21st October, 1999
The Noticeboard


GARDENING: D.I.Y. PROPAGATION

In the past we tested propagators and found that they do a good job, particularly heated propagators with thermostats.
If you don’t have a greenhouse or a propagator, you can make your own mini-propagator. You may have to give cuttings more care and attention as they develop but the success rate is good. We recommend the following methods for growing semi-ripe and softwood cuttings: a) Grow cuttings in a seed tray inside a plastic bag. b) Use polystyrene cups or food containers for planting. They allow free drainage and keep roots damp. c) Plastic food containers ( from ice-cream or dairy spreads ) and fruit punnets also make good plant pots. d) Stretch a small clear plastic bag over a wire loop and seal it around the pot with an elastic band. The plastic used to wrap dry-cleaning is equally good. e) Use an upturned plastic pint glass over a pot. Put holes in the base of the glass for ventilation. f) Grow cuttings in water through a thin polystyrene tile. Puncture holes in the tile, stick the cuttings through to keep the leaves out of the water and allow the roots to float. Float the tile in a plastic food container and change the water regularly.
Most cuttings root better in a humid environment (in a propagator or under clear-polythene ). However, plants with hairy leaves, such as Begonias and Pelargoniums, will rot if the air is not reasonably dry so don’t cover them. Keep out of direct sunlight to avoid wilting.


ASTHMA & OUR LIFESTYLE

Recent theories on the increase in asthma sufferers have focussed more on changing lifestyles as a root cause. Double glazing, central heating, insulation, and poor ventilation contribute to warm dry environments where the risk of developing asthma is higher.
Children are playing outside less and spending more time indoors, increasing exposure to dust and indoor allergens such as pet hairs. The increased popularity of computer games and more time spent watching TV are two reasons for this.
Asthmatic children should be kept active and do as much aerobic exercise as those without asthma - swimming is often recommended by doctors as being excellent in developing lung capacity. While there is no known cure for the illness asthmatics can lead normal, active lives under medical supervision. Do not stop taking your medicine, or alter your dose, or the number of times you take it, unless your doctor tells you to.
The statistics on asthma in Ireland make grim reading. It is estimated that there are 270,000 sufferers in the country, that’s 1 in 20 adults (5%). Since the last survey in 1995 the levels of asthma in children have risen from 1 in 7 (14%) to 1 in 5 (20%). Incidences of the illness are rising at the rate of 1% a year. A major research project, the International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Children (ISAAC) is being undertaken this year to update the 1995 study. ISAAC is gathering data from around the world on the alarming increase of asthma among children.


THEATRE ACTION

The Cork Fringe Theatre Festival is in full swing at the Granary this week. It started off with Conal Creedon’s (Under the Goldie Fish) “When I Was God”, all about a referee at the FAI Cup Final in Dalymount Park. If you missed it, you missed an eloquent, hilarious and often deeply moving play. Production was by Red Kettle(Waterford).
Tonight (Thurs) starts a three night run of “The Black Box”, a play about an air crash presented by the Talking Birds / Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.
Then on Monday we have R+J, an innovative approach to Romeo and Juliet. This production by Kabosh from Belfast is an multiple award winner and has been highly acclaimed by critics everywhere.
On the 28th and 29th we have “The Undertaking” presented by the Quare Hawks from Dublin. This is a play about a group of friends who travel from London to Kerry to bury the ashes of ,Henry, a journey that threatens to become a nightmare.
Then on October 31st the Actors of Dionysus from York present “Agamemnon”.. According to the ‘Times’ - “they bring tears tothe eyes and make the hair at the nape of the neck bristle”


DIXIE, JAZZ & NEW ORLEANS

The Jazz Trail goes back a hundred and forty five years to the Southern States of America.
In those days banks printed their own currency. Ten Dollar notes issued in 1854 by the Citizens Bank of New Orleans, and used largely by the French speaking residents were imprinted with the word ‘Dix’ (French for ten) on the reverse side, and they quickly became known as ‘Dixies’. The name spread throughout the Southern States of America and the area became known as ‘Dixieland’. Inevitably, of course, someone wrote a song called ‘Dixie’ and it was from here that the name became associated with music. During the American Civil War ‘Dixie’
became the most popular marching song of the Rebel Army, and was considered by some to be the Confederate Anthem.
Young white musicians in the area, attempting to copy the flavour of Classical New Orleans style Negro jazz, found their music being called ‘Dixieland Jazz’. By the early 1900’s Dixieland Jazz had spread throughout the world. It peaked in the 20’s and went into decline in the 1930’s with the emergence of the Big Band Swing era. Although it never regained the glory day’s of the 20’s. Dixieland Jazz has won the hearts and minds of musicians all over the world and in so doing has immortalised itself. No matter what direction popular music takes, jazz and all it radiates, innovation, flexibility, creativity and the general buzz of well being, thankfully, it will always be with us.


