Y O U R F R E E L O C A L M O N T H LY M A G A Z I N E Issue 15: February 2012
Blessin ton A Community Magazine for Blessington
& Surrounding Areas
Nim The Chimp Who Would Be Human
PLUS LOCAL NEWS & EVENTS RECIPES MOVIES BOOKS SPORT MUSIC
contents 12| In Cinemas Movie Reviews
George Clooney earns his Oscar nod in The Descendants, Brad Pitt & Jonah Hill hit a home run in Moneyball and Kevin Spacey watches the financial meltdown in Margin Call
16| Cover Story Nim
The story of Nim: The chimp who would be human
22| Sport Sachin Tendular
John Bohan gives us a history of the Cricket legend
06 Recipe 08 Home Matters 10 Tech Talk
15 Whatâ€™s Going On? 18 Books 20 Parenting
Copy Deadline - March 2012: Wednesday 15th February
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Email: email@example.com Editor / Graphic Design: Colm Geoghegan Cover Image: dcairns.wordpress.com, photo manipulation by Colm Geoghegan Blessington Magazine. Tel: 087 6430519 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org All material copyright ÂŠ Blessington Magazine 2012. All rights reserved Printed by Punctual Print, Blessington
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Look for us on Facebook: Blessington Mag The opinions and views expressed in Blessington Magazine are those of the individual authors or contributors and are not necessarily those of the Editor of Blessington Magazine. Blessington Magazine assume no liability for accuracy, errors or omissions in editorial or offer content. No advice or information given by contributors, Blessington Magazine or any other party shall create any warranty or liability. Blessington Magazine cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may arise as a result of any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this magazine. All information, facts & advertising are understood to be correct at time of going to press. However, Blessington Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any changes after the deadline. Final proofing is the sole responsibility of the client.
Movie Images: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Music Singles Images: www.fanpop.com
The Irish Cancer Society Daffodil Centres The Irish Cancer Society recently created a new information, support and advice centre DAFFODIL CENTRE in Tallaght at the Adelaide & Meath Hospital Dublin, Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital for cancer patients, their families and anyone concerned about cancer. We are looking for volunteers to help out in the Centre. The role of the Volunteer is integral to the running of the service. Volunteers welcome enquirers to the centre, assessing their needs and signposting to the appropriate information. Where the enquirer’s needs are straightforward, whilst working in line with
the volunteer guidelines, volunteers will listen and respond to the enquirer, helping the enquirer find what they are looking for e.g. locating leaflets on cancer prevention, browsing the centre’s computer for information or accompanying them to a clinical area. In order to volunteer, applicants will complete an interview and four full days training. If you are looking for more information or would like to become a trained volunteer please contact: Aoife McSwiney, Patient Support Services, Irish Cancer Society, 43/45 Northumberland Rd, Dublin 4 01 231 6635 or email@example.com
KARE and Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary/Muiriosa Foundation SHARE A BREAK PROJECT for Children & Adults. Give a little time – make a Big Difference! We need people like you to become a Share a Break Carer. Have you the time to offer short breaks to a child or adult with an intellectual disability. Our Share a Break Carers are ordinary people who look after children and/or adults on a regular basis during the day or overnight. You don’t need a qualification just energy, commitment and the desire to support a person with a disability in your community - Training and support are provided and you will receive an allowance. 04
Call our Social Workers for more information: Ms Ann Callanan (CHILDREN & ADULTS) SCJMS/Muiriosa Foundation 045 876500 or 087 820 4087 and Ms Rosemary Dunning (ADULTS) KARE 045 480200
Olive salmon Ingredients
Two medium sized filets of salmon scaled and skin on Around one mug if mashed potatoes with half cup of peas with a dash of vinegar cooked in advance
Table spoon diced cherizo sausage
Assorted mushroom half cup
2-3 sun dried tomatoes diced
Table spoon White wine
Chopped parsley teaspoon
1. In a pan gently coo k your salmon skin side down first with the olive oil and half the butter. 2. Next Cook your che rizo with sun dried tomatoes, onion and mu shrooms with a dash of White wine and a little butter & keep the pan moving. 3. Once the salmon is cooked just leave to rest on a warm plate. Pipe or scoop your mash potato, pop on the salmon and finish with your cooked garnis h.
