Koh Samed Thailand


Just got back from two weeks in Vietnam and Thailand. In Vietnam went to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and to the coast in Vung Tao. In Thailand started in Bangkok and went down the coast to Se Racha, Pattaya and Koh Samed.

The island of Koh Samed (Ko Samet, Ko Sahmet) was my favorite. I’m not so good at putting videos together so here’s someone else’s video of Koh Samed for the time being. Not a lot of Americans go to this island, it’s mainly Russians and Germans – so go there if you can while it’s still fairlly pristine and undeveloped.

I met many people who go there every year, or many times a year. And for good reason – it was just perfect.

Inauguration National Anthem Mistake


Oh man, I feel bad for the guy who sang the Star Spangled Banner at the opening of the Obama inauguration and messed up the last entrance on the word “brave”. I thought a couple entrances before that seemed a bit tentative, but then thought no, that was just my imagination – they must practice this a thousand times.

Then at the very end the band stopped silent and he came in with “B” for brave – just his “b” hanging all by it’s little lonesome with so many millions of people watching. Ouch! That’s one that would have me waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat for years.

You can listen to it at 1:24 in this video clip.

UPDATE: Mmmm…..I haven’t seen this posted anywhere else and no comments. Maybe there was no mistake, and it was just an audio bug in the time delay?

Chime Long Circus – Guangzhou China


A large group of us from Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show went to see the Chime Long International Circus in Guangzhou, China. It was a fantastic show. The Chime Long circus is more of a traditional circus that includes animal acts. Music for the show is pre-recorded – no live band.

There were so many elements in this show that makes Circus so mesmerizing. There were truly death defying acts including long and high jumps without nets and the Wheel of Death – a Circus favorite. I thought the animal acts were great, although it was a little disturbing to some. There were also great moments of beauty with lush slow aerial acts.

My absolute favorite part was the end of the show when four rows of birds fly from stage left and right across the front of the stage and over the audiences heads. First I think it was pelicans followed by doves. So beautiful. If I hadn’t seen it myself I would have thought it was a projected special effect. Bravo to Chime Long International Circus!

Bach Badinerie


Two video recordings of a Badinerie by JS Bach. I have heard several absolutely horrible renditions on YouTube – but I like both of these. My favorite of these two is the first on top. The musicians take a little more chance with the tempo and interpretation – and to my ears it has a little more sizzle than the performance at the Vatican.
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Charlie Rose – Stephen Sondheim / James Lapine


Stephen Sondheim, Composer/Lyricist
James Lapine, Librettist/Director

Sondheim says you can not make an audience like something, but they have to understand the intention. Preview performances focused on making things clear to the audience.

Mario Lanza’s “Nessun Dorma”


Mario Lanza sings Nessun Dorma in the 1956 Classic, Serenade. Enjoy.

From the video author:
I didn’t make this video though, I found it and decided to spread the joy of his amazing voice to those who have not heard it. Also I wanted this to be on the video response of the Ultimate Nessun Dorma video since Mario Lanza was, unfortunately, not included in that video. Therefore I wanted to “add” him by doing a video response for all to see this. So yeah. Like I said, enjoy it.

Clement Janequin 1485-1558 – La Guerre


Composed by Clément Janequin, “La Guerre”, from “The King’s Singers, Madrigal History Tour, The France”.

Clément Janequin (c. 1485 in Châtellerault, near Poitiers – 1558 in Paris) was a French composer of the Renaissance. He was one of the most famous composers of popular chansons of the entire Renaissance, and along with Claudin de Sermisy, was hugely influential in the development of the Parisian chanson, especially the programmatic type. The wide spread of his fame was made possible by the concurrent development of music printing.

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Opening the Door to Luther with Rick Steves


Join public television host, author and ELCA Lutheran Rick Steves as Mosaic takes you on a journey through Lutherland! Travel from Eisleben where Luther was born to the university town of Wittenberg where he taught and preached. After a pilgrimage south to the Vatican in Rome, the program follows the tumultuous events of the Reformation at Worms, Erfurt, Eisenach, Marburg and Augsburg.

Charlie Rose Interviews Sheldon Adelson


Middle section includes interview with Sheldon Adelson – posted on YouTube August 27, 2007. Mr. Adelson talks about Macau and the new Cotai Strip developments.

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Martin Luther Movie (2003)


Video clips of the 2003 film “Luther” about Martin Luther and the Reformation. I have a wide variety of views listed here. I don’t agree with all of them, but I enjoy the diversity. And it interests me that 500 years later people are still so passionate about Martin Luther.

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Reactions to Barack Obama in China


I’m not very much into politics. Partly because I have heard too many political rantings from people in my life. Armchair quarterbacks spouting off all the absolute truths of how things are, so convinced of how brilliant they are. I used to ask what they were doing about it, and get no fulfilling answer. They would vote in a presidential election, and that’s it. No time spent lobbying, no donations to special interest groups, no real world time devoted to their rantings. It bores me. Save it for the local Irish pub.

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Roman Tomanov 2004 International Circus Festival


Roman Tomanov (at this stage 15 years old) performing at the straps in 2004 at the International Circus Festival in Budapest (Hungary) where he won the bronze medal.

He’s currently a member of Cirque du Soleil’s latest resident show “Zaia” based at The Venetian Macao

James Randi exposes Uri Geller and Peter Popoff


James Randi is a leader in the skeptical community who has been debunking paranormal and supernatural claims for most of his life. A magician himself James Randi is excellent at exposing the frauds that make up the paranormal and psychic communities. He offers a one million prize to anyone who can prove a paranormal claim scientifically and to this day nobody has won the money. Sylvia Browne has been ducking him for quite some time.