Pharyngula

Ireland!

I have arrived in Dublin, and am having a lovely time. I had a taxi driver with the most wonderful accent get me to a nice hotel, and am contemplating a stroll around the area to find some Guinness. This is my strategy for handling jet lag: I stayed awake through the entire flight, jogged about through Heathrow (what’s with all the weird post-industrial corrugated metal tubes you’ve got to go through to get to your gate?), got to the Dublin airport, fumbled my way on to a bus, and wandered about finding a place to stay…and now I’ll just push on for several more hours until I collapse in exhaustion, never mind what hour my biological clock tells me it is. Then hopefully everything will be reset and tomorrow I’ll be operating on Irish time.

At least I better be. Atheist Ireland/blasphemy.ie have plans for me. I’ll be speaking at the Buswells Hotel at 7:30pm tomorrow (1 February), in a free talk on militant blasphemy. It should be fun! Bring bail money.

Comments

  1. #1 Ray Moscow
    January 31, 2010

    Have fun in Dublin. It’s a nice place.

    You won’t have to go far to find some Guinness. Murphys is equally good (brewed in Cork).

  2. #2 cervantes
    January 31, 2010

    I’m looking forward to a torrent of blasphemy from your demon infested vocal apparatus. And please don’t forget to open the gates of hell on the blog while you’re there.

  3. #3 Zeno
    January 31, 2010

    I’ve been to London (but not to see the queen). I’ve never been to Dublin, however. Have a great time, PZ!

  4. #4 Sigmund
    January 31, 2010

    “Murphys is equally good (brewed in Cork).”
    Blasphemy!

  5. #5 vanharris
    January 31, 2010

    I could really sink a pint or two of draught Guinness right now. Just try to stay (moderately) sober, PZ.

  6. #6 Ray Moscow
    January 31, 2010

    Sigmund @ 5: I’m just trying to broaden PZ’s horizons, get him arrested, etc. But for all I know, he’s already a worldclass expert on stout beers.

    I do like Murphys, mostly because I visit Cork more often than Dublin but also because one can get Guinness everywhere. I suppose one can drink directly from the font of St. James brewery while in Dublin, though.

  7. #7 Mal Adapted
    January 31, 2010

    Yeah, I’m a sucker for the accent too. “Fecking” — even their blasphemy is euphonious 8^)!

  8. #8 BWJunior
    January 31, 2010

    Considering your were in Ireland, wouldn’t you be the one with the funny accent?

  9. #9 PenguinFactory
    January 31, 2010

    You found a taxi driver with a lovely accent in Dublin?…… Was he foreign?

    Just kidding, the Dublin accent is great. Please don’t stab me, Dublin people.

    Looking forward to the talk at UCD. I wish I could make it to the Monday one as well. Will anyone be filming it, do you know?

  10. #10 dub
    January 31, 2010

    Not sure what sort of drinking establishments you like, PZ, but if you want one that’s quiet (no piped music) and sedate, try Neary’s bar in Chatham Street off Grafton Street. It’s also got free wifi! And traditionally you should order the roast beef sandwiches.

    Another place I recommend (because it also has no piped music) is the Palace Bar, 21 Fleet Street (a few metres in from Westmoreland Street).

  11. #11 aineolach
    January 31, 2010

    Is it okay to bring a camcorder to the speech tomorrow night?

  12. #12 Knockgoats
    January 31, 2010

    Touring Dublin is a strange (though enjoyable) experience for a Brit, because it looks very like a British city, but with a few strange anomalies – like all the postboxes being green instead of the expected bright red (“pillar box red”) and, unless it’s changed over the last few years, very few dark-skinned people. Do try the whiskey [ there is an "e" in the Irish spelling of it, unlike the Scottish] – there are specialist whiskey bars where you can get absolutely plastered very quickly many different brands – only Jameson’s and Bushmills’ are widely available in the UK. The hospitality of the Irish to visitors is rightly renowned – even toward Brits: on a family holiday there some 10 years ago my young son was taken suddenly ill in a cafe and puked all over his chair – and the response from the owners was nothing but concern for him and us.

  13. #13 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    It’s Guinness’s porter that has me this way
    For it’s sweeter than buttermilk and stronger then tay
    But when in the morning I feel kinda rough
    Me curse on Lord Iveagh who brews the damn stuff

  14. #14 Knockgoats
    January 31, 2010

    Admittedly, said hospitality can have its downside. On an earlier, work trip, I was subjected to nearly three hours of Irish music and dancing, starting at 9pm, when all I really wanted to do was to take my oncoming cold to bed, after one long working day and before another! In the end, I’m afraid I insisted I must get back to my hotel, and left the culture-fest to continue into the small hours.

  15. #15 LisaJ
    January 31, 2010

    Have a wonderful time in Ireland, PZ. It’s my most favourite country that I’ve ever visited. I hope you get some time to see the country side outside of the main cities, it’s just unbelievable.

  16. #16 grania.0
    January 31, 2010

    Atheist Ireland is organising cameras to film the event, we’re delighted & excited to have PZ with us.

  17. #17 themanchoo
    January 31, 2010

    Looking forward to the Galway talk on Thursday, and it will be nice to be around my own “kind” for a change! Not that religion is rammed down my throat here in Ireland, but almost everyone I know is Catholic, and they don’t tend to think about the idiocy of the whole thing.

  18. #18 redrabbitslife
    January 31, 2010

    Mmmm…. draught stout. You probably already know this, but beer in Ireland is served warm (room temperature). This has something to do with it not tasting of urine, I think.

    It’s also served early and often.

