6 Weird Laws In The Republic Of Ireland

1. Government officials can stop your car to inspect it for eggs

The Marketing Of Eggs Act 1957 allows “an officer of the Ministry” to enter any pier, quay, wharf, jetty, ship, boat, aircraft, railway wagon, motor lorry, cart or other vessel or vehicle used for the conveyance of goods for the purpose of examining eggs on board.

2. It is illegal to smoke tobacco on Grafton Street

One of the most popular and widely believed bizarre “laws” in the country, is that it is illegal to smoke any form of tobacco on Grafton Street. However there is no clear evidence to support the claim that this is law, and even if it was, it is certainly one of the most regularly broken ones.

3. Leprechauns are a protected species

This one is actually somewhat true, as a European Union Habitats Directive announced that the Slieve Foy Mountain is a Designated Area of Protection for Flora, Fauna, Wild Animals and Little People. The area shot to fame when a leprechaun suit, bones and gold coins were found there in the 1980s, leading to the creation of the Carlingford National Leprechaun Hunt.

4. You must give a leprechaun a share of your dinner

This “law” supposedly dictates that if a leprechaun arrives at your door, you are legally obliged to give them a share of your dinner. However, there is no evidence that this law actually exists.

5. You can’t attend the cinema in Northern Ireland on a Sunday

This is also partly true, the Cinemas Order of 1991 requires a special licence for premises wishing to open on a Sunday. Otherwise, attending a cinema on a Sunday could see you landed with a ÂŁ50 fine.

6. Freedom of Dublin allows you to graze sheep in the city

Surprisingly, this is true. Anyone bestowed with the Freedom of the City of Dublin is allowed to pasture sheep on common grounds within the city. Bono was the most famous person to exercise this right, as back in 2000 he and U2 bandmate Edge turned up on St Stephen’s Green with borrowed lambs.  However, the ancient duties also dictate that every freeman or freewomen must be ready to defend the city from attack, and can be called on to join a city militia at short notice.

Believing In Santa Claus: Big Deal Or Not?

How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa?
I do not think that I ever believed in the existence of Santa Claus. I can’t be 100% sure but I am pretty sure. For one – it helps not being in a Christian family and for two – unlike in some countries, mostly Western, it is not a big deal for families to have their kids believe in Santa Claus. I grew up in Kuwait – from birth till age 11 – and since then in India and my family is Hindu (even though I am an atheist, it was from the age of 13 that I started questioning and stopped believing in a deity).

Here is a question for you guys – is kids believing in Santa Claus (as a real person/entity, who lives in the north pole or near the north pole and goes to every house during Christmas eve and gives gifts to kids who are good on his list) such a big thing in North America and the UK? I have seen so many comments, mainly from mothers, who say that “I am not ready for my kids to not believe in Santa yet/know that Santa is not real yet”. To me it seems that it is a bigger deal for the parents rather than the kids. I dunno, since it is not even a question in countries like India. He is known as just another as just another mythical figure and I don’t even see Christians in India making such a big deal about Santa.

Probably because Indians don’t really give gifts for Christmas and it’s considered more of a family gathering, praying and big dinner time. We dress up like Santa (I’ve done it once), wear the hat, walk around and hand out sweets or chocolates. In colleges and offices they now have competitions of silly carol singing, dressing up as Santa and take a lot of photos. In some areas, usually towns and villages, people dress up as Santa and go house to house and get money from the home owners for whatever it is that they do. That’s usually about Rs.50 to Rs.100.

Prompt from 31 December Writing Prompts at Mama Kat’s Losing It

Arsenal Strip Aubameyang Of Captaincy & He Won’t Play Against West Ham

Arsenal have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy following a disciplinary breach last week. Aubameyang was left out of the squad for Saturday’s match against Southampton, and Arsenal confirmed their decision to remove the forward as captain on Tuesday. The club also said Aubameyang will not be available for selection against West Ham on Wednesday.

“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed,” the club said in a statement. “We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.” Mikel Arteta is due to give a press conference this afternoon, while the Arsenal manager previously said: “I think we have been very consistent that we have certain non-negotiables in the team that we have set ourselves as a club.” Arteta was tight-lipped on the reasons for Aubameyang’s absence, refusing to comment when asked if the striker had returned late from a trip abroad.

