Great Love Songs #1 to #7 for February Facebook Meme

In late January, I proposed a Facebook meme to share a love song a day for February that contains Valentine’s Day. Here are the first seven songs of my list and some short commentary with each.

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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

My Video for The Lies of Handsome Men, sung by Margaret Whiting

Jack Wrangler & Margaret Whiting

Jan 2011 update:
Margaret Whiting passed away on Jan 10, 2011. It is sad, of course, but what a legacy she left us with, including the song in the video below written by Francesca Blumenthal in 1986. Rest in peace, Margaret.

At this time in 2009, I started building this blog as part of my year to learn about social media. In 2010, I am learning about multi-media and this is my first video. I should point out that like my study of social media, it’s about knowing its capabilities and potential more than the technical stuff, though a lot can be learned by doing hands-on technical stuff. It’s too bad all too many “boss” types in the world never really learn the details of things they “manage” from doing to appreciate the challenges and power of those things.

I used Windows Movie Maker to make this video, with its rather limited capabilities and features. I know it’s not a great video editing program, but I’ll get around to one soon enough. I created the images from Photoshop actions I made to save a lot of time and repetitive effort.

The idea for this video first came to me in the middle of 2009 when I wanted to social media share the 1986 song The Lies of Handsome Men, written by Francesca Blumenthal, sung by 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting in 1990 when she was 66! Thank you to Francesca for correcting my mistake in a comment below. What a beautiful song this is and I hope you’ve got more such songs in your repertoire, past and future!

In my opinion, Margaret’s version is the definitive version of the song. I haven’t heard anybody else sing it like it, and I love it when I find definitive versions of songs that just blow the rest of the versions away. What made the difference for me, as I later found out through research, was that Margaret had been involved in acting and she used those acting skills to put just a little more intonation and feeling into the song. I listened and I really believed she meant everything she said. Mind you, the way she ended up with a former gay porn star 20 years her junior while in her 50s for 33 years of her life (see notes near the end of the notes before the video), she’s a mighty fine actress to have convinced me she believed those lies when she obviously brushed them aside!

Usually, I can find what I want in music online on YouTube. However, there was no version of this song I could find anywhere to share so I penned it down as an idea for a video in 2010 when I would be focusing on learning multi-media. I thought of it as a simple project, to create a slide show video where the images would be male movie stars and musicians of an era past, in black and white.

Images were mostly from an amazing site of black and white movie portraits called Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans. Portraits were so beautiful and noble back in those days! Order of the portrait tied the images to something in the lyrics as much as possible, albeit sometimes rather vague and sometimes without connection because it isn’t easy to have a limited collection to suit any old set of lyrics, you know! Names of subjects are at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to use past celebrities’ B&W portraits because they were more true to the song’s age and feel, as well as avoid all the people today created out of hype with faults yet to be found. The stars in the past have had their good and bad days and have their legacies pretty much written so they are more “timeless” since public opinion won’t likely change much on them any more.

Had I thought of this video in December, I might have gone after the images of the women of Tiger Woods. Hahaha!

But I can still dedicate it to them, can I not?

Alas, they ain’t got nothing on Margaret! On her fourth marriage, Margaret married a gay porn star 20 years her junior in the late Jack Wrangler (neé John Stillman), who eventually also came to do straight porn.

Ooops. Bad pun intended! 😉

According to Jack, this was how they met.

In 1976, Jack Wrangler met celebrated 1940s pop singer and film actress Margaret Whiting when she attended one of his one-man erotic shows in New York. As he later recalled, “I was with my manager when I looked over at Margaret, who was surrounded by five guys at a booth. ‘There she was with the hair, the furs and the big gestures. I thought, ‘Boy, now that’s New York! That’s glamour!’ I had to meet her.” A relationship developed. He was 33; she was 55. When Wrangler confided to Whiting that he was gay, her response was “only around the edges, dear.” The couple has never married. As Whiting told People magazine in 1987, “There’s no point in us getting married. We’re not having kids.”

Remember, Margaret Whiting made her debut as a crooner in the 1940s! Those women of Tiger Woods ain’t got nothin’ on her!

Margaret is still alive so far as I know. Jack passed away in April 2009 from emphysema after 40 years of smoking. Their picture together is the slide in the video.

Seems Margaret didn’t believe in the lies of handsome men if she convinced Jack to be her mate despite his openly gay declaration. 😉

Here is the video below. Please give constructive criticisms if you can afford the time. Thank you.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1

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LYRICS

I believe in star signs
And I believe in film romances
I believe in in fantasy
And I believe with just one glance he’s
Crazy for my eyes
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

I believe in witchcraft
And I believe in Cinderella
I believe in gypsies
And I believe I cast a spell that
Sends him to the skies
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

Somewhere in a corner of my mind
I’m not a fool, completely blind
But even though he’s hooked me on his line
I find the pleasure has been mine

I believe in love songs,
They seem to know just what I’m feeling
I believe in Prince Charming
I never guess he’s double dealing
How my spirits rise
Believing in the lies
Of handsome men

Sometimes in a dark and quiet place
The truth and I meet face to face
And even if his Highness disappears
I keep some lovely souvenirs

So I believe in heroes
And I expect that happy ending
Wishing on some rainbow
I pretend he’s not pretending
Someday I’ll get wise
But right now I need the lies
Of handsome men

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STARRING
(in order of appearance, group by song verses)

Margaret Whiting

Bing Crosby, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Duke Ellington, Paul Newman, Basil Rathbone, Tony Curtis

Lex Barker, Gene Kelly, Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, Louis Armstrong, Robert Young, Elvis Presley

Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, Ray Charles, Henry Fonda, Warner Baxter, John Wayne

Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino, Rudolph and wife Natacha Rambova, Clark Gable, John Garrick, Ronald Reagan

Ralph Bellamy, Robert Montgomery, Buster Crabbe

Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Vincent Price, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Olivier, Johnny Mack Brown, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains

Muhammad Ali, Gene Autry, Fred Astaire, Joel McCrea, Vic Damone, Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood

Jack Wrangler and Margaret Whiting

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