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A Different View

Cars and technology show their strength in numbers

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are many different ways in which we get hung up on numbers – did you ever, for example, wish a woman a happy fortieth and live to tell the tale? But while the sands of time can apparently be held back by shedding the odd digit, marketing relies more and more on ever-increasing numbers for its success.

Take the iPhone or iPad – no sooner has the iPad 2 or iPhone 5 hit the shops than the expectation begins for the iPad 3 and the iPhone 6. And just because the delay may prove unbearable, there’s the iPhone 5S model coming down the tracks to bridge the gap.

Of course the reality is that the differences are minimal, more often than not, an extra button here a half a millimetre shaved off there, a gimmick or two…..and you have a whole world of people with a year-old phone who now feel they possess the modern equivalent of a Betamax video recorder.

And yet if you look at the iPhone, apart from a couple of minor advances, it still does what its predecessors did – it makes and receives phone calls, it has internet access, allows you to take and store pictures, to download music and videos and read your emails.

But it’s all down to the number – which is why we are now just over a month from a change in car registration, so that instead of waiting for the end of the year, we now have new numbers every six months.

Motorists didn’t want to buy a 13 car six months into the year – but the motor dealers hope that a 132 car will hold the same appeal as a new car in January held since we moved away from our old Galway IM and ZM number plates.

You’ll actually be buying the same car in July as you were in May, but it will feel different – and possibly cost more – because it has an extra 2 on the registration.

This works in movies and music too – once upon a time, there was an album called Now That’s What I Call Music!, a compilation of big hits from that not-so-golden generation for the industry.

The first Now! album – released towards the end of 1983 – featured such luminaries as Phil Collins, Kalagoogoo, Howard Jones, UB40, Limahl, Heaven 17, Bonnie Tyler and Culture Club, with eleven numbers one on the double album.

So almost 30 years on, Now 84! came out in March with 43 tracks from people, most of whom weren’t born when the original came out – with the obvious exception of Fleetwood Mac and the Justice Collective who re-recorded He Ain’t Heavy for the Hillsborough Fund.

But Pitbull featuring TJR, Wiley featuring Chip, Rudimental featuring John Newman & Alex Clare or Devlin featuring Diane Birch? They may be the latest stars of Now! but they could equally all be living across the road from me in blissful poly-habitation, for all I know.

When the first Now! came out, they probably hoped they’d knock six albums out of it, but such is its instant recognition now, those who still buy albums don’t even need to see the track listing – they know Now 84! is newer than Now 83! and that Now 85! will be here in plenty of  time for Christmas and that 30th anniversary.

Rule of thumb then for a happy life – numbers are always better and more appealing when they’re on the increase….except when it comes to a woman’s age.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Betting on the thrill of the chase can come at a cost

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

I’ve never understood betting but, just as I’ve never understood astrophysics either, I’ve plenty of time for those who do. Just because I don’t or can’t do it doesn’t make it an unusual pursuit.

But betting to me was always just a few quid on a fancied horse or backing your county to win the All-Ireland or your favourite football team to win the Premiership.

You might be a proud new parent who believes that the new arrival will one day go on to play for Ireland or Galway – and unless you’re perhaps Joe Canning, you will easily find a bookie who will lay you odds of 500/1 that it will never happen.

Nearly two decades ago now, Rory McIlroy’s dad Gerry placed a £200 bet on his 15-year-old son winning a Major – and ten years later, he walked away with a £100,000 windfall when Rory won the British Open at Hoylake in 2014.

In 2006, the family of Chris Kirkland won close to £10,000 when the then-Liverpool goalkeeper played for England in a friendly against Greece. Twelve years earlier, Kirkland’s father Eddie had placed a bet, as part of a syndicate, that his son would win an England cap before turning 30.

Perhaps even more optimistically, the grandfather of Fulham winger and former Liverpool star Harry Wilson pocketed £125,000 after placing a bet that his then-infant grandson would go on to play for Wales – which he duly did well before he’d left his teens.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Caught by online fraudsters – and rescued by the bank

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Somewhere in a supermarket in Australia last week, a person or persons spent €57.88 of my money on food or drink and charged it to my Visa card. Hours later they then repeated the exercise at another branch of Coles, the Melbourne-based multiple – but then their mini-spree came to a shuddering halt.

In truth perhaps, they probably didn’t leave home at all; they may not even have been anywhere near Australia, instead carrying out their shopping online around midday local time – and again for around the same amount an hour or two later.

But then the fraud department of Allied Irish Banks put a halt to their gallop and during the wee small hours inquired if I had somehow made it from conducting an evening online transaction in Galway to buying things from a supermarket in Melbourne, in the process inadvertently breaking the sound barrier while I slept.

And when I replied that indeed I had not, my Visa card was shut down and the prospects of the intrepid Australians buying some serious kit from my pocket disappeared quicker than snow on the outback.

Not alone that but AIB refunded the money these people had spent without my knowledge, allowed me to take a few bob out of the bank without a card – but with ID – and then sent on a brand new card this week.

The embarrassing part was having to confirm that online purchases in the run-up to the Aussie shopping spree were legit; it’s like having a list of misdemeanours read out in court.

There was nothing accusatory in the tone of the nice woman from the bank, who merely inquired if indeed it was me who had gone twice to Mace the previous day; if I’d also bought an album online and paid a monthly subscription for a digital newspaper.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

What your taste in music says about your own state of mind

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

As Elton John once said, sad songs say so much. But now it turns out so do Adele songs or classics by the Beatles – because surprise, surprise, the music you listen to reflects your state of mind.

That’s what a group of psychologists in Toronto spent their time discovering recently – a reality most of us could have told them for free.

The psychologists divided people into four groups with different approaches to relationships – the rejection-feeling ‘anxious’’ group; the negative and cold ‘avoidant group; the confident ‘secure’ group, and a mixed group.

The boffins then assessed the lyrics to 7,000 different songs based on their variously secure, anxious, or avoidant content, then asked a test group to pick out their favourite tracks.

And they came up with the bleedin’ obvious – song lyrics are a window into your state of mind; they discovered that people who are insecure in their relationship listen to a lot of Adele. Perhaps because you may remember she had her biggest hit, Someone Like You, about a break-up.

Other songs that inspire strong feelings, often sadness, include Joni Mitchell’s Blue; Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine; Neil Young’s Philadelphia, and Ray Charles’ Georgia on My Mind – just in case you’re looking to take it down a notch this New Year.

On the other hand, those who prefer the Beatles’ upbeat Love Me Do are more than likely to be very secure in their relationships, according to the University of Toronto study.

And just for the record, here are some of the songs for happy people, who are secure in themselves and in their loved ones around them.

At Last by Etta James – which sounds more like entrapment than true love, as does I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher – and Wouldn’t it be Nice by the Beach Boys, not to mention Whitney Houston’s 1999 hit I Will Always Love You, which is actually a Dolly Parton song from the early 1970’s. It’s just that Dolly doesn’t give off that same sense of security.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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