“Salmon has such great flavour and value at the moment and in this dish I have combined the flavours with a vinegar based mashed potatoe & peas to give it a real zing. Quick and easy & cooked in minutes! “ Recipe by Chris Sandford (Chef)
by Vivienne Meade
Adding Fuel To The Fire
ere I am taking down the Christmas tree, wondering where that month has gone since we put it up and noticing the stretch in the evenings as Spring 2012 slowly but surely makes itself known to us. Wasn’t it wonderful that we didn’t get any snow this year? Sorry all you ‘dreamers of white Christmases’ but if last year didn’t put you off I suggest you emigrate to the North Pole to get your fix! Not only no house bounding snow but the mildest November in 300 years! What a difference a mild winter makes to our heating bills. I didn’t once override the heat setting (well ok, maybe once) and nobody complained of frostbite or wore woollen mittens while eating their dinner. I did however, have my trusty stoves, my feelings for which are growing with each passing year. Solid, reliable, friendly, warm, better than any man I say! Wood burning stoves have been growing in popularity over the past decade due no doubt to rising oil, gas and electricity prices. Fuel efficiency is the main advantage stoves have over an open fire but are also safer and cleaner in appearance. In general stoves operate at 60% - 90% efficiency. This means that whatever you spend on heating 10cent – 40cent in every euro disappears up the chimney. Sounds a lot? Not really when an open fire can be less than 30% efficient, sending 70cent in every euro up in smoke! Some stoves are referred to as ‘multi fuel’ because they can burn coal, charcoal, or smokeless fuels as well as wood. When buying a stove make it known to the retailer the type of fuel you intend to use and they will advise you accordingly. Also if you plan to use your stove to heat water or radiators make sure to get advice from a reputable plumber especially if you are planning a dual system i.e. in tandem with an existing system as this may not be as simple as it appears! We are very fortunate to have an excellent stove retailer locally at O’Keefe Home and Garden on the Ballymore to Naas road. You will be spoilt for choice but the friendly and informative staff will put you on the right 08
track and short of lighting the firelighters for you will see to it that you make the best choice for your needs. O’Keefes can also order replacement glass, supply flues and recommend qualified fitters. From personal experience I wouldn’t be without my stoves. One sat out in all weathers for over a year but looked none the worst for wear when polished up and reinstated in my sitting room. The other heats the kitchen and has been known to boil water or keep a teapot warm on occasion. I enjoy the comfort of being able to fill it up, close it down, leave the house and return hours later to a cosy room. For years I burnt only logs and briquettes but this winter my son wanted to try coal. With him splashing the cash was I going to complain?? We got two weeks out of one bag of coal along with logs and briquettes but there was a definite rise in room temperature to the point of windows being opened and moans of ‘ the heat in here would kill ya’. Call me a sadist but that was music to my ears! I think our Grandparents (as is often the case) had it right with their cosy living areas and cooler sleeping quarters. The addition of a hot water bottle, or ‘jar’ as the old people called it, is a good compromise making your bed warm while leaving the room cool. With fuel costs rising steadily perhaps its time to look at the cost of convenience? Yes it’s nice to come home to a warm house, to have that option, that ease of movement from one room to another. But has it, like a lot of things, become an accepted necessity rather than the luxury it really is?
New Years Resolutions
e here at I.T. Monkey would like to offer you some tips for the coming year. Think of them as I.T. New Years resolutions, but try to keep these ones!
Pop Up Adverts
Don’t click on pop up adverts claiming your PC is infected. At first glance, these pop ups seem innocent enough, but by clicking on the link, you may well be inadvertently infecting your PC with malware.
Telephone Support Scams
If someone rings claiming to be from Microsoft or another computer company and tells you that there is a problem with your PC, the best thing to do is just hang up the phone. They may call back, if they do, just hang up again, they will soon get the message. On no account should you ever give them access to your PC or give them your credit or debit card details. No reputable computer company will cold call you and tell you that there is a problem with your PC. It just does not happen.
