The Master of All Polls

The Master of All Polls

I’ve decided to run some online polls, indeed a series of questions below, with interesting questions. The results will be posted later in the year. The poll will be open for a few months so please feel free to share your views. It covers everything from topics in the news at the moment, to topics which people may ask from time to time.

How the Poll works

The system is one vote per person and Its and cookies are used to ensure a fair result. If you want to add anything to the debate or comment on result please feel free to comment.

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Do you think the Irish Language is dead?

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Do you think Ireland could be tobacco free by 2020?

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What's your favourite social media platform?

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Do you believe in ghosts?

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Do you agree that those who drive above the limit should be banned from the roads for 3 months?

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Can you speak Irish to a reasonable conversational standard?

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Do you have a tattoo?

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Should Ireland Repeal the 8th amendment?

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Do you think Smoking is a disgusting habit?

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Do you think Britain were right to leave the EU?

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Can you Speak a foreign language?

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Do you think Donald Trump is a doing a good job as President?

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Thanks for stopping by and for voting. I’m hoping to get an insight into what people are thinking about these topics, many of which are currently in the news or being discussed online. I am interested in seeing the final result, as I am sure you are also. The results will be published later in the year, once I have enough data to have a fair commentary on the questions posed.

Don’t forget to share this blog post on your social media channels so that others can take part also.

Top things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

Top things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

I visited Stockholm in October 2016, it was my first time there and there are some highlights you should not miss.

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is part of a Baltic archipelago which has about 24,000 islands. Stockholm itself only stands on 14 of these islands. The city has over 50 bridges with cobblestone streets, multi-colored buildings and amazing architecture.

The Vasa

This is one of the Top Tips on TripAdvisor for Stockholm. The Vasa was a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship sank after sailing about 1,500m into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. The ship was built on the specifications of a previous ship which had a row of guns. The King at the time wanted 2 rows of guns on the Vasa, This made the ship very top-heavy without any changes being made to the design. In the 1950s and 60s the ship was raised and the museum today shows how this was done. The Vasa now sits on full display, restored to its original glory. When I was visiting I thought this was just going to be a ship and a story… I was very wrong. It is so impressive to see and you could easily spend a few hours here.

If you are at the Vasa when you are in Stockholm, you might want to visit the ABBA / Swedish Music museum which is also nearby.

Djurgarten

Djurgården or the Royal Game Park is one of the mentioned islands in central Stockholm. It is easily accessible and you could easily walk it from the central train station in about 25 minutes. Djurgården has historical buildings, statues, monuments, museums, galleries and so much more. There is even an amusement park Gröna Lund. The walks through the area are very impressive and you get good views of the city from there also. It is extremely popular as a location and over 10 million visitors per year visit Djurgården.

Try Herring from a street cart

When I heard that there was a cart in Stockholm selling herring and that it was very popular I was sceptical. Firstly I had never actually tried herring. Secondly, it was from a cart. So, on trying the first bite I was hooked (excuse the pun). It is served with a type of mustard sauce and is on toast. Within a few minutes it was gone but worth trying. Since tasting the herring in Stockholm I managed to get it in Ireland, more or a Polish version, but still as tasty. If you are in Stockholm you must try herring.

View from Skinnarviksberget

In every city you will have a good viewing point. Paris has the Eiffel tower, London her the Eye and Stockholm has Skinnarviksberget. To get to Skinnarviksberget by metro you will need to get to the Zinkensdamm metro stop and from there it is only a short walk to the viewing point. There is a small climb so having decent shoes will help – heels, probably not a good idea !

Skinnarviksberget will give you wonderful views over the city and if you are a photographer, it’s very good near the blue hour!

Visit Old Town

The Old Town in Stockholm is also known as Gamla Stan. This is the historic heart of Stockholm. The Old Town is one of the favorite areas of Stockholm with it’s medieval streets and the Royal Palace. Much of this area is car free so it is a joy to walk around and enjoy. Gamla Stan is actually 3 of Stockholm’s islands, namely Stadsholmen, Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen. Stadsholmen being the largest of the three islands. This was one of my favourite parts of Stockholm.

It is a great place to enjoy Fika which is a concept in Swedish culture basically meaning “to have coffee”. Best when accompanied with pastries. In Sweden these pastries such as cinnamon buns are often referred to as fikabröd or “fika bread”. One of my favourites was a cardamom bun or Kardemummabullar. Delicious!

Place to Stay

If you are looking for a hotel in Stockholm I highly recommend the Radisson Blue Viking Hotel. It is very central, right by the train and bus station. It also has excellent staff and the very best breakfast – a real Swedish style start to the day.  The Radisson Blu Viking is also only minutes away from all the major shopping areas such as Drottninggatan, Bibliotekstan, Stureplan and the iconic NK department store.

The Radisson Viking also has a wonderful Skybar with great views of the city.

If you have time you can also take in a ferry cruise, which will bring you around the many areas of the archipelago.

Stockholm is a wonderful city with so much to see and do. I will certainly be back and I would love to see the city during the summer as it gets quite chilly in late October.

iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate

iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate

Everyone likes to look their best but sometimes that extra chocolate bar or those movie munchies catch up on us. The extra pounds can be a lot harder to shift than they were to put on. When I noticed that I was a few kg heaver than I wanted to be I said I would do something about it but I knew my diet was good to start with.

About 3 years ago I was around 1.5 stone (or 20 pounds) heaver than I wanted to be. Thats when I started using a diet app called MyPlate to help monitor elements of my diet. I have to admit I only used it intermittently, for a few months at a time but I saw results in about a month.

The app asks you to enter in everything in your diet – anything consumed that day. It computes the calories in your diet and deducts any exercise you do. The phone will detect any walking when the phone is on your person or you can add exercises later from a very well defined list. It then tells you, based on your diet goals, how your calorie intake is doing. Your goal can be simply to maintain your weight or to lose a certain number of kg per month.

You can see the breakdown of your sugar, carbs, protein and water intake. Remembering that an increased sugar in your diet (e.g. soft drinks, sweets and cakes) will make your body store more fat, the sugar intake is the tricky one to maintain. This app can help with this.

Some initial setup is required, entering gender, current weight, height and the mentioned weight goals. After that, just start entering your daily food and drink intake. There is a huge database of foods already there or you can enter your own food. Obviously some honesty is required in order to use the app but if you use it well you will see results.

I think part of the reason it works is that you start thinking, ‘Do I really want this?’. It makes you accountable for the things that you eat and makes you think about your diet. Plus, you can enjoy the treats but then you need to work them off. So if you go 60 calories over your limit, a fast paced 20 minute should burn that right off.

 

MyPlate Diet App Screenshots

You can see the screens below on how it tracks calories, fat, sugar, carbs and weight. Overall I ended up losing the 20lbs I needed to lose and wasn’t miserable doing it (I still have a sweet tooth). It’s a very good app and if you have good will power it can help you lose weight.

MyPlate Calorie Tracker on the App Store

MyPlate is the fastest and easiest way to diet, lose weight and improve your health! Join millions who have lost weight with LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker — the most user-friendly way to track your food, diet and exercise on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. MyPlate makes tracking calories and getting the proper nutrition easy.