Thursday, April 25, 2019

Manila Earthquake Creates Waterfall From Skyscraper Rooftop Pool

Water cascades off the side of a Manila skyscraper as an earthquake
sloshed water out of a rooftop swimming pool. 
Two strong earthquakes in the Philippines this week unfortunately killed at least 16 people and caused quite a bit of damage.

The stronger of the two quakes on Monday was centered just 50 miles from the Philippines capital of Manila. High rises swayed and panicked workers fled from buildings.

One big highrise has a rooftop pool. In an earthquake the swaying from side to side on top of a skyscraper is bigger than at the base.

So the quake sent pool water cascading over the side of the building like a waterfall.

The video, below, is pretty dramatic.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Baby Elephant Makes Me Want This Man's Job

Dan Daeng was trying to paint a fence.
Khunsuk the baby elephant would have
none of it. It was time to play!
At the Mae-Sa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand, keeper Dan Daeng, 20, was trying to be productive. He was hard at work trying to get a fence painted.

Khunsuk would have none of it. Khunsuk is a one year old baby elephant who thinks all work and no play makes Dan a dull boy.   

So, Khunsuk tried to put a stop to Dan's work. He tried slapping Dan with his trunk to get him to play. He tried tapping on his leg. Dan ignored Khunsuk. There was work to do! But Khunsuk said, no, and ruffled Dan's hair.

It was all over. Fence painting was done. Time to play. The resulting video, below, makes me really wish I had Dan Daeng's job.

Or, at least I could hav Khunsuk the baby elephant over to my house for awhile so we could play in the yard.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This Casually Dressed Dad Will End Up On America's Got Talent, Or Something

A rather buff dad in a football shirt and shorts looks like he wanted to entertain his smiling young daughter at Disney World.

Justin Gigliello belts out "Ave Maria" during a visit to Disney
World with his young daughter. 
The dad, named Justin Gigliello was at Disney World with his young daughter.

He posted the video on Twitter, and wrote: "I just wanted to share this video for a Disney experience! We just went to Disney World ast week and my daughter asked the pianist at the Grand Floridian if I could sing while he played."

The pianist agreed and began playing the Franz Schubert masterpiece Ave Maria and Gigliello began singing it. Beautifully.

The best part besides the singing is the proud look on the face of the young daughter as her father performed.

Naturally, the clip has gone viral. I'm also sure that producers from shows like "America's Got Talent" are beating down Gigliello's door trying to get him on these shows.

Here's the video:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Awesome, Odd Fosse Choreography And 1960s Cool On Video Fascinates Me

A scene from Bob Fosse's choreography of "Rich Man's Frug 
There's extra attention these days on the legendary choreographer Bob Fosse given that televised series on FX called Fosse/Verdon.

The show involves the life of Fosse and his romantic and creative partner, the dancer Gwen Verdon.

As my mind tends to wander into unexpected corners, I recently heard a snippet of the song "Rich Man's Frug" from Sweet Charity, the 1966 musical by Neil Simon and choreographed by Fosse. (It was later made into a movie released in 1969.

I was very young in the mid and late 1960s, and I always admired what to my mind were the sophisticated adults in the room. Or more accurately, not in the room, but out there in the world, somewhere. In some alluring city that was not West Rutland, Vermont, where I was.

I'd see glimpses of televised variety show performances from shows like "Sweet Charity" and others during the rapidly changing 1960s. Even as a five or seven or eight year old, I could feel the fever of that era, even if I didn't fully understand it.

These were exotic people doing exotic things in exotic times. There was precious little of that in the small Vermont town where I grew up. As an adult, I love the little town of West Rutland. Back then, not so much.

All those feelings about the worldly matters I craved came back to me when I looked up Rich Man's Frug and found this 1960s, very awesome Fosse choreography to that song from Sweet Charity. The video is simultaneously dated and so modern cool and wonderful that I can't resist.

It might be the best Fosse number I've seen. I love the odd physical movements, the fake air of snootiness on the faces of those dancers, the humor in all that athleticism.

Here's the video.  Totally worth the watch:

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Throwback To 1971: Elton John Explains How "Tiny Dancer" Came To Be

A still from the music video for "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. The song
was released in 1971, but didn't get an official music video until 2017.
One of my very favorite Elton John songs is among his very first hits: "Tiny Dancer."

The blog Laughing Squid found a YouTube video in which Elton John, in 1971, then roughly 23 years old, explains the musical mechanics of the song,and why he chose the music the way he did for the lyrics, penned by his longtime co-writer Bernie Taupin.

The song is about Taupin's girlfriend and eventual wife Maxine Feibelman.  The tune has a rather gentle musical score. Elton John said that decision was based on the lyric, "Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand."

Hard, driving rock does not fit well with ballerinas, John explained.

"Tiny Dancer" was never a huge hit on the Billboard charts, but man, has it had staying power! It has become a classic in every sense of the word.

This song never had an official music video until 2017, when Elton John participated in "The Cut" a video contest for up and coming videographers.  Filmmakers made music videos for three of Elton John's early classics, including Tiny Dancer.  I do think the California breeziness of the song is captured well in that 2017 video.

But you be the judge. First video is the throwback to 1971, when Elton John explains the song's construction, and the second video by Max Weiland, which uses a wide range of Los Angeles characters to demonstrate how much this song has kind of united us.