Pink Martini concert (and Google wireless, obesity)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

da Vinci Days 2007 Friday night I went to see Pink Martini at the da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis on the Oregon State University campus. I also caught some of the opening act, Sneakin’ Out. It was all very good stuff. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Pink Martini is an adventurous multilingual lounge act sometimes referred to as Portland’s “little orchestra.”

Pink Martini played for about two hours; the music was a nice mix of their three albums and their banter with the audience was very friendly and polished. Pink Martini The weather generally cooperated, but it did start sprinkling when they started playing “Hang on Little Tomato” (actually just seconds before China Forbes sang, “Why does this rain pour down”), which was cute. Various band members, mainly China and artistic director/founder Thomas Lauderdale, related a lot of interesting stories and referenced the international cultural/literary sources of their music. One story was about how that song “Hang on Little Tomato” was inspired by a Hunt’s Ketchup advertisement from a 1964 issue of Life magazine.

That had to have been one of the best da Vinci Days concerts.

In other news:

1. The Internet is abuzz with Google wireless rumors. On Friday, Google said that if the FCC complies with their conditions, it will bid at least $4.6 billion in the government’s upcoming wireless spectrum auction. Here are a couple of good articles about it: “Google’s Gargantuan Wireless Bid Puts FCC on the Spot” (TheStreet.com) and “Google In The Air” (Forbes.com).

2. Americans are fat and getting fatter! Here’s a quote from the Reuters article, “Study predicts 75 percent overweight in US by 2015” from Thursday:

If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.

And here’s a quote about body mass index (calculate your BMI) and recent obesity statistics:

People with a BMI of 25 or above are considered overweight, while those with BMIs of 30 or above are obese and at serious risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Studies show that 66 percent of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in 2003 and 2004.

Between the obesity trend in the US and the aging baby boomers (and America’s privatized health care system), good luck to us in finding affordable health care/insurance in the future. I’ve already given up the idea of drawing Social Security when I retire.

3. I enjoyed this AP article about insomnia and “the jimmy legs” (remember the “Seinfeld” episode?) from last week: “Studies: Restless legs syndrome is real.”

4. Check out the Poodwaddle World Clock. This world stats counter shows current statistical figures for world population, births, deaths, diseases, injuries, deforestation, and much more.

5. I’ve been enjoying Esquire’s ongoing Napkin Fiction project. They mailed cocktail napkins to fiction writers from all over the country (some more famous than others) and are posting the stories returned to them on those napkins.

Back to the music: If any of these Pink Martini albums are missing from your music collection, then go check them out and think about supporting this independent Portland group: Hey Eugene! (2007), Hang on Little Tomato (2004), Sympathique (1997).

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