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A Different View

Watch out for those fat cats – and heavy hounds

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Croí’s Karen Maloney (right) is joined by models Michaela O’ Shaughnessy and Mary Lee to launch the inaugural Croí Women At Heart Fashion Show Extravaganza. With an aim to empower women to take control of their own heart health, the show will take place on Thursday, October 23, in the Radisson Blu Hotel at 7.30pm. Tickets are €25 and include a pre-event drinks reception and a goodie-bag for all attendees.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It would seem that the feline population are now taking the notion of fat cats a little too literally. Because statistics from the States show that half of all cats and dogs are now obese or overweight and that’s just ten per cent less than the human population itself.

Maybe it’s all that lounging around and shedding of hair on the sofa – and like the rest of us, the problem is that once you get used to that more sedentary lifestyle and pile on the pounds, you’ll find it harder to shift them.

Perhaps it’s that dog owners are too busy for those long, lung-bursting walks anymore – and then again they do say that pets imitate their owners. On that basis, there must be an awful lot of cats and dogs with a passionate interest in the Premiership.

It’s not just the lack of exercise, of course, because we’re now feeding our pets with the same food we eat ourselves. And if it’s making us wider around the switch, then it’s hardly helping Rover or Fluffy to stay lean and fit either.

We’ve all seen those enormous house cats, stretched out across the couch like some sort of furry bean bag – only warmer and with claws.

And there’s the dog whose idea of daily exercise is to sheepishly make their way out the back door last night at night for their ablutions before resuming position in front of the fireplace.

But according to one UK expert – Robert Young, who is Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Salford outside Manchester – this obesity in animals is, well, spreading.

A study published this year showed that more than 40% of elephants in captivity are obese. They are so obese that it is negatively affecting their longevity and fertility.

The serious side of all this is that – in both humans and animals, the consequences of all this for animals include diabetes, cancer, hypertension or heart-disease.

So in the case of pets we are killing them with kindness.

Same thing, as it turns out, with birds because we’re throwing bread out the back door at them instead of the food they have eaten since Adam left the Garden of Eden.

There’s good and bad in this one because the upside for our feathered friends – according to Professor Young who was contributing to the always thought-provoking website called the Conversation – is that it enhances their survival chances during cold winter months but it also reduced clutch sizes.

And whatever about dogs or cats that are too fat to walk, you have a real problem with birds if they’re too fat to fly.

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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