Disposable coffee cups, should they be banned or taxed ?

Disposable coffee cups, should they be banned or taxed ?

Over the past few weeks there has been increased conversation on disposable coffee cups. Every day around the world, millions of disposable coffee cups are thrown into landfill. This is not sustainable.

The Irish government has started a bill to address this controversial issue. The final result will either be an outright ban on disposable coffee cups or a tax or levy. So when you get your coffee, you would have an added charge if you use a disposable coffee cup. I know for a fact that I could easily use about 10 of these per week. Therefore how many are being used in Ireland Every day? Now expand that… How many disposable coffee cups are being used in the world every day.

This is a similar concept to the tax on plastic bags which was introduced a few years ago. At the time we all thought it was something which would not persist. However, today it is normal practice for people to bring their own shopping bags to the shops.

It could be the case that people will now bring their own cups to the café to avoid the cup tax. The only problem is that how will people use their own cups if they have already used them that day. Cafés may have to provide a service or area for cleaning personal coffee cups.

It is a tricky issue to solve but certainly one which has an environmental impact.
Feel free to vote in the poll below or leave a comment on this issue.

What do you think? Should disposable coffee cups be banned or taxed ?

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Thor Ragnarok – Movie Review of Thor Ragnarok

Thor Ragnarok – Movie Review of Thor Ragnarok

Having seen the last Thor movie I wasn’t sure what to expect from Thor Ragnarok. The reviews were all positive and I went in hoping that Thor Ragnarok would be as good as the hype.

Starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor, this instance is much more humourous and has a very tongue in cheek attitude. It’s almost like the quirky, cheeky comic books we grew up reading.

Thor Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi who also directed Hunt for the Wilderpeople (which is a great movie in itself)

The movie has a very funny sequence near the start with Thor and a devil type character called Surtur. After an encounter with Surtur, Thor has a shock to the system…His hammer is destroyed by his banished sister Hela who returns to rise and destroy those who oppose her. Hela played by Cate Blanchett’s looks down her nose of her weak father who once ruled the universe but then became a peaceful ruler.

Thor also has other major losses (no spoilers) and this almost becomes a crisis of confidence for Thor.

Thor Ragnarok gives lots of cameos and subtle nods to other films. After landing on another planet he and his semi-evil brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) plus the Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and a hilarious but effective hero with a drink problem Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) try to save Thor’s home Asgard from destruction.

Before they can do that, Thor and Hulk must escape from a Hunger Games style contest. It is within this ‘gameshow style’ event that they are pitched against each other. This is all under the watchful eye of game keeper “Grandmaster” played by the amazing Jeff Goldblum.

After leading a revolt now the race is on to save Asgard. Can Thor win the battle without his trusty hammer?

Overall this was a highly entertaining film with lots of humour and a decent enough story. Chris Hemsworth was brilliant and had some great lines as was Jeff Goldblum. (Someone did say that Jeff Goldblum was just asked to do his Best Jeff Goldblum impression.). Another standout, was Tessa Thompson who played Valkerie. I had not seen her in anything before but she has starred in over 45 other productions. Maybe we have not yet seen the last of Valkerie.

Conclusion, if you want a film where you will leave smiling and with a sense of money well spent them Thor Ragnarok is the one to see. The soundtrack is also excellent – some of the music in the movie is very 1980 synth, one was very reminiscent of the Street Hawk theme by Le Park. Thor Ragnarok is not a classic or an Oscar nominee but certainly a highly entertaining movie. Enjoy!

Thor Ragnarok is the last Marvel film of 2017 and next on the list is Avengers: Infinity War.

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Hotel Review

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Hotel Review

Where is the Fairmont Hotel Singapore located?

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd

The Fairmont Hotel Singapore is ideally located in a central part of town, only 15 minutes walk from the bustling Clarke Quay. It’s central location means that it is situated very close to all major entertainment and shopping districts, plus, there is even a multi-storey shopping mall within the Fairmont Hotel complex.

