6th January, 2000
The Noticeboard


THE BONSAI BUG

Unlike our friend the millennium bug the bonsai bugs are real living hazardous creatures, just how hazardous no one is sure but the implications are frightening and of major ecological concern. We all accept that bonsai trees are a highly cultivated traditional Japanese speciality and very expensive to buy, some can cost thousands of pounds. Lately bonsai trees from China have been appearing on the European market and these sell for around 20, so everyone is tempted to go out and buy one. But be warned these plants and the soil they come in have been found to carry up to 19 exotic looking parasitic pests. The UK and French Agricultural Ministries have warned that these Asian bugs may be carrying dangerous viruses. The fact that these trees can survive in our climate means that their passengers may also be able to survive. So far they have identified root-eating worms, wood boring beetles, dagger and root knot worms, and other mealy creatures that are a potential crop destroyer. Local plant life would have no immunity to these invaders and they'd have no natural predators in this part of the world, so they could spread unchecked. So should you acquire or be offered a bonsai please have it cleared by a horticulturist or contact the local Department of Agriculture and Food at 021 545377.


ROBOT HOOVER

Actually it's vacuum cleaner, people are always reminding us to call things by their proper names. So our New Years Resolution is………And now that we've got that out of the way, back to our Robot Vacuum Cleaner. 'Dyson' the company who gave us the bagless vacuum cleaner have come up with the houseworkers' dream. It is battery powered, has three tiny computers on board, it starts cleaning at the walls of a room and works towards the centre, it knows how to get around furniture and how to handle a stairs. It can even cope with a small child and it knows when its work is complete. It's got a built in mood indicator light to alert the owner if there is any problem, and of course being run on batteries it is emission free. What more could you want, except the 3,500 to pay for it. Oops! Shouldn't that be E4, 444 ? Even the E is wrong. So much for New Year Resolutions.


IS IT REALLY A MAN'S WORLD?



In a 1997 MORI poll, 18% of men were found to have been physically abused by their wives, compared to 11% of women being abused by their husbands. The plight of battered women has been well documented over the years, and if you are a woman you have support systems in place to help you. But what if you're a man? It seems if you're a man you have nothing. According to the '97 poll, almost 1 in 5 men questioned were/are subjected to abuse from their wives. This means that it's highly likely every one of us know many men who suffer in silence. I read a report of one man in the west who went to his local Garda station after years of violent abuse to be told by the sergeant to 'go home and stop bothering your wife'. Many men fear the ridicule and stigmas attached, as well as the sharp realization that they, rather than their abusive wives, will be told to leave the family home. Powerful feminist groups have painted a picture that women are always innocent and men perpetrators. Isn't it time for change? If a man hits a woman then no excuse will be accepted whatsoever. If a woman hits a man then a list is provided from PMT to post natal distress, eating disorders, childhood trauma etc. The list is endless. Not only endless, but also accepted. This must be one of the severest forms of discrimination widespread throughout our locality and country. The biggest fear for many of these men is the fact that they will have to leave their children behind. They worry that the partner will vent her anger on the children in his absence. To make matters worse he will have difficulty trying to see his children if he leaves the house. This is not even considering the financial implications. The children suffer also, emotionally and otherwise, at the hands of these women. Isn't it about time they were sent to jail? I was told that the Gardai don't even have a leaflet on battered men. Why?
In many ways it's the social attitudes that we have that is responsible for these men having to stay 'underground'. We can't seem to understand how a man could take a beating from a woman. Can we honestly justify our views by saying 'sure isn't he twice the size of her' and expect the problem to go away while these mens lives are being torn apart, keeping in mind if he hits back he'll go to jail. These injustices are continuing because these people are men. Why aren't these women held legally responsible for their actions? Why has every government [including our present one] turned its back? And why has the media focused in solely on womens issues and left men in the cold? If you ever notice anything written about battered men it's generally in a tiny paragraph, in some corner of a back page, fading away into obscurity. The same can be said of any mens group trying to achieve equality. It's also obvious that if a man attempts to go on radio to air this problem for example, then 30 women will ring up after him and the issue changes back to women again. I've yet to hear these men speak uninterrupted. We have an obligation to listen. Many of our national and local broadcasters, journalists and politicians have been little more than an embarrassment when faced with this issue.
AMEN is a mens group set up to combat these injustices and offer free and confidential advice for battered men. The helpline number is 046-23718. I should also point out that an answering machine is used outside of opening hours [which again shows how badly these people are being funded]. If you are in an abusive relationship then maybe they can help you. Give them a call.