This is not going to be a problem for Aubameyang because he’s got an unbelievable contract at the club. However, it’s a major problem for Arsenal. Who’s going to take him on those wages? Absolutely nobody in the whole wide world. And there’s his age too. If he was 27, they’d be queuing up around the corner for him, but not now at the age of 32. He turned up late for a meeting before and got left out of the side to face Tottenham. He’s the example. There are a lot of young players in that team who will look up to him. If you are the manager, of course you’d be disappointed. He’s been made captain of Arsenal Football Club. It’s a big thing and not just a run-of-the-mill thing. And with all the promising young kids at the club, he needs to set the example.

Your Personal Holiday Wish List

In in my professional life, other than the first job I had where, mainly due to a technical issue we got 10 days off at the end of the year, during the only year that I was there , I have never worked at a place that gives everyone time off at once. And that is because I have mostly worked in customer care – phone, email & chat – which never closes. 24 hrs a day, 365 days of the year. And Indian corporates make it very difficult for you to take time off at a stretch.

The only two times I have had more than 10 days off (including Saturdays & Sundays) were because of medical conditions – in 2019 I had a fracture on my toe and a sprain as well; my doc advised me to keep my feet up for 10 days. And then year I was hospitalized due to a condition in my blood and I took 10–12 days off, including the weekends.

This year Christmas falls on a Saturday as does the 1st so no days off. Just the regular weekends off. If I did get 7-10 days off all I would want is to book a hotel room, one with a comfortable and large bed, free wifi, room service and a tv. I would sleep, read, internet (the verb) and watch a few movies while drinking a bit and eating whatever they can deliver to me. That would be the best way to unwind and relax and recharge my batteries.


Ten Weird Laws In Italy

1) Leave your skirts at home, boys! Be it a tutu, a mini or a sarong – men aren’t allowed to wear one (in public, that is!). So, if you’re invited to a dress-up party, choose a costume that won’t put you behind bars.

2) Never forget to smile in Milan. Okay, not ‘never’. Apparently you’re allowed to stop smiling at funerals or in a hospital. The idea was to market Milan as a friendly, receptive city. And it is!

3) No selfie sticks in Milan. This global capital of fashion and design has outlawed selfie sticks in some popular tourist areas. Why? To avoid what they deem to be anti-social behaviour!

4) You’re not allowed to die

but only in Falciano del Massico, Campania. Mayor Giulio Cesare Fava passed this law after the town’s cemetery ran out of space! We guess you won’t really have to worry about being prosecuted for this one.

5) Three’s a crowd in Rome. Feel like singing, dancing, eating or drinking in the streets of Rome? That’s fine! Just don’t do it with more than one other person. Any group of three or more can be fined hundreds of euros for doing this.

6) DNA dog doody cross referencing in Naples. So this one is more of a campaign than a law, but still worth the giggles! A DNA database of pets is being created to match scat on the streets to pet owners, and fine them to within an inch of their lives!

7) Don’t make a racket with your shoes in Capri. Silence is golden – especially in the Isle of Capri. The islanders have banned noisy footwear in general, and a couple has since been arrested for wearing noisy flip flops!

8) No sandcastles on the beach in Eraclea. On the Venetian Lido lies the seaside town of Eraclea, where sandcastles have been deemed illegal. The path to the sea is clear at all times, but Eraclea is probably not the friendliest beach for kids!

9) Never fake it in Venice! We mean fake knock-offs of haute couture brands on the beaches in Venice. Any tourist caught buying fake brands is liable for a €1000! You might as well have bought the real thing!

10) No making out in cars in Eboli. In fact, it’s illegal to perform any public displays of affection in any moving vehicle in Eboli. We suggest visiting Eboli with a friend instead of a lover, then!

Arsenal 3 Southampton 0

Arsenal boosted their Champions League qualification hopes as they cruised past Southampton at Emirates Stadium despite captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being dropped from the squad. Stand-in skipper Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring for the Gunners in the 21st minute, finishing off a superb 16-pass team move. And Martin Odegaard doubled the lead six minutes later, heading home from close range. Arsenal dominated throughout and added a third after 62 minutes with defender Gabriel nodding in a Gabriel Martinelli corner. The Gunners jump up to fifth in the Premier League table, one point off the top four, while Southampton stay 16th.

