Adamu's shared items

Friday, February 27, 2009

Train of thought from infectious Camp Rock song to Cyndi Lauper

So at work today I tried the Teen Pop station and this song got stuck in my head:

Here's what that movie's all about:

Mitchie wants to go to a music camp for young musicians named "Camp Rock". Since the family can't afford the tuition, Mitchie's mother (Maria Canals Barrera) arranges to cater food for the camp, thus allowing Mitchie to attend. When she arrives at the camp she immediately befriends a girl name Caitlyn (Alyson Stoner) who is an aspiring music producer.

Mitchie wants to be friends with the camp's 'mean girl' Tess Tyler (Meaghan Jette Martin), along with her clique Peggy (Jasmine Richards) and Ella (Anna Maria Perez de Tagle). When Mitchie introduces herself, the girls seem uninterested in her, so she lies about her mom, by saying she is the president of Hot Tunes TV China. They immediately take an interest in her and let her be their friend, making her very popular.

Meanwhile, spoiled rock star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) has been forced to also attend the camp, after walking off the set of Connect 3's latest music video by his other band member Nate (Nick Jonas).

And you can kind of see where it might lead from there.

So I notice on Wiki that the movie was written by Julie Brown of "Earth Girls Are Easy" fame, and I remember when I was a kid Julie Brown seemed like a more annoying and less talented version of Cyndi Lauper.

And that thought led to the real gem of the evening: Cyndi Lauper doing a medley on Japanese TV! These performances are the best since everyone seems to be having such a good time clapping with their hands in the air:

When I was a kid there was some rumor that Cyndi Lauper was going to move into my hometown. As far as I know it never happened but I distinctly remember people telling me this as if it were some real, exciting news.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bob Marley the cultist

What a tragically preventable death!

In July 1977, Marley was found to have acral lentiginous melanoma, a form of malignant melanoma, in a football wound - according to widely held urban legend, inflicted by broadcaster and pundit Danny Baker[17] - on his right big toe. Marley refused amputation, because of the Rastafari belief that the body must be "whole."

Marley may have seen medical doctors as samfai (tricksters, deceivers). True to this belief Marley went against all surgical possibilities and sought out other means that would not break his religious beliefs. He also refused to register a will, based on the Rastafari belief that writing a will is acknowledging death as inevitable, thus disregarding the everlasting (or everliving, as Rastas say) character of life.

The cancer then metastasized to Marley's brain, lungs, liver, and stomach. After playing two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of his fall 1980 Uprising Tour, he collapsed while jogging in NYC's Central Park. The remainder of the tour was subsequently cancelled.

Marley played his final concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1980. The live version of "Redemption Song" on Songs of Freedom was recorded at this show.[18] Marley afterwards sought medical help from Munich specialist Josef Issels, who promoted a controversial type of cancer treatment, partly based on avoidance of certain foods, drinks and other substances (Marley was also already a vegetarian, mainly for religious reasons).[19]. However, by this time his illness had already progressed to the terminal stage.

Death and posthumous reputation
While flying home from Germany to Jamaica for his final days, Marley became ill, and landed in Miami for immediate medical attention. He died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Florida on the morning of May 11, 1981, at the age of 36. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his son Ziggy were "Money can't buy life."[20] Marley received a state funeral in Jamaica on May 21, 1981, which combined elements of Ethiopian Orthodoxy and Rastafari tradition. He was buried in a chapel near his birthplace with his Gibson Les Paul and a Bible.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009






Obama speech - everyone now required to go to college

Obama: Dropping out of high school isn't just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country. Highest proportion of college grads in the world by 2020.

This guy is totally on the right track to make education the big pillar of the US long term strategy. But wouldn't this be kind of meaningless if 80% of those grads are poli sci and liberal arts majors? While there is a place for that (it was a decent platform for me to learn Japanese and hone translation skills), it seems like we need more scientists and engineers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More people working till they die of old age

This story from the WSJ made me sad and reminded me of the consequences of poor retirement planning. My grandma worked until her mid 70s because she never had an extra pension. Don't let this happen to you!

During past recessions, older workers simply would have retired rather than searching want ads and applying for jobs. But these days, with outstanding mortgages, bank loans and high medical bills, many of them can't afford to be out of work.

With jobs so scarce, people in their seventh and eighth decades are up against those half their age in a desperate scramble for work.

The number of unemployed workers 75 and older increased to more than 73,000 in January, up 46% from the prior January. Among workers 65 and older, the jobless rate stands at 5.7%. That's below the national average, but well above what it was in previous recessions, including the recession of 1981, when it reached at 4.3%.

The growing numbers reflect, in part, an increase in the number of older workers. The percentage of people 65 and older who are in the work force rose to 16.8% at year end, from 11.9% a decade earlier. Among people 75 and older, the increase was even greater -- to 7.3%, from 4.7%.

As people live longer and stay in better health, some of them merely want the stimulation and challenge of a job. But for workers like Ms. Appleby, Ms. Bennett and Mr. Dase, the motivation is financial necessity.

Fewer people than in years past are covered by defined-benefit plans, such as company-sponsored pensions that guarantee them specific monthly income for life. Those with retirement investments have seen their values erode with the stock-market tumble. Others worked for smaller companies, or were self-employed, and never had pensions. Many are outliving whatever savings they might have had, especially by the time they reach their mid to late 70s. Mortgages and medical bills push others into the job market because Social Security and Medicare, though helpful and critical, aren't enough.

There are few programs to help older unemployed workers. Several states are developing pilot programs. The Obama administration is receiving proposals for new ways to connect workers 55 years and older with local jobs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ups and downs of business school

MBA grads can no longer count on high-paying Wall St. jobs.

But according to some business school officials (one spoke with WSJ radio (MP3)) applications for business school are way up as workers want to boost skills in a more competitive job market.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Former vs. formerly

A subtle grammar rule that I failed to notice recently:

The Vietnamese artist exhibiting her work in the United States reported that one of her artistic challenges had been the ________ widespread unavailability of paper and canvas in wartime, which she said often forced her to work on matchboxes and scraps of newsprint.

Fill in the blank:
(a) former
(b) formerly

And the answer is...

(b) former

You see, if it's "formerly" then the word "widespread" would be modified, when the word is supposed to modify the unavailability. And now you know!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why don't you play the game?

Had no idea so many daft punk videos were anime-fied.
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Monday, February 2, 2009

American Pop - inspiration for Kanye West's "Heartless"

Rotoscope animation is the best
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Love this animation

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Kanye West - Heartless

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Aso -- please hold this election already

The suspense is maddening!
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Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Taro Aso risks
deepening Japan’s recession in order to delay an election he’s
likely to lose.

Aso, whose approval rating has sunk below 20 percent after
less than five months in office, refuses to bow to pressure from
the opposition to call the election ahead of the legally
required Sept. 10 date. The resulting political paralysis is
stalling the 10 trillion-yen ($110 billion) stimulus plan he has
promised to restore economic growth.

“A tsunami is coming and we need effective economic
stimulus from the government,” says Tsuneo Watanabe, a Tokyo-
based adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington. “By clinging to power,”
Aso, 68, and his Liberal Democratic Party are “making it harder
for ordinary people to cope with this severe downturn.”

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