All Black Ultimatum

The word emulating from the Irish Rugby training camp is that this Irish team is the most focused and well prepared Irish side to ever compete at a World Cup. Stronger, fitter and faster they may be, but they must also consider that the teams they will meet in France in a few weeks time are also preparing meticulously, not least two other members in Ireland's aptly named “group of death”, France and Argentina.

Digital snooping at Oxford

Oxford University has come under increasing criticism of late. It has emerged that the university is scanning the social networking site, Facebook, in order to enforce disciplinary rules of the university.

Trees: Cherry Tree

The cherry is one of the better know trees in Ireland because it is often planted as on ornamental street-tree. It ushers in the spring with a wonderful splash of colour. However, most of these white and pink blossoms have come from afar, mainly from Asia in particular from Japan.

Willow Warbler (Ceolaire sali)

Phylloscopus tochilus

Though unfamiliar to most people, the Willow Warbler is actually an extremely common bird in Ireland. Indeed, it is our most numerous summer migrant, with around two million individuals making the journey here each spring; they begin to leave for their west African wintering grounds in August, staging in Iberia en route. The species occurs in all counties, and despite its name is not confined to willows, nesting also in a wide range of young deciduous trees and bushes, woodland edges and scrubland.