An SMS competition scam usually arrives as a text message on your mobile and may encourage you to enter a competition for a great prize (iPad or Playstation). To claim your prize, you normally have to reply to the text. What they fail to tell you is just how much that text will cost and that by replying to the text, you will be agreeing to receive more of these texts, oh and these new texts will cost you even more money! If you receive a message like this and you never subscribed to the service, take note 10
of the 5 digit quick code it came from (you generally see a 5 digit code instead of their phone number) and go to www.phonesmart. ie to see who is behind the code. It should give you a contact number for the company. Ring the company and tell them you would like to be removed from their database and you do not wish to receive text messages from them. There are many other scams out there, but just remember the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”. If in doubt, feel free to ask us.
Reviews by Colm Geoghegan
the descendants certificate: 15, out now
Directed by Alexander Payne. starring george clooney, Shailene Woodley. 117 minutes
Alexander Payne made a huge splash back in 2004 with his ‘apparently’ intelligent booze laden film Sideways. I’ll say it now, I hated the film. To me, personally, I found it overrated, neither as intelligent nor as funny as it thought it was and for the most part, deathly boring and pretentious. So it was with trepidation that I sat down to view The Descendants. What a pleasant surprise! This is one of the most well written and best acted films of recent years. George Clooney plays Matt King, a nice guy with some unique problems. His wife, after being knocked into a
coma in a waterskiing accident, is on life support and Matt must decide whether it’s time to let her go, on top of that he has also found out his wife was cheating on him. On top of that he has to play, in his own words ‘backup parent’ to the couples two young daughters.
george Clooney certainly earned that recent golden globe.
And on top of that he’s in the middle of a multi-million dollar deal and has to decide whether to sell his inherited land and make himself and his cousins rich, or hold onto it and make the local Hawaiian residents happy that their beautiful landscape won’t be defaced. Yes, Matt King certainly does have some unique problems.
All Movies reviewed at Storm Cinemas, Naas, Co. Kildare For more info visit: www.stormcinemas.ie 12
Although It’s all a rather gentle affair with not much in the way of excitement the script and performances more than make up for it. Clooney, in particular, is spectacular. His everyman played with all the subtlety and nuance you’d expect from the ‘modern day Cary Grant’. He certainly earned that recent Golden Globe and here’s hoping he continues to choose challenging and interesting roles in the future. The Descendants is a little film with a big heart. CG
Reviews by Colm Geoghegan
moneyball certificate: PG, out now
Based on the true story of Billy Beane (Pitt), the general manager of a failing, cashstrapped baseball team. In order to make a winning team with no money, he enlists the help of a smart young analyst (a brilliant Jonah Hill) and together they set about rewriting the rules of the game. Although the roots of this true story are based firmly in the arena of Baseball it doesn’t require you to be a fan. Scratch beneath the shiny surface and what you essentially have is a fascinating character study of a man who never
seemed to make the right decisions. Shown in flashbacks we learn that Billy once made the fatal error of signing his college acceptance away in favour of becoming a ball player himself. Inevitably it didn’t pay off. Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Beane is brilliant and understated, his crippling regret constantly clouding his professional judgement. It takes Hill’s analyst to put Billy on the right track. A brilliantly paced film, Moneyball deserves a viewing alone for Pitt’s charismatic and passionate performance. CG
Directed by Bennett Miller. Starring Brad Pitt Jonah Hill. Running Time: 133 minutes
margin call certificate: 15, out now
Directed by J.C. Chandor. Starring Kevin Spacey jeremy irons. Running Time: 109 minutes
It’s 2008 and after being fired from his job, risk management executive Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) hands a flash drive to up and coming analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto). What Sullivan discovers could shut down the company and reign in the start of the financal crisis. What a great little movie this is! A low budget treat usually found on the small screen. Full of terrific performances (Spacey’s turn is nothing short of brilliant) and intelligent dialogue it’s one of those rarities that makes you sigh a breath of relief for modern cinema. Based around
OF FTHILEM MONTH
one rollercoaster ride of a night in one of the biggest investment banks in the US, Margin Call brings to mind the spectacular implosion of the Enron company. However, unlike the fat cats running that doomed vessel, most of these guys aren’t all bad. Spacey’s character is dealing with the death of his beloved dog whilst trying to figure a way out of the companies imminent destruction. Chandor’s wise decision to keep his characters humane as opposed to caricatures (ala Wall Street: MNS) is what works best here. Excellent. CG 13
10 Hair Rules You’re Probably Breaking 1) Find a shampoo that lathers less
Sudsy doesn’t necessarily mean clean—sometimes, it means the opposite. Shampoos that lather too much are often overloaded with moisturizing products, which can leave build-up in your hair, making it look and feel dirtier quicker. So opt for a sulfate-free formula.
