Shawshank Redemption

It’s on cable TV again and I simply couldn’t help but watched it, one more time. I am not sure why it’s rated 5-stars, but no doubt it is a very good movie and every time I watch it, I find / learn new things. For example, there is a very moving scene in the movie about Andy (Tim Robbins) locked himself in a room and broadcast a very beautiful song to all the prisoners. And here is it … another find from Youtube – a Mozart masterpiece by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa & Ileana Cotrubas.

“Sull’aria” from Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”

Oh, for those who has not seen this movie – the original scene from Youtube as well …

Fado …

Pretty much like Samba of Brazil, Flamingo of Spain, Tango of Argentina … Fado is a national treasure of Portugal.  Fado (translated as destiny or fate) is a music genre which can be traced from the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. It is characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. However, without visiting this beautiful country, how can I have a taste of Fado ? Once again, Youtube has the answer.

The name of this beautiful song is Chuva (Rain in English) by famous Portuguese artist Mariza. Lyrics translated in English …

The ordinary events in our lives
Do not fill us with longing;
Not so those memories that hurt
Or those that bloom into a smile.

Some people are our history,
The history of our lives;
There are others whose name
We not recall ever hearing.

Such are the feelings
That keep alive my longing,
The feelings we shared
And withered in the end.

There are days that scar
One’s soul and life,
This is why I cannot forget
The day you left me.

The rain drenched
My cold and tired face
In the streets of a city
I had aimlessly walked.

Ah! …Like a girl gone astray
My cry rang across the city:
How quick does the fire of love
Dies in the rain!

The rain heard me and kept
To herself my secret in that city
Where she taps on the window,
Filling me with longing.

Search-a-holic : movie

I still cannot finish the book “The World is Flat” even though I have read a couple of dozens pages more, however there is one point in the book is right – Internet Search Engine is one of the “world flatteners”. Essentially, the search engines like Google, Yahoo empower every Internet user in the world to access all the knowledge indexed in the Internet. I think it is very true, and this power has also made me a “search-a-holic”.

Other than searching for information that are useful at work, I also use the search engines extensively even I am watching TV, or movie at home. For example, I will go to imdb.com to check the ratings, information of the actors and actress … to decide whether I shall continue watching that movie or TV show. Once I found a movie is good, I will go to Amazon.com to see whether the DVD and the soundtrack is available. And of course, the youtube.com is my favorite site for the music and music video in the movie.

So, here are three music videos I found from three movies …

Amazing Grace – if you don’t know the history of that 235 years old hymn / song, better go to cinema for that. And for me, the best version of Amazing Grace is always the bagpipe one.

Scent of a Woman – I think no one can forget this tango scene and with the 70 years old classic – Por Una Cabeza

The story of us– I just watched this movie in cable and of course, how can one forget the Classical Gas by Mason Williams ?

Collections

Somehow, I think a person’s “character” can be reflected in what he or she is “collecting”. Some collect games, comic figures; some collect paintings, sculptures; some collect DVDs and VCDs … of course, most of us collect money or dust. In other words, some are young at heart, some live in the past, some feel very unsafe and some just have no goals at all.

But for me, I like to collect the premier issue of any magazine, as I am a believer of good beginnings.

I am also a collector of the last issue of magazines and “The year in pictures” from magazines like Time and Life, as I am a believer of good endings.

Now I starts to collect old magazine or newspaper advertisements – as I start believing that our world is getting worse, unlike the good old days. Couple of years ago, I found some beautiful advertisement prints in Paris, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (the largest flea market in Paris and is a must go). I was told the advertisements were printed in 1936 but I really have nothing to verify … until I do a search in Internet, of course.

Check this web site and scroll down … it was really a masterpiece by Jean-Gabriel Domerge for Perrier in year 1936. You can tell how happy I was when I found this site. Now it is framed beautifully and hanged with other three prints at home.

What are you collecting ?

1982

I am helping one organization in town to organize an event to celebrate their 25th Anniversary. In other words, back in 1982 a group of bright minds founded the organization. So I asked myself … what other big events happened in 1982? A couple of searches from Google and Wikipedia … and I found …

January

  • The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 in Super Bowl XVI. Joe Montana Go Go Go !!!

March

  • Syzygy: all 9 planets align on the same side of the Sun.

April

  • Falklands War begins.

June

  • The 1982 FIFA World Cup is opened in Spain.
  • The Falklands War ends.

July

  • Coca Cola introduces Diet Coca Cola
  • Italy beats West Germany 3-1 to win the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. Rossi rules !!

August

  • Commodore 64 released !! My first Personal Computer !!
  • The first Compact Discs (cd’s) are released to the public in Germany.

December

  • Thriller album by Michael Jackson is released, becoming the biggest selling album of all time in entertainment history.
  • Time Magazine’s Man of the Year is given for the first time to a non-human, the computer.