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Somehow, 2009 has been a bit less productive when it came to blogging.

At the close end of 2009, I discovered Face Book! And so, the beginning of a bad addiction started.

Let me assure you, with a built-in guilt from years of being Catholic, I’d never stray too far from a project such as my blog, or my knitting, or anything that is dear to my heart. I’m still productive, but a bit spread-out-thin at the moment.

So to compensate, let me give you a treat for the eyes. Just click here. Trust me, it has something close and related to yarn, providers of yarn at least.

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He is a ‘star’ in his own rights. Famous I tell ya! 

The ‘star’ is actually a bit literal. He’s into quantum electrodynamics, theoretical physics, and nuclear engineering to name a few. 

What? You thought I saw a Hollywood star? I’m a NERD pig and always has been. I’d be more attracted to people who can tell me about science, the universe, multidimensional worlds, human mind, etc. Even religion. 

Anyhoo, he’s name is Freeman Dyson

I went to a free lecture the University of Oregon Physics department organized, with Dyson talking about IMAGINED WORLDS. 

Thinking, who would come to such lecture? So I took my time and got to the auditorium 5 minutes before the lecture. Panic and regret ensued. As I entered the building, there were people already waiting to get into the auditorium. I knew the guy was BIG in the field of science, but I underestimated how many people really are into quantum theory, mathematics, etc. 

I persevered and went inside anyway. Now, this is where the ‘small’ person comes in handy. I squeezed myself in and got a very good spot; only it’s going to be standing for the whole duration. From where I stood, people were everywhere sitting in the aisle, just so they can hear Freeman Dyson talk. 

On to the lecture itself….Mr. Dyson (or should it be Dr. Dyson?) presented himself well. He was humorous without trying. He was asked about the Orion Project that he, along with S. Ulum (it was his idea) and T. Taylor started; and realized it wasn’t going to go through so he got out of the project. The project itself is ongoing. 

The talk about string theory and heretics stuck out for me. As well as religion, atheists and scientists. His joke on string theory is that it’s a science without equipment ~ rather cheap. And one doesn’t have to be a scientist to understand string theory, which comes to no surprise that there are as many string theorists around than needed. What I like about his stance on heretics. Heretics are needed to get different ideas out, it gets questions sought out and solutions to be found. You can also tell that he’s soft on religion (my opinion, of course). In other words, religion and science go hand in hand. Never isolated from each other. It’s the opposite I’m leaning on. 

When he was asked questions about religion, he (again, my observation) stumbled for words. Or maybe, he was finding words that would not incite negative reaction from the crowd. But then, he is known to NOT be afraid to state his opinion contrary to popular persuasion. 

The intrigue was on the topic of populating comets. He had this concept of planting a bioengineered plant that could grow in bubbles/clusters that would initiate its own greenhouse atmosphere. Comets, as it is, have less gravitational pull than earth or other planets. With less gravity, the plants/trees can grow with no bound. In turn, these comets would sustain human colonies. Comets are quite smaller than planets; can be sustained faster, easier than planets. This is just a concept. He did realize that it would take years for man, in this current state of space conquest technology, to be able to travel millions upon millions of light years to be able to reach these comets. 

He was asked what country in the future would have the stronghold or the power that the U.S. has in this current time. CHINA. He went on to say that Spain, during its drive to conquer the world, took 150 years before it went down, just like Rome. Then it was England. At the current time and most recent, is the U.S.A. So, the United States still has quite a ways to go. After the U.S. global dominance, China would come next; that is, if it doesn’t do itself in first, in blunders. Everyone laughed. 

I know this blog entry seems boring. But as a lay person, with tremendous yearning for physics, quantum theories, etc. I’m now realizing WHAT I want to be when I grow up. Unfortunately, I’m beyond half a century. So now, I can only enjoy these lectures and keep reading about these things and envy those whose minds blow me away. And so, I will try to talk about such subjects. Subjects that give rise to questions, lots of them and in the process the hunger for answers will follow. 

My only disappointment: the men in the audience and in the panel outnumbered women. But glad to see a couple of middle school-aged children who stuck around till the end of the lecture.

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I just have to blog this.

If the above video does not work, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

It goes to show, just because the media and everyone else has this cookie-cutter image of what is a talent, this would put us all to shame! Image is NOT all that matters.