2) Give your locks a burst of cold
Before you hop out of the shower, turn the cold water on for a second and quickly rinse it through your strands. It helps seal the cuticle, adding a sleek finish to your locks.
3) Play hot-and-cold as you dry
When using a round brush to dry your hair in sections, start from the roots and dry all the way to the ends, letting the brush linger at the tips of your strands. Let your hair cool off like this on its own for five seconds, then repeat on another section. Alternating between heat and cool-down time helps set your style, and your blowout will have more body.
4) Do an at-home glaze between color appointments Glazes fill holes and rough spots in your hair cuticles, helping smooth your locks and put moisture back into your hair. This keeps your color shiny and bright so it lasts longer and look better. Plus, you can snag an at-home kit from your local drugstore.
5) Use rollers for high-volume
For sex-kitten lift, blow out your locks until they’re dry. Then, section off the hair on top of your head—between your temples and all the way back to the crown of your hair. Divide that section into three smaller sections vertically (as if you were making a mohawk), and wrap each in a 2-inch velcro hair roller. Let your hair sit like this for 30 minutes, and then unwrap your strands, lightly comb them out, and spray for hold.
6) Wrap—don’t clamp—your hair for quick curls
When using a curling iron, you don’t need to fasten your locks to the barrel. Wrap sections around the iron and hold in place for about 10 seconds to score the same soft, sexy curls. 14
s ’ t a wh g on? ts n e v E l a c n Lo i g n i o m o gur Guide To Upc Yo
Do you have an hour or two to spare once a week?
The Cleaning Teams at Church of Our Lady would be delighted with some extra help. At present there are 4 teams who are on a Rota and clean once a week for a month. (Each team is on three times in the year). All equipment is supplied. Interested? Call Ann in the Parish Office 045 865327.
Blessington FC Academy Food Glorious Food
A unique evening of healthy cooking inspired by the children of Lacken National School .We all know how difficult it can be to get our little darlings to eat the right foods so we have asked them what they consider healthy and wow! you are going to love what they have come up with. A really special evening of cooking with international chef Chris Sandford and the children of Lacken National School. All proceeds going to the school. Tickets at only €12. Moat Theatre on Thursday 15th march 7.30pm. A great night of fun and learning. All ages welcome.
Cruthú Art Group
will be open full weekends and Bank Holidays. All welcome to come in and browse. Cruthú www.cruthu.ie
every Sunday from 11am at The Community College for boys & girls aged 5 – 9 years.
LOST & FOUND
Over the Christmas & New Year period, we seem to have acquired a large amount of LOST PROPERTY - hats, scarves, gloves, purses, toys, jackets, hoods etc in Church of Our Lady, Blessington. If you think you or a member of your family left something behind them, please call to the Sacristy after any Mass or call to the Parish Office to claim your missing item. Thank you.
Rescue Boat Service
Blessington Rescue Boat Service is now a live service working with local Gardaí. Our AGM is on Tues 21st February at 8.15pm, St Kevin’s Hall. All welcome. Queries to 0857682088 15
The Chimp who would be human
n 1973, an infant chimpanzee was taken from his mother’s arms and sent to live with a human family as part of a Columbia University (USA) psycholog y experiment.
experiment. “The premise of the experiment was to treat him as much like a human child as possible and to give him the nurturing of a human child in order to see if he would behave like one,” Marsh says. “And it was quite striking that there wasn’t an investigation into what chimpanzees actually were or what they’re like. And the wild animal comes out in him very quickly, and no one was prepared for that.”
The goal of the project was to see if the animal, named Nim Chimpsky, could be conditioned to communicate with humans if he was raised like a human child in a human household. He learned some very basic words in American Sign Language, but Nim continued to act like a chimp — he bit the children in the house and didn’t understand how to behave like a human child. It was decided that the family could no longer care for Nim, and he was shuffled from caretaker to caretaker for several years.
