Sketchy YouTubery: Changing Title & Tags on Old Videos (Nick Pitera, Lin Yu Chun)

Don't get me wrong, I like Nick Pitera's covers -- I first ran across his video entry in a Disney contest for people singing A Whole New World (he sings both parts).

But I still think it's kind of sketch to change the title and tags of a video that's almost two years old to take advantage of the media buzz surrounding Lin Yu Chun, the Taiwanese singing sensation, and his performance of I Will Always Love You (by Dolly Parton, probably most well known as sung by Whitney Houston). If you haven't seen Lin Yu Chun on Taiwan's "Avenue to Stardom," where have you been the last week? Quick, watch it!
 
 
PS My favorite bit from the AP article on Lin Yu Chun?

"Being fat draws a lot of mockery in our society," he said.

To cope with the pain of his exclusion, he locked himself in his room and sang along with the songs of Celine Dion and Mariah Carey .

Lin Yu Chun, we're the same person! 

Update: On the Ellen Show!

Having trouble getting dates? Why not pimp your profile?

This is a funny (music) video about online profiles and online dating on a gay site popular in Germany (and Europe) called GayRomeo. It really applies to any dating site, though!

More from the video description:
"Here are some handy hints from Holger Edmaier for creating a profile that will get you results. A satirical take on modern gay life that anyone with a profile will appreciate. Guaranteed!

The original German version is available too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keBc4SpXHhQ "

Taxes, retirement, IRAs, and all that stuff that I usually don't write about

I usually don't post personal finance-ish stuff, but this is a pretty good video (about 6 minutes) from Vanguard (I have an account there, though I've not really looked into retirement stuff very intensively). The guy isn't the most engaging speaker but ... you can't have everything.

What struck me is that part of the calculation of Roth IRAs is that it's usually a bet on being in a higher tax bracket when you're in retirement. Considering the amount of money that the US is spending (has spent!) on wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, on Drugs, on Terror), bank bailouts, economic stimulus and in general spending-money-we-don't-have-and-must-borrow-from-the-rest-of-the-world....

Some recent related readings that have struck a chord (all NY Times):

Your taxes are going up

Some Honesty about Taxes

Not that I ever dream of being in one of those higher tax brackets mostly talked about in those two links, but I imagine that in general taxes will rise as the U.S. struggles to pay down (hahahahahaha) the national debt.

Stand By Me played by musicians across the world

I'm not sure why, but just watching this brought tears to my eyes. Ben E. King's song has always been special to me, in fact, I can't remember a time when I didn't know it.

Basically, Mark Johnson had musicians from around the world play together across geography and time. Each performer added and built onto the combination of the artists before them.

PlayingforChange via Metafilter

Here's the description on the Youtube video of this project. There's also a trailer for the documentary.

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe. This and other songs such as "One Love" will be released as digital downloads soon; followed by the film soundtrack and DVD early next year.

Join the Movement to help build schools, connect students, and inspire communities in need through music.

There's also an Bill Moyers interview with Mark Johnson. It's a little long (about 20 minutes), but what's that compared to the 10 years that it took to make the documentary?

Update: Okay, the Bill Moyers interview is kind of meh. A little trite, but I guess you get some insight on the whole endeavor.

Michigan, McCain, Melatonin, & Marriage

I've been visiting my parents in Michigan since Wednesday night. They're unofficially celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, though they haven't told most of their friends who are coming to the party tonight. There are some old old friends visiting my parents too, they live in LA & Dallas respectively, and they go all the way back to when my mom was going to nursing school in Taiwan. Pretty amazing that they're still in touch and still good friends, though they sometimes didn't see each other for years (decades!). It's nice to be back home and see the family, but it often makes me wonder that I really ever lived here. The house seems so big compared to my apartment in Philly, the roads are so wide, the people are so white, the buildings so cookie-cutter, the strip malls so common (and boring).

Not to mention that there are pretty much McCain signs everywhere. I don't know anything about local and state politics which actually make up the vast majority of the signs on the roads & lawns, but of the presidential candidates' lawn signs, most have been for McCain, including one infuriating "Another Democrat for McCain" sign. Ah well, I suppose McCain/Palin have given up in Michigan, though I haven't looked at any recent polling data.

Last night Kim & I met up again for our tradition of sneaking-away-to-a-coffee-shop-while-Powen-is-in-town-for-a-few-days. This time it was at Caribou Coffee... I ended up getting some weirdly named latte with the raspberry flavoring. BIG mistake. It was a sugar-free flavoring and basically made the coffee taste like medicine. The barista, however, was really nice about it and asked if I'd like her to make me something else. Instead, I just got a couple pumps of the almond flavoring which made it palatable enough to drink. Kim & I always have tons of awesomeness to go on about, but the most important thing I got out of our conversation is that melatonin really does help sleep / get over jetlag, and that it won't kill me. So I went to Meijer to get some in preparation for the upcoming transatlantic flight. I took one pill last night just to see what it would do, and it seems innocuous enough, though I have kind of been napping all day (plus I had a crazy gay dream during an afternoon nap). It won't hurt I don't think to try using it to get some sleep on the evening flight tomorrow.

Speaking of gayness, this Youtube video is called "Adventists Against Prop 8" is surprising and worth the watch.

My favorite quote:
Jesus was concerned that all people be treated with dignity, and respect, and equality. And therefore, we should vote against Proposition 8 because it reinforces the prejudices that we've had for centuries.