Experts Dreamers Quote

An expert is someone good at closing doors,
a dreamer is someone good at opening them

expert dreamer quote minh tanMinh Tan

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Colbie Caillat Singing the Best US National Anthem I’ve Ever Heard

My annual list of Best New Songs I Heard is usually reserved for songs I had never heard before. Sometimes, I throw in songs I had heard before, but never nearly as good that a version I just heard for the first time. This song falls in that second category, though it doesn’t quite have the gap for me to put on my list this year because of how many great versions I have heard in the past. Still,  it was good enough that I know, for me, it was the best rendition of this song that I have ever heard among the many I have heard.

The Star Spangled Banner is played at so many events I watch, on television or in person, that I am sure I have heard over 1000 renditions of it over the years. Naturally, there have been some outstanding versions among them, as well as some pretty grotesque ones. To me, though, Colbie Caillat’s version at the opening game of the National Football League season between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints was the best rendition of the song I have ever heard. Sorry, I don’t know the guitarist’s name.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

She sung it quietly and built it, without having to rely on volume power to peak. She didn’t need more drums or instruments to come in, or additional parts, either. She just rocked it gently a tad more each time and achieved the effect. That’s a hard thing to do!

The television footage of the players and crowd were also inspiring, and credits go to the NBC camera crew for capturing all that. Lots of players and coaches with hands over their heart, standing pretty still mostly, too. I also liked the shot of Jared Allen with the helmet held high. The New Orleans fans deserve credit for being in such solemn attention. A little cheer here or there in the right places can have just as good an impact as a roaring crowd all the way through like at some events. But you know, the right rendition will help you be like that to listen and be proud rather than not pay attention for any number of reasons.

All and all, I thought it was just superb. Too bad the online version I have above had the image and sound timing just a tad off to make it look like Colbie badly lip synced it.

I saw some online articles today on the rendition by Colbie Caillat. She’s got the Net talking about it, that’s for sure. There were likes and dislikes, and loves and hates, as to be expected. However, I’ve got to say the reasonings given for those who didn’t like it weren’t very sound. If the reasonings those people generally gave were valid, they should just go plunk it out on an out of tune synthesizer, or just get their computer to mechanically play it. They should appreciate how flexible their national anthem is that they could think so poorly of such a performance and yet, some people like myself think it’s the best rendition they’ve ever heard!

Leave me a comment with some other favourite renditions of the Star Spangled Banner if you care to share. Thanks!

Meanwhile, I’m going to look up some more of Colbie’s music. I had never heard of her till last night, but man, did she impress and got a new fan for that performance!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.5

Obama’s Barackets Beating 96.5% of over 4.5 Million Brackets on ESPN 2010 March Madness Challenge After Round 1

President Barack Obama

Please click here to see President Obama’s 2010 Barackets, and get analysis after Round 2

After Round 1 of the 2010 NCAA March Madness Tournament, President Barack Obama’s ESPN Barackets is beating 96.5% of over 4.5 million entries!

See Obama’s 2010 March Madness Brackets here.

See Obama’s rationale in his picks via the ESPN video here.

Obama got 25 of 32 games correct for 250 points since each game in this round was worth 10 points. Three top entries were tied at a remarkable 310 points or 31 of 32 correct! There is no rewards for upsets in the ESPN system so these brackets encouraged going with the favourites rather than picking upsets. That left the President at a rank of 160,151 or sitting in the 96.6th percentile. That means he is ahead of 96.5% of the entries of over 4.5 million entries!

An analogy for that statistic would be the Prez is beating 29 out of every 30 entrants, sitting in 2nd place in such a sample. With over 4.5 million entries, that’s far more than a big enough sample to safely declare the President ahead of 96.5% of all bracket entries out there. He knew his basketball in Round 1, unlike last year when he admitted he got killed in the early rounds.

However, Obama could be in a lot of trouble for the next rounds, each of which is also worth 320 points.

That’s because Obama has already lost one of his Elite Eight teams in Georgetown. That’s 40 points he won’t be getting in that round for sure. I wonder if that were a political pick because Georgetown is, of course, in Washington DC. There weren’t too many Chicago or Illinois teams that stood much of a chance this year to go far.

Obama has also already lost two of his Sweet Sixteen teams with Georgetown and Marquette. That’s another 40 points he won’t be getting in that round.

ESPN lists Obama’s potential points remaining (PPR) at 1,520 after Round 1.

Of course, other people will have likely lost some of those teams already as well. The fact most of them lost more teams this first round only suggest they have a greater chance of losing more teams in the later rounds already than Obama. However, that’s not necessarily true.