Jenny Lee: ‘He Was Just Included In The Family’ The first family to take Nim in lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a giant brownstone. Jenny Lee, who was 13 years old at the time, remembers her mom, Stephanie LaFarge, raising Nim alongside her and her siblings. She says her mother grew quite attached to the chimp, even breastfeeding him throughout his stay at their house.
In 1977, Nim attacked one of the people taking care of him, and the experiment ended. At that point, researchers said he knew more than 125 ASL signs — but no one knew quite what to do with Nim. He was sent to a medical research facility, where he lived in a cage with other chimps for the first time in his life, before being rescued and sent to an animal sanctuary. He died in 2000.Nim and the many people who raised him over the years are the subjects of James Marsh’s new documentary Project Nim. Marsh and two of the people who worked with Nim held a discussion about the film and about the controversial
“He needed diapers, he needed bottles, he needed feedings,” Lee recalls. “And it was odd he was a chimp. But at the same time, there was kind of a normalcy about it in that he was just included in the family right away.” While Jenny and her siblings went to school, Nim learned sign language with researchers at Columbia University. The goal was to open up a window into Nim’s thoughts and to see if he could develop real language skills. When he came home each night, Nim would play with the Lee children and mimic their behavior. But as he aged, he became more aggressive — and no one knew what to do. “
been introduced to marijuana in New York City and even appeared in the magazine High Times in 1975. “He actually signed ‘stone smoke time now’ to us first,” Ingersoll says. “We were shocked. Although we were familiar with chimpanzees that did things like drinking and smoke cigarettes and that sort of thing, I’d never had a chimpanzee request weed from me. That was an eye-opener.” Ingersoll and Nim spent much of their time together, until Nim was once again moved, this time to a medical research laboratory. Ingersoll later helped rescue Nim from the research facility, and the chimp was moved to a ranch for abused animals.
sky Nim Chimp “It was really the biting that became the big problem after maybe he was a year old, because it’s painful and it can draw blood,” Lee says, “and with human babies, you can teach them not to do that. And that was not something that Nim was able to learn to really control.” Nim left the family’s house and moved in with a series of caretakers before going to a primate facility on the grounds of the University of Oklahoma.
“What he needed at that point was to be with other chimps,” Ingersoll says. “Chimps don’t need to be with humans. They need to have a chimp life. So my own personal need to hang out with Nim or walk with Nim wasn’t as important to me as doing the right thing for Nim. ... Chimpanzees in captivity is just not where they ought to be. ... I would hope that one of the lessons that we learned from Nim’s life is that keeping chimpanzees in cages is torture and really plays havoc on their mental health.”
Bob Ingersoll: ‘Keeping Chimpanzees In Cages Is Torture’ Bob Ingersoll, a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, was working as a research assistant at the primate facility and met Nim on his first day. “You could read fear and apprehension through his facial expression and his body language,” Ingersoll says. “It was very distressing to him and ... we were really worried about Nim and we spent quite a lot of time with him, making sure he was eating and drinking and not being picked on by the other chimps.” Ingersoll immediately began using sign language with Nim to comfort him. He says the chimp was never aggressive around him — and quickly became one of his good friends. “It was easy to hang out with him,” he says. “He did for me the same thing that I think that I did for him, which was make him feel comfortable and certain and familiar with the situation.”While taking long walks around the grounds of the primate facility, Ingersoll occasionally smoked pot with Nim, who had 17
by Kieran Boyle
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close BOOK F REVIEW OTH THE MON12 FEB 20
