Cheap Dublin Hotels

Getting a hotel in Dublin can be a bit tricky. Since it is a small city, its hotels often get booked to capacity fast. Early reservations are a must for travelers and tourists. And booking in advance may prove to be more than just practical. You can also get discounts by reserving a room beforehand.

You will need discounts especially in peak seasons when hotel rates jack up. But there are also reliably cheap hotels in Dublin you can afford even without discounts.

Cheap Hotels

Location plays a great part in the rates of hotels. The closer you are to the heart of the city, the more expensive accommodations become. But before you go ahead and check in at any hotel in the outskirts of Dublin, be reminded that public transportation is hard to come by at night. You may end up spending large sums on transportation that in the end would amount to the savings you got from not staying in a city hotel.

For a backpacker, Dublin's several hostels are your best bet for cheap accommodation. You may have to share a room with complete strangers but it would be fun to meet fellow travelers you can exchange stories with.

If you are traveling with your family or a large group of friends, check out the apartments you can rent for the duration of your visit. There are also bed and breakfast townhouses operated by families. Most of these are certified Family Homes of Ireland (FHOI). This may be the best way to experience Irish living. Their rates may be slightly higher though. Sometimes they can be priced higher than hotels too. So be sure you check the rates first and compare before deciding on your accommodation.

For best rates, book well in advance. And if you do not mind moving your trip, reschedule it during off-peak season. You will get rooms at a much cheaper rate. Also, mid-week accommodations are priced lower than weekends.

Unusual Conference Venues

Many companies understand the importance of conferences for their staff. Conferences are a chance to network, share ideas and to learn, but boy are they boring. Yes, your staff gets loads of new ideas and meet lots of interesting and useful people, but given the choice they would rather not attend again next year. Fortunately, the people who run conferences are starting to wake up to this fact and beginning to try to make conferences less tedious. This has led to some great new conference events being held. If you are a business about to hold an in-house conference you can learn a lot from this new trend.

So the question is 'Where can I hold a conference?'. Basically as long as they've got the license and you've got the cold hard cash, then you can hold a conference just about anywhere you like. As the legend of Kevin Costner understands 'If you build it, they will come' and yes, you can host a conference at a baseball diamond!

Museums and art galleries. Being surrounded by creative exploits really stimulates the mind. Therefore a great venue for a conference has to be a gallery or science museum. Our favorite is the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology – mingling amidst ancient totem poles is quite the experience. Another great museum venue is the Science Museum in London, that even offers a IMAX cinema or a motion theater as two of the 8 conference halls it has available.

Marinas, Aquariums and Planetariums are also great places for conferences, most have lecture theaters for the presentations, with plenty of divers during conference breaks. In some Aquariums such as the one in Barcelona you can enjoy a spectacular conference dinner completely surrounded by fish. Although sitting down to the fish course does make you pause.

Blackpool Tower – yup sounds strange but come on, it's also pretty exciting and sort of kitsch!

In the mountains. Being amid inspirational landscape opens the mind to fresh and new ideas. Check out the Fairmont Springs hotel in Banff, you are literally a step away from heaven.

Want to impress, rent a castle! You can do it for weddings and you can absolutely do it for your conference!

Observatories – enjoy a daytime conference and finish with watching the stars – there's a metaphor in there somewhere!

Middle of the Rainforest? Lots of nature retreats host conferences and events. Bali anyone?

The zoo – yes it has happened, one crazy and obviously very talented events planner held an event at a tiger exhibition.

Like we said, you get the right equipment, shelter, catering and speakers and people will come. If you have an event dream – make it happen. Your conference will be memorable and people will definitely want to come back next year. Where you hold a conference says a lot about you and your industry. Conferences are designed to stimulate people's creativity and make them come away full of ideas. An inspirational venue is everything, so think outside the box.

Hydroponic Gardening – Managing Pests & Diseases

As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens ie spindly or dead plants. Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water ('true' hydroponics) or continuously sprayed (aeroponics) or in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an extensive array of available methods to manage the problem.

Using beneficial life forms is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing compounds toxic to the pest. They're known as beneficial organizations because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.

Different types of pesticides are available, too.

Pesticidal soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.

Neem oil can control over 400 different types of pest that typically invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to a lower population.

For more serious infestations, many commercial pesticides continue to work well.

White flies, aphids, mites and other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of the continuous moisture bugs and pests have a 'friendly' environment. Making it 'unfriendly' is straightforward enough, using fungi and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.

Pyrethrum continues to be a safe and effective means of control. Although it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method over most common pests.

Hydroponic gardeners have to exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots, it's easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and stems. That means that if you pick off mites by hand – an effective method for low-number infestations – it's important to exercise extra care.

Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a temporary relocation of the indoor garden.

Helping Your ADD/HD Child

A number of factors need to be considered when you are told that your child is ADD/HD. The first thing you want to do is to understand all you can about ADD/HD. You also want to sit down and list what it means for your child, as a unique individual being, to be ADD/HD. Remember that this diagnosis is observational in nature.