    Mmm. Irish whiskey.

  19. #19 dexitroboper
    January 31, 2010

    Does PZ really know what he’s in for in Ireand?

  20. #20 Randy
    January 31, 2010

    If you have time… I enjoyed the Temple Bar in the Temple Bar district. I suppose more seasoned travelers might think it a wee bit touristy.. but I just loved it and it seemed to be a nice mix of locals and visitors. Make sure you try the Guinness Export with the yellow labels. Cant get it here and it is quite tasty and different.

  21. #21 TheBiologista
    January 31, 2010

    @#12 “Touring Dublin is a strange (though enjoyable) experience for a Brit, because it looks very like a British city, but with a few strange anomalies – like all the postboxes being green instead of the expected bright red (“pillar box red”) and, unless it’s changed over the last few years, very few dark-skinned people.”

    It’s changed a lot over the last few years! Economic growth brought ethnic diversity. Not on the scale of the US perhaps, but certainly a huge change. You particularly see it in teenagers.

    @#18 “You probably already know this, but beer in Ireland is served warm (room temperature).”

    That’s news to me! You sure you’re not thinking of England? They do love warm bitter over there.

    PZ, if you’re looking for Guinness in Dublin, try to avoid the trendy and/or modern pubs. Seek wood panelling, paisley carpets and patrons with craggy faces. The Stag’s Head is good. For directions, ask one of Dublin’s many students. If you’re going to Galway, you’ll get even better Guinness there. Naughton’s on Quay street.

    Back in Dublin, if you feel like trying some local brews, including stouts, the Porterhouse is worth a look. They stock a wide range of foreign beers too, if you get sick of stout.

  22. #22 Stardrake
    January 31, 2010

    And PZ–try to understand when the Irish feel sorry for you that you’ve come over when it’s “so cold!”

    I visited Ireland in Feb. 1996 (Waterford and Cork, mostly) and people were so nice about apologizing that I had come when it was so cold. (Temps were 7-8degrees C in the daytime-that’s the low forties for us primitive Yanks. Nights were 0 to -2 C–28 to 32 F here. Accu-Weather predicts similar coditions in Dublin)

    This was just after the Great Deep Freeze of ’96, where the temps in Mpls got as low as -32F (-36C) and highs didn’t go above 0F (-18C) for over a week! Just remember, they don’t know from cold there…

  23. #23 66steve
    January 31, 2010

    Hey all,
    this seems tike the best place to mention that we’ll be having our first
    Irish Skeptics in the Pub meeting on this Saturday In the Lord Edward pub (upstairs) opposite Christchurch cathedral in Dublin.
    More info here.

    All welcome.

  24. #24 Chris Hughes
    January 31, 2010

    “You probably already know this, but beer in Ireland is served warm (room temperature).”

    Cellar temperature, surely… several degrees below ‘warm’! We just don’t chill our beers in these islands to the point where we can longer taste them — a necessity with most lagers.

    I have a happy memory of a visit to the Guinness brewery, in company with a local journalist… in the tasting room we ended up with the waiters seated around our table and we all got happily stotious on the stout… if ever a libation unlocked the flood gates of conversation it is Irish Guinness. Sadly it really doesn’t travel…

  25. #25 Alpha Bitch
    January 31, 2010

    Ahhhh, Ireland is my dream destination. My grandmother was from there and my mom gets over there occasionally. She always has the best stories about Ireland.

    I’ll be awaiting every post and hanging on every word.

  26. #26 Mrs Tilton
    January 31, 2010

    (Da’ wonderful accent:)

    You too can learn it here. (Despite the site owner’s lament up top, the author is not in the least unknown. It is none other than bioinformatics BSD Prof. Des Higgins.)

    (The Stag’s Head:)

    Yes I said yes I will Yes.

    (Department of Coincidentally Apposite If More on the Culchie Side of Things Short Stories in the Current Number of the New Yorker :)

    This is feckin deadly altogether.

  27. #27 redrabbitslife
    January 31, 2010

    True, the barrels are usually in the cellar, so I suppose a couple of degrees cooler. It’s a big shock to people used to drinking beer that’s got frost on the glass, though, is all I meant.

  28. #28 eeanm
    January 31, 2010

    I more or less do the same thing as you when traveling east and just totally crash at the region-appropriate nighttime. So I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this.

    I skip the alcohol though, it interferes with getting quality sleep.

    And yea Heathrow is frakin’ crazy. It’s design reminds me of the dream mansion I would draw in elementary school, with tubes going everywhere etc. Except its not a dream, more of a hell. (I had to walk 10 minutes from an airplane terminal to find the *nearest* bathroom, and it was the largest filthy bathroom I’ve ever seen. So many people were using it that it’s probably literally impossible to keep clean.)

    Europe’s second largest airport in Amsterdam is one of my favorite airports. Somehow you never have to walk long to get where you’re going. So it really is a case of inept design in Heathrow.

  29. #29 carpetbagger
    February 1, 2010

    >> what’s with all the weird post-industrial corrugated metal tubes you’ve got to go through to get to your gate? <<

    Those will be a left over from the fun in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland), when the religious intolerance was at it’s most, er, explosive!

  30. #30 dr-rieux
    February 1, 2010

    I might have to point this out on a more recent thread, but has it occurred to anyone else that PZ has a major incentive to be arrested in Ireland for blasphemy?

    It’d make him an international celebrity and embarrass the Irish government for their idiot blasphemy law.* Also, that book that’s in the works would sell a bazillion copies.

    * (Of course, for this reason they’ll probably ignore him.)