it is clearer with the naked eye than in this photo). A nicer photo (taken from a much smaller distance) is available here.

SeafieldHouse

Russborough House

I was very impressed when we had occasion to visit Russborough House recently.

The house is lovely and the tour was excellent. I would thoroughly recommend it.

It was a rainy day so we didn’t get to enjoy the outdoor attractions (although we did do a quick run through the maze and I did get a few photos).

Unlike a lot of similar houses in Ireland (e.g. our own Malahide Castle) Russborough house is not owned and operated by the state. Instead it is looked after by the Alfred Beit Foundation.

After our enjoyable visit, therefore, it was sad to see the controversy which arose when the trustees decided to sell some works of art to provide funds for essential activities.

Hopefully more visitors will discover Russborough so that something like this will not have to be repeated in the future.

Russborough

Solar Eclipse

On the 20th of March we had a partial solar eclipse in Ireland. All parts had at least 90% eclipse, and some parts had over 95%.

It was cloudy, and I was on my way to work, but the clouds cleared for a few seconds and (although you’re not supposed to look at it of course) I saw the spectacular view of most of the sun being missing.

I took the photo below with my phone. Of course, it does not really capture what I saw (which was very clear).

There won’t be another partial eclipse here in Ireland until 2026 so I was delighted to have caught a glimpse of it.

Eclipse

 

Little changes on the Dart

I travel on the Dart very regularly.

One day I spotted that something had changed! The straps you can see in the photo below had suddenly appeared throughout the carriages!

I wonder if they were there for long before I spotted them!

DartStraps

Where (or what) is the “Resteraunt”?

I spotted this sign in Connolly Dart station the other day.

I’m sure this sign has been up for a long time – parts of it are quite faded.

It’s a wonder that nobody (who could do something about it) ever spotted this mysterious way of spelling the word “restaurant”!

DartSpelling

Alternative versus Alternate

I was writing a sentence the other day and I came to a part where I wondered if I should say “alternative approach” or “alternate approach”.

The answer is that alternate approach should only be used when the original approach cannot be used for some reason. If you can choose between the two approaches then the second is an “alternative approach”.

The following sentences provide examples:

  • I couldn’t get it to work so I had to use an alternate approach
  • It was taking too long so I decided to try an alternative approach

 

And so it begins…

There has been much talk recently in the media about the dangers from Artificial Intelligence (AI).

According to the BBC, Stephen Hawking said that: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.

According to the Washington Post, Steve Wozniak said that “the future is scary and very bad for people”. He said that “eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently”.

All very scary.

I couldn’t help laughing therefore (even though this is not at all funny) when I read in The Guardian that a robot had killed a worker in a Volkswagen factory in Germany.

The cause of this inappropriate laughter was this thought: “And so it begins…”

Billy Idol – Eyes Without a Face – Extended

I mentioned in my old blog how much I like the song “Eyes Without a Face” by Billy Idol.

Well, I happened to be listening to some “extended versions” of classic songs on YouTube and I found a version of this song which runs for 20 minutes and 48 seconds. I kid you not!

It’s brilliant but there are two catches:

  1. The extended version is just created by looping parts of the song. There is nothing new.
  2. The remix is really 10 minutes and 22 seconds long. It is simply repeated twice.

Here it is for your enjoyment:

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