If your child is ADD/HD, then your child was born ADD/HD. What has happened that has made it need to be labeled now? What were the stops along way that led from high energy, curious, creative and bright to disabled? Start a journal about your child, ask for observations, especially from the people who are around your child when you are not.

Ask yourself and other key people in your child’s life questions like: Are there times of day, days of the weeks, or certain situations which seem to trigger the child? Keep a food log and keep track as much as possible of what your child is eating. Are their certain foods that cause spikes and crashes? Or certain foods that lead to acting out or melting down? How about certain situations or people? Did the child have a year at school, or experience at camp where their behavior seemed to go to unmanageable? Were there major shifts in your child’s world such as living situations, acquiring or loss of a close friend or family member?

Talk with your child and have them tell you as much about their days as possible and compare it with what other people experienced of them that day. See where they may be making incorrect assumptions or did not understand the larger picture of what was going on in a certain situation.

Keep in mind that all very bright children have a great deal going on in their head and are impatient to learn, to understand, and will disconnect when bored.

If teachers or other people are strongly pushing the idea that your child is ADD/HD, ask them to be as specific as possible as to why. In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on, enlist them in getting the answers to the questions you are keeping track of. Also, ask what they think the solutions are if your child is ADD/HD. If they want to move to a drug based solution, make sure you are clear if there are benefits for them to have your child drugged and easier to manage.

Maybe your child is gifted with ADD/HD, so what you want to stay clear on is: When did that gift become an unmanageable problem, and will medication solve problems or mask them? First, remember that many factors are going on in your child’s life which could lead to a request for an official diagnosis and a recommendation of medication, and that in medicating, those factors will easily get lost because the medication seems to solve all the problems.

As you draw the picture of your child and your child’s relationship with an ADD/HD diagnosis, start shifting things and see how they shift the issues. Begin with diet, then look at what shifts can be made in the environment. Would smaller classrooms, more interactive educational methods and more challenging curriculum keep your child more focused and moving at a faster, more engaged pace that would both better serve your child’s learning, growth, and development, as well as, eliminate request for labeling or medication?

Keep the following things in mind if a diagnosis of ADD/HD is in the air:

Issues may be caused or exacerbated by diet, environmental, emotional, mental, even undetected physiological factors.

Second, if medicating, what are the short and long term side effects to the mental, emotional and physical well being of your child? Will this label serve them or hold them back?

Third, is the child being held responsible for situations where the failure is not theirs? Is their “failure” on account of an educational system that doesn’t know how to work with these children? Are teachers or other education or care providers ill equipped to provide what your child needs to fly and to flourish? I want to make it clear when I say “ill equipped,” it could be that the primary adults involved are ill suited, or that the situation which they are forced to function is incapable of providing the needed environment. But what I also want to make very clear here is that if we are medicating your child, or any child, because of the failure to properly provide the teachers, the classrooms, the resources needed, and that if they were all in place that a child would not have to be medicated, then medicating is morally reprehensible and we must examine our priorities in this country.

Or is the need to medicate them because we do not offer the support, education and resources to the family unit? Are we medicating them because the family can not or does not know what a bad diet is, or how to give these children the support they need? Or because the information is controlled by groups, institutions, and business who do not have the best interest of your child at hand? Do parents make the choice to medicate their child because of the one sided information that they are given, or are they coerced or manipulated into feeling that this is the only course of acting when in fact it is not? Is it made too easy in this chaotic, sped up, crazy world to convince yourself (to be convinced) that the quick fix is the right one. In other words, that a happy meal and pill is good parenting,

Lastly, dig past the top layer of information if you really want to know. Plenty of information is available on the internet. What you will often come across first is the controlled information. There are number of studies and evidence that on the surface support ADD/HD as a disability diagnosis and say that medication is the primary option. Large non-profit groups who serve this issue that are underwritten by the drug companies that manufacture it. But when you dig deeper, the evidence is not so clear or conclusive. The parts of the studies that question medicating as a viable option are often left out. We hear about the brain scans, but we only hear half a story. We don’t hear at all about the studies that have discovered alarming concerns about medicating these children because they are buried by the information provided by supporters of the pharmaceutical companies, and you have to dig deeper to find them.

Along the way you will also find any number of all natural one stop shopping wonders that claim to cure ADD/HD, and you should be just as wary of them. You need to have a whole child understanding, create whole child solutions and make sure that they represent the unique child that is yours. No quick fixes, no one size fits all approaches. And if everything I’ve said so far hasn’t made your head spin fast enough, I don’t see AD/HD as a disability, something one needs to get cured from or outgrow. It is part of an evolutionary process. These children and adults have a diff-ability, not a disability, they learn and process differently, they are not less able. In fact, they are often more able when they are set up to succeed, and not fail.

The question is: how do you want to best support your child? To fit in – or to be who they are, and be all they can be?