St Patrick’s Day, Portal 2

17 Mar

St Patrick’s Day – there are loads of world landmarks turning green today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Amongst the many famous sights involved with the celebrations the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the London Eye are all “greening up” for the day.

It is no surprise that one of the biggest celebrations on St Patrick’s Day is held in Dublin. Around half a million people saw this morning’s parade through the streets of Dublin, ending up outside the city’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Today’s parade had a scientific theme to showcase the city’s choice as the City of Science 2012.

Moving away from Ireland the country most associated with big St Paddy’s Day celebrations is the US. In particular New York, Boston and Chicago all have big celebrations to mark the day as they have a strong Irish community in all of these cities. This year the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny is going to be the Grand Marshall of the parade in Chicago.

It is a good day to be called Patrick if you are in Dublin today as the Guinness Brewery is offering free admission to its premises to anyone called Patrick. Guinness has always been a big part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and it is thought that around 13 million pints of Guinness are going to be drunk today around the world. A Guinness advert to celebrate St Paddy’s Day says that all the pints of Guinness sold today would fill up 60% of the Empire State Building.

Amazingly for the saint of such a small country, St. Patrick’s Day is thought to be the most widely celebrated saints day in the world.

Portal 2 – Valve’s game had a good night yesterday picking up 3 separate awards at the British Academy Video Game Awards.

The first person puzzle shooter took away the night’s biggest prize of Best Game and also won awards for Best Story and Best Design.

The game was released last April and it os not surprise that it was the sequel to the hugely popular Portal. It is available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and also for Mac’s and Windows-based computers.

The game is solved by completing a series of puzzles using the help of lasers, light bridges, tractor beams and the portal gun, which creates portals between different planes. By shooting 2 different virtual doorways using the portal gun you can go through one doorway and emerge out through the other. Things quickly get more confusing with the interaction of elements like the tractor beams.

The game can be played in an even more complicated set of 2 player challenges. These can be set as either split screen for those in the same room and there is also an online option.

Other winners on the night included Battlefield 3,which won Best Online Multiplayer Game, and LA Noire, which won Best Original Music. Luke Skywalker, well actor Mark Hamill, took the award for Best Actor for his role as The Joker in Batman: Arkham City.

The evening, which was held at the London Hilton, was hosted by Irish comedian Dara O’Briain and the audience included chat-show host Jonathan Ross and his wife Jane Goldman.

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