The Fairmont Hotel Singapore offers 769 luxurious guestrooms and suites, a collection of 16 distinctive restaurants and bars.

Check In

On check-in we got a complimentary mango juice, which was very welcome after the 11 hour flight from London. Your bags are brought to the room 5 minutes after check-in, with the porters calling me ‘Sir Shane’ (which was nice).

The heat and humidity in Singapore can make you feel quite uncomfortable, but the Fairmont Hotel is very well air conditioned and you feel very comfortable indeed. At no point in the hotel did we feel that the humidity or heat was getting to us.

Our Room

The guest rooms are luxurious with a comfortable bed, luxury bathroom and aromatherapy bath products. Our room came with a balcony and the views are stunning from the tower we were in. From the 22nd floor you have a view of Singapore which looked over Singapore Bay, with stunning views of the Singapore Flyer, the amazing Marina Sands Hotel and views towards the city centre. The featured photo above shows the view by night with the lights of Singapore.

Breakfast

Breakfasts are served in three different restaurants but we found that the Asian Market Café was the best, as it had a large selection of foods from typical continental breakfast fare to Chinese / Asian steamed dumplings (which I had a good few of as they were very tasty).

The breakfasts are an experience to be savoured. You can if you wish go for the normal breakfast, croissants, bagels, breads, cereal but the asian breakfast is very special. It was the first time I tried steamed buns, and I have been hooked ever since.

Other Facilities at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel

In addition, guests of Fairmont Singapore have access to the Willow Stream Spa, one of the largest spa facilities in Asia, offering the best in Spa and Fitness services. The Spa Treatments at the Willow Stream are very reasonable and the facilities and therapists are excellent. I tried the massage, and as you overlook the city from 10 or 20 storeys up, you soon forget your troubles. The massage was excellent and any knots I had were soon eased.

The concierge staff at the hotel were also excellent and most friendly – they helped us book a city tour of Singapore as well as organising for our luggage to be held while we awaited out trip back to the airport. The staff were friendly and very helpful at all times.

Fairmont Hotel Singapore, Contact Information

If you intend coming to stay here during a visit to Singapore, the relevant details on contacting the hotel are provided below.

Address: Fairmont Hotel Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560
Phone: +65 6339 7777
Website: http://www.fairmont.com/singapore/

Verdict of the Fairmont Hotel Singapore

I loved my stay at the Fairmont Hotel Singapore, it was comfortable, upmarket, luxurious with great views and great staff. There was nothing about this hotel which I didn’t like. The Fairmont Hotel Singapore is an amazing hotel and would certainly return here on any return to the wonderful city of Singapore.

 

This is my honest opinion of the Fairmont Hotel Singapore and this post was not paid or solicited. The content here is simply my recollection and opinion of a stay at this hotel during a multi-stop personal holiday.
  • Comfort 95%
  • Service 100%
  • Food 98%
  • Spa 94%
  • Pool 90%
  • Would Repeat? 100%
American Made – Movie Review

American Made – Movie Review

American Made starts way back in 1978. Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, a is a young and very bored TWA pilot. Barry plays fast and loose with his job as a pilot – something we have seen Tom Cruise do before in other movies. Barry has a little sideline in smuggling contraband cigars. This does not go unnoticed and the a member of the CIA, played by Domhnall Gleeson, approaches him with a proposal.

At one point Barry asks Domhnall Gleeson’s CIA character, “All this is legal?” … “If you’re doing it for the good guys,” was the response. This sets the tone for the film and it’s hard to know whos the good guys sometimes. The CIA job is more of an ultimatum than a proposal and he is asked by the CIA to take reconnaissance photos of Soviet-backed insurgents, the contras, in South and Central America. Before he knows it, after only a few years Barry Seal starts drug smuggling for some of the most famous drug lords in Central America.

The thing which makes all this a bit more appealing – American Made is all based on true events.