CORK SIMON COMMUNITY

Cork Simon Community’s annual Churchgate collections will take place at masses in Douglas and other churches in Cork Southside and City Centre on the weekend of 23rd and 24th October. Cork Simon depends largely on the generosity of the people of Cork to raise the money needed to provide services to homeless people, and hope that mass goers will contribute to this worthy cause this weekend.


FALL IN UNEMPLOYMENT

In June 1997 there were 28,323 people on the Live Register in county Cork - today there are 19,702. In little over two years the number of people on the dole in Cork has fallen by 8,621, a drop of 30%.
Youth unemployment in Cork has also experienced a sharp drop. It has fallen from 4,195 in June 1997, to 3,293 today. This is a drop of 22%.
National unemployment has fallen below 100,000 for the first time in almost twenty years. New jobs are being created at the rate of 1,400 a week and the number of people who are long-term unemployed has fallen by 40% in the last 12 months.
Cllr. John Minihan tells us that this is due to the fact that the Progressive Democrats are in the Government.


GUARANTEED GOODNESS

A Guarantee Directive which was formally adopted by the EU on the 18th of May last gives consumers a legal two year guarantee on any purchase of consumer goods anywhere in the European Union.
Member states have until 1st January, 2002 to transpose the Directive into national law. This is a welcome addition to the existing ‘Sell By Date’, but why take so long?


DEFEAT SMOKING

This week we’re going to deal with another reason why smokers say that they can’t or won’t give up smoking. Stress. I call this excuse “Stress, Smoker’s Excusitis.” It’s actually the smoke in your body that causes you to be even more stressful. Smokers tend to believe that smoking relieves stress. However, what you are really doing is adding more smoke, which is full of toxic gases and nicotine to your body. If you will, just imagine for a moment that you are in a garage with the doors and windows locked. There’s a car in this garage with the engine running. You have no way out and you can’t turn the engine off. Imagine how stressed your body would be. Think of the choking. Each time you light up, you are doing the same thing to your body in smaller degrees. Your smoking ads more stress to your body each time you have a smoke.
Let’s take a look at the science. Stress is a specific psychological reaction to threat or danger. To cut a long storm short, the liver is stimulated into providing energy in the form of sugars and the heart - begins to work hard to get this energy to vital organs and muscles. The body is producing the fight or flight syndrome. We have inherited the fight or flight syndrome from our early ancestors. Could you imagine a cave man out for a nice leisurely stroll when suddenly he’s confronted by the largest Tyrannosaurus that he has ever seen? Immediately his life saving mechanism would be stimulated into giving him extra strength in order to fight off his attacker or to take flight. He takes flight and the hunt is on.
Eventually, with great speed and cunning he loses ‘Rex’ and finds himself back in his cave. This is a guy who has been through a stressful period. Is he going to stick his head over the open fire and inhale some smoke? Of course he wouldn’t. That is the last thing he would do. Just like any normal human he is far more concerned with that strange odour that is coming from his sheepskin underpants! Smoking doesn’t relieve stress, smoking causes stress. Defeat Smoking Now.


CRASH - BANG - WALLOP!

It’s not funny, road accidents caused 458 deaths in 1998 and about half of the victims were in cars. Of those in cars, 3 out of 4 were not wearing seat belts. What’s frightening is, with a lot more cars on the road, a lowering of driving standards, an increase in aggressive driving, and places of utter confusion like the Kinsale Roundabout, we still refuse to buckle up. The last national survey, way back in 1991, found that only 55% of car users used seat belts. The National Roads Authority is now conducting a national survey on seat-belt wearing. There is a 20 on the spot fine for not wearing a seat belt, and this can reach 150 if it goes to court.
From the US, where police reported 6.7 million road accidents in 1977, we get the following advice. The under twelves should always sit in the back seat. Always wear a seat belt - even in your own driveway or when you are parked. Position the seat belt over your hips, so your bones and not your internal organs can absorb the force of impact. Simple, sensible safety measures that cost nothing and can save so much.


STAMP ON IT

An Post is working to make stamp buying more convenient for consumers. When its new ‘Stamp Retailing Service’ is up and running in the coming months, consumers will be able to buy stamps in over 3,000 shops and 2,000 post offices. The new service is being introduced for 1,000 new retailers and for the 2,000 retailers who already hold licences to sell stamps. It includes commission on the sale of stamp booklets, a merchandising service to tell consumers where stamps are available and a mail-order service for retailers to re-stock. This is good news for everybody, as most shops don’t close for lunch, have longer opening hours and may be more conveniently located than post offices.