Fantastic Plastic It looks like phone credit but it works like plastic. . . 3V is a new type of disposable credit card that can be used for transactions previously restricted to credit card holders . . . like online purchases, booking gig tickets and buying flights. . . but it's disposable.

Simply buy a 3V voucher from one of 1,000 points nationwide, in any amount from 20 to 350, and get allocated a Visa number which can be used in one or several transactions. No spiralling limits, no monthly bills and no over-spending.

Sweet. Launching through Permanent TSB on 26 September.


It's difficult for charities to come up with new ways of making cash, and so we're double impressed with Cancer Research's ohso desirable charm bracelets launched last Monday. Comprising 10 motifs commissioned from the likes of Damien Hirst, Sienna Miller, Matthew Williamson, Victoria Beckham and Jo Malone, these chrome chains look like replacing rubber on the chicest wrists this season. Available through Wallis stores, and from www. zoom. co. uk, they are true collectors' items in the making.

Fringe Benefits With a new programme director and its own dates independent of the main Theatre Festival, the Dublin Fringe Festival seems to have come of age in 2005. It returns to the city for three weeks from tomorrow and will offer entertainment in categories including dance, music, live art and visual arts as well as theatre.

There's workshops (from Tai Chi to tassel twirling! ), a dedicated 'Young Fringe' for junior audiences and the return of the ever-popular Spiegeltent, floating at the IFSC's St George's Dock. Log on to www. fringefest. com.

Getting the Jist Jist are a trio of Irish designers making cool, contemporary furniture and accessories that would brighten any dwelling space.

Their latest collection consists of about half a dozen pieces, cleverly created for modern living. . .

like the mountable 'Coat Clip' to hang your outer layers, and the amoeba-shaped 'Contour Condiment' container to house your bottles and jars. There's also the clever 'Discus Tray' that converts to a small table with the addition of a tripod base. Most items are made from wood and are affordably priced . . . the most expensive piece being the mobile 'Nic Nac' storage unit at 118. Check out the full range on www. jist. ie.

Berry Nice The world seems to be awash with smoothies and pulped juice right now, so if you want to play in the fridge cabinet, you have to go one better than what's already there. No problem to Dairygold foods which, with its new B-Smoothie drinks, has combined fruity flavours with extra shots of either green tea, ginseng or aloe vera for added healthy benefits. Each bottle contains two of your 'five a day' so there's never been a tastier way to beat the back-to-school blues.