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Monday, December 17, 2012


Sad to report that U.S. Senator Dan Inouye passed away.  I just wished him well.  I don't have the heart to post my "Future of Japan" article today, so I'll do that tomorrow.  

Ninety-nine percent of us are essentially normal.  Senator Inouye had speaking difficulties in his youth and lost his right arm in World War II.  He took office when Hawaii became a state 52 years ago and became the most powerful member of the U.S. Congress.

Can you imagine the life of this tree as a child?

I took this photo today next to the University of Hawaii Credit Union close to McCully Street.

Or how about 22-year old Choi Song-Bong from South Korea, who escaped from an orphanage and lived as a homeless boy from the age of 5: from Korea's Got Talent.  This clip is guaranteed to bring tears.  Anytime you begin to feel sorry for yourself, come back and take a look at this clip.  The look on the faces of the judges is something not to be missed.  He says he just wants to be like "normal other people."  Oh, he did not win, but came in second, just like Jackie Evancho.  Enjoy Song-Bong in the finals.  #1 was Joo Ming-Jong with a robotic dance.  She won $100,000.  According to one report, Choi Song-Bong ended up with less than 40 cents in his pocket and still has tinnitus.

These singing discoveries began with the fairy tale named Susan Boyle, who waddled onto the stage as a 47 year old chubby matron from Scotland, opened her mouth, and the shock on the faces of the audience and judges, especially Simon Cowell's and Pierce Morgan's, was priceless.  This video has been watched many hundreds of million times.  She said, growing up, people made fun of her.  Watch her in the finals bringing tears to Simon.  Amazingly enough, in this 2009 version of Britain's Got Talent, she came in #2 to Diversity, a street dance troupe.  Her debut album, named after her first song, I Dreamed a Dream, became the #1 UK debut album of all time.  From nothing but a victim of derison, she is now worth $37 million.  I suspect Song-Bong will, too, now do well.

You can only wonder how Jackie, Song-Bong and Susan were runner-ups.  The winners will go nowhere.

Let me end with Liu Wei.  Heard of him?  No, Liu Xiaobo is a Nobel Laureate and Ai Weiwei is that Chinese artist who criticizes the government.  Liu Wei has no arms.  Try clicking your computer on with your big toe.  Wei plays the piano with his toes.  He did win the 2010 China's Got Talent.  #2 was 6-year old Zhang Fengxi, a comedian.  You got to watch her!  Without her front teeth, speaking in Chinese, you'll lose your heart to Fengxi.  Remember, she was 6 years old.

Tropical Cyclone Evan remains potent at 120 MPH, but will weaken before making landfall over New Zealand in a few days.  At this point, models show the eye of Evan right over Auckland on Friday or so.


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