Cork City

Second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Its name is derived from the Gaelic word Corcaigh meaning 'marsh'. The city was built on an island in the swampy estuary (now drained) of the river Lee.

Many of the river channels that ran through the city are now built over. One of the main thoroughfares was one such waterway. Today the boathouse gateways and anchorage points can still be seen among the shops.

St. Finbarr founded a monastery in Cork in the seventh century. St Finn Barre's Catherdral, in the French-Gothic style, now stands on that location. Cork is blessed with many fine churches in the Gothic tradition.

Vikings plundered the monastery but eventually settled and helped build the city into an important port. Henry II claimed the city following an Anglo-Norman invasion in 1172.

Cork has always rebelled against foreign subjugation earning it the sobriquet the 'Rebel County'.

Landmarks include

The city is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic (92%) with a smattering of Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist and Jewish.

Patrick Street, Oliver Plunkett street host high street stores and supermarkets.Vibes and Sribes is a purveyor of second hand music. Comet Records is good for trendy techno. Easons sells books and magazines. Digilog sells PC components. There are some charity shops and thrift stores.

There are many interesting pubs to check out. For traditional music check out the Spailpin Faneach. The Bodega is a trendy bar. Nancy Spains is a gig venue.

Sir Henry's is worth a visit. Freakscence on Wednesday is a popular night out for indie kids. The Savoy opened a few months ago and is the biggest club in the city.

The People
Cork people (Corkonians) are generally held to be the fastest speakers in the country. Their accent is especially held up to ridicule. The Cork accent goes up and down in pitch a lot. I've heard it compared to Chinese. Furthermore, there is a local lingo unique to the city. Corkonians believe that their city is the true capital of Ireland and that local boy Jack Lynch was the best Taoiseach (prime minister) the country every had. They also sing sentimental songs about the river Lee which flows through the city (sometimes known as the river Pee). Corkonians know their county is the best in the world at hurling.

Cork is a self-proclaimed nuclear free zone.

Cork is a surprisingly interesting and useful substance. Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree Quercus suber L, which is native to the west Mediterranean basin. Cork oak plantations cover approximately 2.2 million hectares in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, and about 360,000 tons of cork are stripped from those trees each year. The world's largest producer of cork is Portugal, which produces over 50% of the world's cork. In 1999, the cork industry accounted for 3% of Portugal's gross domestic product (GDP)!

If performed properly, the stripping of cork from cork oaks is nondestructive to the trees. When a cork oak reaches about 25 years old, it is stripped for the first time, producing "virgin cork." After 10 years or so, the oak has regrown its cork layer. This "reproductive cork" is extracted from the tree and the tree is allowed to regrow its bark yet again. Finally, after another 10 years, commercial-quality cork can be harvested. Commercial-grade cork can be stripped from the oak for the remainder of its lifetime, which is typically between 150 and 170 years.

Cork is of one of many examples of nature's incredible engineering prowess. Cork consists of 14-sided, vacuous polyhedral cells (nonliving) arranged in a hexagonal pattern. The cells are filled with atmospheric gas (minus carbon dioxide). The structure and properties of cork are dominated by these gas-filled cells. The cork cells are composed mainly of suberin, a complex compound of fatty acids and organic alcohols. Suberin is impermeable to gases and liquids and is resistant to fire and insects. These factors helped contribute to the evolutionary benefit of cork bark to the cork oak tree.

Interesting properties of cork

  • The gaseous cells make cork very low-density. Therefore cork is lightweight and buoyant, and useful in buoys, lifejackets, etc.
  • Stress on a chunk of cork causes only local compression of trapped gases, and not overall shape deformation. Cork has a Poisson's ratio close to 0. This property and cork's impermeability are the reasons for its use in the wine (and Chimay beer) industry.
  • Cork is a very poor thermal/acoustic conductor. These properties make it useful in the construction industry. Cork flooring is one prominent application of cork's low acoustic conductivity.
  • Cork is a renewable resource. The stripping of cork does not harm the cork oak trees.


Title: Cork
Artist: Foibles
Album: Solid Rock Baptist Church Rummage Sale
Written by: Phil Dumesnil

Track twenty-three from Solid Rock Baptist Church Rummage Sale by Foibles, a San Francisco lo-fi band. A sad-sounding song about two best friends in school, who should probably be more than friends, but are just floating along instead.

Musically, the song is slow and melancholy, with a noisy acoustic guitar picking a gentle melody, the standard Foibles double-layered vocal, and an accordion playing the tune out to fade. This is the only completely sad song on the album, and makes for good contrast between the happy-go-lucky nonsense of Hilarical Burcept and the manic sarcasm of Theme Songs.


The weather seems fine
See the book-mobiles and blow
It's about time
It's 11:23
Bottles of wine
Throught the belly thread we go
Last one to sink is a row boat

Contest we stare
Whistle kissing through the class
Toes in the air
Dirty peek, ink in your shoes
You'd make a great pair
If only one of you would move
Last one to sleep is a milkweed

How they get corks into bottles

The traditional method was to insert a dry slightly-smaller-than-the-neck-of-the-bottle cork and let the wine soak into the cork, causing it to expand. Because some wine would often leak around the cork and go mouldy, bottle top wrappings were added to conceal the unsightly mould. Contrary to popular belief, this does not spoil the wine - it just doesn't look too nice.

Today most companies use a corking machine which creates a vacuum inside the bottle causing the dry cork to be pulled in. Typically the wine should be between 18ºC and 22ºC otherwise the wine will expand/contract when its temperature changes - causing the cork to be pulled in or pushed out. Again the cork is left to absorb some of the wine which causes it to swell slightly.

Cork (k?rk), n. [Cf. G., Dan., & Sw. kork, D. kurk; all fr. Sp. corcho, fr. L. cortex, corticis, bark, rind. Cf. Cortex.]


The outer layer of the bark of the cork tree (Quercus Suber), of which stoppers for bottles and casks are made. See Cutose.


A stopper for a bottle or cask, cut out of cork.


A mass of tabular cells formed in any kind of bark, in greater or less abundance.

Cork is sometimes used wrongly for calk, calker; calkin, a sharp piece of iron on the shoe of a horse or ox.

Cork jackets, a jacket having thin pieces of cork inclosed within canvas, and used to aid in swimming. -- Cork tree Bot., the species of oak (Quercus Suber of Southern Europe) whose bark furnishes the cork of commerce.


© Webster 1913.

Cork, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Corked (k?rkt); p. pr. & vb. n. Corking.]


To stop with a cork, as a bottle.


To furnish or fit with cork; to raise on cork.

Tread on corked stilts a prisoner's pace. Bp. Hall.

⇒ To cork is sometimes used erroneously for to calk, to furnish the shoe of a horse or ox with sharp points, and also in the meaning of cutting with a calk.


© Webster 1913.

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