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an overwhelming novel, if it can be called a novel. A series of pictures, letters, sections of dialogue and even a flipbook accompany “traditional” narrative to make up this, what we’ll call, story. The story’s narrator is Oskar Schell; a nineyear-old boy getting over the death of his father on the 11th of September, 2001. If you are now filled with anxiety and a hope that Foer treats the event with the grave recognition it deserves, rest assured. It would not be reductive to describe Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as a “9/11 book”. Foer is indeed trying to make sense of 9/11. He does so through his narrator. Oskar is constantly inventing, can speak French, engages with Hamlet, and muses in the manner of an experienced theologian. Can you see the problem? The character lacks credibility. Oskar is presented as a self-reflective philosopher, whose interaction with adults is both unnatural and grating. Foer has tried to use Oskar as a conceptual device in order to symbolise how mankind could overcome such atrocities as 9/11, or the Dresden Bombings, which is given attention here also. But Foer has failed to recognise that such a highly symbolic figure will be unable to communicate at the most practical level. Other characters in the story are also prone to this shortcoming. Oskar’s grandfather loses his power of speech after surviving the bombing of Dresden. Leaving aside the fact that it is the least subtle way 18
of impressing upon the reader the failure of language in times of great distress, the letters he writes are amazingly thoughtful and adroit. With so many ideas being bandied about in each of these letters, a lot of them lose their value. Many of the ideas Foer merely mentions are worth books of exploration. As for the plot, I believe it to be quite sound and most engaging. Oskar finds ‘a fat and short key, in a little envelope’. On the envelope, only the word ‘Black’ is written, so Oskar endeavours to track down all those in New York whose surname is Black in a bid to unlock a secret surrounding his father. Again Foer is about as subtle as a smack in the face. The story then becomes a series of meetings between Oskar and a plethora of Blacks. The twists and turns the narrative takes in its final third threaten to turn the story into a real page-turner. There are some genuinely wellworked surprises which rescue the novel from being a failed experiment. It’s perhaps this experimental element which makes the novel worth reading. Foer is trying to find a way to internalise a catastrophe so devastating that traditional narrative forms are insufficient in communicating the distress caused. However, while dealing with such a weighty topic, the novel remains an easy read and about as accessible as fiction can be. A pleasant read, eccentric features and all.
by Ger Vallely
Dealing with temper tantrums ndoubtedly one of the hardest battles a parent has to face with their children is the dreaded temper tantrum. The expected age for this wonderful phase to arrive is said to be around two years hence the phrase ‘the terrible twos’ but in my experience it started at three with my daughter and before two with my son.
Temper tantrums can occur at the most inappropriate times and in very inconvenient places e.g. whilst enjoying a nice family meal in a quiet restaurant and/ or in your local supermarket during ‘rush hour’ when your favourite condescending neighbour happens to be walking past. Most tantrums will occur due to lack of understanding on you or your child’s part and can be easier to negotiate if one remains calm and takes a minute to view the situation.
As with most situations communication is the key and in my experience children need a couple of minutes ‘warning’ e.g. ‘We are leaving the playground in five minutes, three minutes’ etc. or ‘you can have one more go on the swing and one on the slide before we go’. Children are fairly reasonable creatures and often just want to be given a chance to get their heads around a situation rather than being thrown straight into or out of it. It is important that children learn to accept that they cannot have everything they want, that they learn to hear the word ‘no’ and that they understand it. This means being consistent and not going back on your word, if they think there is the slightest window of opportunity you will most likely witness the dreaded temper tantrum and in order to save face (red at that) you will give in and they will get exactly what they want. You don’t always have to give in to the temper tantrum however you can (assuming you are not suffering from a slipped disk or are forty weeks pregnant) scoop up your back flipping frothing, screaming bundle of joy, leave your shopping, meal or whatever it is you are engaged in and address the issue away from gaping strangers/condescending neighbours outside where a bit of fresh air might do you both the world of good. Once there you can explain once again the situation to your child and inform them that you will not be returning to the event until they have learnt how to behave in public. You could always pay a babysitter and have your little ones minded for every social occasion until they turn eighteen but you end up depriving society of your wonderful little creations and worrying about the condition of your house when you return at the end of it…. If you would like to ask Ger a question about this or any parenting topic you can get in touch at
