Monday 31 March 2008

1st April - Spaghetti don't grow on trees

Probably the best, and one of the most famous food April Fools pranks, the bbc current affairs programme Panorama ran a report about the failure of the spaghetti crop. In a deadpan manner and grave posh bbc accent the reporter talked about how the mild winter and the "spaghetti weevil" had had a disastrous efect on the crop. People are seen picking what remained of the crop off the trees. Many viewers fell for it and indeed hundreds apparently rang up the bbc enquiring where could they buy a spag bush. You have to remeber this was 1957 and spaghetti was probably viewed as rather exotic and "foreign". You can have a look at the original tv report from way back in the 50s' at the BBC Panorama website
From a tourism perspective my favourite April fools was the 8 page special suplement published by the Guardian in 1977 devoted to the remote sun kissed islands of San Serriffe. Described in the report as "the idyllic holiday spot" we learnt all about its history, its geography, its culture. It prompted hundreds of enquiries to the Guardian. All very well if San Serriffe had actually existed. The whole thing had been dreamed up as an April fools hoax - the 2 islands: Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse (San Serriffe - sanserif.... geddit) being completely fictious. This and more this April fools at the wonderfully useless Museum of hoaxes

Wednesday 19 March 2008

The Last Supper

Have a good easter everyone. The DIT Cathal Brugha St. library will reopen as normal with lates nights and Saturdays from wednesday 26th March.
One of the best books to arrive in the library recently is My Last supper by Melanie Dunea who has asked over 50 top chefs What would be their desired last meal on earth? who would cook it, where would they eat it, with who, and what music? So... who would begin with half kilo of osetra caviar, who choose singaporean street food? illegal game birds? rack of Boris? (he's a pig) with a salad of ears, wattle and cheeks, or a Krispy Kreme donut for dessert. and what about blowfish testicle pudding with 1000 year old balsamic anyone? Who would do their own cooking? who would drink guiness and who would invite Madonna, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ghandi?
So what would your order be?

Monday 10 March 2008

Advance to GO

The Irish Times saturday travel supplement "GO" has been up and running a few weeks now and is starting to bed in nicely. It's a good mix more than just benign travel gossip and write ups from exotic palm lines beaches. In the last couple of issues theres been informative news pieces about the new classification system for our hotels, the need to attract more British tourists and why Dublin remains tops for our visitors. Features on Barcelona, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bejing for the Olympics and LIVERPOOL, (Ray Blanc take note) as well as various destinations in Ireland. The columists are good to; Marie Murray addressing the issue of "Why do we need to travel?" being particularily insightful.
Each week their Page 3 is given over to last minute deals in Ireland and abroad. Don't know if it's deliberate but it reads a bit like the Take 5 section in the property supplement showcasing what palacial property you could buy abroad for the same price as a 2 bed semi-d in dublin. Last week for instance you could have "3 nights self catering in Laois for 530euros" OR "7 nights in Majorca for 276e". "2 nights in Cork with treatment: 204euros" OR "Tenerife: from 249e". So just what is it that attracts people to Ireland? - the weather?

Monday 3 March 2008

toooo sexy for your town

...what to make of celeb chef Raymond Blanc who's decided that Liverpool is not posh enough for his new restaurant.