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Getting back to it

January 13, 2015 in Housekeeping

Ok, it’s time. Happy new year to all.  I will recommence blogging this very week.


No luck in Naas

October 16, 2013 in Housekeeping, Quizzes

John-banditThe Irish Blog Awards were handed out on Saturday night last in Naas. For the second year running, left empty-handed. 🙁

I guess I should be happy, all told. The site was chosen as a finalist in two categories this year, as opposed to one 12 months ago. However, when you’ve twice trucked all the way to Kildare and received nowt but some nicely designed (if hastily scrawled) certificates, it’s takes the wind out a little.

We did have a great night (see photo!). And hey, even if we didn’t win, we were there – which is more than can be said for the winners of 10-or-so categories. 😉

Anyway, back to the quizzing. Thursday evening will be busy as, after the usual live broadcast of After the Fact, I am the host of a table quiz in aid of Claremorris Community Radio.

There’s a great prize up for grabs, especially as we reach this time of year: a €500 voucher for Smyths’ Toys for the winning team!

The quiz is slated for 8.30pm in The Dalton Inn, Claremorris. Admission is €40 for a team of four. I hope to see you there.

Please note: I won’t be wearing the bandit mask on the night.

We’re going to Naas (again!)

October 2, 2013 in Housekeeping, Podcast

blog_awards_2013_badge_finalistsmGreat news everyone, for the second year running has made the final cut for the Irish Blog Awards! Better yet, we are finalists in not one but two categories!

The site itself has made the final five of the Best Sport / Recreation Blog, which is probably a more suitable category than last year’s pop culture shortlisting. There’s some heavy hitters in this category so I’ll be going more in hope than expectation, as the cliché would have it!

Our other nomination is for best podcast or, as it’s somewhat awkwardly named, Best Podcast Blog. This is now one of my proudest achievements in quizzing. I’ve been hosting (and writing the questions for) After the Fact for two-and-a-half series now and it’s nice that our great little show has gotten a bit of recognition. I’m not going to hide my light under a bushell here. I’m immensely proud of this show that myself, Andrew, Lorraine and our guests put out each week. If you haven’t listened to it already, please head over to the show’s page to check out the archive.

Whether we’ll win the award though is anybody’s guess. Once again, the other finalists are excellent, including last year’s winner of the same prize, The Sodshow.

I’ll have a good night at the awards, in any case! 😉 The awards will be handed out on Saturday, October 12th.

Blog awards shortlisting

September 15, 2013 in Culture, Housekeeping

blog_awards_2013_badge_shortlist12 months ago, I had one of the best nights of my year when I attended the Irish Blog Awards in the county town of Kildare.

I had some good news over the weekend as the blog has been shortlisted again this year in two categories! That’s not to say I can book my tickets yet. Unlike the Booker Prize or the Oscars, the blog awards shortlist is actually the second-last step on the selection of finalists for the big night. That list of finalists is due to be published on September 29th.

For the record, the blog has been shortlisted in Best Sport/Recreation and Best Podcast categories. The latter is a nomination for After the Fact, the show I host on Claremorris Community Radio, which is podcast each week.

Finally, the odds on my needing to get out the suit in October are further improved by the fact that Mrs has also been shortlisted. Her fantastic site has made the cut in the Best Science/Education category!

Huzzah, I say!

Behold! Some quizzing

July 16, 2013 in Housekeeping, IQO, Quizzes

desert-oasisI don’t know about where you live but round here (west of the Shannon) it is most definitely quizzing off-season.

What is a quiz addict to do? I guess you take your quizzing fun where you can. For instance, I am hosting a quiz this Friday evening. Ok, it’s vicarious quizzing for yours truly but at least it will get me out of the house my brain into quiz mode.

It might also be good for you, if you live in the Galway area. The quiz is in aid of the Solstice Arts Group, which is based in Headford. It will take place in Campbell’s Tavern, Cloughanover (which is on Headford end of the Galway-Headford Road) and kicks off at 8.30pm. Expect a wide selection of arty questions. 😉

If you don’t live around Galway though, fear not. Ireland’s two largest cities now have a central information point for quizzes in their area. The Irish Quiz Organisation has created two new Facebook pages to co-ordinate and promote quizzes in Dublin and Cork. Presuming you’re already a member of Facebook you can check them out at the following addresses: / These are just the first two such pages – other regions will be given their own pages in the near future.

Finally, good news for fans of After the Fact. The show’s third series will begin with a live broadcast on Friday, August 9th, at 8pm, as part of the Claremorris Community Radio Broadcastathon. I’ll post more about the show as that date approaches.

A new departure (well, section)

May 7, 2013 in Culture, Housekeeping, Quizzes

departure-signOver the course of the weekend, I’ve made a few changes to the layout of this, very humble, site. now has an international section, which will host details of past and future international quizzing events and provide links and resoruces for anyone interested in venturing into the world of cross-border quizzes.

The first major addition to this section is a page all about the recent Celtic Nations quizzing championship. The page features results, standings, how the scoring system worked and an archive of (a lot of) the questions asked during this inaugural event. Thank you to everyone who contributed the information here, especially the question setters, and Welsh legend David Edwards, who compiled the scores.

In the debit column, I have demoted the site’s interactive quiz rankings. Changes to the system the site uses resulted in an annoying bug (or perhaps it was intentional?) which provided quiz participants with zero feedback after doing a set of questions.

Besides, Irish quizzing now has its own rankings system, in which anyone can take part. If you’d like to give that a go, you can find out more on the Irish Quiz Organisation’s web site.

Good news and bad news

February 17, 2013 in Housekeeping, Quizzes

Firstly, I’ll start with the good news. The first International Quizzing Association Hot-100 season ended last week and there were some great results from our Irish competitors.

In total, 28 people from the island of Ireland took part during the year and, of those, nine finished inside the top 100! This is amazing stuff, given that over 1,900 people took part in at least one event.

I’m also happy to say that I finished up the 25th ranked quizzer in the world! Whoop! Even better, I finished higher than the Germans. Double whoop!

Hot-100 final placings

An excerpt from the final quiz world rankings table of 2012/13.

If anyone out there would like to get involved with the Hot-100, there’s no better time than next month, as it will be the first of the new season. The entry period runs from February 26 to March 4. For more info, drop me an email at

The bad news also relates to emails. Membership of the site has skyrocketed in the last six weeks. It’s now averaging about 15 registrations per day. However, I feel this is no cause for celebration as I reckon most of those are bogus spammers. Furthermore, my inbox has been almost flooded with the amount of spurious entries I’ve received via the Running a quiz? page.

Because of this, I have been forced to add a captcha to that page. Sorry if this slows genuine quiz organisers down – I know a lot of people aren’t fans. Hopefully everyone will understand though that I need to come up with some way of weeding out the bots.

WordPress problems

December 17, 2012 in Housekeeping

Last week, the moderators of WordPress, the system on which this site runs, released version 3.5 of their platform. Unfortunately, this release seems to contain several bugs and ugliness.

I feel a bit hamstrung about this problem. Do I try and downgrade back to a working version (not a trivial solution) or do I wait until 3.5.1 and presume that the bugs will be ironed out?

As of right now, I’m going to wait. Apologies if you run up against a bug here on the site in the meantime. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long.