Sachin Tendulkar Cricket Legend by John Bohan
t is always a difficult thing to compare sportspeople from different generations. You sometimes hear a particular sportsperson being described as one of the all time greats or maybe even the greatest of all time. Well Sachin Tendular Indian Cricket Player easily falls into the category of one of the all time greats if not the greatest cricketer to have ever played the game. He is unusual in cricket in that he is an all rounder as not only is he a top class batsman he is also a brilliant bowler. He was born in Mumbai India in April 1973. His mother Rajni worked in the Insurance Industry while his Father Ramesh is a novelist. He has two brothers Nitin and Ajit and a sister Savita. He began playing cricket in High School and during his school days he attended MRF Pace Foundation to train as a bowler. But former Australian legend Dennis Lillee was unimpressed with his bowling and told Sachin to focus on his batting and the rest they say is history. He developed a 22
reputation as a child prodigy at 14 years. At aged 15 years he scored a century not out in his debut for Mumbai in a first class cricket match becoming the youngest Indian player to score a century on his first class debut. That season he finished top scorer for the team and was selected for a tour of Pakistan. He played his first test match in Karachi aged sixteen years and went on to tour New Zealand. On his next tour which was to England he scored a century at Old Trafford becoming one of the youngest players to ever do so. Sachin has broken numerous records in the game of cricket and has received many Awards. He has played the most number of Test Matches. He is the highest run scorer in the history of Test Cricket with over 15,000 runs to his name and has 99 centuries in International Cricket (Tests and ODI’s). He says that one of his proudest moments in cricket was when he helped India win the World Cup last year when it was held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Sachin is married to Anjali a paediatrician and they have two children Sara and Arjun. He continues to do a lot of work for charity in his native country. Every year he sponsors over 200 under-
privileged children in Mumbai and through his Twitter account he raised over 200,000 US dollars for cancer and also helped out with the ‘Support My School Telethon’ which raised some much needed funds to improve school buildings. He is such a superstar in Mumbai that he finds it almost impossible to lead a normal life. His adoring fans have said that ’cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God’. Sachin often has to wear a wig to disguise him when he goes out. He can only attend a movie at night time and He even admits to going for drives late at night for a bit of peace and quiet to avoid his adoring fans. In 2002 Ferrari presented Sachin with a Ferrari prior to the British GP at Silverstone in recognition of his achievement in equalling Donald Bradman 29 centuries in Test cricket. Off the field he is a successful businessman and has received numerous endorsements down the years. Although he is now nearing the end of his international career most cricket fans like yours truly will be hoping he stays around for a number of years thrilling us with his brilliance playing the game he loves so well and scoring that illusive 100th century in first class cricket.
Reviews by Michelle Daly
Valentines Songs for all the single ladies and for all those loved up ladies!
Beyonce Single Ladies Yes girls we have all boogied to this classic at some stage on our girly nights out. Beyonce’s anthem of power has captured millions of single ladies all over the world.
Al Green Let’s stay together This 1972 hit is still proving to be popular amongst all you loved up folk.
Kelly Clarkson Since you’ve been gone Crank up the volume and scream “since you’ve been gone, I can breathe for the first time” nothing else left to say, so enjoy!!
Barry White Can’t get enough of your love babe
When you think romantic songs you think Barry White, and with one of the sexiest songs of all time, Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be the same without out this soul sensation. 24
This has proved to be one of the most beautiful love songs of all time since its debut in 1977. It is sure to be the ultimate tune for all you romantics out there this valentine’s day.
A Kayakers Journey by Jenny Kilbride
“You must look only where you want to go. Everything else is irrelevant.”
ours spent practicing technique, kayaks and equipment picked and pruned, fears realised and overcome for this moment. Sitting in your kayak, ready to launch into the river below and follow its path. Your thirst for adventure and stimulation can only be quenched “wherever life pours ordinary plenty”. You breathe in the land for the last time before serenely letting go of the bank.
