Archive for the 'Limerick' Category

Why I got involved in the Lifelong Learning Festival

Limerick has an annual Lifelong Learning Festival. I remember the first time I came across this information, it was in relation to a gardening demonstration and it was back in 2011. I read the whole program and I realised how many interesting events I had missed because I was unaware of the festival’s existence.

I have the strange reputation of reading any notice, poster or flyer that falls under my eyes. To me, everything is interesting. I’d like to try everything and go everywhere. A friend called me a “culture vulture” one evening when I was leaving early from an exhibition opening to attend a dance performance in a close by location.

 

 

So last year  I decided that miLKlabs, the Limerick hackerspace, had to get involved in this Lifelong Learning Festival, and somehow I managed to convince the others. We had three events over a week, and everybody -organisers and attendees – seemed to enjoy them. For the first time, we attracted people who weren’t on any mailing lists or subscribed to Facebook pages – people who read about us in the Festival brochure or heard about the events on the radio.

This year we’re having an Open Evening on Tuesday, 19 March, and we are running an Arduino workshop led by Mikael Fernstrom on Saturday, 23 March at the University of Limerick.

I’m also running an Urban Gardening event, showcasing our UL Community Roof Garden on Saturday. And together with Sharon Slater from Limerick’s Life, we’re running a Tweasure Hunt in the city on Sunday, 24 March 2013.

Our former outstanding IMedia student, Paul Campbell is running a Geocaching event on campus on Saturday as well.

I’ve persuaded Lou Dennehy, the organiser of our Stitch’n Bitch Sunday meet-ups, to get involved as well – so we’re having a day of learning and sharing on Sunday 24 March as well, starting with 2pm. And following a tweet exchange, Hilary from Make and Do is running a Game Design workshop at the Hunt Museum on Thursday afternoon.

Looking at the Festival brochure, I’m really upset that there are so many great events I will have to miss, because they’re running in parallel with the ones I’m involved in. The Festival is a celebration of the really impressive amount of skills people of Limerick have and are willing to share. I know “there’s  a recession on the radio” (Irish joke, don’t be upset if you don’t get it!), but this shows clearly how rich we are, and the kind of things we can do together!

Now please excuse me, I have to put on my various other hats and blog about these events on their own websites;)

March 12 2013 | blogging and Events and Limerick and Research | No Comments »

We’re bringing Ignite to Limerick!

miLKlabs and IxDA Limerick are joining forces to organise the first Ignite talk series ever in our city!The event will happen on  Wednesday, April 6 2011, 7 pm in the Absolute Hotel.

Why this event?

The idea is to spread the news about miLKlabs, bring together likeminded individuals, create synergies between people from different backgrounds and highlight possible collaborations. We are also trying to shed a light on the creativity and talent of Limerick people and bringing them to the attention of the public. IxDA Limerick is hosting the event as part of their United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development programme.

What is Ignite?

In talks that are exactly five minutes long, Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Ignite events are run by local volunteers in many locations around the world, as part of the global Ignite network. Talks are video recorded and shared on the Internet, allowing local Ignites to share the knowledge and passion with the world (more about Ignite here ).

What is miLKlabs?

miLKlabs is a collaborative community space based in Limerick City, Ireland. The name is derived from ‘made in LimericK’. It is meant as a shared physical space for any and all creative projects: art, woodwork, software, photography and electronics – to name but a few. The aim is to provide Limerick with a place for people to work and collaborate on creative projects, to learn and to share their knowledge.

What is IxDA Limerick?

IxDA Limerick is the local chapter of the Interaction Design Association, a global network dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design.

How can I participate?

You can sign up for attending the event either on Facebook or on the IxDA meetup page.

If you have an interesting idea or project you’d like to talk about, there’s still room for speakers! Please drop us an email at ignitelimerick@gmail.com with your name and a title for your talk.

April 02 2011 | Events and Ireland and Limerick | 1 Comment »

The Excursions Festival in Limerick…

..or how I managed to get dead frozen selling Romanian language lessons on Bedford Row on Saturday;)

A year ago, I found out about the existence of an organisation meant to bring together the Romanians living in Limerick. I started going to their monthly meetings whenever I could find the time, and I met very interesting people from all the paths of life there. At the first IRCBA meeting this year- I heard about the Excursions Performance festival and the “Sell your language” happening organised by Ania Bas as part of it. Me and my colleague Daniela Butan decided to give it a try.

