St. Pat’s Aftermath: Musings on Celebrations and Why the Excess

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I apologize, it’s after the day and I am writing about it. Should have been done before, right? Well I never do things in a way that anyone expects, so why start now? Today I walk the streets of Portland, OR and see the aftermath of trashed pubs and taverns the next day. It’s the Merican St. Pat’s ideal recovery day. Fuzzy heads and yeah, our ever present rain. We’ve had 7 days of sun in 3 months, that’ll get anyone to drink.

Okay, so yes Dublin of course goes nuts for St. Pat’s with celebrations. It’s expected. But Irish traditions are much watered and mashed up here in the States, commercialized and legend-ized. It’s the the way of the great migrations, where many European traditions got mashed-up in Americana. Then commercialized by Hallmark with silly St. Pat’s cards like St. Valentines cards. Funny thing is, many of the people celebrating are Protestant, and some Non-Religious. It’s an excuse for beer carnage, and why do they dye it green? Really? Because people just get nuts for an excuse to party.

I guess we make it fun for the kids too. That silly Leprechaun figure on decorations. It’s a Saints day and while the population here on the west coast of the US is high in the Catholic numbers, everyone celebrates it. Any excuse for a celebration right? My mum has the Irish and Scots on her side. We have Collums/McCollums and Caffees from one of the earliest migrations in the States from the fair green isle. Thing is they were protestant, not Anglican that also recognize the Saint or Catholic so what the heck. Not many records survived, but most of the family is not Catholic, or they quickly converted here in the North Carolinas where many Irish and Scots settled and intermarried. So why celebrate the day? Mum would cook corned beef on the day and boil cabbage. I was confused a bit as a child because well, Saints were not really a thing with the religion we supposedly had. But I always thought anyone who did good deeds deserved recognition, right? So how did the traditions get so mixed in here in the States, and what were they really is what my meandering brain wondered while looking at the party aftermath on the streets?

In Ireland, it is a public holiday. You are encouraged to speak Irish more.  Modern traditions include a drink called “Drowning the Shamrock”, the placing of a Shamrock sprig at the bottom of glass and filling with beer or some whiskey. After it’s wet, it’s either drunk or tossed over shoulder for good luck. Funny, I always thought that the church frowned on such superstitions, but the Irish always seem to mix that little pagan belief in, don’t they? It’s the marking of the day the man died, it’s his feast day. So really it is all about celebration. Also, why would the Irish waste a drop of alcohol?

And food then there’s the food. Many Irish traditional foods are consumed, modernized of course. In the States it’s mostly corned beef and Irish Stew. Some bake soda bread, a particular favorite of mine. Some more modern foods are Guiness Treacle, potato cakes, mussels, lamb, Guinness braised meats pork and beef, colcannon. So if you are not too ingrained in the the yearly massive party downtown, creating a party with friends and having a traditional Irish spread might be more appealing. After talk to anyone on the street that has been here for a few generations and someone is Irish in the family. The migrations happened in the millions over time. So next year plan for a more intimate celebration with friends and family instead. Oh, and don’t forget the cabbage.

 

St. Patricks Parades Around The World

The Science Gallery, Dublin Interview With Niamh O’Doherty

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Science and innovation type museums are in many large cities around the globe. Dublin, Ireland has the Science Gallery as a fantastic place for science exploration based in art and expression. There are Science Galleries in many cities, London, Melbourne and Venice. The The Science Gallery is unique in that it has an emphasis on the creative, art exploration for science topics. It’s not just a museum filled with and exhibit on computers for example, it’s exploding the computer into an art form or message. Science is open for debate here. I really love hands on or in your face experiences and I am looking forward to this one. I recently contacted Niamh O’Doherty at the Science Gallery to as a few questions about what they do there.

Hours: Please note that this is a gallery type setup. If they are in between shows, there will be down time for prep. Contact the galleries’ website to see if they have a show running

DoppelGänger at HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY

Dopplel Ganger at Science Gallery

Interview

How did your museum get its start, and how have you seen it grow in the last five years?

Back in 2008, a car park in a forgotten corner of Trinity College Dublin was transformed into a living experiment called Science Gallery Dublin. Through a cutting-edge programme that ignites creativity and discovery where science and art collide, Science Gallery Dublin is a nonprofit that encourages young people to learn through their interests. Since its opening, over 2.5 million visitors to the gallery have experienced more than 38 unique exhibitions, ranging from living art experiments to materials science and from the future of the human race to the future of play. Science Gallery Dublin develops an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events fuelled by the expertise of scientists, researchers, students, artists, designers, inventors, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. The focus is on providing programmes and experiences that allow visitors to participate and facilitate social connections, always providing an element of surprise.

Has there been anything surprising that happened that you just ran with in an opportunity to create an exhibit?

We’re a living lab, so occasionally experiments do misbehave. Memorably, last year during Field Test, we had to shut down one of the experiments because of a blood-sucking fungus – here’s more info about that on our blog. We also host reactive events and talks based on big topics in the news, from AI to politics.

What is the planning process for creating new exhibits? Do you have any behind the scenes video or articles that future visitors can look at?

We work with a selection of guest curators on each exhibition – they could come from very diverse backgrounds in academics, business and the arts. We also host videos describing the themes of our exhibitions on our YouTube channel here, and you can check out our blog here for some more background on how the exhibitions develop and progress.

It’s the 2017 season coming and what are your plans for exhibits this coming year?

Yes, we’ve got all the details about our 2017 programme online here. We’ve recently closed the open call for our SOUND CHECK summer exhibition, and we’ll be launching the open call for IN CASE OF EMERGENCY… very soon.

Do your exhibitions centre on the local only or do you have art and future or contemporary issues come into play occasionally?

We’re part of the Science Gallery International Network, so we do tour our exhibitions, and our open calls generally attract artists, makers, researchers and scientists from around the world – here’s a few global highlights from last year.

Stony 1.0 at at HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY

Stony 1.0 

Only 8 Months

Ah, just eight months and I may be in another country again, on a short 3 week political asylum jaunt. The new regime coming in the White House has me not sleeping well at night and I confess that planning a trip to escape and talk to some sane people outside of the US is keeping me with my feet on the ground.

Dublin. Well, there was a big plan back in the Uni days to visit this amazing city. Back then life kept getting in the way. Now I feel it is life to get out into the world, away from the US for a bit. I wish it could be longer. The other bucket wish for doing a semester abroad keeps tickling my fancy. I always wanted to do that, but not being a trust fund baby there was never the money.

Why Ireland? Such an amazingly beautiful place I have wanted to see since high school. Roots mainly, wanting to see why drove my ancestors to leave such a beauty. Famine for some relations, the 16 for another. Living in the hugeness that is the US, being lucky enough to live on one of the coasts, being open minded about wanting to see how my fellow Irish live back at the root of all things. It’s an amazingly beautiful place, and yes it’s as green as they say. Flying over it twice, barely touching the ground at the airport was torture. I vowed I would go to it the next time. I have booked flight and secured rooms. I am going to do this. That is if life doesn’t explode again. I plan to walk and crawl all over whatever I find interesting. The excitement of getting to a new city to explore, how to best approach it. I will take the approach I did in Glasgow, walk the parks first day and see what’s in between, the bridges as well. Then I will go to the attractions I suppose. I guess I am weird, not typical American Tourist. I really don’t like doing the tours with groups of others. I would rather adventure about and discover as I go. I have rented a serviced apartment again, live amongst the natives and experience their city with them I hope. Hate hotel stays unless necessary. I feel they separate you from the people.

Only 8 more months to wait. Here’s to nothing really bad happening again this year, or the next.