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A Different View

Generation gap is the same yawning chasm it ever was

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Aoife and Mark Connaughton help Santa Claus prepare for a very special evening of festive treats, a visit with Santa Claus and Christmas Carols from the Kiltullagh Junior Community Choir next Thursday, December 17, from 5pm to 7pm in the Lough Rea Hotel & Spa. The fundraising event is in aid of Our Ladies Children’s Hospital Crumlin and the National Children’s Research Centre.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s a sobering realisation to find yourself at an age that – when you were a teenager and looked at your own father – you once thought qualified as officially ancient.

Inside you’re still 21 and full of the divil – although less frequently for sure, given that it takes three days to recover from three hours of excess – but outwardly, if you were a horse, the kids would probably have you shot.

You have what – in a context that had nothing to do with hurling or indeed anything else – the Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly once described to me as furniture disease.

Your chest is slipping into your drawers.

What’s left of your hair is growing more freely from your ears, nose and eyebrows than the top of your head – and all that continues to fight the good fight up there is coming out in one of fifty shades of grey.

You catch a glimpse of your more ample self in the mirror and you think someone else is standing behind you – and still, because most of us don’t live in a house of mirrors, it’s only an occasional reminder that we’re approaching that sell-by date at a rate of knots.

When you think back to your own father in his fifties, you saw an oul fella….admittedly one you were more than fond of, but an old bag of bones nonetheless.

So why should it come as a surprise that your own sons would see you now in exactly the same light?

You may know a bit about computers and you might even hum the chorus of an Ed Sheeran song, but you’re stuck in the eighties with your Levis and your loafers and your view of the world in which change isn’t always a good thing.

The next generation embrace technology with relish; you look on it with a degree of suspicious mixed with trepidation.

Our parents’ ambition for their offspring was a permanent and pensionable job that offered you the chance of relative comfort in your old age – that would be your average young person’s biggest nightmare.

They want to see the world, and not just for two weeks in Torremolinos; they either want to move in with the Aztecs or party until they drop in Ibiza.

The Leaving Cert was once the examination that determined your future – and for many, even as lately as the eighties, it was an unnecessary step because AnCO or an apprenticeship offered you an early exit.

Now it is a stepping stone, a staging post along the way in a world where they talk of under-graduates after their first degree as opposed to what we used to call members of the workforce.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Delayed gratification has given way to Amazon Prime mentality

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Delayed gratification used to be a thing; you wanted something, you longed for it, you counted down the days to Christmas or summer or your birthday – and then it arrived, and you enjoyed it all the more because it was worth the wait.

But delayed gratification went out, for the most part, with the dodo (the bird, not the child’s soother) because everyone wants everything now. That’s why – days before Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve – you’ll still see kids getting toys in toy shops.

Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore; they want it now – and because they can order most things on their phone, they don’t even have to go out in the rain to get it.

And they now have a name for it – it’s called Amazon Prime Mentality. That’s shorthand for high expectations and inability to wait for anything.

It could as easily be Netflix or Sky bBox set syndrome; any platform where you can gorge yourself to death by downloading one show after another instead of waiting an unfathomable seven days between episodes.

This particular diagnosis of Amazon Prime Mentality had nothing to do with television at all; it came from an English GP who was having a go at patients who were blocking up Emergency Departments instead of seeing their local doctor – leading to a massive wait for hospital beds.

We’ve a bit of that here too as can be seen in the overcrowded A&E departments. The vast majority of people are in the right place – but some could as easily have been treated by their GP or at one of those growing number of Primary Care Centres.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, a GP in Winsford, Cheshire, said that his belief was that some patients didn’t want to wait for GP assessment – but instead wanted everything investigated and sorted in one trip.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Music really is catchy – and it can spread like a virus too

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was the great John Peel who once reviewed a new pop single with the most damming of faint praise. “It’s catchy for sure,” he said. “But then so is the clap.”

Now it turns out that the man who also once described the Undertones’ Teenage Kicks as the ultimate perfect pop song might have been onto something with his musings on catchy music.

Because a team from McMaster University in Ontario has come to the conclusion that pop songs – rather like pandemics have ‘R’ numbers and spread like diseases.

The researchers used the same sort of epidemiological modelling usually reserved for monitoring the spread of diseases like Covid-19 to analyse how ‘catchy’ songs – those earworms that you can’t get out of your head – can be infectious and end up being transmitted across large populations like viruses.

They analysed more than 60 million downloads by more than 500,000 people in the UK between 2007 and 2014, using Nokia’s MixRadio service.

They took the 1,000 most downloaded songs, which spanned eleven genres as classified by the MixRadio service, then analysed the speed with which the songs spread and the length of time that they remained popular.

The rate of infection in this instance was how quickly it spread and for how long – determined by the time fans spent talking about the song, playing it, sharing it on social media or requesting it on the radio.

And it turns out that electronica is the genre that leads to the ‘fastest epidemics’ among its fans; its reproduction number of 3,430, which was more than ten times higher than for the next most contagious genre, rap and hip-hop, which had an R0 number of just 310.

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

The tricky art of picking a name to last a lifetime

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

If you know anyone called John Paul, you can hazard a fair guess that they recently passed the age of 40 – because, while the world had JPs before and since, the real proliferation came around the time that the Pope visited Ireland in 1979.

If you know someone called Marian, chances are she was born around 1954 – because that was the Marian Year, as designed by Pope Pius.

There are other reasons behind children’s names of course; Jennifer might suggest a fan of Friends, or Jurgen a fan of Liverpool – and then some people like to keep using the same name over and over again through the generations.

That said, a recent survey revealed a number of Irish names that were once among the most popular in the land, but which are now in steady, if not terminable, decline.

From a male perspective, the survey suggests that omens are not good for John, Michael, Patrick, Seamus or Peadar – and for the ladies, Mary, Brigid, Maureen, Joan and Dolores no longer hop off the pages when it comes to notices of new arrivals.

And that’s apparently because parents see them as traditional – the names of their parents and grandparents – as opposed to the more fashionable names of today.

That said, the official register of births found that Patrick was still the eleventh most popular name chosen in Ireland last year – and if you throw variations such as Paidi (31st), Paddy (32nd) and Padraig (65th) into the mix, it’s still clearly a winner in many households.

Some of the most popular names today remain the same as they ever were – names like Jack or Conor or Liam or Sean – and others, like Oisin or Tadhg, appear to have made a comeback.

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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