Hear the water intensify as you focus your mind on the challenge ahead. The river’s beat quickens. Make no mistake; to loose concentration could be harmful or even fatal. You must look only where you want to go. Everything else is irrelevant. Focus, Focus, Focus. You must interpret the signals that the water is giving you if you are to journey on safely. Then the rapid is over and peace returns. You see what has been in front of you all the time but more clearly with a heightened awareness. Your friends land in the pool beside you. Watching for your safety. You share a smile. There is nowhere else on earth you would rather be. The secret world of plant and animal reveals itself. As you come around a bend, moments of stillness are 26
shared with wild deer, otters, mink, squirrels, herons, kingfishers and birds of prey. Glimpses of shy animals, we are visitors to their kingdom. Stop in sunlit patches where rays filter through branches creating sparkling pools where fish are visible below. Then follow the twists and turns of the river through forest, valley and meadow. Eventually your journey takes you to foreign rivers in foreign places. Burnt orange African sunsets, slyly smiling crocodiles, elephants at the waters edge, excited waving children running and waterfalls with silver in their mist that thunders. Mountainous valleys where snow and glaciers have no mercy. Smells of incense from Himalayan huts and the cocoa and coffee plants of Mexican highlands. And back home a rainbow on the Sally gap, a stag swimming across the Avonmore and the blue flit of a kingfisher’s wings on the Liffey. We journey on. “For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills And dances....” William Wordsworth
For more information: www.kayaking.ie
by Eilis J. Quinlan
Revenue Relief Would you like to receive an unexpected cheque in the post? And wouldn’t it be even better if it came from the Revenue Commissioners? At this time of year, coming after the expense of Christmas and with the new tax year upon us, wouldn’t it be lovely to receive a refund from the taxman, instead of the usual demand for payment? Every year I am HEARTBROKEN to see the amount of tax people have overpaid, because reliefs have not been claimed, for whatever reason! Perhaps you are afraid to ‘rock the boat’, but I would really urge you to check it out. The legislation says you can go back and reclaim overpaid taxes for four years. So while the deadline for reclaiming for 2007 is now over, you still have the opportunity to re-assess the amount of taxes you paid during 2008 onwards, and obtain a refund if applicable, so here are a few of the most common reliefs which are regularly missed: Medical & Dental Expenses: Relief for medical and non routine dental expenses (including Belfast & Budapest) can be claimed at 20% by submitting a Med 1 or Med 2 respectively. Rent Allowance: If you are renting private accommodation you are entitled to a rent credit of €400/yr if single, €800 if married or widowed, and this doubles if you are aged over 55. 28
Third Level Fees: To a maximum credit of €1,000 subject to certain criteria. Year of Marriage: If you have recently married, you may be entitled to a refund if the tax office were not aware of this, so make sure that you are re-assessed for the year in which you married, and any subsequent years. Age Tax Credit: If you or your spouse turned 65 at any point during the tax year, you are entitled to the credit for the whole year, which amounts to €245, double this if you are married and either one of you turn 65. Carers Allowance: If you care for an incapacitated child who lives with you, you can claim €3,300. If you are married and stay at home to look after a dependent (including a child) you can claim a tax credit of €810. Refuse Charges: This relief was abolished in the recent budget, but is still allowed for the last four years, so if you have not claimed, you can claim a credit of €80 per year for bin charges you have incurred. There are other reliefs and credits available, depending on your circumstances, and the website www.revenue. ie is actually really helpful, and not too hard to navigate around. You can take a quick look around it, and find out quite easily if you feel you are due a refund. If so, the method of reclaiming your over paid tax is very straightforward. If you are in any doubt you can always contact your accountant.
Animals WERE harmed in the making of this movie Snow Buddies (2008)
The film: A straight-to-DVD sequel to Disney’s ‘Air Buddies’, about five mischievous golden receivers. Not a classic. What happened? Basically, five puppies died on set. Disney unknowingly used underage and ill dogs during production, and several had to be put down after contracting parvovirus. Dogs used on movie sets must be at least eight-weeks-old, and these weren’t. The breeder who supplied the poor creatures was charged with fraud for falsifying health documents. Not the best PR for a Disney flick.
Fast & Furious (2009)
The film: Lesser instalment of petrol-head action franchise. What happened? There’s a cockfighting scene. It was shot in Mexico – where the blood sport is legal – and the film’s producers wouldn’t pay for the AHA to fly out and oversee the sequence (according to their site anyway). After watching the footage they reckon the birds may have actually been fighting - in violation of their rules - and invited the public to complain to studio Universal.
First Blood (1982)
The film: First and by-far the best ‘Rambo’ film that starred Sylvester Stallone as a mentally damaged Vietnam war vet. What happened? An animal care official on set saw rats burnt by an actor, thrown against a wall and “squeezed” by production staff. Apparently the director and crew were laughing at the abuse. Not nice.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The film: Trippy Vietnam War epic starring Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando. What happened? The finale saw Willard (Sheen) hack Kurtz (Brando) to death while natives sacrificed a water buffalo with machetes. The footage of animal slaughter was obviously real and it got the ‘unacceptable’ rating.