We found Ania (who is Polish) and Helena Zelesakova (Slovakian) on Bedford Row, and we joined them. I must say that the “would you like to buy a language?” approach didn’t suit me, so I kind of turned it into “would you like to buy a language lesson?”. Daniela and I offered 5 min Romanian language lessons for 1 eur – a rather competitive price, taking into account that Slovak and Polish lessons cost 1.50 and 2 euros!

A lot of bypassers didn’t pay any attention to us, but quite a few asked for more detail, and a few accepted our offer.  It was interesting to see how perfect Romanian pronounciation someone can achieve in just 5 minutes!

I didn’t make any money on the day, but I managed to learn some Irish in exchange!Daniela and I

I would have loved to see a lot more people involved in teaching their own language – the mix of languages offered was exclusively East European, while there’s such a variety of people coming from different corners of the world living in Limerick!

January 25 2009 | Events and Limerick and Uncategorized | No Comments »

Magic sky

Venus occultation

A frosty afternoon… Nowadays I have to leave the university shortly before 5pm, otherwise it’s too dark to cycle by the Shannon

When I got into town, it was 5:10 – the exact time indicated by one of our colleagues for watching the sky and see Venus and Jupiter next to the New Moon.

The lights of the city and my own clumsiness in using the camera didn’t let me get a perfect picture of what I saw – but this one is nice enough – you can see Venus very clearly on the right bottom part of the Moon! Jupiter was there as well

An explanation of the phenomenon can be found here. I must say I had tears in my eyes because of the cold and I kept wondering if it wasn’t a simple illusion…

December 01 2008 | Events and Life and Limerick and Uncategorized | No Comments »

The first Irish HCI Conference hosted by the IDC

DSCN1657

My department organised a great event yesterday – the first Irish Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. About 50 people from different universities, companies and public institutions attended the event, which turned out to be a success! Several research groups from Cork, Dublin, Galway , Limerick and Maynooth presented their current research and projects, and I must say it was very interesting to find what was going on – not only in the other universities, but also in our own!

I found a lot of interesting connections in the presentations of Tim Hall (EMRC), Mark Magennis(NCBI) , Aphra Kerr(NUIMNIRSA).

Mark Leslie(Martello Media) presented three of their projects, and the “fun palace” designed for the Visitor Centre at the Cliffs of Moher really caught my attention. I’m as mad as everyone else for the horrible impact that building had on the environment, but I’d still like to see what came out!

The ScanCam one of the participants was wearing at his neck raised privacy concerns (taking shots at every change detected in the environment- 5000-7000 pics/day). Our colleague introduced an interesting application that was actually trying to make sense of these images by selecting the less frequent situations out of the huge pile.

I was fascinated by the story around the design of a digital piece of jewelry presented by John Mc’Carthy from UCC. Different interactive artefacts made me think of the wide spectrum of opportunities for augmenting human intelligence made possible by technology: the topographic torch, the touch table, the search of digital archives, or artistic events such as the re-creation of the 1831 riot in the Queen Square in Bristol.

I also had the chance to discover that one of our colleagues in TCD is actually studying meetings and the electronic support for meetings (unlike us, who are focusing on software engineering, he’s looking at the medical domain).

The breaks allowed for a lot of networking, and the gorgeous weather brought us outside, in the nice ambiance of the Kilmurry village.

In the afternoon, we had a group discussion on possible future actions for keeping in touch, creating awareness mechanisms on each other’s work, and becoming more visible in Ireland as a community. The ideas kept buzzing, and we put together a wiki page to keep track of what was said and remains to be put into practice.

A few other people blogged the event: Mike Bennett, Eoin Brazil.
And of course we had a short note (and some comments!) on the IDC blog as well!

Although several people were involved in the organization, my colleague Luigina Ciolfi was the heart and the force behind this event. Kudos, Lui, for all the hard work! I enjoyed every minute, and judging by what I’ve heard, so did most of the participants!

May 03 2007 | conference and IDC and iHCI and Ireland and Limerick | 2 Comments »

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