Darn! I feel like crying. For Joy!

Enjoy! And be awestruck!

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Okay, I’m Over It!

All the years growing up Catholic, one characteristic that has stayed with me is GUILT. I’m such an expert on GUILT, Of all the things I’m good at, this is it!

The last entry of my post was quite a depressive entry. And I felt bad and guilty for writing it.

But to get out of the dumps, I picked myself up and pulled this from my stash of YouTube clips to get something uplifting. This is the right time to uplift my spirit or anyone’s, don’t you think? Dancing does that for me. And here it is.

Yes, this will one day be hated, like we did with the MACARENA or WHO LET THE DOGS OUT songs. But this video really got me up my dancing juices.

I’d say, of all the fans’ imitation videos of Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ vid, Shane Mercardo’s is the best. He IS one great dancer with so much expression and personality.

Now that Shane is a bit famous, I hope he gets a job dancing his little heart out (or toosh*) professionally. You can tell it’s his passion.

What do you think?

*Cannot use the right spelling in fear of spam.

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Journey Has Gone Asian

Journey the band has gotten back together. There’s a guy fronting their group. But definitely not Steve Perry. They were ready to get back together, even years before. With Steve Perry. But that fell through. So they searched high and low. And thanks to YouTube, they found their man. But this guy is nowhere near the band’s home base. This guy lived thousand of miles away separated by the Pacific Ocean.

Just check out the revival of Journey from this YouTube interview with how Neal Schon found him.

They were searching for a lead singer that can be as big as Steve Perry. Out of desperation, they turned to YouTube. Then, the group stumbled upon this guy, whose band The Zoo, a popular band playing rock-n-roll music in the Philippines. Journey songs were just but a few of this band’s repertoire. Check out their videos.

Arnel Pineda is that one talented dude. Imagine an Asian fronting a big, popular 80’s-90’s band called Journey. And unbelievably, a Filipino at that.

Listen to one of their new songs released this year: Never Walk Away

Journey fans must be ecstatic! I’m one of them.

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Melanie Roach ~ An Inspiration

Truly a picture of motivation and influence to women! Let this video speak for itself!

She’s an inspiration!

I believe she placed 6th in the 53 kg. category of weightlifting in the 2008 Olympics. But it’s not the winning that matters, does it?

There are women out there who are plainly a great encouragement to other women. And I’m not talking about the self-absorbed ones with goals of flawless skins and perfect bodies; ambition towards recognition and ties to money and fame of Hollywood-like proportion.

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Martita is a favorite teacher of mine. Her personality, her demeanor, her embodiment of Flamenco dance and music exudes in her whole being; one cannot help but love her.

Although I have met her in the early 2000’s and took lessons on and off for months; there were pressing family and personal issues that needed priority more than dancing. And so I stopped. But I cannot stay away from dancing for long. My body needs it. So this year, after immersing myself back into dancing consciousness, I started going back to my dancing teachers for lessons so I can catch up again. And thus, here we are with Martita.

Her whole family consists of David and Martita Madeira Woods with their 8 children (all grownup with their own families). Everyone is artistic. They even have their own band named Abakadubi, a fusion of dance and music, according to the description in their website. If you meet Martita and the rest of her family, one can only conclude that they are a closed-knit, one big happy family who want to share to the world their love of music & dance; their selflessness; social and environmental consciousness as well as healthy living. That said, people who meet and befriend them all feel that they too belong to her family.

So I told Martita that it’s only my gratefulness that I write something about her and Flamenco. And plug their business and livelihood. Under the Abakadubi umbrella is Martita’s Bailar Dance Studio. She had taught so many would-be dancers from tweens to young and mature adults into graceful, self-confident Flamenco dancers.

Below are more photos taken from the Oregon Country Fair of Martita, Abakadubi band, of Iana and Ishi who are the singers, poets, spokespersons for the band. Iana was, by the way, a classmate of my son in middle and high schools. Amazing how such a small world we have, that we all meet one another again sometime in our lifetime.

Please note some photos are a bit blurry, as Martita and Ian danced so fast; it was hard to capture good movement out of them. And yes, I have a crappy, basic digi camera. What can I say!

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