WINTER DRIVING

Authors note; Between the residential area on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and the city centre of Denver is a traffic junction, which like the Kinsale Roundabout is mathematical flawed, and because of the huge density of traffic is constantly gridlocked. The locals call it 'The Mousetrap'. When dust clouds from the desert mix with exhaust fumes from the traffic it creates a fog that is known as 'the Fizz'. Down town is called LoDo and most pubs brew their own beer)

With background buzz, and an evening whiz,
Red rivers of taillights, are heading home,
In the crimson twilight, and brown cloud fizz,
Colorado's Denver, Mousetraps it's own

Down in LoDo brewpubs, strong skiers sing
Songs of courage, with a seasonal cheer,
Awaiting the thrills, tomorrow will bring
Of the Rockies ramparts, they show no fear.

High on the Peaks, in a winter from hell,
Thru a jet black storm, of eye blinding snow,
A horse and rider, are fighting the swell,
And struggling down, towards a town below.

Thru claw-gashed aspen, and lodge-pole pine,
Their destinies moulded, they plough along,
As around and around, the snow winds whine,
The ice-lipped rider and horse move on.

In a trophy house, with the heat on high,
Small fingers are wiping, a foggy pane,
Out in the night, something catches the eye,
"Look Mama! Come quick! I can see John Wayne".

Ronnie McGinn


ARTHRITIS - RESEARCH ALERT

Arthritis is one of Irelands most crippling diseases. The good news is that you don't have to settle any longer for conventional therapies. The new revolutionary Collagen Hydrolysate drink was launched in Ireland recently as part of a highly successful weight management programme only to discover that many of our customers who suffer from Arthritis were receiving unbelievable relief from long term aches and pains.
Research carried out in Germany suggests that it not only relieves pain, restores mobility but may also actually help re-grow cartilage which up to now was thought to be impossible. A recent study reports that 356 people suffering from Arthritis took one tablespoon of Collagen Hydrolysate [6 - 7 grams] daily for 3 - 6 months. A whopping 99.2% of people had a positive result after the 6 month course without any side effects. Tests after test has demonstrated its safety and effectiveness. For more information why not give Kathleen a call @021 294706 /086 8607030


WATCH THIS SPACE

More information on the meteor showers mentioned previously

Quadrantids
This is an annual meteor shower. The dates from the time when this area of sky was identified as the constellation Quadrans Muralis now no longer used. The peak for this shower is Jan 1-6 . The narrow stream of meteors is not associated with any known comet.
Lyrids
This is an annual shower that is sometimes called the April Lyrids. The shower peaks around 22nd April and normal limits are 19th-25th April. The meteor stream is associated with Comet Thatcher.. Records of the shower date back 2,500 years.
Eta Aquarids and Delta Aquarids
Eta are observed between about 24th April- May 20th, peaking 4th-5th May. This is a fine southern shower, associated with Halley's Comet. Delta occur between 15th July-20th Aug, peaking on 29th July-7th Aug.
Perseids
This is a major annual shower.. It's peaks on 12th Aug and the normal limits are 23rd July-20th Aug. the meteor stream is associated with Comet Swift Tuttle. This is one of the best, most reliable annual showers, with peak rates typically between 50-100 per hour. Records of it date back around 2000 years.
Orionids
This is an annual shower. The peak occurs around 22nd Oct and normal limits are 16th-27th Oct. Meteorites that have come from Halley's Comet produce the shower.
Taurids
An annual meteor shower of relatively low activity. The peak occurs around 3rd Nov. The meteoroid stream responsible is associated with Comet Encke.
Leonoids
An annual meteor shower. The peak occurs on 17th Nov. A small number of meteors are detected each year, spectacular displays are occasionally seen. In the USA, in 1966 the Leonoids gave observers the richest shower ever with 40 meteors a second. The shower is associated with Comet 55p/Temple Tuttle, first recorded in 1865. Good displays are possible only every 33 years.
Geminids
Major annual shower. The shower peaks around 13th Dec and the normal limits are 7th-16th Dec. The meteor stream has an unusual orbit. IRAS, Infrared Astronomical Satellite discovered a cometary nucleus in 1983, designated as asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which appears to be the parent body for this stream.