My ESPN brackets are sitting at 210 points, or 2,978,307 or ahead of a very lousy 37.6 percent of the entries. Basically, I’m in 6th place out of every 8 people! OUCH! Yet, because I haven’t lost any Elite Eight teams, and the same Georgetown pick as Obama for the Sweet Sixteen, my potential points remaining is 1,580. That could make up the 40 points different the President has on me after Round 1. So despite being over 2.8 million spots back of da Prez right now, I could still end up putting the slamma jamma on Obama!

All that said, the President is doing relatively well among ESPN’s featured brackets.

Obama is first among them after Round 1. In fact, he’s cleaning house… including dunking on LeBron James!

I guess in America, it’s da Prez that rules, not the King. They got rid of him a long time ago! 🙂

You can look at each featured bracket’s potential points remaining if you’d like by clicking on the links above.

How are you doing after the first round if you played? How many games did you get right?

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 5.8

Video and Lyrics for Taylor Swift’s Monologue Song on SNL

On the November 7 (or 8th pending time zone) edition of Saturday Night Live, Taylor Swift was host and did a hilarious song trashing some people, gossiping and such, but all with class like the first class act that she was. The Internet has been buzzing about it for a couple of weeks now. However, a lot of that buzz is self-serving people trying to get attention by hijacking search results for the video and lyrics. Like with the Kanye West incident, all kinds of people create videos about this event, call and label them with words like “Taylor, Swift, SNL, Monologue, Song, Lyrics” and such, only to put something where they put themselves on camera and talk about something. Sometimes, it’s not even about the event the video is supposed to be!

Wow! Aren’t those people desperate for “fame”!

Well, they’re getting hate, not fame. Too bad they’re too stupid to know it.

But some good and kind souls have put up actual video of the event and here is one below, after several replacements that were victims of NBC and Universal Studios copyright claims. Suckers! They never learn, do they, that they can’t win these wars? I’ve added the lyrics below the video.

I absolutely loved the song and performance by Taylor. That goes for both the acting, like when she’s looking around for Kanye, and singing. You’ve just got to watch it if you haven’t seen it. The video isn’t the greatest quality, but it’s what you want to see. Finding another version is probably harder than you think, but if you can, please leave a link.

Taylor’s complete a first class act, and all I’ve got to say to her about this performance is YEAH! YOU GO GIRL!!!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.6

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(Talking)
Whenever I’m feeling strong emotions about something like this
I usually write a song about it
So this is what I came up with
It’s called “Monologue Song”
In parentheses (“La La La”)

(Singing)
I like glitter and sparkly dresses
But I’m not gonna talk about that
In my monologue
I like baking and things that smell like Winter
But I’m not gonna talk about that
In my monologue
(La la la)
(La la la)

I like writing songs about douche bags who cheat on me
But I’m not gonna say that
In my monologue
I like writing their names in songs so they’re ashamed to go in public
But I’m not gonna say that
In my monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
This is my musical monologue

You might think I’d bring up Joe (Jonas) that guy who broke up with me on the phone
But I’m not going to mention him
In my monologue
Hey Joe! I’m doing real well tonight I’m hosting SNL
But I’m not going to brag about that
In my monologue
(La la la)
(Ha ha ha)
(Ha ha ha Ha ha ha)
(La la la)

And if you’re wondering if I might be dating the werewolf from Twilight
(*Waves*, *Mouths “Hi Taylor”*, *Blows him a Kiss*, and *Winks*)
I’m not gonna comment on that
In my monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
This is my musical monologue

You might be expecting me to say
Something bad about Kanye
And how he ran up on the stage
And ruined my VMA monologue
(*Sigh*)
But there’s nothing more to say
‘Cause everything’s okay
I got security lining the stage
In my SNL monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)

This is my SNL monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
That was my SNL monologue

We have a great show
Kanye West is not here
So stick around
We’ll be right back

Interesting Facts and Insightful Sayings for a Happy Mother’s Day

Mother's Day ComicHappy Mother’s Day, everyone! It’s the third biggest holiday next to Christmas and Easter, by some measures, although I have doubts that includes some non-Western holidays. However, if the world celebrated Mother’s Day, it would be easily the biggest holiday on the planet because we all have Mothers. Of course, we all have Fathers as well, but there aren’t nearly as many deliquent Moms as there are Dads so Mother’s Day would rule. It already does given Father’s Day doesn’t rank with Mother’s Day in the measure previously mentioned.

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