All the pre-match talk was around Aubameyang, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saying the striker was missing out “due to a disciplinary breach”. It is not the first time the Spaniard has dropped Aubameyang for disciplinary reasons. In March, the Gabon international missed a win over rivals Tottenham for a “breach of pre-match protocol”. But after a slow start, pre-match incidents were soon forgotten as Lacazette converted Bukayo Saka’s cross, completing a team move that started with keeper Aaron Ramsdale. And minutes later Arsenal grabbed a second with Odegaard meeting Kieran Tierney’s header to score a third goal in as many matches. Arsenal’s dominance continued after the break with Gabriel scoring moments after he had had a goal chalked off for offside.

Martinelli then curled a strike against the post midway through the second half, with Saka also striking the woodwork and Takehiro Tomiyasu forcing a fine stop from keeper Willy Caballero. The hosts continued to impress in the closing stages, winning in style to end a run of back-to-back defeats. With Saints keeper Alex McCarthy out with a thigh injury and deputy Fraser Forster also missing, Ralph Hasenhuttl handed a debut to emergency signing Caballero. His first call to action was to pick the ball out of his net, with Southampton second best for much of the 90 minutes. At the other end, the visitors were limited to shots from range with Arsenal stopper Ramsdale making a number of routine saves. The result means Southampton are now winless in 23 Premier League matches at Arsenal, the longest by any club away from home in the competition’s history.

Death Wish (2018)

Death Wish is a 2018 American vigilante action thriller film directed by Eli Roth and written by Joe Carnahan. It is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name (which originated the Death Wish franchise), based on Brian Garfield’s 1972 novel. The film stars Bruce Willis as Paul Kersey, a Chicago doctor who sets out to get revenge on the men who attacked his family. Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, and Kimberly Elise also star.

RIP Anne Rice

Anne Rice, American author best known for her gothic fiction novels, died on Saturday due to complications resulting from a stroke. She was 80. The author’s son Christopher revealed the news on Facebook and said that she would be interred in the family mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony.

Born in New Orleans in 1941, Rice became renowned the world over as a writer of gothic fiction, with her books selling more than 150 million copies globally. In the early 1970s, while grieving the death of her daughter Michelle, she began converting one of her stories into what became her first novel, the gothic horror “Interview with the Vampire,” which was published by Knopf in 1976. The novel turns on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter. Michelle served as an inspiration for the child vampire Claudia. The book was the first of ten in what is collectively known as “The Vampire Chronicles.” It was adapted by Neil Jordan as a 1994 film starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater, with Kirsten Dunst playing Claudia. Rice adapted the screenplay from her novel and the film gathered two Oscar nominations and a brace of BAFTA wins.

“Queen of the Damned,” based on one of the bestselling sequels to “Interview with the Vampire,” was adapted as a film in 2002. Other adaptations of Rice’s novels include Garry Marshall’s “Exit to Eden” (1994), starring Dana Delany, Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O’Donnell and Emmy-winning Showtime original “The Feast of All Saints” (2001). AMC ordered a series based on Rice’s “Lives of the Mayfair Witches.” As revealed by Variety, AMC had acquired rights to “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” and “The Vampire Chronicles” last year, and casting was recently finalized on the latter. In addition to her vampire novels, Rice authored books such as The Feast of All Saints (adapted for television in 2001) and Servant of the Bones, which formed the basis of a 2011 comic book miniseries.

Rice spent much of her early life there before moving to Texas, and later to San Francisco. She was raised in an observant Catholic family but became an agnostic as a young adult. She began her professional writing career with the publication of Interview with the Vampire in 1976, while living in California, and began writing sequels to the novel in the 1980s. In the mid-2000s, following a publicized return to Catholicism, Rice published the novels Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, fictionalized accounts of certain incidents in the life of Jesus. Several years later she distanced herself from organized Christianity, citing disagreement with the Roman Catholic Church’s stances on social issues but pledging that faith in God remained “central to [her] life.” However, she later considered herself a secular humanist.

