Saturday, August 29, 2015

A ton of new useless (Irish) facts on cars

Living in a small country sure has its advantages. It of course has its quirks too. For instance ridiculously interesting facts abound. Ireland has its own Central Statistics Office (the CSO), who routinely release bits of interesting stuff. However I'm writing on facts reported by the Irish Times on June 17, 2015. The article titled "Junk the new registration system and go back to the old format, says leading distributor" (Motors Section, p. 2), reported the following:

From January to May 2015, the following have been sold in Ireland: 

  • One pink car (and 71 purple)
  • One Bentley
  • 78 convertibles
  • 15 'G' carbon dioxide emissions category vehicles (By the way, G = worst)
Also, 1.53% of new car sales have been "Electric", which upon further inspection means any of the following:
  • Electric
  • Petrol/electric
  • Diesel/electric
  • Petrol/plug-in electric hybrid
  • Petrol & gas (whatever that means, I'm assuming some sort of natural gas)
Assuming a linear relationship exists between population and number of pink cars sold, a quick calculation reveals an estimate of 69 pink cars sold in the US in the same time - and 69 Bentleys too - probably none of them pink.  

This entry is repeated on Same Frequency Different Wavelength.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mandy, You're a Fine Girl - What a Good Wife You Would Be

Barry Manilow's famous song Mandy was penned and recorded by Scott English as "Brandy", which was a hit in the UK in 1971. Brandy was changed to Mandy when Manilow released it in the US to avoid confusion with the hit Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass, a Rutgers University fraternity band.

Which brings me on to an article in the magazine for Rutgers University Alumni - Spring 2009, which carried an article about this song and the band itself, which listed amongst many things, where the former band members are today:
  • Larry Gonsky RC'70 (keyboards) teaches music in the Morristown school district; 
  • Jeff Grob CC'85 (drums) after playing with the hard-rock band Starz, returned to school and earned his landscape architecture degree. He works for Stantec, which contributed to the redesign of Route 18. He still plays locally with Richie Ranno's All Stars; 
  • Elliot Lurie RC'70 (lead guitar) manages actors and recording artists, including Corbin Bleu of High School Musical fame, in Los Angeles. He worked as an independent music film supervisor and executive vice president of music at 20th Century Fox; 
  • Pieter Sweval RC'70 (bass) played with Starz and the disco band Skatt Bros before dying of AIDS in 192. 
The band still receives royalty checks for use of the song Brandy. Sweval's family donates his share to AIDS research.

Incidentally, Barry Manilow had five albums on the best-seller charts simultaneously (in 1978), a feat a feat equalled only by Herb Alpert, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and Johnny Mathis.