VALDA FUFLONG


MORE ABOUTBEAUTY SECRETS


Compact Foundation:
Is a mixture of a liquid and powder in one. It gives very good coverage on the skin but it is also quite drying on the skin. It is best suited to a combination/oily skin.

Benefits
Promotes a smooth, even and matt complexion.
Neutralises the negative effect of air pollution.
Absorbs excess Sebum.
Long lasting effects.

Application of a compact Foundation
The application sponge can be used dry, for a natural translucent effect and for touching up make up throughout the day or used damp for total make- up cover and long lasting hold. After thorough cleansing and application of an appropriate day cream. Apply Compact Foundation using light, patting movements.

Double Finish Compact (ArtDeco) is an intensely covering yet still natural looking make-up, which holds well through the inclusion of micro-fine powders, lending your complexion a silky matt look for hours. In addition, an UV filter with a Vit E inclusion guard against harmful influences of the environment.

Next week; Concealers and Camouflage Make - Up
Charlotte Lennon (Cleopartra's Beauty Saloon)021 975475


CONSUMERS RIGHTS DURING THE JANUARY SALES

Consumers are advised to be aware of their rightswithpurchases made during the current 'Sales' period.
The Cork Office of Consumer Affairs at 89/90 South Mall is advising consumers to make sure that goods being selected in the sales are fully suitable, as consumers may not be able to return them later if they change their minds about them.
Under current legislation, consumers are entitled that goods be of merchantable qualify, fit for their normal purpose and as described. In other words, goods should not be faulty and should work properly. If goods are faulty, the consumer is entitled to seek a repair replacement or refund from the trader who sold the goods. These rights do not change with goods purchased during the sales. So, if you buy an item during the current sales which proves to be faulty, you should be able to seek compensation from the trader as outlined.
Consumers should also be aware that traders are not legally obliged to provide replacements or refunds where unsuitable or badly chosen goods are returned. This applies regardless of whether the goods were bought in the sales or otherwise. Many traders operate their own goodwill policy of providing replacements or refunds for unsuitable goods returned. Traders may change their policy during sale period as they so wish as it is not a legal requirement to operate such a policy in the first instance However, there are many traders who do not operate such a voluntary policy and do not accept the return of unsuitable goods.
Consumers in their own interest are therefore advised to ensure that they are fully satisfied with goods before a purchase is made. If in any doubt, consumers should ask the trader if he/she operates a returns/refund policy for unsuitable goods. Consumer should also remember to keep receipts safe as they will in
almost all cases be requested by the trader when returning goods.
Where a consumer has returned Faulty Goods to the trader and where no satisfaction has been received under his/her consumer rights, the consumer may make a claim through the Small Claims Procedure in the District Court. There is an application fee of f6. The procedure is designed to handle claims speedily, cheaply and without the use of a solicitor. Further information on the procedure may be obtained from the Small Claims Registrar in your local District Court.
Free leaflets on 'Your Rights as a Consumer' and 'A Guide to Small Claims in the District Court' are available from the Cork Office of Consumer Affairs, 89/90 South Mall, Cork . The office helpline is available during office hours
On 021-274099.


YOUR LAST POUND


The Central Bank has issued five million 1 Millennium coins. As these are the last Irish coins being produced they will probably become collectors' items and consequently are worth holding on to, but don't tell anyone we told you.


DOUGLAS SCHOOL OF MUSIC

The new Douglas school of music will be opening on Monday next January 10th. Tuition is available for all musical styles and on the following instruments; keyboards, piano, clarinet, flute, and Bodhran. It is hoped to add a few more very shortly. The school is being run by Dana Forbes who studied for her B Mus under Peter Katin in London . Dana became well known to Cork audiences for her performance in the I.O.R.C. production of Me and My Girl. So if you'd like to join Dana and Co. or just need some more information why not contact her at 896362.