The books of her that I have read and have in my library are Interview with the Vampire (1976), The Vampire Lestat  (1985), The Queen of the Damned (1988), Merrick (2000), Blood and Gold (2001), Blackwood Farm (2002) & Blood Canticle (2003).

Holiday Hot Chocolate : The Cozy, Warm Feeling

December of ever year brings holiday drinks from all coffeeshop chains and this year is sure to have many, many people trying out all the drinks that are out on offer. Holiday menus have been out now with seasonal drinks and baked goods along with new festive cups! Candy Cane Hot Chocolate and Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and peppermint bark. Yummy. Merry and cheerful new holiday designs adorn the hot beverage cups, donut boxes and delivery bags and feature a modern expression of classic holiday characters designed to evoke childhood nostalgia and warm memories.

Hot cocoa and hot chocolate are usually drunk on their own with decadent toppings, such as whipped cream and marshmallows. Yet, the hot beverage’s ability to pair with other flavors is far greater than it is usually given credit for. Though hot cocoa is typically associated as a sweet comforting drink for a cozy night cuddled up on the couch or by the fire, it really does work well with a variety of foods. Certain salty, sweet, and tangy foods are all great options for pairing with hot chocolate. Sweet foods can be paired with hot chocolate in moderation. Generally, the best sweet food pairings for hot chocolate are sweets with a pronounced flavor, such as mint—anything with peppermint, such as mints, chocolates, candy canes, etc., are a great choice. Marshmallows are a huge hit with people of all ages.

Do I Have A WishList For Christmas?

Well we don’t really celebrate Christmas and even if we did, we do not buy gifts for each other. Maybe a husband and wife pair might do that for each other, even if they are not Christians but the art of gift giving is limited in India. There are some exceptions ofcourse but usually nah!

If I had the money though, here are some of the things that I would buy for myself. I do not have the money for all but I will be getting some of these. The book shelf/table is something that I will get soon. I just need to make some space for it. And the juicer too. I have been meaning to get something like it for a while.
The sandwich maker is good, it’s just that our kitchen does not have too much counter space at the moment. But it would be good to get. Now the USB table top microphone is something I have been meaning to get for a while now. My medical bills are taking priority at the moment so I guess it will be a few weeks before I get it. I do want that so I will get it. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra though – unless I win one on one of the online competitions or someone gets it for me, I won’t be getting it.

Question Found On Quora On Atheism – 1

Is atheism just the mere belief that there is no god, or is it in actuality the assertion that there is no god?

Atheism is in itself a lack of belief in the god claims. Meaning atheists aren’t convinced of the gods being real.

Having said that:

  1. You will find atheists who say that they believe that there is no god.
  2. You will find atheists who aren’t convinced but think it is highly unlikely that there is a god (not necessarily one that has been proposed but any kind of god)
  3. And you will find atheists who say for sure there is no god.

I fall under the second bracket, I don’t claim that there is one. But I don’t believe in your gods. Any of them. And I think it is highly unlikely that there is one but it is a vast, vast universe.

Christmas Pudding/Plum Pudding : Traditional British Cake

One of the foods that I remember watching on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods is Christmas pudding from the UK. No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas pudding. Unlike American puddings, a Christmas pudding is a dark, sticky, and dense sponge, more like a fruitcake, made of mixed dried fruit, candied fruit peel, apple, and citrus zests. Brandy and spices provide a deep, complex flavor and signature dark color.


  • 1 pound/450 grams (3 to 3 1/2 cups) mixed dried fruit
  • 25 grams (scant 1/2 cup) mixed candied fruit peel, finely chopped
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy, more as needed
  • 55 grams (1/2 cup) self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 110 grams (about 1 cup) beef or vegetarian suet, shredded
  • 110 grams (scant 2/3 cup) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 110 grams (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 25 grams (1/4 cup) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs

Steps To Prepare:

