Back in August, 2011, Eli Manning caused a stir when asked if he considered himself in the Top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL. That would mean being in same class as premier quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Eli’s big brother, Peyton. Eli confidently answered “yes”, even if he didn’t have the statistics, records, record, and Super Bowls as Tom and some others did, though Eli did have one… and it was over Brady.
This post is optional supporting material for users of the Free Advanced Finances Tracking and Analysis Spreadsheet I have for free downloading on this site. However, it should be useful for anyone who wants to think a bit more about their personal expenditures to get a new perspective on it.
Larry King challenged Michael Moore on Larry’s show on Oct 13 while discussing whether or not evolution should be allowed to be taught in school, as opposed to creationism. Larry “corrected” Michael to remind Michael that it was the theory of evolution, not evolution.
Wait a minute here. If evolution is still a theory, shouldn’t creationism also be a theory?
Since when did the Bible become “proof” for anything? They call religion faith because you have to believe in it, not know it for certain, you know. And I do mean you know.
Seriously, considering the evidence, creationism is far closer to a theory than evolution. But in the spirit of mutual respect, let me then propose a suggestion.
Why don’t we refer to evolution and creationism both as theories?
I’ve long heard about the theory of evolution, but the theory of creationism… hmmm.
Besides being scientifically correct, I LIKE IT! 🙂
There are few things that will shut me up as quickly as a classical pianist or conductor talking about the music or humanity of it. In the six episodes of the Encore! with James Conlon series created in 2005 from the Twelfth International Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Maestro James Conlon explores the relationship between the concert pianist’s internal world and the composer’s score with the finalists as his examples. The series premiered on PBS in October 2005 and also featured chamber performances with the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet. Eminent pianist and competition juror Menahem Pressler also had a prominent role. He had a beautiful clip talking about playing Beethoven piano sonatas to one of the younger competitors in the 2005 documentary of the competition, In the Heart of Music.
Below are clips from each of the six episodes of the Encore! series, which I will have to see in full one day! Encore! with James Conlon was directed by Andy Sommer and co-produced by Bel Air Media, the Van Cliburn Foundation, and KERA.
But that’s enough of me! I’m going to shut up and listen now! 🙂
Episode 1: Apollo or Dionyssus (with Davide Cabassi)
Episode 2: Plato or Aristotle (with Alexander Kobrin)
Episode 3: Being It or Playing It (with Joyce Yang)
Episode 4: Truth or Beauty (with Chu-Fang Huang)
Episode 5: Technique or Spirit (with Roberto Plano, pianist)
Episode 6: Tradition or Innovation (with Sa Chen)
Vodpod videos no longer available.
OH… MY… GOODNESS!!! Whatever’s in the water over there in Britain, the Americans could only wish they had the same thing going. Where the British keep finding some of these talents is beyond me but have a listen to what little 10 year old Hollie Steel does in her Britain’s Got Talent 2009 audition… especially the last notes in the song that she hits… and I mean HITS! Can you say, ree-DONK-u-lous???
Well, wait a minute. I take that all back. I actually have no words worthy of what I saw Hollie do in that video.
However, I had to come up with a story to blog and share this video because my superlatives weren’t good enough. So how’s about me making the call Hollie’s going to beat out Susan Boyle to win Britain’s Got Talent 2009 unless some even more amazing comes along? That might be hard to imagine but, hey, that was hard to imagine when Susan Boyle did her audition. You can leave your opininon in the poll below to agree or disagree with me if Hollie will win, but here’s my reasoning, psycho and social analysis, Siminh Cowell style! 😉
Let’s start with talent. After all, BGT is a talent show, right?
No contest. Hollie Steel could sing Susan Boyle out of the auditorium. Don’t get me wrong, I like Susan Boyle’s voice a lot, but she simply doesn’t have the power, dexterity, range, timbre or much of any other qualities by one gauges a voice that little Hollie does. This girl could sing the birds out of Britain, never mind Susan Boyle out of the auditorium! If there were no birds in Britain left next year, it won’t be because of climate change. They’ll have gone to where the singing competition weren’t nearly as tough!
Second, not in importance but what popped into my mind, appearance. Are you kidding me? Sure, the old spinster look is charming and refreshing among all those teenage pop stars and older ones who overdo their looks, but that can’t complete with an adorable 10 year old girl cuter than any button I’ve ever seen!
Third, expectations. Susan got the audience so riled up because initial expectations for her were below Hollie’s. People were so cynical towards Susan, which was what made her audition video so moving the way she turned them on a dime to be her supporters. Of course, Hollie dealt with cynicism towards her in the form of Simon Cowell flashing his hand just 15 seconds into her audition, ready to buzz out her out at 3:19 left in the video. But true to her name, she was solid steel to stand her ground. She did not so much as even flinch at the sight of his look and opened hand. She just waited for a few seconds till the music queued her in, opened her mouth, almost as if on queue to respond, and released a tsunami of a singing voice that startled Simon back in his place, with a shocked reaction on his face that was just priceless! But, in general, Hollie was a cute girl people were hoping to succeed from the start. Nobody likes to see a little girl get crushed publicly, and so the expectation change from start to end for Hollie wasn’t nearly as large as Susan’s. Just look at judge Kelly Brook‘s face light up at 3:54 remaining in the video when Hollie came out. Kelly was just enamoured with this girl throughout! However, next time out, the surprise will be gone for both. The audience will listen and they’ll look, to which I defer to my first and second arguments above in favour of Hollie.
Fourth, determination versus innocence. Susan Boyle knew she could “rock” that audience as she said in her audition video. It was a matter of people giving her the chance. She was going on determination, not innocence. She knew she was good, had recorded before and that it was her looks that stood in her way. Hollie Steel, meanwhile, “only entered in the competition so she did not feel left out when her 15 year old brother Josh also went for an audition”, according to the UK Telegraph. It may be easier to admire determination than innocence, but I argue it’s easier to fall in love with innocence. If BGT isn’t a talent contest, it certainly is a popularity contest. Hollie’s got talent, and she’s got love, doubly trumping Susan again. Besides, Simon’s already issued public warnings to Susan to focus on the contest and not get carried away with fame. Susan’s already lost her innocence. As for Hollie and determination, she’s got plenty, overcoming near death from pneumonia at the age of four!
Finally, voter demographics. Britain and the Western world are getting older. Susan Boyle’s got a lot more people in her age bracket (40-60 year olds) than 0-20 year olds in Hollie Steel’s age bracket, half of whom won’t likely be calling in much. However, last I checked, children, especially adorable little girls singing the birds to shame, rather loved by the general public. I think a lot of people Susan’s age will vote for Hollie the kid, hoping or having grandchildren of their own at their age. It’s all about the children at that age, not your fellow age groupers who are talking about failing body parts and new medication! And no, those few cowardly cyber bullies doing stupid things online dissing little Hollie, hiding behind their Internet covers, aren’t nearly enough to alter the votes. (see Sun story link below)
Right now, Susan Boyle is still the 1-2 favourite (The Sun, UK), but I’m going to step out and call it for Hollie barring a better candidate later.
Right or wrong, though, BGT 2009 has got me hooked! I will be following this year the rest of the way!
As for their American equivalents, I blogged just the other day asking what does America’s Got Talent, or American Idol, have to compete with Britain’s Got Talent seeing videos the likes of Connie Talbot, Paul Potts, Susan Boyle? The question becomes even more pressing now with Hollie Steel coming along! I’m starting to think those American shows should be called America Ain’t Got No Talent and American Idle! Go to the post questioning that talent and prove me wrong with some answers!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.6