As the film progresses Barry Seal takes on more and more risks. If caught he could be killed by the contras, a drug lord or imprisoned by any one of the many law enforcement groups he annoys. At one point I though his wife was going to kill him, as Barry has a growing family to raise. The family gets a lot bigger as Barry becomes more successful. His wifes brother comes and works for Barry which causes its own issues. The scenario and Barry’s life becomes more and more complex. I’m not going to spoil the final act but all in all this is a great movie with a great 70/80s soundtrack.

American Made is very Tom Cruise. Since Top Gun, we all know Tom loves fast cars, bikes and planes. Some of the aircraft sequences are very well done. At one point Tom or Barry (hard to know sometimes) adjusts the aircraft pitch trim in order to keep the aircraft flying level. At this point he goes back into the small plane to release the drugs he was carrying. This is not a stuntman, the was most probably Tom Cruise. In reality though Barry Seal was built like a wrestler was not as trim as Tom Cruise. The one thing I did notice was that the aircraft scenes and procedures seemed to be well researched, Tom was probably all over this detail.

The filming is very retro in parts, especially the opening and ending credits which I loved. I thought the credits, graphics, filming and music added a great air of vintage authenticness to the film.

American Made is not a deep or gritty drama. It has the wide cheeky grin of Tom Cruise at the start but you know it will be full of action and will be entertaining. There are a few reviews of the American Made movie who focus on it being cheesy but it is more than that. I think it was highly enjoyable, entertaining and would actually love to see it again.

Official Trailer – American Made

American Made – Overall Movie Rating

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American Made Movie Rating

Waterford City to become a huge game with Beat the Street

Waterford City to become a huge game with Beat the Street

Over the next 7 weeks, thousands of people in Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan are expected to take to the streets. Schools, community groups and businesses are going to compete against each other as part of a giant walking and cycling challenge called Beat the Street. 

Running from 13th September to 1st November 2017, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge which will turn all three areas into a community-based game.

 

Those who take part are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring their local area on foot or bicycle. Almost 80 special Beat the Street sensors will be installed. These ‘Beat Boxes’ will be spread across the city and county and those wishing to participate in Beat the Street can pick up their own Beat the Street card and map at local distribution points and start swiping as many Beat Boxes as possible to receive points, win prizes, and get more active!

Schools across Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan will be competing against each other to see who can travel the furthest and win hundreds of euros worth of prizes. Adult players can also create their own Beat the Street teams or register to join an existing team to be in with a chance to win big prizes which will be announced shortly.

Beat the Street is run by Intelligent Health UK with support from Waterford Sports Partnership and is funded by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland, Dormant Accounts Fund and Waterford City & County Council. The aim of the Beat the Street initiative is to encourage thousands of people to explore Waterford city and county with their friends and family and discover something new about the local area. Waterford is a great county and this is a wonderful way to explore it while having lots of fun.

More than 300,000 people took part in Beat the Street in 2016 in towns and cities across the United Kingdom. Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan are the first of several areas – along with Dublin and Limerick – to be launching Beat the Street in Ireland. The pilot is the first of its kind in Waterford and it is a unique opportunity for those in the community to take part in this free programme by getting active in a fun and rewarding way.

Rosarie Kealy, Sports Coordinator at Waterford Sports Partnership said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing Beat the Street to Waterford city, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan and are really looking forward to seeing how everyone rises to the challenge of walking, cycling, running or scooting during the seven week game.

“Anyone can get involved in Beat the Street – it’s completely free to play and is a great opportunity to go outdoors, spend time with your friends and family and get moving. Watch out for Beat Boxes appearing on a street near you!”

More Information on Beat the Street

Information is available on beatthestreet.me/waterford about where you can pick up a card, how to register and the map with the beat box locations for your area. You can follow @BTSWaterford on Twitter or ‘Beat the Street Waterford’ on Facebook for more information on prizes and how to get involved.