  • Place the dried fruit, candied peel, apple, and orange and lemon zests and juices into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  • Add dried fruit and brandy; cover and let sit
  • Lightly butter a 2 1/2 pint pudding basin.
  • Butter a pudding basin
  • In a very large mixing bowl, stir the flour, mixed spice, and cinnamon together. Add the suet, sugar, breadcrumbs, and almonds, and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the marinated dried fruits and stir again.
  • Add dry ingredients to a bowl and add dried fruit mixture
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
  • Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil. Tie securely with string, wrapping the string around the basin, then loop over the top and then around the bowl again. This will form a handle, which will be useful when removing the pudding from the steamer.
  • Add pudding mixture to pudding basin and cover with foil
  • Set a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water, place the pudding in the steamer, and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently, so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a dark brown color when cooked.
  • Steam pudding in saucepan
    Remove the pudding from the steamer and cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer in a few places, and pour in a little extra brandy.
  • Remove pudding and let cool
    Cover with fresh greaseproof paper and retie with string.
  • Cover pudding with paper and string
    Store for at least 4 to 5 weeks in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Enjoy!

Arsenal Transfer Rumours : Hunting Around For A Top Striker

With contracts for forward pair Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah still yet to be resolved and speculation surrounding the future of the out-of-sorts Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Gunners are tipped to splash out on some more firepower in the New Year. Off the back of a busy summer of spending, it seems Arsenal could be set for more movement when the transfer window opens in under a month’s time. One such name who is being touted with a move to Arsenal is that of Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez.

Tottenham were reportedly trying to sign him in the summer, but it appears the Argentine could well end up on the red side of the north London divide. According to in-the-know journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are planning to sign an “important striker” in the near future and Martinez is very much on the radar. Inter has admitted the interest from Arsenal but would prefer to sell, if at all, in the summer. Despite failing to find the net in any of Inter’s six Champions League group games, the 24-year-old has been in a rich vein of form domestically, having struck eight times in 14 Serie A appearances so far this term.

Perhaps the answer to Arsenal’s forward dilemma is a player closer to home and one who put the Gunners to the sword as recently as Monday night. Richarlison headed home Everton’s equaliser to spark the comeback after seeing two strikes ruled out by VAR and can reportedly count Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as an admirer. According to Fichajes, the Spaniard is keen to bring Richarlison to the Emirates as the search for a successor to Lacazette and Aubameyang heats up. The Spanish outlet report that Everton are a “club that is too small” for the Brazilian forward, who joined the Toffees from Watford in 2018 for an initial ÂŁ35million fee, but a summer move appears more realistic.

While Arsenal may have to wait until the summer to snap up either Martinez or Richarlison, one player who could join up with Arteta’s squad sooner is that of Jonathan David. The Canadian forward has struck 14 times in 24 appearances for club side Lille so far this term, with his latest effort coming in the 3-1 Champions League triumph over Wolfsburg on Wednesday night. With Lille clinching top spot and securing European football for the New Year, Arsenal’s chances of snapping up the 21-year-old – a player they have been scouting for a long time – have suffered a setback. Lille president have also reportedly slapped a whopping price tag on his prized assets to dissuade clubs from launching January moves for the highly-rated hitman, is rumoured to be around ÂŁ47m fee.

Learning That We’re Only Immortal For A Limited Time

Take a line from a song you love and turn it into the title of your next blog post. Let the content follow.

Since I have already done a similar blog prompt 7 years ago I am changing the song up and choosing another lyric from another great song by another great band – Rush! This line from the song Dreamline off their 1991 album Roll The Bones was, at the age of almost 16 like a blast to the brain. Ofcourse it rings true every time a relative or friend passes away but especially in your teens or early 20s when someone you know and see regularly passes away. That is when you realize that everything is not going to be the same forever.

You realize as you take a look around that you are not going to see those people again. You will meet with your family ofcourse but there will be those gaps in between where those people used to be. The same with your friends; you will see the rest of them but there is that empty seat at the table that used to be filled. And that hits you for a long time. You are made aware of your own mortality. You will not see your dog or cats again, your loved ones who have passed away again. You will miss that friend who died in an accident for the rest of your life. And then you realize that life goes on without them and that life will go on without you.

Learning that we are only immortal, for a limited time. When you are young and life is good and sweet, you do not think about dying. You do not think that you will die someday and you will not get to experience the things you like anymore. This is a powerful moment, not necessarily all sad and doom/gloom. But it lets you know that your time is limited and we need to enjoy it while we can.

Prompt from 31 December Writing Prompts at Mama Kat’s Losing It